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What’s Holding Americans Back?


Gerald Celente

What had happened to that rebellious Yankee spirit and the American mind? Could it have been the food that overstuffed and immobilized them?

The Pop-Tarts® and Egg McMuffins® washed down with Coke® for breakfast? The Baconator® Triple, The Whoppers®, The Big Macs®, the $5 Foot-Long Subs, the bucket-of-chicken and 32oz. Big Gulp®? Too many trips to the All-You-Can-Eat-Buffet or The Never Ending Pasta Bowl®? Or was it the Slurpees, tubs of ice cream, or boxes of donuts grabbed at the convenience store?

Could it have been the factory-farmed, battery-raised, hormone implanted, antibiotic-laced, pesticide sprayed, genetically modified beef, fish, chicken, eggs, dairy, vegetables, grains that were used in the highly processed, synthetic, ultra pasteurized, artificially sweetened, colored and flavored “product” passed off as food?

What drove a nation with a relatively well-off and well-educated population to inflict such suicidal behavior upon itself? It was easy to point to the poor for buying cheap and eating stupid. But what excused the smartest of the smart and the richest of the rich from buying cheap and eating stupid?

A case in point: celebrated for “powering his way through the day with a punishing Diet Coke regimen,” even Obama’s chief economic advisor – the always “brilliant” Larry Summers (who brilliantly jumped the sinking ship of state when his “brilliant” economic strategy to rescue America failed brilliantly) – was too stupid to eat smart.

A look around the cabinet, survey of Capital Hill, AMA, ABA, PTA or pow wow of American Indian chiefs proved he was not alone. America had become one big “Mike & Molly” sitcom. Yet, even though just about everybody knew better, just about everybody made the same excuse for abusing the body and deadening the mind: it was cheap and/or it was convenient.

Sure, money was tight and time was precious, but plenty of people were still going to the malls and spending big on hi-tech, high-end running shoes, taking vacations, eating out and buying new cars. Even low-end shoppers at Dollar Stores – while saving a buck – were filling their carts with junk snacks, junk soft drinks and junk “Made in China” bric-a-brac.

Or was it something in the polluted air and fluoride-treated water that deadened individual pride, courage, passion and self respect? Could it have been the quadzillions of tons of chemical mix poisoning the planet that made everyone susceptible?

Or could it have been the medicine chests full of Lipitor®, Oxycontin®, Xanax®, Celebrex®, Paxil® … or the Ritalin® force-fed to kids and gobbled down like M&Ms® that deadened heir minds or whacked them out? Whether prescribed indiscriminately as quick fix, symptom-relief solutions by legal “pushers” (a.k.a. doctors) or unwittingly washed down with a glass of municipally doctored “pharma-water,” voluntarily or involuntarily, a large segment of the populace was doing drugs.

Drugs Found in Drinking Water

A vast array of pharmaceuticals – including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones – have been found in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans, an Associated Press investigation shows. (AP, 10 March 2008)

Or was it the “food for thought”? Could it have been the mind-numbing news served 24/7 by networks, cable and radio? All those know-it-alls – anchors, big mouths, blow-hards, clowns, pundits, experts, strategists, think tank wankers – telling audiences what to think, how to think and what to believe?

Food, pharmaceuticals, movies, music, TV, literature, art, fashion – down the line, across the board, from top to bottom, every sector was monopolized by the unholy trinity of Big Government, Big Business and Big Media.

The “American Century” – an age of opportunity characterized by the entrepreneur – had passed into history. America had been corporatized, homogenized, dumbed down and chained to the chains … and by the chains … restaurant chains, retail chains, movie chains, funeral home chains, auto-parts chains. They had cornered the market on everything they could get their hands on: tires, eye glasses, mufflers, dental care, banks, brokerages, drug stores, hardware, pet supplies.

Even in the mad rush of the monopolistic, oligopolistic, mega-maniacals to control the market place, there was room for the individual entrepreneur to flourish. In certain sectors, particularly retail and food, the quality conscious “Davids” – providing gourmet/unique products, tasteful ambience, impeccable service – could operate among the Goliaths.

If you were chained to a chain, you were chained. Working for a chain or patronizing a chain, there would be no real freedom until the chains were boycotted and finally broken. It would take a mass awakening; a quality revolution across the socioeconomic spectrum to bring down the gluttonous Goliaths.

Yet, in 2010, it was still neither welcome nor “politically correct” (itself an oxymoron since nothing “political” is “correct”) to tell Americans to look in the mirror to see what they had become; overweight, overstressed, overmedicated, under-motivated, slovenly dressed. A trip to Wal-Mart spoke a thousand words. The American psyche was reflected in the American physique.

Of all the Renaissance-related trends forecast by Gerald Celente and The Trends Research Institute, few could play a more powerful role in the creation of a new society than the upcoming Agrarian Revolution. From titillating the taste buds and nourishing the body, to providing the satisfaction of getting fit by working the land and living with – and from – nature, the trend would revivify Americans.

Besides providing millions of jobs and new entrepreneurial opportunities (especially for the young unemployed and the many unemployables) the Agrarian Revolution was a unique feature of the “American Renaissance.”

