“We live in a world that is becoming increasingly unstable, and the potential for an event that could cause “sudden change” to the U.S. economy is greater than ever. There are dozens of potentially massive threats that could easily push the U.S. economy over the edge during the next 12 months. A war in the Middle East, a financial collapse in Europe, a major derivatives crisis or a horrific natural disaster could all change our economic situation very rapidly. Most of the time I write about the long-term economic trends that are slowly but surely ripping the U.S. economy to pieces, but the truth is that just a single really bad “black swan event” over the next 12 months could accelerate our economic problems dramatically. If oil was cut off from the Middle East or a really bad natural disaster suddenly destroyed a major U.S. city, the U.S. economy would be thrown into a state of chaos. Considering how bad the U.S. economy is currently performing, it would be easy to see how a major “shock to the system” could push us into the “next Great Depression” very easily. Let us hope that none of these things actually happen over the next 12 months, but let us also understand that we live in a world that has become extremely chaotic and extremely unstable.”
“Discouragement is the enemy. For many, the task of preparedness may seem daunting. Readying yourself, your family, or your community for the dangers to come is a large task. The financial burden can be frightening, especially given the state of the economy. The sheer volume of the labor can overwhelm. The suffering of being deprived of certain comforts and play things might turn one’s resolve to jelly. Deciding what to stock up on and how much to store can defeat the most eager among us. All these factors and more discourage many from preparing.
Discouragement describes a condition in which our enthusiasm for a task fades and our energy drops off. But while I’m striving for a definition, it might be helpful to break the word down into its constituent parts. The prefix, “dis” is a negative. It means the loss or lack of something. The root of the word is, of course, “courage”. So a discouraged man or woman is a person who has misplaced their courage. Does that sound harsh? I assure you, I’m speaking to myself here too. The task before us as we seek to be wise preparers requires great courage. No mistake. This is no business for cowards.”
“If you have been watching National Geographic’s Doomsday Prepper series, you’ve probably seen a few ideas that you wanted to try to implement in your own storage preparations. At least a show or two got you wondering about the feasibility of some of the stuff these preppers are doing. One thing that piqued my interest was from the episode that showed the woman oiling her eggs in order to preserve them for long-term storage.
I found myself frowning… was it really that easy to keep an egg fresh for months at a time? If so, why weren’t these well-oiled gems sitting on the grocery store shelves instead of crated up in the refrigerator section? I decided to do a little more research into this subject, so I turned to the one person I consider the quintessential expert on chickens and their products, Gail Damerow.
No, I didn’t get a chance to interview her. (That would be a homesteader’s dream come true!) However, I did the next best thing—I pulled out her book Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens in order to gather the information I needed for this article.
And am I glad I did.
While I discovered that oiling is a perfectly acceptable way to extend the shelf life of eggs, I also found out that you can’t just take any old egg, slap some mineral oil on it, and call it preserved. There’s a selection process and strict time frame that you have to work around.”
“The only serious reason given for this recent volatility and rapid drop in the price of gold is that Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke promised he wouldn’t engage in more money printing. However, as is generally the case when discussing capital flows of hundreds of billions of dollars, things are just a bit more complicated than that.
It’s no secret that the gold markets are completely manipulated by large financial institutions and interested parties within our government that are intent on keeping the price as low and/or volatile as possible.
What better way to scare the masses away from true value than to create such extreme price swings in both directions that the misperception of risk and constant attacks by mainstream media experts diverts capital from one of the few true safe havens into the fabricated safety of, say, US dollar backed Treasury bonds? After all, unlike the US dollar which is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States, gold is backed by nothing!”
Via SHTF Plan
“Is the USA still #1? Well, there are many things that America is still the best in the world at, but unfortunately a lot of those categories are nothing to be proud of. Once upon a time the United States was the greatest nation on earth, but now we are a nation that is in a horrific state of decline. Just consider a few of the embarrassing things that America leads the world in: obesity, crime, divorce, teen pregnancy, child abuse deaths and government debt. The statistics that you are about to read below are incredibly disturbing. Most people that write these kinds of articles about the decline of America hate this country. But that is not the case with me. I was born and raised in America and I love this nation deeply. It is time to realize that we will never be able to start fixing our problems until we take a really good look in the mirror and realize just how far we have fallen. America is not the country that it once was. America is a complete and total mess and just “tweaking” a few things here and there is not going to return this nation to its former glory. We have forgotten the things that once made us great, and if we do not return to them we will continue to fall apart as a nation.
With that being said, the following are 40 embarrassing things that America is the best in the world at….”
