Tuesday, September 30, 2008

How the American Economy Became a Sleazy Carnival Freak Show


Whatever happened to the once-mighty American economy?

The United States once had the mightiest economic juggernaut of any nation in history. Our "Arsenal of Democracy" played a big role in winning World War II. During that conflict, we overwhelmed our enemies with a tidal wave of efficient industrial production of everything from bombers to jeeps to battleships.

During the 1950s, America's industrial might was at its peak. We were the richest, most prosperous nation in history. U.S. workers earned the highest wages in the world. We enjoyed the most generous benefits and vacation time of any First World nation. American products, from planes to cars to televisions, were second to none in quality and were in demand worldwide. The Great American Middle Class was a prosperous and growing club that saw its fortunes improve, year after year.

Today, all of this seems like a distant memory. America's economy today is a joke. "Made in the U.S.A." is no longer a symbol of quality. In fact, our nation doesn't make much of anything these days. Our trade deficits are at nightmarish levels. And in three short decades, we've gone from being the world's biggest creditor nation to its biggest debtor nation.

Since we don't manufacture anything these days, all we Americans do these days is buy stuff made in other nations. And we really don't even have the money to do that, so we borrow trillions of dollars from prosperous nations in East Asia.

In fact, the U.S. economy today resembles a sleazy carnival midway. Rather than producing useful goods and services, our Carnival Freak Show Economy these days spends more and more time running scams and swindling people (think Wall Street). We've exported most of the good-paying jobs that sustained our once-mighty middle class. And the gulf between the haves and have-nots has grown to its widest since the infamous Gilded Age of the late 19th century.

A half-century ago, General Motors was the nation's biggest employer. Today it's Wal-Mart, a company that offers such paltry wages and benefits that many of its workers have to file for public assistance just to make ends meet.

And that's just one of the ways that Wal-Mart, and other Fortune 500 companies, pocket corporate welfare. In fact, corporate welfare plays a big role in today's Carnival Freak Show Economy.

Not only have the good middle-class jobs disappeared from the U.S. economy, but ordinary workers who do still have jobs have seen their wages stagnate for the past 30 years. Meanwhile, the richest 1 percent now garner the largest share of the national income since 1929.

One might ask: if the once-great American economy no longer produces anything useful, what exactly does it do these days?

Good question.

Decades ago, America's great corporations were widely admired. Most Americans back then felt they were a positive force in American society. Back then, corporations created good jobs and produced things of value. They also paid taxes (back in the 1950s, for example, corporations paid half of all taxes---today, it's less than 10 percent).

Contrast that to today. Today's biggest corporations, from ExxonMobil to Wal-Mart, are increasingly feared and hated. Many Americans regard them as greedy money-grubbing entities that can't be trusted.

The same could be said of today's CEOs in general. As recently as 1982, the average CEO made around 42 times what the average worker earned. By 2005, CEOs made around 431 times what the average worker earned.

And what, exactly, have CEOs done to earn this phenomenal increase in pay? It's hard to say. In fact, in recent years, there has been an increasingly disconnect between soaring CEO pay and the performance of U.S. corporations.

Take Peter Cartwright of Calpine, a maker of gas-fired power plants, for example. In 2005, Forbes reported that Calpine's average annual return to shareholders over the past six years had been minus 7 percent. During the same period, Cartwright pocketed an average annual $13 million. So much for the wisdom of the "free market."

In fact, the "free market" has nothing to do with it. It's a rigged game---just like the crooked games one encounters at a sleazy carnival midway.

When you go to a carnival midway, it's wise to keep an eye on your wallet. And America's Carnival Freak Show economy is no different these days.

The Military-Industrial Complex: A Profiteering Monster

As an example, take a look at America's military-industrial complex, a major pillar of the modern U.S. economy.

Today's military-industrial complex has turned into the very threat to democracy that Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us about in 1961.

It's a bloated, inefficient, tax dollar-devouring, profiteering monster that is out of control. And for all the trillions of dollars it consumes, it's difficult to really see how the nation benefits from it. After all, for all the ocean of dollars our nation has sunk into the Pentagon, it wasn't able to prevent 19 young men armed with nothing more than box cutters from inflicting on our nation the worst terrorist attack in history.

Curiously, for such a major, and costly, part of our economy, the military-industrial complex gets little scrutiny from our politicians these days. They're happy to continue feeding the monster, with little oversight, as long as the big defense contractors are generous with their campaign contributions.

And although Halliburton has garnered the most headlines as the biggest piglet at the trough, it's hardly the only defense contractor reaping fat, no-bid, "cost-plus" contracts, year after year.

In fact, the Center for Public Integrity revealed in 2005 that some $900 billion in defense contracts since 1998 had been awarded without competitive bidding or effective oversight. It's crony "capitalism" at its finest. And the suckers on the carnival midway are We The People: the taxpayers who fund the whole racket.

Wall Street: Crony Capitalism

Continuing our tour of America's Freak Show economy, lets take a look at a second major pillar of the modern U.S. economy: Wall Street.

While never universally loved, Wall Street has captured the American imagination over the decades as a symbol of U.S. economic might. But these days, most Americans fear and detest Wall Street---and for good reason.

Wall Street once played an indispensable role in the U.S. economy. But it's increasingly difficult to determine what, exactly, Wall Street does that is useful these days. Wall Street's idea of "innovation" these days is to create ever-increasingly complex financial instruments that no one can figure out. It's all a scam that is becoming unglued as investors become increasingly wary of what they're putting their money into.

