Barack Obama

Surviving A Nuclear Attack On Washington, D.C.

Personally, I think there’s a good possibility enemies of the United States will someday detonate nuclear devices in Washington, D.C. and New York City.

Why?

Because these political and cultural centers in America are just too juicy of targets for the bad guys to ignore.

Particularly that new Freedom Tower (One World Trade Center), which is expected to open to the public this year.

I’m not the only one who thinks nuclear terrorism could be in the cards for us. Read further down my “About” page and you’ll understand what I mean.

And don’t forget this from March 24. I blogged:

Earlier today, President Barack Obama spoke at a news conference while attending the Nuclear Security Summit 2014 in Holland. The U.S. President brought up the danger of a nuclear device being detonated in one of America’s major cities. From a transcript provided by the Federal News Service:

And so my response then continues to be what I believe today, which is Russia’s actions are a problem. They don’t pose the number-one national security threat to the United States. I continue to be much more concerned when it comes to our security with the prospect of a nuclear weapon going off in Manhattan

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Think POTUS knows something that we don’t?

Getting back to the nation’s capital, Marc Ambinder recently wrote an article on The Week website entitled, “If a nuclear bomb exploded in downtown Washington, what should you do?” Armbinder inquired in the April 14 piece:

I was wondering if the government had deigned to share with us citizens any tips for, you know, surviving something their own intelligence points to as the likeliest unlikely Black Swan event… it turns out that there is quite a lot that you or I can do if we get stuck in Washington when something like that happens. Choices we make could very well make the difference between our imminent death and a relatively full and happy life, assuming the bomb is a one-off.

The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory released a report in 2011 that spells all this out. It hasn’t gotten nearly the attention it deserves.

It’s called the “National Capital Region Key Response Planning Factors for the Aftermath of Nuclear Terrorism” and it makes for fascinating reading…

It really does, and if I lived or worked in the nation’s capital, I’d read that November 2011 U.S. Department of Homeland Security-funded publication as if my life depended on it.

Because it very well might one day.

You can find the 120-page publication here (.pdf format) on the Homeland Security Digital Library website.

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

Source:

Ambinder, Marc. “If a nuclear bomb exploded in downtown Washington, what should you do?” The Week. 14 Apr. 2014. (http://theweek.com/article/index/259829/if-a-nuclear-bomb-exploded-in-downtown-washington-what-should-you-do). 15 Apr. 2014.

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Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 Government, Man-Made Disasters, Terrorism No Comments

Signs Of The Time, Part 74

Any readers know who Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez is?

He was the young man charged with the attempted assassination of U.S. President Barack Obama back in November 2011 when he fired shots at the White House. Thankfully, no one was hurt in the attack.

The other day, I spotted this on the legal news site LawyerHerald.com. A staff writer reported Tuesday:

According to a Bloomberg report, an Idaho man has been sentenced to 25 years in prison after pleading guilty to firing an assault rifle at the White House from his car. 23 year-old Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez admitted to shooting at the White House from his car. His lawyers claimed in a memo to presiding US District Judge Rosemary Collyer that their client has the misguided idea that his action would make the public aware that an Armageddon is coming and that Ortega-Hernandez has no intention to hurt anyone nor President Barack Obama…

Ortega-Hernandez’s lawyers had asked Collyer to hand down only a 10-year jail sentence for their client…

According to the memo submitted to Collyer for a reduced sentence, Ortega-Hernandez allegedly fell under the influence of survivalists following a childhood where he has been living in many places and saw his parents separated…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Ah, it was the survivalists’ fault.

Apparently, Judge Collyer didn’t buy that argument.

But it was only a matter of time before someone demonized preppers/survivalists again after the Sandy Hook shootings.

Remember what was being said back then about one of the first victims of the violence- Nancy Lanza? I blogged on December 17, 2012:

I’ve come across two more web articles that don’t paint the modern survivalist movement in a positive light.

In fact, some might argue they’re attempting to connect prepping with the Sandy Hook school shootings.

From The Telegraph (UK) website yesterday:

Connecticut school shooting: Adam Lanza’s mother was preparing for disaster

The mother of the gunman who killed 20 children and seven adults in America’s worst school massacre, was a gun-proud “survivalist” preparing for economic collapse, it has emerged.

Nancy Lanza, whose gun collection was raided by her son Adam for Friday’s massacre at Sandy Hook school, was part of the “prepper” movement, which urges readiness for social chaos by hoarding supplies and training with weapons.

