2012 election

Martin Armstrong Warns Illinois ‘Taxpayers Are Absolutely Screwed And This Is Not A Place You Want To Own Property’

Speaking of Martin Armstrong, I was reading the economist’s blog early Wednesday morning when I came across the following in his April 4 post entitled “Illinois on the Brink of Bankruptcy”:

The pension crisis is brewing and the one state that appears to be heading toward a complete bankruptcy is Illinois. Clients should not own ANY debt from Illinois, be it city, municipal, or state. Just get out before the curtain falls. The Illinois Constitution plainly states that pension benefits, once granted, “shall not be diminished or impaired.” Thus, taxpayers are absolutely screwed and this is not a place you want to own property

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“Taxpayers are absolutely screwed and this is not a place you want to own property”

“Just get out before the curtain falls”

Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity know this has been a major concern of mine for a couple of years now. I blogged back on November 9, 2012:

Events that have unfolded at the local level on up for some time now have convinced me that my future lies outside of Chicago, Cook County, and Illinois. Which is a shame, because as I’ve mentioned before, my family has deep ties to the area. So much so a number of family members are familiar with the tale of one ancestor who fought courageously to save his tailor shop (at least the contents of it) from the approaching flames of the Great Chicago Fire back in 1871.

141 years later, another looming disaster looks to be in store for me and my loved ones if I don’t take action, and soon.

It’s bad enough Chicago, Cook County, and Illinois was already overrun by too many residents that live their lives in pursuit of the Ubi East Mea (“Where’s Mine?”) mentality and politicians who have been quick to pander to these individuals with “free” things in exchange for votes- long before last Tuesday’s election results revealed the rest of America is now marching down this same path.

But combine this with poor financial health, a bleak economic outlook, and growing attacks on the finances and freedoms of productive, law-abiding residents as politicians rob Peter to pay Paul in their attempt to remain in office- and you’ve got one hell of a mess coming to this area of the Midwest in the next few years.

Eventually, I predict the productive residents will split town (this happened before in Chicago in the late 60s-early 70s in some neighborhoods), there will be no more money for “freebies,” and the “Where’s Mine?” brigade will riot. Athens-style.

As I’ve been telling those close to me for some time now, “First you’ll see the strikes. Then the larger protests. Until finally, the riots.”

History shows you don’t want to be in the city when the riots break out.

And I don’t plan on being here in Chicago when the coming civil strife erupts either.

I split town several months after writing all that.

You can read Armstrong’s entire blog post on his company’s website here. Disturbing stuff for citizens of “Madiganistan.”

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s note: A qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. The creator/Editor of this blog is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information contained herein.)

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CIA Vet Michael Scheuer: Idea That Al-Qaeda Is On The Way Out Is ‘Completely Politicking’

“Al Qaeda Scoops American Media on Fact They Are Not Decimated”

-A headline on Breitbart.com yesterday

Back on September 11, 2011, I blogged:

While there’s been lots of talk recently about Al-Qaeda’s operational capabilities being severely crippled, one expert on the organization points out they still pose a significant threat. Retired CIA veteran Michael Scheuer, who tracked Osama bin Laden as Chief of the Bin Laden Issue Station (“Alec Station”) from 1996 to 1999 and later as a special advisor to the unit from 2001 to 2004, told Ali Moore of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in an interview that was broadcast last Friday that:

Well they’re capable of any number of things. They’re certainly capable of car bombs or any of the Hamas-style attacks are something that they’ve been capable of since 9/11 or before. And something they’ve deliberately chosen not to do.

But in the last four or five years we’ve seen during the end of bin Laden’s career, a deliberate effort on the part of Al-Qaeda to recruit U.S. citizen Muslims to begin to try to incite operations within the United States.

Anwar al-Awlaki, Adam Gadahn- who’s known as al-Amriki- a number of other people who are intent on encouraging U.S. citizen-Muslims, English-speaking Muslims, to attack in the United States.

So they have the capability of sending people from abroad, our borders are wide open, and they also have an increasing number of U.S. citizen-Muslims who are willing to take action.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

The last time I mentioned Michael Scheuer in Survival And Prosperity was in April 2012, when I brought up the above quote amid growing claims that Al-Qaeda was toast, which grew louder as the November 2012 U.S. Presidential election drew closer.