And like the military-industrial complex, it seems Wall Street can only function these days with a hefty dose of billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars. (Take, for example, the Fed's recent bailout of investment bank, Bear Stearns). Although U.S. Treasury Secretary, Henry Paulson defended the bailout as necessary, ordinary American saw it as yet another example of rigged crony, "capitalism."

The Great American Prison Industry

Continuing our tour of America's Carnival Freak Show Economy, let's not leave out what has emerged in recent decades as the fastest-growing sector of our economy: the Great American Prison Industry.

America, the "land of the free," now has the world's biggest prison population, with a staggering 2.3 million people behind bars. Not surprisingly, the prison industry has become one of America's leading employers. And towns with bleak economic prospects now court new prisons the way they once courted new factories. Increasingly, Americans are either in prison, or working for a prison (a strange trend for a nation likes to think of itself as a beacon of freedom).

In past decades, Americans used industry and manufacturing to build our nation into the greatest superpower the world had ever seen. Today, we've "outsourced" our manufacturing and made shopping (with borrowed dollars) the main pillar of our nation's Carnival Freak Show economy.

Of course, it's all a big Ponzi scheme that is unsustainable. The nations that hold our increasingly worthless currency are likely to eventually get spooked and start off-loading their dollars. When that day comes, Americans will finally realize that whatever "prosperity" our economy has seen over the past three decades has been nothing more than a credit-fueled mirage.

When that day comes, we Americans will finally realize that we've been swindled like suckers at a sleazy carnival midway. P.T. Barnum would be proud.


Anonymous said...

Amazing. The first ever global depression will go down in history horribly misunderstood. What a pathetic bunch of ignorant fools we have become. Consumer junkie credit card morons. Say that reminds me.