“Renaissance”! The word conjures up an image of the artistic and cultural ferment that began in 14th and 15th century Italy and subsequently spread across Europe. When asked what to do with his excesses of wealth, Cosimo de Medici’s answer was “create beauty.”

The “American Renaissance” that begins in the 21st century will not be initiated by excess wealth, but rather by pressing need. And it will have different distinguishing features, among them: the rebirth of food. For, finally, both the man in the street and the man in the ghetto would realize the life and death consequences of eating well; that, yes, “you are what you eat.”

Already in 2010, the seeds of change could be seen in the farmers’ markets, “buy local” movements, urban gardens and roof gardens that were sprouting up around the nation. Backyards and lawns that once grew nothing but grass were now growing food.

Regards,

Gerald Celente

To All Followers of The “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” Crowd


Peter Grandich

Does anyone really want to hear that America is in decline? For decades, most of us have been raised to believe that the United States is “number one” and that anyone who doubts that fact is a “gloom and doomer” that should just pack up and move to “Russia” or “Iraq” or some other country where things are not nearly as good. But does it do us or future generations any good to ignore the very serious signs of trouble that are erupting all around us? The truth is that it is about time to wake up and admit how much trouble we are actually in. The U.S. government is absolutely drowning in debt. The entire society is absolutely drowning in debt. We are being slaughtered in the arena of world trade, and every single month tens of billions of dollars (along with large numbers of factories and jobs) leave our shores for good. Our infrastructure is failing, our kids are less educated and our incomes are going down. We have serious, serious problems. At one time, the U.S. economy was so dominant that it was not even worth talking about who was in second place. That is no longer the case in 2010. Our forefathers handed us the greatest economic machine in history and we have allowed it to fall apart right in front of our eyes. A national economic crisis of historic proportions is getting worse with each passing month, and yet most of our leaders seem to be asleep at the switch.

So is American in decline? Well, read the statistics below and decide for yourself. The reality is that when you start connecting the dots it gets really hard to deny what is going on.

Urgent action must be taken if things are going to be turned around. It is time to get our heads out of the sand. It is not guaranteed that the United States will always be the greatest economy in the world or that we will even continue to be prosperous.

For many Americans, it will be incredibly difficult to admit that our nation has become a debt addict and an economic punching bag for the rest of the world.

But if we are never willing to admit what the problems are, how are we ever going to come up with the solutions?

What you are about to read below is going to absolutely shock many of you. But hopefully it will shock you enough to get you to take action. We desperately need to change course as a nation.

The following are 24 statistics about the United States economy that are almost too embarrassing to admit….

#1 Ten years ago, the United States was ranked number one in average wealth per adult. In 2010, the United States has fallen to seventh.

#2 The United States once had the highest proportion of young adults with post-secondary degrees in the world. Today, the U.S. has fallen to 12th.

#3 In the 2009 “prosperity index” published by the Legatum Institute, the United States was ranked as just the ninth most prosperous country in the world. That was down five places from 2008.

#4 In 2001, the United States ranked fourth in the world in per capita broadband Internet use. Today it ranks 15th.

#5 The economy of India is projected to become larger than the U.S. economy by the year 2050.

#6 One prominent economist now says that the Chinese economy will be three times larger than the U.S. economy by the year 2040.

#7 According to a new study conducted by Thompson Reuters, China could become the global leader in patent filings by next year.

#8 The United States has lost approximately 42,400 factories since 2001. Approximately 75 percent of those factories employed at least 500 workers while they were still in operation.

#9 The United States has lost a staggering 32 percent of its manufacturing jobs since the year 2000.

#10 Manufacturing employment in the U.S. computer industry is actually lower in 2010 than it was in 1975.

#11 In 1959, manufacturing represented 28 percent of all U.S. economic output. In 2008, it represented only 11.5 percent.

#12 The television manufacturing industry began in the United States. So how many televisions are manufactured in the United States today? According to Princeton University economist Alan S. Blinder, the grand total is zero.

#13 As of the end of 2009, less than 12 million Americans worked in manufacturing. The last time that less than 12 million Americans were employed in manufacturing was in 1941.

#14 Back in 1980, the United States imported approximately 37 percent of the oil that we use. Now we import nearly 60 percent of the oil that we use.

#15 The U.S. trade deficit is running about 40 or 50 billion dollars a month in 2010. That means that by the end of the year approximately half a trillion dollars (or more) will have left the United States for good.

#16 Between 2000 and 2009, America’s trade deficit with China increased nearly 300 percent.

#17 Today, the United States spends approximately $3.90 on Chinese goods for every $1 that China spends on goods from the United States.

#18 According to a new study conducted by the Economic Policy Institute, if the U.S. trade deficit with China continues to increase at its current rate, the U.S. economy will lose over half a million jobs this year alone.

#19 American 15-year-olds do not even rank in the top half of all advanced nations when it comes to math or science literacy.

#20 Median household income in the U.S. declined from $51,726 in 2008 to $50,221 in 2009. That was the second yearly decline in a row.

#21 The United States has the third worst poverty rate among the advanced nations tracked by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

#22 Since the Federal Reserve was created in 1913, the U.S. dollar has lost over 95 percent of its purchasing power.

#23 U.S. government spending as a percentage of GDP is now up to approximately 36 percent.