In light of the recent revelation that the terrorist group is not “on the run” or “decimated” as claimed by U.S. President Barack Obama in the days leading up to his re-election, but now threatens the United States and its interests abroad, the mainstream media is miraculously paying attention again to what Mr. Scheuer has to say. Rhonda Schwartz and James Gordon Meek reported on the ABC News website Monday:

Michael Scheuer, a former CIA officer who led the hunt for bin Laden before his retirement in 2004, went further, telling ABC News that he believed al Qaeda really hasn’t changed since bin Laden’s death.

“I think the guys on the ground [local affiliate commanders], day-to-day tactical decisions were made there, where they always have been,” he said. “Core al Qaeda lays down the guidelines to keep everybody pointed at the enemy.”

Scheuer said he believes al Qaeda is more dangerous under its currently leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, than it was under bin Laden. Zawahiri, Scheuer said, may settle for smaller U.S.-based operations that would have a much smaller body count than a 9/11-type operation that bin Laden aspired to repeat.

Any idea that al Qaeda is on the way out, Scheuer said, is “completely politicking.”

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

As I thought.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Schwartz, Rhonda and Meek, James Gordon Meek. “Al Qaeda Threat: Officials Fear ‘Ingenious’ Liquid Explosive.” ABC News. 5 Aug. 2013. (http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/al-qaeda-threat-officials-fear-ingenious-liquid-explosive/story?id=19871892). 7 Aug. 2013.

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GDP Drop Blamed On Hurricane Sandy, Republicans

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, some talking heads on the TV were saying how the U.S. economy would take a significant hit from all the destruction. I remember turning to my girlfriend and saying, “Well, there’s their out.” I went on to explain that if the economic numbers for the fourth quarter ended up being crummy, the White House would just go ahead and blame Sandy.

So while I was a little surprised to hear about the drop in GDP today (I thought enough “stimulus” was already coursing through the financial system), the same can’t be said about what the White House said this morning. Alan Krueger, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, wrote on The White House Blog today:

According to the “advance” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis today, real GDP edged down 0.1 percent at an annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2012, amid signs that Hurricane Sandy disrupted economic activity and Federal defense spending declined precipitously, likely due to uncertainty stemming from the sequester. This was the first quarterly drop in real GDP in three-and-a-half years (see first chart below). Over the last fourteen quarters, the economy has expanded by 7.5 percent overall, and the private components of GDP have grown by 10.9 percent. During the four quarters of 2012, real GDP grew by 1.5 percent, the third consecutive year of economic expansion.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Don’t get me started on that “economic expansion” bit, as it’s been oh-so-terrific for many Americans.

Hurricane Sandy’s economic impact and a decline in government spending last quarter is repeatedly mentioned in the blog post, leading some to believe that the Obama administration is blaming the economic contraction last quarter a good deal on that late October storm and the Republican Party. Reuters’ Mark Felsenthal wrote on Yahoo! News this afternoon:

The White House on Wednesday blamed the surprising contraction of the economy at the end of last year at least partly on Republican “political brinkmanship” for threatening to let defense cuts take effect.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said similar threats over a looming March 1 deadline when defense and other cuts take effect absent a broader budget deal could similarly hurt the U.S. economy and taxpayers.

“This is political brinkmanship with one primary victim, and that is American taxpayers and the American middle class,” Carney said at a briefing.

“Our economy is facing a major headwind … and that’s Republicans in Congress.”

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Since the campaign for the 2008 U.S. Presidential election, Barack Obama and the Democratic Party have consistently blamed George W. Bush and the Republican Party for the nation’s ongoing economic woes (I submit both major political parties are truly at fault and the damage began decades earlier). Believing that this strategy worked to retain the Oval Office in 2012, and based on Carney’s words today, be prepared to hear even more blamethrowing of this type going forward in President Obama’s second term.

In the meantime, the financial house of cards keeps growing more unstable with trillions of dollars of debt being continually heaped upon it.

Hurricane Sandy. The GOP. How about the “stimulus” being injected into the cancer (debt)-ridden patient is perhaps becoming less effective over time? Instead of a strong, sustainable economic recovery, we’re seeing a weak one that’s requiring constant assistance.