Don’t believe one optimistic word from any public figure about the economy or humanity in general. They are all part of the problem. Its like a game of Monopoly. In America, the richest 1% now hold ALMOST 1/2 OF ALL UNITED STATES WEALTH. Unlike ‘lesser’ estimates, this includes all stocks, bonds, cash, offshore accounts, and material assets held by America’s richest 1%. Even that filthy pig Oprah acknowledged that it was at about 50% in 2006. Naturally, she put her own ‘humanitarian’ spin on it. Calling attention to her own ‘good will’. WHAT A DISGUSTING HYPOCRITE SLOB. THE RICHEST ONE PERCENT HAVE LITERALLY MADE WORLD PROSPERITY ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE. Don’t fall for any of their ‘humanitarian’ CRAP. ITS A SHAM. THESE PEOPLE ARE CAUSING THE SAME PROBLEMS THEY PRETEND TO CARE ABOUT. Ask any professor of economics. Money does not grow on trees. The government can’t just print up more on a whim. At any given time, there is a relative limit to the wealth within ANY economy of ANY size. So when too much wealth accumulates at the top, the middle class slip further into debt and the lower class further into poverty. A similar rule applies worldwide. The world’s richest 1% now own over 40% of ALL WORLD WEALTH. This is EVEN AFTER you account for all of this ‘good will’ ‘humanitarian’ BS from celebrities and executives. ITS A SHAM. As they get richer and richer, less wealth is left circulating beneath them. This is the single greatest underlying cause for the current US recession. The middle class can no longer afford to sustain their share of the economy. Their wealth has been gradually transfered to the richest 1%. One way or another, we suffer because of their incredible greed. We are talking about TRILLIONS of dollars which have been transfered FROM US TO THEM. All over a period of about 27 years. Thats Reaganomics for you. The wealth does not ‘trickle down’ as we were told it would. It just accumulates at the top. Shrinking the middle class and expanding the lower class. Causing a domino effect of socio-economic problems. But the rich will never stop. They just keep getting richer. Leaving even less of the pie for the other 99% of us to share. At the same time, they throw back a few tax deductible crumbs and call themselves ‘humanitarians’. Cashing in on the PR and getting even richer the following year. IT CAN’T WORK THIS WAY. Their bogus efforts to make the world a better place can not possibly succeed. Any 'humanitarian' progress made in one area will be lost in another. EVERY SINGLE TIME. IT ABSOLUTELY CAN NOT WORK THIS WAY. This is going to end just like a game of Monopoly. The current US recession will drag on for years and lead into the worst US depression of all time. The richest 1% will live like royalty while the rest of us fight over jobs, food, and gasoline. So don’t fall for any of this PR CRAP from Hollywood, Pro Sports, and Wall Street PIGS. ITS A SHAM. Remember: They are filthy rich EVEN AFTER their tax deductible contributions. Greedy pigs. Now, we are headed for the worst economic and cultural crisis of all time. Crime, poverty, and suicide will skyrocket. SEND A “THANK YOU” NOTE TO YOUR FAVORITE MILLIONAIRE. ITS THEIR FAULT. I’m not discounting other factors like China, sub-prime, or gas prices. But all of those factors combined still pale in comparison to that HUGE transfer of wealth to the rich. Anyway, those other factors are all related and further aggrivated because of GREED. If it weren’t for the OBSCENE distribution of wealth within our country, there never would have been such a market for sub-prime to begin with. IF IT WEREN'T FOR THE OBSCENE, UNREASONABLE, AND UNJUST DISTRIBUTION OF UNITED STATES WEALTH, THERE NEVER WOULD HAVE BEEN SUCH A MARKET FOR SUB-PRIME AND THERE NEVER WOULD HAVE BEEN A COLLAPSE IN THE HOUSING MARKET. Sub-prime did not cause the problem. It only accelerated the outcome. Which by the way, was another trick whipped up by greedy bankers and executives. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. The credit industry has been ENDORSED by people like Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGenerous, Dr Phil, and many other celebrities. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. In fact, they specifically endorsed Countrywide by name. The same Countrywide widely responsible for predatory adjustable rate sub-prime lending and the accelerated collapse of the housing market. ENDORSED BY OPRAH WINFREY, ELLEN DEGENEROUS, AND DR PHIL. Now, there are commercial ties between nearly every industry and every public figure. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. It also drives up the cost for nearly every product and service on the market. So don’t fall for their ‘good will’ BS. ITS A LIE. If you fall for it, then you’re a fool. If you see any real difference between the moral character of a celebrity, politician, attorney, or executive, then you’re a fool. No offense fellow citizens. But we have been mislead by nearly every public figure. We still are. Even now, they claim to be 'hurting' right along with the rest of us. As if gas prices actually effect the lifestyle of a millionaire. ITS A LIE. IN 2007, THE RICHEST 1% INCREASED THEIR AVERAGE BOTTOM LINE WEALTH AGAIN. On average, they are now worth over $4,000,000 each. Thats an all time high. As a group, they are now worth well over $17,000,000,000,000. THATS WELL OVER SEVENTEEN TRILLION DOLLARS. Another all time high. Which by the way, is much more than the entire middle and lower classes combined. Also more than enough to pay off our national debt, fund the Iraq war for twenty years, repair our infrastructure, and bail out the US housing market. Still think that our biggest problem is China? Think again. Its the 1% club. That means every big name celebrity, athlete, executive, entrepreneur, developer, banker, and lottery winner. Along with many attorneys, doctors, politicians, and bankers. If they are rich, then they are part of the problem. Their incredible wealth was not 'created', 'generated', grown in their back yard, or printed up on their command. It was transfered FROM US TO THEM. Directly and indirectly. Its become near impossible to spend a dollar without making some greedy pig even richer. Don't be fooled by the occasional loss of a millionaire's fortune. Overall, they just keep getting richer. They absolutely will not stop. Still, they have the nerve to pretend as if they care about ordinary people. ITS A LIE. NOTHING BUT CALCULATED PR CRAP. WAKE UP PEOPLE. THEIR GOAL IS TO WIN THE GAME. The 1% club will always say or do whatever it takes to get as rich as possible. Without the slightest regard for anything or anyone but themselves. Reaganomics. Their idea. Loans from China. Their idea. NAFTA. Their idea. Outsourcing. Their idea. Sub-prime. Their idea. High energy prices. Their idea. Oil 'futures'. Their idea. Obscene health care charges. Their idea. The commercial lobbyist. Their idea. The multi-million dollar lawsuit. Their idea. The multi-million dollar endorsement deal. Their idea. $200 cell phone bills. Their idea. $200 basketball shoes. Their idea. $30 late fees. Their idea. $30 NSF fees. Their idea. $20 DVDs. Their idea. Subliminal advertising. Their idea. Brainwash plots on TV. Their idea. Vioxx, and Celebrex. Their idea. Excessive medical testing. Their idea. The MASSIVE campaign to turn every American into a brainwashed, credit card, pharmaceutical, medical testing, love-sick, celebrity junkie. Their idea. All of the above drive up the cost of living, shrink the middle class, concentrate the world’s wealth and resources, create a dominoe effect of socio-economic problems, and wreak havok on society. All of which have been CREATED AND ENDORSED by celebrities, athletes, executives, entrepreneurs, attorneys, and politicians. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. So don’t fall for any of their ‘good will’ ‘humanitarian’ BS. ITS A SHAM. NOTHING BUT TAX DEDUCTIBLE PR CRAP. In many cases, the 'charitable' contribution is almost entirely offset. Not to mention the opportunity to plug their name, image, product, and 'good will' all at once. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. These filthy pigs even have the nerve to throw a fit and spin up a misleading defense with regard to 'federal tax revenue'. ITS A SHAM. THEY SCREWED UP THE EQUATION TO BEGIN WITH. If the middle and lower classes had a greater share of the pie, they could easily cover a greater share of the federal tax revenue. They are held down in many ways because of greed. Wages remain stagnant for millions because the executives, celebrities, athletes, attorneys, and entrepreneurs, are paid millions. They over-sell, over-charge, under-pay, outsource, cut jobs, and benefits to increase their bottom line. As their profits rise, so do the stock values. Which are owned primarily by the richest 5%. As more United States wealth rises to the top, the middle and lower classes inevitably suffer. This reduces the potential tax reveue drawn from those brackets. At the same time, it wreaks havok on middle and lower class communities and increases the need for financial aid. Not to mention the spike in crime because of it. There is a dominoe effect to consider. IT CAN'T WORK THIS WAY. But our leaders refuse to acknowledge this. Instead they come up with one trick after another to milk the system and screw the majority. These decisions are heavily influensed by the 1% club. Every year, billions of federal tax dollars are diverted behind the scenes back to the rich and their respective industries. Loans from China have been necessary to compensate in part, for the red ink and multi-trillion dollar transfer of wealth to the rich. At the same time, the feds have been pushing more financial burden onto the states who push them lower onto the cities. Again, the hardship is felt more by the majority and less by the 1% club. The rich prefer to live in exclusive areas or upper class communities. They get the best of everything. Reliable city services, new schools, freshly paved roads, upscale parks, ect. The middle and lower class communities get little or nothing without a local tax increase. Which, they usually can't afford. So the red ink flows followed by service cuts and lay-offs. All because of the OBSCENE distribution of bottom line wealth in this country. Anyway, when you account for all federal, state, and local taxes, the middle class actually pay about the same rate as the rich. The devil is in the details. So when people forgive the rich for their incredible greed and then praise them for paying a greater share of the FEDERAL income taxes, its like nails on a chalk board. I can not accept any theory that our economy would suffer in any way with a more reasonable distribution of wealth. Afterall, it was more reasonable 30 years ago. Before Reaganomics came along. Before GREED became such an epidemic. Before we had an army of over-paid executives, bankers, celebrities, athletes, attorneys, doctors, investors, entrepreneurs, developers, and sold-out politicians to kiss their asses. As a nation, we were in much better shape. Strong middle class, free and clear assets, lower crime rate, more widespread prosperity, stable job market, lower deficit, ect. Our economy as a whole was much more stable and prosperous for the majority. WITHOUT LOANS FROM CHINA. Now, we have a more obscene distribution of bottom line wealth than ever before. We have a sold-out government, crumbling infrastructure, energy crisis, home forclosure epidemic, credit crunch, weak US dollar, 13 figure national deficit, and 12 figure annual shortfall. The cost of living is higher than ever before. Most people can't even afford basic health care. ALL BECAUSE OF GREED. I really don't blame the 2nd -5th percentiles in general. No economy could ever function without some reasonable scale of personal wealth and income. But it can't be allowed to run wild like a mad dog. ALBERT EINSTEIN TRIED TO MAKE PEOPLE UNDERSTAND. UNBRIDLED CAPITALISM ABSOLUTELY CAN NOT WORK. TOP HEAVY ECONOMIES ALWAYS COLLAPSE. Bottom line: The richest 1% will soon tank the largest economy in the world. It will be like nothing we’ve ever seen before. The American dream will be shattered. and thats just the beginning. Greed will eventually tank every major economy in the world. Causing millions to suffer and die. Oprah, Angelina, Brad, Bono, and Bill are not part of the solution. They are part of the problem. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A MULTI-MILLIONAIRE HUMANITARIAN. EXTREME WEALTH MAKES WORLD PROSPERITY ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE. WITHOUT WORLD PROSPERITY, THERE WILL NEVER BE WORLD PEACE OR ANYTHING EVEN CLOSE. GREED KILLS. IT WILL BE OUR DOWNFALL. Of course, the rich will throw a fit and call me a madman.. Of course, they will jump to small minded conclusions about 'jealousy', 'envy', or 'socialism'. Of course, their ignorant fans will do the same. You have to expect that. But I speak the truth. If you don’t believe me, then copy this entry and run it by any professor of economics or socio-economics. Then tell a friend. Call the local radio station. Re-post this entry or put it in your own words. Be one of the first to predict the worst economic and cultural crisis of all time and explain its cause. WE ARE IN BIG TROUBLE.