“She prepared for the worst,” her sister-in-law Marsha Lanza told reporters. “Last time we visited her in person, we talked about prepping – are you ready for what could happen down the line, when the economy collapses?”

And then there’s this from The Independent (UK) site this morning:

Mother of Sandy Hook school gunman Adam Lanza was a ‘prepper’ survivalist preparing for economic and social collapse, say reports

Friends and family have portrayed Mrs Lanza as a paranoid ‘survivalist’ who believed the world was on the brink of violent collapse.

“Paranoid.” Regrettably, preppers and survivalists should expect more of the same from the establishment politicians, their “presstitutes,” and low-information supporters going forward.

Whereas I- not a prepper but gleaning ideas and knowledge from them- see these individuals for the most part as simply wanting to carry on with their lives and look after themselves, loved ones, and friends in the event of an emergency or disaster.

Did I mention that by their actions they free up police, fire, and other public safety agencies to attend to those who for some reason or another failed to prepare for a major crisis?

Paranoid, or actually patriots?

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

Source:

“Court hands out a 25-year prison sentence on White House shooter.” Lawyer Herald. 1 Apr. 2014. (http://www.lawyerherald.com/articles/5175/20140401/court-hands-out-a-25-year-prison-sentence-on-white-house-shooter.htm). 4 Apr. 2014.

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President Obama: ‘Nuclear Weapon Going Off In Manhattan’ Top U.S. Security Threat

Occasionally, I blog about the threat of nuclear terrorism for the United States.

Earlier today, President Barack Obama spoke at a news conference while attending the Nuclear Security Summit 2014 in Holland. The U.S. President brought up the danger of a nuclear device being detonated in one of America’s major cities. From a transcript provided by the Federal News Service:

And so my response then continues to be what I believe today, which is Russia’s actions are a problem. They don’t pose the number-one national security threat to the United States. I continue to be much more concerned when it comes to our security with the prospect of a nuclear weapon going off in Manhattan, which is part of the reason why the United States, showing its continued international leadership, has organized a forum over the last several years that’s been able to help eliminate that threat in a consistent way…

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Think he knows something the majority of Americans don’t?

Personally, I’d be hard-pressed to live in or around New York City or Washington, D.C., if you catch my drift…

You can read the entire transcript on The Washington Post website here.

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

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Tuesday, March 25th, 2014 Europe, Foreign Policy, Government, Terrorism No Comments

Chicago To Host Nuclear Security Summit 2016

This morning, I found out Chicago will be hosting another international summit two years from now. Stacy St. Clair reported on the Chicago Tribune website a short time ago:

President Barack Obama will host the next nuclear security summit in Chicago in 2016, once again gathering world leaders in his hometown for a major international event.

Obama made the announcement this morning at the end of this year’s summit in the Netherlands, where the leaders from 53 countries participated. The exact date has not been announced.

This would be the second major international gathering held in Chicago during Obama’s presidency. In 2012, the city hosted a NATO summit that drew representatives from more than 60 countries as well as a sizeable group of protestors from around North America…

Ah yes, the protesters. I’m sure the Chicago Police Department are thrilled to hear of this announcement.

Here’s some video of the “civil disobedience” taking place at this year’s Nuclear Security Summit at The Hague:


“The Netherlands: Nuclear Security Summit draws protests”
YouTube Video

Not much unruliness going on from what I can see. Still, two years from now economic conditions may be significantly worse, with the gathering serving as a focal point for increased discontent.

For all you Chicagoans hoping to get out of Dodge during the summit, like St. Clair said, nothing’s been scheduled yet. However, the prior three summits have all taken place in late March-first part of April, if that helps.

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

Source:

St. Clair, Stacy. “Obama to host nuclear security summit in Chicago in 2016.” Chicago Tribune. 25 Mar. 2014. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-obama-to-host-nuclear-security-summit-in-chicago-in-2016-20140325,0,5154031.story). 25 Mar. 2014.