What QE are we on again?

Furthermore, Washington and the Fed are “running out of bullets.” It’s somewhat amazing they’ve managed to “kick the can down the road” this far.

Looking back on today’s GDP announcement and related events, it’s apparent the blamethrowers are alive and well in the nation’s capital.

And the proverbial brick wall- or our “financial reckoning day,” as some like to call it- keeps getting closer.

Be advised.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Sources:

Krueger, Alan. “Advance Estimate of GDP for the Fourth Quarter of 2012.” The White House Blog. 30 Jan. 2013. (http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/01/30/advance-estimate-gdp-fourth-quarter-2012). 30 Jan. 2013.

Felsenthal, Mark. “White House blames Republican ‘brinkmanship’ for GDP contraction.” Reuters. 30 Jan. 2013. (http://news.yahoo.com/white-house-accuses-republicans-brinkmanship-spending-cuts-181022857–business.html). 30 Jan. 2013.

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49,000 Fewer Jobs In September, October Than Previously Reported

“171,000 jobs added in October; jobless rate 7.9%”

USA TODAY website, November 2, 2012

“Obama Says October Jobs Report Shows ‘Real Progress’”

-ABC News website, November 2, 2012

“October jobs report: The economy is doing better than we thought”

Washington Post website, November 2, 2012

“Jobs report may help Obama in tight election race”

-Reuters website, November 2, 2012

Back on November 2, 2012, the federal government informed the public that 171,000 jobs were added in October.

And 148,000 jobs were added in September.

As it turns out, those employment numbers were overstated. By 49,000 jobs, no less.

Somehow, I don’t think many readers of this blog are going to be surprised to hear that.

From a Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Situation Summary released earlier today:

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for September was revised from +148,000 to +132,000, and the change for October was revised from +171,000 to +138,000.

171,000 jobs down to 138,000 in October? That’s tens of thousands of jobs the Obama administration was given credit for creating even though (we now know) they never even existed. I’m sure that 171,000 number helped sway a number of undecided voters over to the Democrats’ camp.

I’ve heard it said before. “Barack Obama is the luckiest U.S. President ever.” And I might agree based on the above if I weren’t also convinced the next four years will be an incredibly-trying time for the nation, much less the White House.

President Obama is going to need all the luck he can get keeping our economy and financial system afloat- among other things.

You can read the entire December BLS jobs report on their website here.

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Friday, December 7th, 2012 Employment, Government, Political Parties No Comments

Quote For The Week

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years.

-Alexis-Charles-Henri Clérel de Tocqueville (French historian and political thinker, in his 1835 book Democracy in America. 1805-1859)

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Democrats Win Veto-Proof Supermajority In Illinois House And Senate

Even though I think my home state of Illinois is heading in the wrong direction, plenty of my neighbors appear to be very pleased with the way the “Land of Lincoln” is being run. Monique Garcia, Ray Long, and Rick Pearson wrote on the Chicago Tribune website yesterday:

In Springfield, where Republicans have long been the minority party in the state Legislature, Democrats won a veto-proof supermajority in the state House and Senate. In the House, it’s 71 Democrats and 47 Republicans. In the Senate, it’s 40 Democrats and 19 Republicans.

Mike Garrigan added on the website for Rockford, Illinois, CBS affiliate WIFR Channel 23 Wednesday night:

Before the election, Democrats held a 64-54 majority in the state house, but that has been increased to a 71-47 majority, making it a veto proof or super majority.

There is also now a democratic supermajority in the Illinois senate after the majority party picked up five more seats on Tuesday.

North of the border in Wisconsin, where I spend a good deal of my time, the opposite is happening. From an Associated Press piece Wednesday:

Wisconsin Republicans have retaken full control of state government, winning majorities in both the Senate and Assembly and erasing Democrats’ gains in last summer’s recalls.

Results from Tuesday’s elections show Republicans captured an open Senate seat and four incumbent GOP senators fended off challengers, allowing them to capture the majority, and their colleagues in the Assembly easily held onto their advantage in that chamber.

With Republican Gov. Scott Walker in office, the GOP now has complete control in Madison. And the ramifications are huge: Republicans will be able to pass legislation without a single vote from Democrats and Walker should be able to push through the next state budget with ease, setting himself up for his 2014 re-election bid.