So what can we do about it? Well, not much. Unfortunately, we are stuck on a runaway train. The problem has gone unchecked for too many years. The US/global depression is comming thanks to the 1% club. It would take a massive effort by the vast majority to prevent it. Along with a voluntary sacrifice by the rich. THATS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. But if you believe in miracles, then spend your money as wisely as possible. Especially in middle and lower class communities. Check the Fortune 500 list and limit your support of high profit/low labor industries (Hollywood, pro sports, energy, credit, pharmaceutical, cable, satelite, internet advertising, cell phone, high fashion, jewelry, ect.). Cancel all but one credit card for emergencies only. If you need a cell phone, then do your homework and find the best deal on a local pre-pay. If you want home internet access, then use the least expensive provider, and share accounts whenever possible. If you need to search, then use the less popular search engines. They usually produce the same results anyway. Don't click on any internet ad. If you need the product or service, then look up the phone number or address and contact that business directly. Don't pay to see any blockbuster movie. Instead, wait a few months and rent the DVD from a local store or buy it USED. If you want to see a big name game or event, then watch it in a local bar, club, or at home on network TV. Don't buy any high end official merchendise and don't support the high end sponsors. If its endorsed by a big name celebrity, then don't buy it. If you can afford a new car, then make an exception for GM, Ford, and Dodge. If they don't increase their market share soon, then a lot more people are going to get screwed out of their pensions and/or benefits. Of course, you must know by now to avoid those big trucks and SUVs unless you truly need one for its intended purpose. Don't be ashamed to buy a foreign car if you prefer it. Afterall, those with the most fuel efficient vehicles consume a lot less foreign oil. Which accounts for a pretty big chunk of our trade deficit. Anyway, the global economy is worth supporting to some extent. Its the obscene profit margins, trade deficits, and BS from OPEC that get us into trouble. Otherwise, the global economy would be a good thing for everyone. Just keep in mind that the big 3 are struggling and they do produce a few smaller reliable cars. Don't frequent any high end department store or any business in a newly developed upper class community. By doing so, you make developers richer and draw support away from industrial areas and away from the middle class communities. Instead, support the local retailer and the less popular shopping centers. Especially in lower or middle class communities. If you can afford to buy a home, then do so. But go smaller and less expensive. Don't get yourself in too deep and don't buy into the newly developed condos or gated communities. Instead, find a modest home in a building or neighborhood at least 20 years old. If you live in one of the poorer states, then try to support its economy first and foremost. Be on the lookout for commercial brainwash plots on TV. They are written into nearly every scene of nearly every show. Most cater to network sponsors and parent companies. Especially commercial health care. Big business is fine on occasion depending on the profit margins and profit sharing. Do your homework. If you want to support any legitimate charity, then do so directly. Never support any celebrity foundation. They spend most of their funding on PR campaigns, travel, and high end accomodations for themselves. Instead, go to Charitywatch.org and look up a top rated charity to support your favorite cause. In general, support the little guy as much as possible and the big guy as little as possible. Do your part to reverse the transfer of wealth away from the rich and back to the middle and lower classes. Unfortunately, there is no perfect answer. Jobs will be lost either way. Innocent children will starve and die either way. But we need to support the largest group of workers with the most reasonable profit margins. We also need to support LEGITIMATE charities (Check that list at Charitywatch.org). This is our only chance to limit the severity and/or duration of the comming US/global depression. In the meantime, don't listen to Bernanke, Paulson, Bartiromo, Orman, Dobbs, Kramer, OReiley, or any other public figure with regard to the economy. They are all plenty smart but I swear to you that they will lie right through their rotten teeth. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. These people work for big business. The 'experts' they cite also work for big business. They are all motivated by their desire to accumulate more wealth. THEY WILL LIE RIGHT THROUGH THEIR ROTTEN TEETH. So don't fall for their tricks. Instead, look at the big picture. The economic problems we face have been mounting for well over 20 years. All of them caused or aggrivated by a constant transfer of wealth from poorer to richer. Soon, it will cause the first ever GLOBAL DEPRESION. Its not brain surgery. Its simple math. Like I said, you are welcome to run this by any professor of economics or socio-economics. If thats not good enough, then look up what Einstein had to say about greed, extreme wealth, and its horrible concequences. I speak the truth. GREED KILLS. IT WILL BE OUR DOWNFALL.