#24 The Congressional Budget Office is projecting that U.S. government public debt will hit 716 percent of GDP by the year 2080.

Please share these statistics with as many family members and friends as you can. It is time to get real. It is time to admit that we have some really big problems.

America is in decline and the situation is getting worse by the day. If we are not willing to admit how bad things really are, then we are never even going to have a chance to find the solutions that we need.

When Will U.S. Leaders Confess To The American People That America Carries Out False-Flag Attacks As Part of Its Foreign Policy?

Saman Mohammadi
The Excavator
Nov 8, 2010

In September of this year, a retired Turkish general named Sabri Yirmibeshoglu admitted on Turkish television that the Turkish government carried out false-flag attacks on the island of Cyprus in the 1960s in order to instill feelings of hatred and revenge in Turkish Cypriots against the Cyprus government. The false-flag operations successfully destabilized the island, and helped Turkey’s military objectives.

Yirmibeshoglu’s admission was significant, as he was the former Secretary-General of the National Security Council (MGK), and the chief of Turkey’s Special Warfare Department. For more details read Elias Hazou’s report, which was filed on September 24, 2010 for the Cyprus Mail:

Created in 1953 as part of the Turkish secret service, the Special Warfare Department is believed by commentators in Turkey to be the executive branch of the so-called ‘deep state.’“In order to increase the resistance of the people, you carry out sabotage against certain values, in order to create the impression that it is the enemy who did it. In Cyprus, we had torched a mosque,” Yirmibe?o?lu said in an interview while describing methods used in unconventional warfare. (Turkey carried out false-flag attacks in Cyprus in 1960s, says Turkish General, Elias Hazou, Cyrpus Mail; Sept. 24, 2010).

Yirmibeshoglu was named by Ahmet Özal as one of the suspects involved in the assassination attempt of his father, Turgut Özal, in 1988. Özal later died in in 1993 due to a heart attack, but his family asserts that he was killed as a result of a poison injection by the same individuals within the Turkish deep-state who failed to kill him in 1988. Özal served as Turkey’s Prime Minister from 1983 to 1989, and as President from 1989 to 1993.



An article published in Istanbul’s Today’s Zaman on September 30, 2010 called Özal’s death should also be investigated, says Ahmet Özal,” has the details on this intriguing drama which shares many comparisons with the assassinations of American leaders in the 1960s, specifically John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. An excerpt from the article:

Özal said his father was killed because he had resolved to find a peaceful and democratic solution to the Kurdish question. He said deep state elements, which were said to be Ergenekon by some and JİTEM by others, worked hard to destroy peace in Turkey in 1993, a year filled with politically motivated assassinations and suspicious deaths of important public, military and political figures.He claimed that the car that took his father to the hospital took an unnecessary detour and wasted half an hour. He also said he was not taken in an ambulance but in a car because the doctor and the ambulance of the Çankaya presidential palace were suspiciously unavailable that day. “These things have to be investigated,” he said.

Korkut Özal, the brother of the former President, echoes his nephew’s allegations in an upcoming book, writing; “If this incident [Özal’s death] is investigated, it will be a scandal similar to Watergate, which led to the resignation of US President [Richard] Nixon,” as reported on Today’s Zaman on October 21, 2010.

If you’ve read this far you’re probably wondering what my title has to do with a confession by a top former Turkish general that Turkey’s government executed false-flag operations to promote its military interests in Cyprus, and allegations that Turkey’s former President was assassinated by key members of the Turkish establishment in 1993. Well, there’s a connection. Turkey is not unique. Can the American establishment assassinate peace-minded leaders? Yes. It. Can. And, Yes. It. Has. Can the American establishment carry out false-flag attacks abroad, and at home? Yes. It. Can. And, Yes. It. Has.

In fact, America’s secret state orchestrated false-flag events and executed bombing campaigns inside Turkey, and other nations during the Cold War and blamed them on communists and leftist leaders in order to produce a sense of fear and helplessness in their populations. Daniele Ganser’s deep research into this scandalous activity, which was done by a network of stay-behind armies organized by NATO, led him to write a book called “NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation GLADIO and Terrorism in Western Europe.” To know more, read some of Ganser’s findings at this link.

NATO’s secret terrorists were of great help to the U.S. establishment. Prior to the military coup d’état in Turkey on September 12, 1980, the CIA and NATO in cooperation with the Turkish military funded and trained secret groups to carry out false-flag attacks and terrorism with the purpose to undermine civil society, and create the condition in which a military takeover would be feasible. It’s known as the strategy of tension, and it is considered standard operation procedure by military/deep-state insiders in America, Turkey, Israel, England, and other countries in the world that are dominated by anti-democratic interests. Since the end of World War Two, Western democratic governments have fallen prey to the powerful individuals who operate secretly against the public interests inside the deep-state apparatus of each nation.