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Illinois Millionaire Tax Hike Could Pass As Part Of Class Warfare Push By Democrats

While I’ve been putting a lot of time lately into my offshore Web projects, Illinois Democrats have been grabbing the local headlines as they replicate President Obama’s class warfare strategy to win votes in November. Monique Garcia, Ray Long, and Maura Zurick reported on the Chicago Tribune website last Friday:

Illinois Democrats went all-in Thursday with their election-year class warfare theme as Speaker Michael Madigan pitched the idea of asking voters to raise taxes on millionaires, Senate President John Cullerton advanced a minimum-wage increase and Gov. Pat Quinn compared wealthy opponent Bruce Rauner to TV villain Mr. Burns…

The newest front in the campaign battle came as Madigan held a rare news conference to announce he wants lawmakers to put a question on the Nov. 4 ballot asking voters whether the state should raise the income tax by 3 percentage points on those who make more than $1 million a year.

The powerful Democratic speaker said the tax hike on millionaires is a way to generate more than $1 billion for elementary and high schools. Madigan based his calculations on what he said are roughly 13,675 millionaires that lived in Illinois in 2011, brushing aside a question about whether such a tax hike might drive them out of the state.

“Well, if they’re in Illinois today, they’re probably so much in love with Illinois that they’re not going to leave,” Madigan said

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

I’m not as optimistic as the 71-year-old Speaker of the House is about Illinois millionaires sticking around if they’re targeted with a tax hike.

After all, money typically gravitates to where it’s being treated the best.

And recent demographic data suggests Chicagoland and Illinois residents may not be “so much in love” with the area as Mr. Madigan claims.

That includes the rich as well.

“Cook County’s population grew by 17,000 people in 2012, about .3 percent- but much of that gain came from immigrants, according to Census Bureau estimates released Thursday.

The figures showed that about 32,000 more domestic residents moved out of Cook County than moved in. But a net increase of 17,000 immigrants, along with a high ratio of births over deaths, contributed to an overall gain for the county…”

-Chicago Sun-Times website, March 13, 2013

Moving Out
The top outbound states for 2013 were:

1. New Jersey
2. Illinois
3. New York
4. West Virginia
5. Connecticut
6. Utah
7. Kentucky
8. Massachusetts
9. New Mexico”

-United Van Lines press release, January 2, 2014

“As the Great Recession churned job prospects for many, Cook County lost about 13,000 residents with six-figure household incomes to other places, despite the widely hyped revival of downtown housing and jobs…”

-Crain’s Chicago Business website, February 14, 2014

“Roughly 13,675 millionaires that lived in Illinois in 2011”

Should Illinois Democrats jack up their income taxes, I suspect the number of Illinois millionaires right before the tax hike is implemented will plummet. Revenue will follow. Out-of-state vacation homes in Indiana and Wisconsin will be declared as primary residences.

“A way to generate more than $1 billion for elementary and high schools”

I highly doubt that.

So does the proposed millionaire tax hike have a chance of becoming reality?

Consider what Greg Hinz blogged on the Crain’s Chicago Business website Friday:

Springfield Democrats have such big legislative majorities that they won’t need any Republican votes to pass the measure if they hang together. And Springfield insiders are saying that odds are much better that Democrats will unify behind the speaker’s proposal- which, after all, would affect only millionaires like Bruce Rauner- than behind another plan being pushed by Senate Democrats to implement a graduated income tax, which would affect far more voters.

Stay tuned. If you can stomach it.

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

Sources:

Garcia, Monique, Long, Ray, and Zurich, Maura. “Illinois Democrats go all-in on class warfare theme.” Chicago Tribune. 21 Mar. 2014. (http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2014-03-21/news/chi-speaker-madigan-proposes-asking-voters-to-raise-taxes-on-wealthy-20140320_1_tax-hike-bruce-rauner-income). 24 Mar. 2014.

Hinz, Greg. “GOP leaders blast Madigan’s millionaires tax, but idea likely has legs.” Greg Hinz On Politics.” Crain’s Chicago Business. 21 Mar. 2014. (http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20140321/BLOGS02/140329950/gop-leaders-blast-madigans-millionaires-tax-but-idea-likely-has-legs). 24 Mar. 2014.

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Crimea Crisis

I spotted the following (creator unknown) last week regarding the crisis in the Crimea:

Crimea Humor

I don’t know about you, but I think it’s a pretty good depiction of what’s happened to date.

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

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Wednesday, March 19th, 2014 Europe, Foreign Policy, Government, Humor No Comments

Peter Schiff: U.S. GDP Fell From 2.8 Percent In 2012 To 1.9 Percent In 2013

“Investor Warren Buffett says the economy continues the steady improvement that began in fall of 2009 and he remains optimistic despite Russia’s advance into Ukraine.