Its already underway. A massive campaign to divert our attention. Trump, Buffet, OReiley, Dobbs, Pickens, Norris, and several other well known filthy rich public figures have been running their mouths about the economy. Finally admitting a hint of severity after almost 2 years of denial. They even have the nerve to acknowledge the possibility of a US/global depression. Still, they refuse to acknowledge the single greatest underlying cause. Remember: Our national debt was way up BEFORE sub-prime. Consumer debt was way up BEFORE sub-prime. The cost of living was up BEFORE sub-prime. Wall Street profits were obscene BEFORE sub-prime. The middle class were loosing free and clear assets BEFORE sub-prime. Our infrastructure was in bad shape BEFORE sub-prime. Loans from China were taken out BEFORE sub-prime. The dollar was loosing value BEFORE sub-prime. So don't let these cowardly filthy rich public figures divert your attention or limit your range of thought. THE CURRENT ECONOMIC CRISIS WAS NOT CAUSED BY A SINGLE POLICY OR PROCEDURE. IT WAS CAUSED PRIMARILY BY A MASSIVE TRANSFER OF WEALTH FROM POOR TO RICH. OTHERWISE, THERE WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN SUCH A MARKET FOR SUB-PRIME AND THERE WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN A GLOBAL CREDIT CRUNCH. MONEY DOES NOT GROW ON TREES AND IT DOES NOT FLOAT AWAY. IT ONLY TRANSFERS FROM ONE PARTY TO ANOTHER. ALBERT EINSTEIN TRIED TO MAKE PEOPLE UNDERSTAND. GREED KILLS. IT WILL BE OUR DOWNFALL.

A word for those who respond with the usual 'I know more than you. Look how smart, knowledgable, and articulate I am' crap. Let me say this in advance. I don't claim to be an expert in this field. But I did go on record with these predictions long before any public figure uttered the word 'recession'. If you search long enough, you will find my early postings from '05' and '06'. Including the first draft of this rant. Since then, I've gone on record against people like Greenspan, Bernanke, and Paulson. So far, my predictions have been accurate. Like I said. This is not brain surgery. For the mostpart, its simple math. When you concentrate the world's wealth, you also concentrate its capital and shrink the middle class along with the potential market for every major industry. Homes go unsold. Bills go unpaid. Banks fail. More products go unsold. Jobs are lost. More banks fail. and so on. and so on. It happened 80 years ago. It will happen again. This time on a global scale. Throughout the cycle, the rich will tighten their grip. Concentrating the world's wealth and resources even further and ensuring the collapse of every major economy worldwide. Think it can't happen? Think again. GREED KILLS. IT WILL BE OUR DOWNFALL.

Another thing. I don't want credit for any of this. Otherwise, I would have given my full name a long time ago. As far as I'm concerned, you can put this rant in your own words and take credit for all of it. I don't care. Just spread the word. Otherwise, the greatest injustice of all time will go down in history unchecked.

By the way. The bailout won't work. IT WON'T WORK. The plan fails to address the fundamental problem. The middle class don't need more credit. They need a reasonable share of the economic pie. They also need a lower cost of living and a chance to catch their breath. Most of all, they need to wake up and see the truth. GREED KILLS. IT WILL BE OUR DOWNFALL.

Anonymous said...

Nice article. Next time you might want to include the Intentionally Broken Healthcare Industry that gleefully bankrupts the sick.

And don't forget the Here Today, Gone Tomorrow Insurance Industry. They take your money today and your coverage is gone tomorrow.

Marc McDonald said...

Hi Anonymous, thanks for your lengthy, thought-provoking comments.

To Bobby: thanks for your kind words. Yes, you have a good point, the health-insurance racket definitely belongs in a roundup of America's Carnival Freak Show Economy.

Anonymous said...

good ideas; some suggestions:

1. get an editor
2. then proofread

..I like the 'carnival'metaphor, it carries through.

Anonymous said...

Marc, Glad YOU are back ;)

Anonymous said...