“In a brief written statement from the White House, President Barack Obama announced Monday afternoon that the upcoming G8 summit will be held at Camp David, MD and not in Chicago as had been planned.
The announcement was unexpected and came without any warning, less than 12 weeks before the dual meetings were to be held for the first-time ever on American soil.
A building firestorm of controversy surrounded the summits; including threats by anarchist organizations to disrupt life in downtown Chicago; concerns about violence and civil unrest harming ongoing city business; gridlock and the inability to get from one place to another in Chicago. “
“Is the economy improving or stagnating? Are businesses hiring or firing? Is the stock market a buy or a sell? Will monetary inflation prevail over debt deflation?
Quite honestly, we don’t know the answers to these questions. Nonetheless, we have some ideas on what we think the answers should be. More important than what we think, however, is what’s going on…and how it’s making thoughtful ruminations on markets and political economies such a muddled mess…
“We have Monetary Anarchy running riot, where the elastic band between the real economy and the current liquidity-fuelled markets is stretched further and further beyond credulity,” noted Bob Janjuah, head of tactical asset allocation at Nomura, earlier this week.
No doubt, things are going haywire. Just look around. Bubbles are inflating nearly everywhere. Stocks, oil, food, copper…you name it, all are going up. In fact, two days ago we paid $4.27 per gallon for gas. Yet, at the same time, the actual economy’s hardly improving.
Like Janjuah, we think monetary policy has something to do with it.”
Via Alt Market
“Excess debt is causing global banking problems. Euro-Area debt is estimated to be 443% of GDP, third highest in the world, far above the US at 355% and completely unmanageable in a currency union burdened with a one-size-fits-none monetary policy and huge sovereign debt problems. Insolvent European banks sold many CDS, so counterparty risk is huge. A Greek or any other significant default will precipitate a European banking crisis in the foreseeable future. Markets are already speculating on Portuguese negotiations for haircuts and Ireland can’t be far behind, as it elected the current government to negotiate haircuts on private holdings of bank debt. The Lehman default occurred 13 months after the US TED spread crossed 100 basis points. The European equivalent crossed 100 basis points in September 2011, so its banking crisis would occur this autumn if a year or so is a normal incubation period.”
Via Zero Hedge
Couple Lives In $1.3 Million, 4,900 Square Foot Home For Five Years Without Making A Single Mortgage Payment
“Wonder how Americans can afford to buy millions of iGadgets, a second LCD TV for the shoe closet, and eat at restaurants more than almost any time in the past despite sliding personal income? Simple – increasingly fewer pay the biggest staple bill in a US household: their mortgage. The following story of Keith And Janet Ritter, who have lived in their Fort Washington, MD $1.29MM, 4,900 square foot McMansion for 5 years (which they purchase with no money down) without ever making a single mortgage payment, and who are not even close to being evicted, may explain much about the way US society currently operates, and why other perfectly responsible and hard-working taxpayers (who do have to pay for their mortgage) continue to fund tens of billions in Fannie and Freddie losses who are first on the hook to absorb the implicit losses by allowing families such as the Ritters to live in perpetuity without paying, and the banks to keep said mortgage on the books at par without any impairments. “
Via Zero Hedge
“There are times that the stupid in the mainstream media has gone too far.
This is one of them.
Sandra Fluke is an activist who is enrolled at Georgetown University Law Center. Her resume includes graduation from Cornell in 2003 and various feminist activism positions and activities since, many of them facially worthy of recognition. (Note: Wikipedia has been asked to remove her page, so don’t be surprised if the top link above dies.)
She was going to “testify” before Darryl Issa’s committee on the reproductive provisions in the Health Care law, but Issa killed her testimony because he smelled a rat.
He was right.
Let’s start with Sandra herself. It is claimed she was born in 1981. By my math that makes her 30ish. Rather a bit older than an ordinary student at Georgetown, yes?
Second, what’s the tuition at Georgetown? For a full-time student, $23,432. Per semester. So we’re talking about someone who can afford $47,000 a year in tuition and fees, exclusive of living expenses.
Sandra has maintained that birth control has a roughly $3,000 cost and this is an argument for “mandatory” coverage in health care policies. Really? Birthcontrolbuzz shows that most birth control pills (they have something like a dozen different brands listed!) run about $20/month, or $250/year. A single IUD (good for up to five years!) sells for about $200, or $50/year. One “implanon” (Norplant, which is good for up to three years) and the most-effective female contraception available short of sterilization with a less than 1% failure rate is $233.20, or $77/year.
By the very math you’re supposed to learn in third grade or thereabouts this means that better than 99% effective female birth control costs less than half a can of coke a day, or about 21 cents.”
Via Market Ticker