Buffett appeared on the business cable channel CNBC Monday morning after releasing an upbeat annual letter to his Berkshire Hathaway Inc. shareholders over the weekend. Buffett is chairman and CEO of the Omaha, Neb., conglomerate.

Buffett said the reports he gets from Berkshire’s 80-odd subsidiaries in a variety of industries show that the economy is growing at a moderate rate, despite swings in investors’ mood.

“The American economy for five years has been moving at a fairly steady rate upwards —not as fast as people would like — but I think that absolutely continues now,” he said…”

-Associated Press, March 3, 2014

Well-known stock investor Warren Buffett has been bullish on the U.S. economy for some time now. Not so for a number of the “crash prophets,” including Peter Schiff. The Euro Pacific Capital CEO and Chief Global Strategist added a new entry Friday on his YouTube video blog The Schiff Report where he pointed out that U.S. GDP numbers for the past two years tell a different tale than the one Buffett shared with CNBC viewers this morning. Schiff observed:

The GDP numbers that were released today for the fourth quarter the government came back and revised down. It was a downward revision to fourth quarter GDP. They originally told us the economy grew by 3.2 percent in the fourth quarter. And today, they revised that down to just 2.4 percent. 2.4 percent.

Now, if you look at the entire year of 2013, the GDP grew by 1.9 percent. For the year.

In 2012- the prior year- the GDP grew by 2.8 percent.

Now, wait a minute. President Obama said in his many speeches in late 2013 that this is the year the recovery became real. That we finally have the real recovery that he’s been promising.

Well wait a minute. If GDP in 2013 was up by 1.9 percent, but it was up by 2.8 percent in the year before when the recovery wasn’t real- how is the recovery more real when the economy is growing more slowly now than it was before?


“Recovery Fantasy Persists Despite Contrary Data”
YouTube Video

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

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Monday, March 3rd, 2014 Crash Prophets, GDP, Recovery No Comments

Quotes For The Week

“After the Russian Army invaded the nation of Georgia, Senator Obama’s reaction was one of indecision and moral equivalence, the kind of response that would only encourage Russia’s Putin to invade Ukraine next.”

-2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin, speaking at a rally in a Reno, Nevada, on October 21 of that year

“Back in 2008, I accurately predicted the possibility of Putin feeling emboldened to invade Ukraine because I could see what kind of leader Barack Obama would be. The bullies of the world are always emboldened by indecision and moral equivalence. We can expect more of this sort of thing in a world where America is gutting its military and ‘leading from behind.’”

-Sarah Palin, speaking to Todd Starnes of FOX News Friday

Speak softly and carry a big stick, my friends.

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

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Quote For The Week

“I’ve said it before, but if Barack Obama had been president instead of Ronald Reagan, I’d still be a citizen of the Soviet Union.”

-Garry Kasparov, Russian (formerly Soviet) chess Grandmaster, former World Chess Champion, writer, and political activist, in a February 22 “tweet”

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

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Chicago, The Writing Is On The Wall

The city of Chicago is in for some tough times down the road.

“The Machine” keeps putting a positive spin on the city’s deteriorating financial condition, but the numbers don’t lie. I’ve rattled them off time and time again, the most recent being Tuesday. The Chicago press (sans Fran Spielman over at the Chicago Sun-Times and a few others) has even caught on, publishing articles with more frequency these days that reveal just how ugly the city’s finances truly are. Case in point, a Chicago Tribune editorial entitled “Chicago is on the road to Detroit” that appeared on their website yesterday. From the piece:

By the most recent numbers, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s government owes $13.9 billion in general obligation bond debt, plus $19.5 billion in unfunded pension obligations. Add in Chicago Public Schools and City Hall’s other “sister agencies” and you’re talking billions more in debts that Chicago taxpayers owe. Yet here we are on a Wednesday when the mayor probably will get approval from a derelict City Council to issue another up-to-$900 million in bonds backed by property taxes — and to double, to $1 billion, the amount of short-term bank money his administration can borrow to raise cash…

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

By the way, Mayor Emanuel got that approval. Fran Spielman reported on the Chicago Sun-Times website Wednesday morning:

Without a word of debate, the City Council on Wednesday blindly added $1.9 billion to Chicago’s mountain of debt even though aldermen have no idea how the money will be spent.