So, we're pretty well screwed. I tend to agree with that. On the other hand, nobody made us Americans buy stuff we couldn't afford.

Wait, forget that, I'm done blaming the victims.

Karlo said...

I always find it remarkable that Americans are willing to spend most of their discretionary tax dollars on the military. The military doesn't "protect" the U.S. from foreign invasion. It's activities don't benefit the average American at all, and if anything, simply create more dangers. The very first step of the new administration should be to cut the Pentagon's budget by 99%.

Anonymous said...

If you had purchased $1,000 of Delta Air Lines stock one
year ago, you would have $49 left.

With Fannie Mae, you would have $2.50 left of the original

With AIG, you would have less than $15 left.

But, if you had purchased $1,000 worth of beer one year
ago, drunk all of the beer, then turned in the cans for the aluminum
recycling REFUND, you would have $214 cash.

Anonymous said...

actually 5cents deposit would get you [1000 x $0.05 = $50]
even where its 10cents deposit you would get back $100
where did you get 214 from?

Manifesto Joe said...

Bravo, Marc. Have had a few distractions, so it took me a few days to read the whole piece. This is one for the books.

Anonymous said...

The New American Century; Cut short by 92 years

Mike Whitney
Global Research
October 3, 2008

The era of Superpower America is coming to an end.

The financial crisis was the last straw.

Whatever good faith was left after the invasion of Iraq and the shrugging off of international treaties, is now gone. The United States has polluted the global economic system with worthless mortgage-backed securities and, by doing so, has pushed 6 billion people closer to a long and painful recession. That’s not something that’s easy to forgive.

The anger at the US seems to be surfacing everywhere at once.

It was particularly noticeable at the recent opening of the UN General Assembly. Typically, this is a tedious event full of empty political blabbering and pretentious ceremonies.

But not this time. With the world sliding towards a US-created recession; foreign leaders have started lashing out at the United States more vehemently. The speeches have been blunt and acrimonious; no one is “pulling their punches” any more. Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez summed up the mood of the meetings like this:

“I think that, sooner rather than later, this empire will fall - to the benefit of the whole world, enabling a balance in the world to be created: polycentric and multi-polar. That will guarantee peace in the world. To the creation of this multi-polar world we are making our small contribution.”

What Chavez objects to is Bush’s “unipolar” model of global governance whereby all the world’s crucial decisions–on everything from global warming to nuclear proliferation–are made by Washington. No one likes being told what to do, just as no one likes the US constantly meddling in their affairs. That’s why none of the UN attendees seemed particularly bothered by the fact that the US financial markets are in freefall. It’s called schadenfreude, taking pleasure in someone elses misfortune, and it was on full display at the United Nations last week.

Many of the dignitaries seem to believe that America’s sudden economic downturn presents an opportunity for change. And that’s what everyone wants; real change. No one wants another 8 years like the last. That’s why the central theme in Chavez’s speech was repeated over and over again by other leaders. They reject the present system and want a bigger role in shaping the future.

That doesn’t mean that the world hates America. It just means that everyone wants a breather from the torture, the abductions, the bombing of civilians, and now, the financial contagion that has spread throughout the global system. The US’s lack of regulation and monetary policies have driven up inflation, triggered food riots, and sent oil prices skyrocketing. Enough is enough. The United States is like the dinner guest who doesn’t know when it’s time to go home. Perhaps, a touch of recession will help to rebalance Washington’s approach and make its leaders more responsive to the needs of the rest of the world.

Journalist John Gray summed it up like this in his article in The Observer, “A Shattering Moment in America’s fall from Power”:

“The control of events is no longer in American hands…..Having created the conditions that produced history’s biggest bubble, America’s political leaders appear unable to grasp the magnitude of the dangers the country now faces. Mired in their rancorous culture wars and squabbling among themselves, they seem oblivious to the fact that American global leadership is fast ebbing away. A new world is coming into being almost unnoticed, where America is only one of several great powers, facing an uncertain future it can no longer shape.”

The US is about to join the family of nations and learn how to get along with its neighbors whether it wants to or not. There’s simply no other choice; the dollar is falling, the deficits are soaring, and the financial markets are in a shambles. America will either learn to cooperate or become isolated in a world that is rapidly integrating. It’s “get along or go it alone”; a message that Washington needs to learn quickly so it can adapt to the new power-paradigm.

Yes; plenty of money will still flow into covert operations and CIA-sponsored dirty tricks just to keep alive the hope that Superpowerdom will be restored. That is to be expected. The well-heeled rogues in the British royal family still dream of rebuilding the Empire, too. But realists know that it’s just a harmless fantasy. Nothing will come of it. Empire’s have a short shelf-life and they’re impossible to stitch-back together. They usually end on a corpse strewn battlefield or in a towering financial bonfire which leaves nothing behind but a pile of ashes and shards of broken glass. We can only hope that the yawning economic chasm ahead of us all, will involve less hardship than we anticipate. But when a nation sows dragon’s teeth, it shouldn’t expect a harvest of sweet plums.

Journalist Steve Watson reports on Infowars:

“A Council on Foreign Relations member and former policy planner under prominent Bilderberger Henry Kissinger has penned a piece in the Financial Times of London calling for a “new global monetary authority” that would have the power to monitor all national financial authorities and all large global financial companies.