Seeing that Illinois looks to continue on the same course it’s been going on for some time now, and Wisconsin appears to be heading in the right direction as it concerns their state’s finances and economic outlook, I intend to give strong consideration to the “Badger State” as my future home as part of Project Prepper.

Sources:

Garcia, Monique, Long, Ray, and Pearson, Rick. “For Illinois Republicans, the gloom settles in.” Chicago Tribune. 8 Nov. 2012. (http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-11-08/news/ct-met-illinois-politics-1108-20121108_1_gop-leader-christine-radogno-illinois-republicans-republican-chairman-pat-brady). 9 Nov. 2012.

Garrigan, Mike. “Supermajority for Illinois Democrats.” WIFR Channel 23. 7 Nov. 2012. (http://www.wifr.com/news/headlines/Super-177752381.html). 9 Nov. 2012.

“GOP wins back control of Wis. state government.” Associated Press. 7 Nov. 2012. (http://www.wifr.com/news/headlines/Super-177752381.html). 9 Nov. 2012.

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Project Prepper, Part 2: Leaving Chicago, Cook County, And Illinois

Sorry for not posting yesterday. I’ve had a lot on my mind since Election Day.

I’m guessing that goes for many of you as well.

Anyway, in an effort to “Lean Forward,” I’ve been working on “Project Prepper” ever since announcing its launch last month. I wrote back on October 24:

As a result of my research and this blog, I’m now aware of the myriad of man-made and naturally-occurring threats to my life and lifestyle (and those of my loved ones), and think it’s probably wise to acquaint myself more with “prepping” via a sustained “hands-on” program of learning and doing, which I’ll call “Project Prepper.”

Through a series of posts on this blog which I suspect should last for quite some time (years?), I’ll be able to share my preparedness experiences with you.

By doing this, I’ll also be able to make more progress in providing readers of this blog those possible solutions I talked about earlier in the post.

Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity know that one major threat to life and lifestyle I’ve been warning about since Memorial Day Weekend 2007 is a U.S. financial crash.

And based partly on what I’ve witnessed locally and on the national level over the past several days, I think this has a good chance of materializing during President Obama’s second term in the White House.

Even if an economic crash doesn’t happen in this time frame (Washington and the Federal Reserve have been effective at delaying our financial “day of reckoning” so far), it’s something I’ll be taking into serious consideration as I continue putting together Project Prepper.

That being said, events that have unfolded at the local level on up for some time now have convinced me that my future lies outside of Chicago, Cook County, and Illinois. Which is a shame, because as I’ve mentioned before, my family has deep ties to the area. So much so a number of family members are familiar with the tale of one ancestor who fought courageously to save his tailor shop (at least the contents of it) from the approaching flames of the Great Chicago Fire back in 1871.

141 years later, another looming disaster looks to be in store for me and my loved ones if I don’t take action, and soon.

It’s bad enough Chicago, Cook County, and Illinois was already overrun by too many residents that live their lives in pursuit of the Ubi East Mea (“Where’s Mine?”) mentality and politicians who have been quick to pander to these individuals with “free” things in exchange for votes- long before last Tuesday’s election results revealed the rest of America is now marching down this same path.

But combine this with poor financial health, a bleak economic outlook, and growing attacks on the finances and freedoms of productive, law-abiding residents as politicians rob Peter to pay Paul in their attempt to remain in office- and you’ve got one hell of a mess coming to this area of the Midwest in the next few years.

Eventually, I predict the productive residents will split town (this happened before in Chicago in the late 60s-early 70s in some neighborhoods), there will be no more money for “freebies,” and the “Where’s Mine?” brigade will riot. Athens-style.

As I’ve been telling those close to me for some time now, “First you’ll see the strikes. Then the larger protests. Until finally, the riots.”

History shows you don’t want to be in the city when the riots break out.

And I don’t plan on being here in Chicago when the coming civil strife erupts either.

In my next Project Prepper post, I’ll talk some more about my “quest” for sanctuary.


Gareth Emery feat. Lucy Saunders, “Sanctuary” (2010)
YouTube Video

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Survival And Prosperity
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Christopher E. Hill, Editor

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