According to professor Peter Dale Scott, the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 was part of a long series of “deep events” in America. Scott:

However to call 9/11 a coup d’état exaggerates the difference between the current weakened condition of the public state, and the prior state of affairs that has been building for years, indeed for decades, towards just such a dénouement. For half a century the constitution and laws of the open or public state have been first evaded, then eroded, then increasingly challenged and subverted, by the forces of the deep state. I wish to suggest that this erosion has been achieved in part through a series of important deep events in post-war American history – events aspects of which (it is clear from the outset) will be ignored or suppressed in the mainstream media.Recent history has seen a number of such events, such as the assassination of John F. Kennedy, that are so inexplicable by the public notions of American politics that most Americans tend not even to think of them. Instead most accept the official surface explanations for them, even if they suspect these are not true. Or if others say they believe that “Oswald acted alone,” they may do so in the same comforting but irrational state of mind that believes God will reward the righteous and punish the wicked.

The nature of the deep-state is such that not everybody in the government knows what is going on behind the scenes. Military officials and public representatives who are part of the deep-state are unlikely to confess to the press and the public about their involvement and knowledge, as they would be admitting to committing high treason, and great crimes. Their confession would be followed by their hanging, basically.

Some government officials, like Sen. Patrick Leahy, and Rep. Dennis Kucinich, have called for a truth and reconciliation commission to fully investigate the government’s secret torture programs, illegal surveillance, and the questions surrounding the Sept.11 events. Aside from a few crickets, nobody in the media has made any noise about the suggestion to set up some type of truth commission in the United States.

Instead of the truth about 9/11 and the deep-state getting filtered through mainstream sources, or the alternative media, it is grassroots organizations like the International Center for 9/11 Studies and anti-establishment media outlets like the Alex Jones show and Coast to Coast AM that are exposing the war criminals and informing the public about the dark corruption.

Obviously, the current order of things cannot last. A reckoning is awaiting the world. The criminal and fraudulent global war on terrorism can only end once the governments of America, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, Israel, Palestine, and other governments in the Middle East and around the world get together and come up with a fair and just solution to fix the mayhem that was unleashed by the deep-state terrorists who dominate Washington through state secrecy laws, and control over the media.

Let’s pray that there are brave and wise military and government leaders in the United States who have a handle on the historical situation, and who see the grave consequences of attacking Iran, which would trigger a large-scale war in the Middle East, and result in the deaths of innumerable people. Let’s pray that they do the right thing, and help restore a strong, free, and truthful America. In September of this year, a retired Turkish general named Sabri Yirmibeshoglu admitted on Turkish television that the Turkish government carried out false-flag attacks on the island of Cyprus in the 1960s in order to instill feelings of hatred and revenge in Turkish Cypriots against the Cyprus government. The false-flag operations successfully destabilized the island, and helped Turkey’s military objectives.

Yirmibeshoglu’s admission was significant, as he was the former Secretary-General of the National Security Council (MGK), and the chief of Turkey’s Special Warfare Department. For more details read Elias Hazou’s report, which was filed on September 24, 2010 for the Cyprus Mail:

Created in 1953 as part of the Turkish secret service, the Special Warfare Department is believed by commentators in Turkey to be the executive branch of the so-called ‘deep state.’“In order to increase the resistance of the people, you carry out sabotage against certain values, in order to create the impression that it is the enemy who did it. In Cyprus, we had torched a mosque,” Yirmibe?o?lu said in an interview while describing methods used in unconventional warfare. (Turkey carried out false-flag attacks in Cyprus in 1960s, says Turkish General, Elias Hazou, Cyrpus Mail; Sept. 24, 2010).

Yirmibeshoglu was named by Ahmet Özal as one of the suspects involved in the assassination attempt of his father, Turgut Özal, in 1988. Özal later died in in 1993 due to a heart attack, but his family asserts that he was killed as a result of a poison injection by the same individuals within the Turkish deep-state who failed to kill him in 1988. Özal served as Turkey’s Prime Minister from 1983 to 1989, and as President from 1989 to 1993. Istanbul’s Today’s Zaman on September 30, 2010 called Özal’s death should also be investigated, says Ahmet Özal,” has the details on this intriguing drama which shares many comparisons with the assassinations of American leaders in the 1960s, specifically John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. An excerpt from the article:

An article published in

Özal said his father was killed because he had resolved to find a peaceful and democratic solution to the Kurdish question. He said deep state elements, which were said to be Ergenekon by some and JİTEM by others, worked hard to destroy peace in Turkey in 1993, a year filled with politically motivated assassinations and suspicious deaths of important public, military and political figures.He claimed that the car that took his father to the hospital took an unnecessary detour and wasted half an hour. He also said he was not taken in an ambulance but in a car because the doctor and the ambulance of the Çankaya presidential palace were suspiciously unavailable that day. “These things have to be investigated,” he said.

Korkut Özal, the brother of the former President, echoes his nephew’s allegations in an upcoming book, writing; “If this incident [Özal’s death] is investigated, it will be a scandal similar to Watergate, which led to the resignation of US President [Richard] Nixon,” as reported on Today’s Zaman on October 21, 2010.

If you’ve read this far you’re probably wondering what my title has to do with a confession by a top former Turkish general that Turkey’s government executed false-flag operations to promote its military interests in Cyprus, and allegations that Turkey’s former President was assassinated by key members of the Turkish establishment in 1993. Well, there’s a connection. Turkey is not unique. Can the American establishment assassinate peace-minded leaders? Yes. It. Can. And, Yes. It. Has. Can the American establishment carry out false-flag attacks abroad, and at home? Yes. It. Can. And, Yes. It. Has.