“Even if the US’s massive financial rescue operation succeeds, it should be followed by something even more far-reaching – the establishment of a Global Monetary Authority to oversee markets that have become borderless.” writes Jeffrey Garten also a former managing director of Lehman Brothers. (Infowars.net)

The dream of “one world” government does not die easily, but it is dead all the same. The center of the present global financial system is the Federal Reserve. Its offspring includes the Council on Foreign Relations, the IMF, The World Bank, the G-7 banking cartel and thousands of predatory NGOs which have expanded the grip of the Washington banking cabal and the dollarized system across the planet. But neoliberalism is collapsing and what we are seeing now is the erratic spasms of a terminal heart patient entering the final stages of cardiac arrest. There is no drug or medical procedure that will restore the victim to good health.

No one is looking to the US or its “supply side” hirelings to chart a course for their country’s economic future. Those day’s are over. The US will have to pull itself from the rubble and start over without the massive infusions of low interest capital from China, Japan and the Gulf States. The money spigots have been turned off. It’s thin gruel and hard times ahead. That’s the price one pays for swindling the world with worthless mortgage-backed snake oil and other “illiquid” garbage.

Russian President Vladimir Putin summed up recent events in the financial markets like this:

“Everything that is happening in the economic and financial sphere has started in the United States. This is a real crisis that all of us are facing, and what is really sad is that we see an inability to take appropriate decisions. This is no longer irresponsibility on the part of some individuals, but irresponsibility of the whole system, which as you know had pretensions to (global) leadership.”
Back at the United Nations, Germany’s Finance Minister Peer Steinbuck echoed similar sentiments when he said:

“The United States is solely to be blamed for the financial crisis. They are the cause for the crisis and it is not Europe and it is not the Federal Republic of Germany. The Anglo-Saxon drive for double-digit profits and massive bonuses for bankers and company executives that were responsible for the financial crisis.”

He added,”The long term consequences of the crisis are not clear. but one thing seems likely to me; the USA will lose its superpower status in the global financial system. The world financial system is becoming multipolar.”

Steinbuck was merely reiterating the feelings of Chancellor Angela Merkel who used more diplomatic language in her critique:

“The current crisis shows us you can do some things on the national level, but the overwhelming majority must be agreed to on the international level. We must push for clearer regulations so that a crisis like the current one cannot be repeated.”

Merkel knows that Europe was blindsided by America’s deregulated system which allows fraudsters and scam-artists to rule the roost. Even now–in the middle of the biggest financial scandal in history–not one CEO or CFO from a major investment bank has been indicted or dragged off to prison. US markets are a lawless “free for all” where no one is held accountable no matter how large the crime or how many people are hurt. But there’s a price to be paid for fleecing investors, and the US will pay that price. Already, the purchase of US Treasurys has slowed to a crawl. In the coming months, America’s life-support system will be disconnected altogether and the oxygen tent removed. Kissinger’s protege is not worried about that; but working class American’s should be. There’s a train wreck just ahead and many people will suffer needlessly.

This is how Spiegel Online puts it:

“The banking crisis is upending American dominance of the financial markets and world politics. The industrialized countries are sliding into recession, the era of turbo-capitalism is coming to an end and US military might is ebbing….This is no longer the muscular and arrogant United States the world knows, the superpower that sets the rules for everyone else and that considers its way of thinking and doing business to be the only road to success.

A new America is on display, a country that no longer trusts its old values and its elites even less: the politicians, who failed to see the problems on the horizon, and the economic leaders, who tried to sell a fictitious world of prosperity to Americans….Also on display is the end of arrogance. The Americans are now paying the price for their pride.” (Spiegel Online, “America loses its Dominant Economic Role”)

Both presidential candidates have vowed to continue the unilateralist Bush Doctrine. Obama is just as eager as McCain to violate sovereign borders, invade countries that pose no imminent national security threat to the US, and carry out the many flagrant violations of international law as long as they serve the interests of western mandarins. But it’s not up to the politicians anymore. Change is coming; the unipolar moment has passed. As the financial crisis deepens, America’s ability to wage war will steadily erode as capital and resources dry up. Its only a matter of time before the war machine sputters to a halt and the troops return home. When the killing stops, a truly new world order will begin.

Marc McDonald said...

Hi, Twoblueday and Karlo and Manifesto Joe, thanks for your comments and kind words.

>>>The military doesn't "protect"
>>>the U.S. from foreign invasion.

Yes, I agree. In fact, far from defending the U.S., the U.S. Military Industrial Complex actually poses a threat to our democracy (as well as our national security, because the various military and covert actions done in our name across the globe results in blowback, inspires terrorists, and creates hatred of the U.S.).

Thanks, Anonymous for the great "New American Century" article.

AltandMain said...

Pretty much everything I wanted to say was summed up in the New American Century article.

I feel that this is a crisis that was coming now for years. The US is losing its leadership position, and democracy simultaneously.

Perhaps as Chalmers Johnson has suggested in his book Nemesis, financial collapse will be comparable to something like that in the Wiemar Republic.

It will likely bring heavy inflation, and 2 ultimate outcomes:

1. Dictatorship, like in Germany, probably by neocons or the Religious Right

2. Democratic Reforms comparable to what happened in the early 20th century

Either way, the US is likely going to be forced to live as a weaker, poorer nation with far less influence.

Here's something I found interesting from Michael Moore:

Moore's Ideas

It certainly makes more sense than the one actually passed!

AltandMain said...

Also, do take a look at these URLs:

And A Scientific Explanation of Conservatism:


Lengthy read, but quite interesting.

Marc McDonald said...

Hi Chris,
Thanks for your comments. I read Johnson's "Nemesis," as well as the other books in his recent trilogy; great stuff.
The Michael Moore article is priceless. It should be required reading for every American.

Karlo said...

