“For most of us in America today, childhood was a time of vast and unassailable dreams. What we could become, what the world could become, was limited only by the strength of spirit setting aloft our ideas, and this strength, as all young people instinctively know, is infinite. While the possibilities of the future seemed boundless, few of us, including myself, ever considered “political extremism” as a viable lifestyle decision. Astronaut? Maybe. Filmmaker? Sure. Enemy Belligerent? Not so much…
While each of us is ultimately a product of our own decisions and internal choices, even beyond the influences of our environment, the cultural atmosphere of our age certainly determines the manner in which we are able to express our individual character. The brilliant and talented are sometimes cast into roles of poverty and obscurity. The obscene and devious often ascend to positions of righteous reverence. Good men are often painted as villains for centuries, while evil men are regarded as saints for just as long. The point is, the times in which we live rarely express in an honest way who we really are, unless, of course, we take hold of them tight, and cut out a new path for history to travel…”
Via Alt Market
“As the cold months of winter start to abate, it is easy to turn our thoughts away from preparedness and instead to the springtime pursuits of gardening or simply getting outside and playing in the sunshine.
Perhaps you have a bicycle that has become dusty during the colder periods, or walking shoes that have been sitting idle in the closet. Before I move on to the specific tasks and goals for month six, I want to remind you that all of these outdoor pursuits are indeed a part of your preparedness journey.
This year, more than any, is the time to start a small vegetable garden so that you can teach yourself the basics of working the soil, planting the seeds, and enjoying the bounty of homegrown food. The skills you hone now will go a long way toward feeding yourself and your family should there ever be a major disruption in the food supply chain. Just remember to start small and expect some mistakes and failures along the way. The results with be worth it.
And what about getting outside, taking a walk or hike, or perhaps a bike ride? Fitness is also an important aspect of preparedness so yes, go ahead and enjoy the sunshine. Make it fun and get fit. I do not need to tell you this because you already know it: a healthy and fit body will help you sustain the physical and emotional toll of a crisis.”
Via Activist Post
“Years ago, who could have imagined the appalling growing poverty level in the world’s richest country?
Various reports confirm it, including a new one by the University of Michigan’s National Poverty Center (NPC), titled “Extreme Poverty in the United States, 1996 to 2011”.
NPC promotes multidisciplinary research on poverty and policy. It mentors and trains poverty researchers. It analyzes causes and consequences, and addresses pressing policy questions at both federal and state levels.
How is poverty calculated, it asked?
The Census Bureau issues annual thresholds. They represent minimal income levels required to support various family sizes. Its methodology dates from the mid-1960s and hasn’t changed. Inflation’s taken into account annually. Families are judged poor based on pretax income. Non-cash benefits aren’t counted, such as Medicaid and food stamps.
In 2010, singles under 65 with incomes of $11,344 or less were designated poor. For those over 65, it was $10,458.
For single parents with one child, it’s $15,030. With two children, it’s $17,568. For two adults with no children, it’s $14,602. With one child, it’s $17,552. With two children, it’s $22,113. With three children, it’s $26,023.”
Via Activist Post
“Not so fast. Those that are publicly declaring that an economic recovery has arrived are ignoring a whole host of numbers that indicate that the U.S. economy is in absolutely horrendous shape. The truth is that the health of an economy should not be measured by how well the stock market is doing. Rather, the truth health of an economy should be evaluated by looking at numbers for things like jobs, housing, poverty and debt. Some of the latest economic statistics indicate that unemployment is getting a little bit worse, that the housing market continues to deteriorate, that poverty in America continues to soar and that our debt problem is worse than ever. If we were truly experiencing the kind of economic recovery that the United States has experienced after every other post-World War II recession we would see a sharp improvement across the board in most of our economic statistics. But that simply is not happening. Sadly, this is about as much of an “economic recovery” as we are going to get because soon the economy will be getting much worse. So enjoy this period of relative stability while you can.”
“As ‘news’ breaks of over 80% participation in the Greek PSI deal and the apparent optimism that this is somehow a good thing, we note that our analysis of what would happen from two months ago was exactly spot on. As the FT reports, “financial markets were already betting Greece would default again in the future. Grey market “when issued” pricing for the 20 new bonds were ranging from 17 to 28 cents on the euro, a highly distressed level, according to indicative quotes”, which just happens to almost perfectly coincide with our view:”
“since the Greek Debt/GDP will still be over 120% according to another set of rumors (after all, only a small portion of the country’s debt is really getting impaired), it is 100% safe to say that in 30 years Greece will still go bankrupt. So let’s say it deserves a comparable yield to its current 30 year bonds, which are priced to yield about 23%. We are being a little generous and estimate the fresh start bonds will yield 20% post break. Which means that according to a generic bond yield calc, the price on the fresh start bonds post reorg will be… 17.9 cents of par, or immediate losses of over 80% the second these bonds break for trading from par.”
Via Zero Hedge
“Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s testimony asserting that the United Nations and NATO have supreme authority over the actions of the United States military, words which effectively declare Congress a ceremonial relic, have prompted Congressman Walter Jones to introduce a resolution that re-affirms such behavior as an “impeachable high crime and misdemeanor” under the Constitution.”
Via Info Wars
“The federal government recorded its worst monthly deficit in history in February, according to a preliminary report Wednesday from the Congressional Budget Office that said the deficit in fiscal year 2012 is already more than half a trillion dollars.
The CBO’s figures show that despite repeated efforts to trim spending, the government has borrowed 42 cents of every dollar it spent during the first five months of this fiscal year.
The nonpartisan agency projected the government will run a deficit of $229 billion in February, the highest monthly figure ever. The previous high was $223 billion a year ago, in February 2011.
It is the 41st straight month the government has run a deficit — itself a record streak that dates back to the final months of President George W. Bush’s tenure. Before now, the longest streak on record was 11 months.”
Via Washington Times
“Despite receiving more than $885 million in federal economic stimulus funds since 2009, the D.C. government — whose residents face one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation — cannot say how many jobs it actually created for those who live in the District.
Most of the money has been spent, and data suggest that overall regional job growth did occur as a result of the massive infusion of capital. But a review by The Washington Times of figures provided by D.C. officials shows that the city spent hundreds of millions of dollars without being able to demonstrate any significant improvement in the city’s jobs outlook.
If anything, the employment picture has worsened in the District. At the end of 2011, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the city’s unemployment rate was 10.4 percent, ahead of only three states: Nevada (12.6 percent), California (11.1 percent) and Rhode Island (10.8 percent).”
Via Washington Times
“The US offered to give Israel advanced weaponry — including bunker-busting bombs and refueling planes — in exchange for Israel’s agreement not to attack Iranian nuclear sites, Israeli newspaper Maariv reported Thursday.
President Obama reportedly made the offer during Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Washington this week.
Under the proposed deal, Israel would not attack Iran until 2013, after US elections in November this year. The newspaper cited unnamed Western diplomatic and intelligence sources.
Netanyahu said Monday that sanctions against Iran had not worked, adding that “none of us can afford to wait much longer” in taking action against Iran’s controversial nuclear program.
However, Netanyahu told FOX News Channel on Wednesday that he did not think war with Iran was inevitable. He added that the only way to deter Tehran was to advocate carrying out a serious military strike against the Islamic Republic.”
Via NY Post