In fact, America’s secret state orchestrated false-flag events and executed bombing campaigns inside Turkey, and other nations during the Cold War and blamed them on communists and leftist leaders in order to produce a sense of fear and helplessness in their populations. Daniele Ganser’s deep research into this scandalous activity, which was done by a network of stay-behind armies organized by NATO, led him to write a book called “NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation GLADIO and Terrorism in Western Europe.” To know more, read some of Ganser’s findings at this link.

NATO’s secret terrorists were of great help to the U.S. establishment. Prior to the military coup d’état in Turkey on September 12, 1980, the CIA and NATO in cooperation with the Turkish military funded and trained secret groups to carry out false-flag attacks and terrorism with the purpose to undermine civil society, and create the condition in which a military takeover would be feasible. It’s known as the strategy of tension, and it is considered standard operation procedure by military/deep-state insiders in America, Turkey, Israel, England, and other countries in the world that are dominated by anti-democratic interests. Since the end of World War Two, Western democratic governments have fallen prey to the powerful individuals who operate secretly against the public interests inside the deep-state apparatus of each nation.

According to professor Peter Dale Scott, the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 was part of a long series of “deep events” in America. Scott:

However to call 9/11 a coup d’état exaggerates the difference between the current weakened condition of the public state, and the prior state of affairs that has been building for years, indeed for decades, towards just such a dénouement. For half a century the constitution and laws of the open or public state have been first evaded, then eroded, then increasingly challenged and subverted, by the forces of the deep state. I wish to suggest that this erosion has been achieved in part through a series of important deep events in post-war American history – events aspects of which (it is clear from the outset) will be ignored or suppressed in the mainstream media.Recent history has seen a number of such events, such as the assassination of John F. Kennedy, that are so inexplicable by the public notions of American politics that most Americans tend not even to think of them. Instead most accept the official surface explanations for them, even if they suspect these are not true. Or if others say they believe that “Oswald acted alone,” they may do so in the same comforting but irrational state of mind that believes God will reward the righteous and punish the wicked.

The nature of the deep-state is such that not everybody in the government knows what is going on behind the scenes. Military officials and public representatives who are part of the deep-state are unlikely to confess to the press and the public about their involvement and knowledge, as they would be admitting to committing high treason, and great crimes. Their confession would be followed by their hanging, basically.Kucinich, have called for a truth and reconciliation commission to fully investigate the government’s secret torture programs, illegal surveillance, and the questions surrounding the Sept.11 events. Aside from a few crickets, nobody in the media has made any noise about the suggestion to set up some type of truth commission in the United States.the International Center for 9/11 Studies and anti-establishment media outlets like the Alex Jones show and Coast to Coast AM that are exposing the war criminals and informing the public about the dark corruption.

Obviously, the current order of things cannot last. A reckoning is awaiting the world. The criminal and fraudulent global war on terrorism can only end once the governments of America, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, Israel, Palestine, and other governments in the Middle East and around the world get together and come up with a fair and just solution to fix the mayhem that was unleashed by the deep-state terrorists who dominate Washington through state secrecy laws, and control over the media.

Some government officials, like Sen. Patrick Leahy, and Rep. Dennis

Instead of the truth about 9/11 and the deep-state getting filtered through mainstream sources, or the alternative media, it is grassroots organizations like

Let’s pray that there are brave and wise military and government leaders in the United States who have a handle on the historical situation, and who see the grave consequences of attacking Iran, which would trigger a large-scale war in the Middle East, and result in the deaths of innumerable people. Let’s pray that they do the right thing, and help restore a strong, free, and truthful America.

Will You Be Able To Heat Your Home This Winter? Millions Of American Families Will Not

The Economic Collapse
Nov 8, 2010

Will you have a warm house to come home to this winter?  If so, you should consider yourself to be very fortunate. With the United States experiencing the highest levels of long-term unemployment that it has seen since the Great Depression, millions of Americans families are simply out of money.  All across America this winter, families are going to be forced to make some heart breaking decisions.  For many, the choice will come down to either heating their home or putting food on the table.  According to the National Energy Assistance Directors’ Association, more than 10 million U.S. households will not be able to afford to heat their homes this winter without assistance, which would be a new all-time record.  So, if you are in a position to easily heat your home this winter, be very, very thankful.  The number of American families that cannot even afford the basics of life is growing by the day.

As I have written about previously, millions of formerly middle class families have been absolutely ripped apart by this economy.  There simply is not nearly enough jobs for everyone, and those who have been left on the outside looking in are becoming increasingly desperate.

Of course there is federal help available, but it doesn’t go nearly far enough for those who are truly in need.  For example, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) assists low income households in paying their home heating bills.  However, the truth is that usually only a small fraction of heating costs are covered.  Nationally, the average benefit represents only about 8% of the average winter heating bill.

Last winter, a record number of U.S. households applied for home heating assistance.  In fact, in 17 states application requests were up more than 20% from the year before.  Due to rapidly spreading poverty, the number of Americans filing for heating assistance is expected to increase even more this winter.



If you cannot heat your home, it is a really, really big deal.  In 2009, a 93-year-old man in Bay City, Michigan actually froze to death inside his own home.