The vote was 43-to-4. “No” votes were cast by Aldermen Bob Fioretti (2nd), Scott Waguespack (32nd), Brendan Reilly (42nd) and John Arena (45th)…

Now, I’ve heard/read some Chicagoans say something along the lines of don’t worry about the city’s finances, Governor Quinn and the State of Illinois or President Barack Obama and the federal government will ride to the rescue of their fellow Democrats in control of the “Windy City.”

To which I say, I’m not so sure. Is there anyone in America who doesn’t know how much of an economic basket case the “Land of Lincoln” is? A $100.5 billion public pension debt and the worst credit rating of all 50 U.S. states routinely make headlines across the country. As for the federal government, I keep encountering the words “insolvent” and “bankrupt” more and more these days to describe the nation’s finances. And don’t think for a second other economically-challenged cities across the country won’t cry foul to the Oval Office and their elected representatives if Chicago is bailed out. I find it hard to believe the State of Illinois or the Feds could come to Chicago’s rescue without there being serious financial and political repercussions.

Chicago, the writing is on the wall. By the looks of things, that great city where I was born and from which I recently just left is now past the proverbial point of no return, no longer looking capable of effectively navigating the growing financial crisis.

While I don’t foresee the city’s death, I do envision a continuation of its already gradual decline until a point of fiscal implosion is reached. Will it be Detroit-esque in its bottoming out? I don’t know. But it sure as hell won’t be pretty.

Faced with such a scenario, will Chicagoans choose to stay and contend with the almost certain prospect of much higher taxes and fees in conjunction with curtailed city services (public safety comes to mind here), or will they depart the “Second City” like I did?

One might think the latter (going), but I’m sure there will be plenty of the former (staying).

In the interests of surviving and prospering, which is the better choice?

I don’t think the answer is as clear-cut as many readers might think. And it’s something I’ll be exploring and blogging about more in the coming days.

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

Sources:

“Chicago is on the road to Detroit.” Chicago Tribune. 5 Feb. 2014. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-chicago-debt-edit-0205-20140205,0,3757189.story). 6 Feb. 2014.

Spielman, Fran. “City Council OKs going $1.9 billion deeper into debt.” Chicago Sun-Times. 5 Feb. 2014. (http://www.suntimes.com/25398572-761/city-council-oks-going-19-billion-deeper-into-debt.html). 6 Feb. 2014.

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November Jobs Report ‘Rather Sucked’?

While researching an earlier post, I came across quite a few glowing mainstream media headlines concerning the release of the lastest U.S. employment numbers.

“Strong” was the adjective used most to describe the November jobs report.

Although television personality and CNBC Mad Money host went so far as to call it “kind of perfect”:



ANY CHARACTER HERE

So, was November really “kind of perfect” for employment in the U.S.?

Or, is the devil in the details- once again?

From the Bureau of Labor Statistics “Employment Situation Summary” this morning:

The unemployment rate declined from 7.3 percent to 7.0 percent in November, and total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 203,000, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment increased in transportation and warehousing, health care, and manufacturing…

Both the number of unemployed persons, at 10.9 million, and the unemployment rate, at 7.0 percent, declined in November. Among the unemployed, the number who reported being on temporary layoff decreased by 377,000. This largely reflects the return to work of federal employees who were furloughed in October due to the partial government shutdown.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Ah, returning federal workers who were furloughed. As to how many, Paul Davidson chimed in on the USA TODAY website:

Unemployment rose in October because the federal government furloughed about 450,000 workers during the 16-day shutdown. The jobless rate, in turn, was expected to fall in November as those employees were back at work.

Ah, 450,000 returning government workers.

Anyone else detect a horned figure among the employment data?

As for the 203,000 jobs created in November, I wonder how many are low-paying ones? I just thought I’d ask, considering what Chris Isidore wrote on the CNN Money website this morning about this year’s hiring trends:

So in what sectors have the jobs been created? Nearly 1 million of the jobs have come in relatively low-wage sectors. These include retail, leisure and hospitality, temporary workers and some segments of health care such as home health care and nursing homes. That’s almost half the jobs added.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Just tallying up those areas mentioned by Isidore, I already get 64,000 jobs. Considering there are other low-paying job areas not mentioned by Isidore but part of the report- couriers and messengers (9,000 new jobs last month), for example- and it becomes obvious a lot of low-paying jobs were created once again in November.

As I pointed out back on November 7, 2012:

Burger flippers won’t be spearheading a U.S. economic recovery anytime soon.

President Obama and his supporters like to talk up job creation. But as Isidore also pointed out:

Even with three straight years of adding more than 2 million jobs, the economy has not recovered from the huge loss of nearly 9 million jobs in 2008 and 2009.

The economy will need to add an additional 1.3 million jobs to get back to how many people had jobs when the recession started. And the U.S. adult population has grown by more than 13 million people in those six years. So even getting back to the number of jobs before the recession won’t get the economy completely out of the hole. The Economic Policy Institute calculates the overall jobs shortfall is still at nearly 8 million jobs.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

“The overall jobs shortfall is still at nearly 8 million jobs.”

I know- it’s all Bush’s fault, right?

Before I let you go, keep in mind the following that was also pointed out by the folks over at CNN Money in a related piece this morning. Annalyn Kurtz reported:

Only about 63% of Americans over the age of 16 participate in the job market — meaning they either have a job or are looking for one. That’s nearly the lowest level since 1978, driven partly by Baby Boomers retiring, but also by workers simply giving up hope.

That would help explain all these working-age adults I see driving around during the day in the Chicagoland area who don’t seem to be heading in to or out of some workplace.

I was still a young kid back in ’78. But I’ve asked people who were old enough to know back then what they thought about economic conditions at that time.

Unanimously, they thought they “rather sucked.”

Which could also be said of employment conditions and the jobs report from last month.

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

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

Sources:

Davidson, Paul. “Nov. job gains, 203,000: jobless rate, 7.0%.” USA TODAY. 6 Dec. 2013. (http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/12/06/jobs-report-november/3881983/). 6 Dec, 2013.

Isidore, Chris. “Five key numbers behind the jobs recovery.” CNN Money. 6 Dec. 2013. (http://money.cnn.com/2013/12/06/news/economy/jobs-numbers/index.html?iid=lead2). 6 Dec. 2013.

Kurtz, Annalyn. “Unemployment falls to 7%.” CNN Money. 6 Dec. 2013. (http://fox43.com/2013/12/06/unemployment-falls-to-7/#axzz2miKFbxKf). 6 Dec. 2013.

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Welfare Recipient: ‘Can You Really Blame Us? I Mean, I Get To Sit Home, I Get To Go Visit My Friends All Day, I Even Get To Smoke Weed’

“The point is these programs are not typically hammocks for people to just lie back and relax. These programs are almost always temporary means for hardworking people to stay afloat while they try to find a new job or go into school to retrain themselves for the jobs that are out there, or sometimes just to cope with a bout of bad luck. Progressives should be open to reforms that actually strengthen these programs and make them more responsive to a 21st century economy.”

-U.S. President Barack Obama, remarking on economic mobility, December 4, 2013

And then there’s “Lucy,” calling in to KLBJ radio station in Austin, Texas, in October. This alleged welfare recipient told listeners:

I just wanted to say while workers out there- people like you that are preaching morality at people like me who are living on welfare- can you really blame us? I mean, I get to sit home, I get to go visit my friends all day, I even get to smoke weed. Me, and people that I know that are illegal immigrants that don’t contribute to society- we still gonna get paid. Our checks are going to come in the mail every month, and it’s going to be on time. And we get subsidized housing. We even get presents delivered to our kids for Christmas. Why should I work?

Personally, I think there may be a lot more “Lucy’s” out there than President Obama’s remarks would have you believe.


“Welfare Recipient: ‘I Get to Sit Home… I Get to Smoke Weed… We Still Gonna Get Paid’”
YouTube Video

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

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Quote- No, Headlines- For The Week

Something different for readers this week. Instead of a quote, here’s two news headlines which made my eyes roll upon spotting them this weekend…

“Dow 20,000 here we come: It’s different this time”

-MarketWatch.com, November 22, 2013

“It’s different this time.”

I’ve lost count how many times I’ve heard this phrase uttered over the years as some asset bubble was being inflated.

It’s not just me either.

From Michael Kling on the Moneynews website back on May 23, 2013:

Time and again, as stock prices continue rising to unsustainable heights, stock enthusiasts have preached, “This time is different.”

And it’s not just stocks either.

From Charles Hugh Smith on LewRockwell.com this past Halloween:

Defenders of current real estate valuations can draw upon an array of justifications, but they boil down to the same one used to justify valuations in every asset bubble: this time it’s different.