These days, many American families are finding that their budgets are stretched beyond the breaking point.  Most Americans take it for granted that they will be able to heat their homes, but for the poor, being able to have enough heat is a great blessing.  Today, the poorest 20 percent of Americans spend more than 50 percent of their after-tax income on food and energy….

Will You Be Able To Heat Your Home This Winter? Millions Of American Families Will Not Food And Energy

So can’t the U.S. federal government just pay for everyone to have heat?

No, they cannot.

The truth is that as millions upon millions of Americans jump on to the “safety net” it is rapidly approaching the breaking point.  For example, 42 million Americans are now enrolled in the food stamp program.  That is a whole lot of hungry mouths to try to feed every month.

Not that feeding hungry people should not be a priority.  It is just that the U.S. government continues to spend way, way more money than it is bringing in and is basically bankrupt at this point.

So what about the states?  Can’t they step in and help?

No, the truth is that most U.S. states are absolute basket cases financially.  A recent article that I wrote about the state of California illustrates this point very well.

Unfortunately, most Americans families are just going to have to scrape by the best that they can.

It is hard to even describe the horrible pain that many Americans are experiencing because of this economy.  The following story from the Unemployed-Friends website is from a woman named Leetah who is desperately hoping that her family will be able to get through this upcoming winter….

The place I live in right now has no jobs and no places to live. My fiance, Lloyd, and I have been looking for anything but he lost his job from McDonald’s and the factories (the only jobs to make a living off of) consider him an insurance liability. I can’t get hired to a factory because of I was fired from our major factory for attendance (I had to miss 3 days of work because I was sick). So we are moving to the Edmond/OKC region where we are hoping to find a job and a place with running water and heating. We’ve spent the last few years without heat and running water and so having a place with water and heat would be heaven.

Winter is coming up fast and I am so afraid. Last winter we almost died from the cold and now the thought of cold makes my throat close up and my heart pound. But it isn’t just ourselves we are looking out for, we have our dog too. Our wonderful APBT Maggie who is 2-years-old and has been with us since she was 5-months-old. She’s our baby girl and we can’t lose her. We almost lost her to the cold too and it scared me so much. We are going to be living in our car soon with our dog.

I am hoping to be able to keep our food stamps in the new city so we can still eat. I have already applied for ten+ jobs and nothing yet but I am keeping my hopes up. Hopefully it will get easier to find a job once we get there. Then we just have to save up and then we can afford an apartment. Now finding an apartment with my awesome dog is another story.

Please say a prayer for those who are hurting this winter.  This economy has pushed millions of Americans to the absolute edge of despair.  Another participant on the Unemployed-Friends forum named Sanskay sounds like the hard reality of her situation has sucked almost all of the life out of her….

I met the love of my life when I was 19, and we moved in together. He had an excellent job and savings (he was several years older than me), and we decided together that I would stay home. When I was 26, he started feeling sick to his stomach a lot. By the time he was diagnosed with colon cancer (at 33!), it had already spread to his liver. We lost everything to medical bills, treatments, and medications. We fought so hard to prolong his life, and we drained his (our) savings accounts to try to cure him. Well, it did not work. He died in agony.

So then I was 26 and a widow and penniless, and I had not worked since college. I moved back in with my parents and decided to go back to school. Everyone told me that the health care fields were all in demand, so I studied to become an ultrasound tech. I excelled in my classes. It took me two years to do all of my prerequisites before I entered the program. By then, the recession had hit, but everyone at the school told me that I would have no problem landing a job as long as I was willing to move. This ended up being all lies. By that point, they knew that they were having trouble placing grads from 2007 and 2008, but that was never mentioned to me. This was a community college with a good reputation, and not some for-profit school, and I believed them.

I graduated last year (2009) and have been looking for employment as an ultrasound tech for over a year now. I have applied to over 400 jobs. I have gained three in-person interviews and seven phone interviews. None of them have amounted to anything. I am still unemployed. There are many per-diem (they’ll call you when they need you, and you have no guaranteed hours) jobs listed, but I cannot move unless I have a full-time job.

It’s awful because they are still funneling people into the program and telling them that as long as they’re willing to move out of state, they will have no trouble finding full-time work. They’re just concerned with keeping the seats full and they don’t care if their new graduates are unable to find work. I feel betrayed.

So now I’m 30 years old and still living in my parents’ basement, as I have been for years now. I feel like such a loser. My parents paid for my community college degree and my registry exams, which are all worthless now. It’s been so long that I have scanned anyone that I don’t remember what to do for some of the exams any longer, not to mention what the pathologies look like.

I haven’t applied to a job in a month. The official unemployment rate in my county is 15.6%, but the “unofficial” unemployment rate (REAL unemployment rate!) is easily double that. There is no work here, and I have no money to move, and no salable skills even if I had the money to move.

I miss my husband terribly. Suicide has definitely crossed my mind many times, but it would literally kill my mother if I did anything rash (she has a heart condition and can’t allow herself to become over-excited or her heart starts beating out of rhythm, which could cause a heart attack). It seems most days that the best years of my life are far behind me and that I have nothing to look forward to anymore.

Hopefully as you read these kinds of stories you feel your heart move.  The truth is that it could be any of us that are next.

In this economy, no jobs is secure.  In this economy, no business is secure.  There is no guarantee that the income that you are enjoying today is going to be there tomorrow.

The U.S. economic system is slowly dying.  There are many that are cheering this downfall, but the cold, hard truth is that tens of millions of us are going to experience horrible economic pain as the economy unravels.

It is not going to be a fun time.  So count your blessings while you still have them.

Big Lies, Little Lies

Paul Craig Roberts

Nov 8, 2010

If we cannot trust what the government tells us about weapons of mass destruction, terrorist events, and the reasons for its wars and bailouts, can we trust the government’s statement last Friday that the US economy gained 151,000 payroll jobs during October?

Apparently not.  After examining the government’s report, statistician John Williams (shadowstats.com) reported that the jobs were “phantom jobs” created by “concurrent seasonal factor adjustments.” In other words, the 151,000 jobs cannot be found in the unadjusted underlying data. The jobs were the product of seasonal adjustments concocted by the BLS.

As usual, the financial press did no investigation and simply reported the number handed to the media by the government.

The relevant information, the information that you need to know, is that the level of payroll employment today is below the level of 10 years ago.  A smaller number of Americans are employed right now than were employed a decade ago.

Think about what that means. We have had a decade of work force growth from youngsters reaching working age and from immigration, legal and illegal, but there are fewer jobs available to accommodate a decade of work force entrants than before the decade began.



During two years from December 2007 – December 2009, the US economy lost 8,363,000 jobs, according to the payroll jobs data. As of October  2010, payroll jobs  purportedly have increased by 874,000, an insufficient amount to keep up with labor force growth. However, John Williams reports that 874,000 is an overestimate of jobs

as a result of the faulty “birth-death model,” which overestimates new business start-ups during recessions and underestimates business failures.  Williams says that the next

benchmark revision due out next February will show a reduction in current employment by almost 600,000 jobs. This assumes, of course, that the BLS does not gimmick the benchmark revision. If Williams is correct, it is more evidence that the hyped recovery is non-existent.

Discounting the war production shutdown at the end of World War II, which was not a recession in the usual sense, Williams reports that “the current annual decline [in employment] remains the worst since the Great Depression, and should deepen further.”

In short, there is no employment data, and none in the works, unless gimmicked, that supports the recovery myth. The US rate of unemployment, if measured according to the methodology used in 1980, is 22.5%.  Even the government’s broader measure of unemployment stands at 17%. The 9.6% reported rate is a concocted measure that does not include discouraged workers who have been unable to find a job after 6 months and workers who want full time jobs but can only find part-time work.

Another fact that is seldom, if ever, reported, is that the payroll jobs data reports the number of jobs, not the number of people with jobs. Some people hold two jobs; thus, the payroll report does not give the number of employed people.

The BLS household survey measures the number of people with jobs. The same October that reported 151,000 new payroll jobs reported, according to the household survey, a loss of 330,000 jobs.

The American working class has been destroyed.  The American middle class is in its final stages of destruction. Soon the bottom rungs of the rich themselves will be destroyed.

The entire way through this process the government will lie and the media will lie.

The United States of America has become the country of the Big Lie. Those who facilitate government and corporate lies are well rewarded, but anyone who tells any truth or expresses an impermissible opinion is excoriated and driven away.

But we “have freedom and democracy.” We are the virtuous, indispensable nation, the salt of the earth, the light unto the world.

QE2 The Last Gasp of a Monetary System: A Message to the World

A Recipe For Fascism

By Chris Hedges

American politics, as the midterm elections demonstrated, have descended into the irrational. On one side stands a corrupt liberal class, bereft of ideas and unable to respond coherently to the collapse of the global economy, the dismantling of our manufacturing sector and the deadly assault on the ecosystem. On the other side stands a mass of increasingly bitter people whose alienation, desperation and rage fuel emotionally driven and incoherent political agendas. It is a recipe for fascism.

More than half of those identified in a poll by the Republican-leaning Rasmussen Reports as “mainstream Americans” now view the tea party favorably. The other half, still grounded in a reality-based world, is passive and apathetic. The liberal class wastes its energy imploring Barack Obama and the Democrats to promote sane measures including job creation programs, regulation as well as criminal proceedings against the financial industry, and an end to our permanent war economy. Those who view the tea party favorably want to tear the governmental edifice down, with the odd exception of the military and the security state, accelerating our plunge into a nation of masters and serfs. The corporate state, unchallenged, continues to turn everything, including human beings and the natural world, into commodities to exploit until exhaustion or collapse.

All sides of the political equation are lackeys for Wall Street. They sanction, through continued deregulation, massive corporate profits and the obscene compensation and bonuses for corporate managers. Most of that money—hundreds of billions of dollars—is funneled upward from the U.S. Treasury. The Sarah Palins and the Glenn Becks use hatred as a mobilizing passion to get the masses, fearful and angry, to call for their own enslavement as well as to deny uncomfortable truths, including global warming. Our dispossessed working class and beleaguered middle class are vulnerable to this manipulation because they can no longer bear the chaos and uncertainty that come with impoverishment, hopelessness and loss of control. They have retreated into a world of illusion, one peddled by right-wing demagogues, which offers a reassuring emotional consistency. This consistency appears to protect them from the turmoil in which they have been forced to live. The propaganda of a Palin or a Beck may insult common sense, but, for a growing number of Americans, common sense has lost its validity.