As for my two cents? Like I commented on a Chicago Tribune article last week, it’s my belief that after the economic crisis reared it’s ugly head in the fall of 2008, home prices nose-dived, and the “Great Recession” took hold, Washington and the Fed only managed to paper over the situation and monetary policy was designed to inflate a new asset bubble (or two, what the hell) to “save” the U.S. economy and larger financial system. Subsequently, we find ourselves immersed in QE Infinity and what some of those who correctly-predicted the “Panic of ’08″ and housing crash see as new bubbles forming in residential real estate and equities.

I don’t envision this ending well.

Speaking of the Tribune, here’s another headline that made me cackle in disbelief.

“Breakthrough deal curbs Iran’s nuclear activity”

-Chicago Tribune website, November 24, 2013

All I can say about this hopium-infused headline is that I expect one of two scenarios down the road:

1. Downtown Tehran packed to the gills as the Islamic Republic of Iran parades its first nuclear weapon for the entire world to see. Those in the know understand state actors in this region of the world can only salivate over the prospect of having a nuke in their arsenal- Iran included. Realpolitik, people.

2. A mushroom cloud over an Israeli or U.S. city. If the technology/opportunity presents itself, an electromagnetic pulse originating from a nuclear device detonated in the atmosphere over one of these countries (more bang for the buck).

Of course, all bets are off over these two scenarios taking place if some one (the Israelis?) take out Iran’s growing nuclear capabilities with military force.

Question is, is that even possible anymore given the time Iran has had?

Again, there’s others who think the claim that the interim pact reached betwen Iran and China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Russia, and the United States “curbs Iran’s nuclear activity” is one big joke.

Enter Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, “the world’s foremost value investor” with a net worth of $20 billion as of March 2013 according to Forbes magazine. Here’s what the Saudi royal had to say about a potential deal with Iran. From Jeffrey Goldberg on Bloomberg.com Friday night:

“There’s no confidence in the Obama administration doing the right thing with Iran,” he told me, with a directness that would make Benjamin Netanyahu blush. “We’re really concerned — Israel, Saudi Arabia, the Middle East countries — about this.”

It is quite something for a Saudi royal to state baldly that his country is part of a tacit alliance with Israel, but Saudi leaders, like Israel’s leaders, are frantic with worry that an overeager Obama will accede to Iran’s desire to become a threshold state, one whose nuclear program is so advanced that it would only need several weeks to assemble a deliverable weapon. Alwaleed, like Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, believes that Iran, in its ongoing negotiations with the world’s major powers, will pocket whatever sanctions relief it gets without committing to ending its nuclear program. “Why are they offering relief?” he asked. “Keep the pressure on. Sanctions are what brought about the negotiations to begin with! Why not keep the pressure up?”

Obama, Alwaleed says, is a man who is in desperate political straits and needs a victory — any victory — to right his presidency. “Obama is in so much of a rush to have a deal with Iran,” he said. “He wants anything. He’s so wounded. It’s very scary. Look, the 2014 elections are going to begin. Within two stamonths they’re going to start campaigning. Thirty-nine members of his own party in the House have already moved away from him on Obamacare. That’s scary for him.”

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Note Goldberg’s headline for his Bloomberg piece:

“Iran Is Playing Obama, Says Saavy Saudi Prince”

Iran is “playing” Obama and many others, judging by the buzz being reported in the mainstream media this Sunday.

Not me. I just can’t see Dow 20,000 being sustained just yet or Iran’s nuclear aspirations being curbed through diplomacy any time soon.

Sources:

Kling, Michael. “New Yorker: No Stock Bubble- This Time Is Different.” Moneynews.com. 23 May 2013. (http://www.moneynews.com/InvestingAnalysis/stock-market-bubble-different/2013/05/23/id/506002). 24 May 2013.

Smith, Charles Hugh. “What Real Estate Bubble? Oh, You Mean the One That’s Bigger Than the 2007 Bubble?” LewRockwell.com. 31 Oct. 2013. (http://www.lewrockwell.com/2013/10/charles-hugh-smith/what-real-estate-bubble/). 24 Nov. 2013.

Goldberg, Jeffrey. “Iran Is Playing Obama, Says Savvy Saudi Prince.” Bloomberg.com. 22 Nov. 2013. (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-22/iran-is-playing-obama-says-savvy-saudi-prince.html). 24 Nov. 2013.

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

(Editor’s note: I am 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 presented herein.)