The liberal class, which remains rooted in a world of fact, rationalizes placating corporate power as the only practical response. It understands the systems of corporate power. It knows the limitations and parameters. And it works within them. The result, however, is the same. The entire spectrum of the political landscape collaborates in the strangulation of our disenfranchised working class, the eroding of state power, the criminal activity of the financial class and the paralysis of our political process.

Commerce cannot be the sole guide of human behavior. This utopian fantasy, embraced by the tea party as well as the liberal elite, defies 3,000 years of economic history. It is a chimera. This ideology has been used to justify the disempowerment of the working class, destroy our manufacturing capacity, and ruthlessly gut social programs that once protected and educated the working and middle class. It has obliterated the traditional liberal notion that societies should be configured around the common good. All social and cultural values are now sacrificed before the altar of the marketplace.


The failure to question the utopian assumptions of globalization has left us in an intellectual vacuum. Regulations, which we have dismantled, were the bulwarks that prevented unobstructed brutality and pillaging by the powerful and protected democracy. It was a heavily regulated economy, as well as labor unions and robust liberal institutions, which made the American working class the envy of the industrialized world. And it was the loss of those unions, along with a failure to protect our manufacturing, which transformed this working class into a permanent underclass clinging to part-time or poorly paid jobs without protection or benefits. The “inevitability” of globalization has permitted huge pockets of the country to be abandoned economically. It has left tens of millions of Americans in economic ruin. Private charity is now supposed to feed and house the newly minted poor, a job that once, the old liberal class argued, belonged to the government. As John Ralston Saul in “The Collapse of Globalization” points out, “the role of charity should be to fill the cracks of society, the imaginative edges, to go where the public good hasn’t yet focused or can’t. Dealing with poverty is the basic responsibility of the state.” But the state no longer has the interest or the resources to protect us. And the next target slated for elimination is Social Security.

That human society has an ethical foundation that must be maintained by citizens and the state is an anathema to utopian ideologues of all shades. They always demand that we sacrifice human beings for a distant goal. The propagandists of globalization—from Lawrence Summers to Francis Fukuyama to Thomas Friedman—do for globalization and the free market what Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky did for Marxism. They sell us a dream. These elite interpreters of globalism are the vanguard, the elect, the prophets, who alone grasp a great absolute truth and have the right to impose this truth on a captive people no matter what the cost. Human suffering is dismissed as the price to be paid for the coming paradise. The response of these propagandists to the death rattles around them is to continue to speak in globalization’s empty rhetoric and use state resources to service a dead system. They lack the vision to offer any alternative. They can function only as systems managers. They will hollow out the state to sustain a casino capitalism that is doomed to fail. And what they offer as a solution is as irrational as the visions of a Christian America harbored by many within the tea party.

We are ruled by huge corporate monopolies that replicate the political and economic power, on a vastly expanded scale, of the old trading companies of the 17th and 18th centuries. Wal-Mart’s gross annual revenues of $250 billion are greater than those of most small nation-states. The political theater funded by the corporate state is composed of hypocritical and impotent liberals, the traditional moneyed elite, and a disenfranchised and angry underclass that is being encouraged to lash out at the bankrupt liberal institutions and the government that once protected them. The tea party rabble, to placate their anger, will also be encouraged by their puppet masters to attack helpless minorities, from immigrants to Muslims to homosexuals. All these political courtiers, however, serve the interests of the corporate state and the utopian ideology of globalism. Our social and political ethic can be summed up in the mantra let the market decide. Greed is good.

The old left—the Wobblies, the Congress of Industrial Workers (CIO), the Socialist and Communist parties, the fiercely independent publications such as Appeal to Reason and The Masses—would have known what to do with the rage of our dispossessed. It used anger at injustice, corporate greed and state repression to mobilize Americans to terrify the power elite on the eve of World War I. This was the time when socialism was not a dirty word in America but a promise embraced by millions who hoped to create a world where everyone would have a chance. The steady destruction of the movements of the left was carefully orchestrated. They fell victim to a mixture of sophisticated forms of government and corporate propaganda, especially during the witch hunts for communists, and overt repression. Their disappearance means we lack the vocabulary of class warfare and the militant organizations, including an independent press, with which to fight back.

We believe, like the Spaniards in the 16th century who pillaged Latin America for gold and silver, that money, usually the product of making and trading goods, is real. The Spanish empire, once the money ran out and it no longer produced anything worth buying, went up in smoke. Today’s use in the United States of some $12 trillion in government funds to refinance our class of speculators is a similar form of self-deception. Money markets are still treated, despite the collapse of the global economy, as a legitimate source of trade and wealth creation. The destructive power of financial bubbles, as well as the danger of an unchecked elite, was discovered in ancient Athens and detailed more than a century ago in Emile Zola’s novel “Money.” But we seem determined to find out this self-destructive force for ourselves. And when the second collapse comes, as come it must, we will revisit wrenching economic and political tragedies forgotten in the mists of history.