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ObamaCare Killed My Health Insurance Plan

From a letter I received in the mail this afternoon from my health insurance provider:

Changes are coming to the health insurance marketplace… The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is changing health insurance… You’ll need to enroll in a plan that includes all ACA requirements. We’ll give you information to help you choose a new plan.

Translation: ObamaCare killed your health insurance plan, Mr. Hill. Now go find another plan.

Which sucks, because it was a good plan that I worked really hard to find, and it was incredibly-reasonable in terms of cost. Dirt-cheap actually.

I’ve seen the projected costs of a new health insurance plan for me, and I think it’s pretty safe to say having to enroll “in a plan that includes all ACA requirements” is going to cost me a lot more than what I’m currently paying for such insurance.

“Hope and Change.” Change will be all that’s left in these pockets pretty soon.


“36 Times Obama Said You Could Keep Your Health Care Plan”
YouTube Video

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

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Friday, November 8th, 2013 Government, Health, Insurance, Political Parties 2 Comments

U.S. Military Commanders Being Purged By Obama Administration?

“But as I’ve already said, I have had my military and our team look at a wide range of options.”

-U.S. President Barack Obama, in a statement to the media regarding the Syrian crisis, August 30, 2013

“My military.” Nice.

Champaign, Illinois. Fall 1992. I’m sitting in a Soviet history class I’m taking at the University of Illinois when I learn more about the purges of Joseph Stalin. One of these purges really caught my attention- that of the military. In 1937, the commander-in-chief of the Red Army and seven leading generals were shot. In 1938 and 1939, every admiral and half the Army’s officers were either executed or imprisoned.

Is there any surprise Nazi Germany did so well early on in its military campaign against the U.S.S.R.?

So why do I bring up Stalin’s purge of the Soviet military in the days before World War 2? Well, something I read this weekend on the Investor’s Business Daily website reminded me of it. From an October 29 editorial:

Yet what has happened to our officer corps since President Obama took office is viewed in many quarters as unprecedented, baffling and even harmful to our national security posture. We have commented on some of the higher profile cases, such as Gen. Carter Ham. He was relieved as head of U.S. Africa Command after only a year and a half because he disagreed with orders not to mount a rescue mission in response to the Sept. 11, 2012, attack in Benghazi.

Rear Adm. Chuck Gaouette, commander of the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group, was relieved in October 2012 for disobeying orders when he sent his group on Sept. 11 to “assist and provide intelligence for” military forces ordered into action by Gen. Ham.

Other removals include the sacking of two nuclear commanders in a single week — Maj. Gen. Michael Carey, head of the 20th Air Force, responsible for the three wings that maintain control of the 450 intercontinental ballistic missiles, and Vice Adm. Tim Giardina, the No. 2 officer at U.S. Strategic Command.

From Breitbart.com’s Facebook page comes a list of at least 197 officers that have been relieved of duty by President Obama for a laundry list of reasons and sometimes with no reason given…

Nine senior commanding generals have been fired by the Obama administration this year, leading to speculation by active and retired members of the military that a purge of its commanders is under way.

(Editor’s notes: Italics added for emphasis)

A purge of United States military commanders by Barack Obama?

Well, it’s been nowhere near the “cleaning house” of 35,000 military officers that was carried out by Comrade Stalin in the late 1930s- that’s for sure.

Although, President Obama does still have 1,172 days left before he departs the Oval Office.

I can understand these officers being removed from their posts for incompetence or something like that. But if the firings are being carried out without cause and over differences in political views, for example, the American public should be worried as our national security is at stake at a time in the world where growing threats coincide with significant budget cuts for the military. Back on October 21, U.S. Army Chief of Staff General Ray Odierno even revealed that only two Army brigades are combat-ready these days. A U.S. Army brigade’s strength typically ranges from 2,500 to 4,000 personnel.

As far as I can tell, General Odierno still has his job.

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

Sources:

“Obama’s Military Coup Purges 197 Officers In Five Years.” Investor’s Business Daily. 29 Oct. 2013. (http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/102913-677116-197-military-officers-purged-by-obama.htm). 4 Nov. 2013.

“Army chief: Just 2 brigades combat-ready.” FOX News. 23 Oct. 2013. (http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/10/23/army-chief-just-2-brigades-combat-ready/). 4 Nov. 2013.

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Monday, November 4th, 2013 Africa, Europe, Government, Military, Political Parties, War 2 Comments


Christopher E. Hill, Editor
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