I recently discussed the military with a friend and for the life of us, we couldn't figure out what it did (hint: protect the nation is the wrong answer). The fact that it's no longer possible to even question a military budget is evidence of how successful the propaganda machine has become.

Anonymous said...

Since its conception in the late 1990’s, the Web Bot Project has made a number of very accurate and insightful predictions regarding coming events. Originally designed to track stock market trends, the Web Bot uses a system of spiders that crawl the Internet looking for patterns of behavior, trends and chatter pertaining to coming events. This tool is believed to be able to forecast the future by tapping into the collective unconscious of society.

- September 22-27 2008 are seen as precursor dates to a significant event expected to take place on October 7 2008.
Closely watch events during September 22 through 27 2008 for hints as to what to expect on October 7 2008. Although the predictions are not specific, the event is expected to be as significant as the events of 9/11.

- October 7 2008 to February 19 2008 will be filled with emotional intensity
The Web Bot has never picked up any event lasting this long. In comparison, the events of 9/11 lasted about 10 days. This event will be four months of high emotion.

- In October Global emotional release event begins – largely economic.
The rest of the world will begin to seriously question the stability and reliability of the U.S. dollar.

- Catastrophic collapse of the dollar is possible – as the language is active around that concept.
The Web Bot foresee consumer society confidence collapsing by mid November 2008. This could be a direct result of the recent government bailout and failure of several large financial institutions in the U.S. along with the devalued U.S. dollar and the increased cost of living.

- Global economic collapse possible in Fall 2008 cascading off the U.S. woes.
Think of the U.S. economy as a lit fuse that was lit over the early part of 2008. The rest of the world has no choice but to react to the declining U.S. dollar and the enormous amount of debt that the U.S. has accumulated and put upon itself.

- May be a global replay of what the 1932 bond crash in the Great Depression was.

- Tensions build in cities, encounters scarcity.
As the cost of food, fuel and other necessities of life continue to rise so does peoples level of stress. As the holidays approach, individuals find themselves taking extreme actions that they would have never considered in the past.

- The Web Bot foresee a West Coast/Vancouver area large-scale earthquake around December 12, 2008.
Many have seen signs of this coming for quite some time. This may not be the “Big One”, but it will prove to be significant and very devastating to the area.

Anonymous said...


I am getting scared.

Anonymous said...

Couple more days,SKF could hit 170,SRS 140.SRS is the one to watch ,if it takes out 155 it forespells a deflationary collapse in the housing market to come.

Anonymous said...

U.S. Stocks Drop; S&P 500, Dow Post Worst Retreats Since 1937

By Elizabeth Stanton and Eric Martin

Oct. 7 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stocks fell, sending the Standard & Poor's 500 Index below 1,000 for the first time since 2003, on speculation banks and real-estate companies are running short of money as the credit crisis worsens.

Bank of America Corp. tumbled 26 percent after cutting its dividend in half and saying it plans to sell $10 billion in common stock to brace for a recession. Morgan Stanley, KeyCorp and JPMorgan Chase & Co. slid more than 10 percent as investors shrugged off signs the Federal Reserve will reduce interest rates. General Growth Properties Inc., a mall owner, plunged 42 percent on concern it won't be able to repay debt.

The S&P 500 slid 60.66 points, or 5.7 percent, to 996.23, extending its 2008 tumble to 32 percent in the market's worst yearly slump since 1937. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 508.39, or 5.1 percent, to 9,447.11, giving it a 29 percent retreat in 2008 that would also be the worst in 71 years. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 5.8 percent to 1,754.88.

``We've approached the edge of the cliff,'' Leon Cooperman, 65, who manages $6 billion at hedge fund Omega Advisors Inc., said at the Value Investing Congress in New York. ``Do we go over the cliff or begin to recede? History says we recede, but there's no guarantee. This is the most difficult financial environment I've lived through.''

The S&P 500 Financials Index slumped 12 percent to below its lowest level since 1997 even after Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke signaled he is ready to cut interest rates. The S&P 500's 15 percent retreat since Sept. 30 is the third-steepest five-day drop on record, according to Bespoke Investment Group LLC, a Harrison, New York-based research firm. The bigger slumps occurred in 1932.

Levkovich Cuts Forecast

The slump that pushed the S&P 500 to an almost five-year low yesterday prompted Tobias Levkovich, chief U.S. equity strategist at Citigroup Inc., to lower his year-end forecast for the index by 19 percent to 1,200. His previous target of 1,475 had been the most bullish of nine forecasts in a Bloomberg survey.

Bank of America plunged $8.45 to $23.77 after the lender slashed its dividend to 32 cents and announced plans to raise at least $10 billion in common stock as it braces for an extended recession. Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Lewis said the U.S. economy slowed in the past 45 days with little prospect for immediate improvement.

The bank also released its third-quarter earnings two weeks early. Profit declined 68 percent to $1.18 billion, or 15 cents a share. Analysts predicted earnings of 61 cents a share for the quarter, according to the average of 20 estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

`Credit Deterioration'

``The market is responding to the fact that there was credit deterioration in their businesses,'' Erick Maronak, the New York- based chief investment officer at Victory Capital Management, said of Bank of America. Victory Capital oversees $66 billion.

Merrill Lynch & Co., which is being acquired by Bank of America, sank 26 percent to $18 for the steepest decline since October 1987. JPMorgan lost 11 percent to $39.32, and KeyCorp tumbled 10 percent to $10.61.

Morgan Stanley declined as much as 40 percent on concern its sale of a stake to Japan's Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. would fall through. The stock pared that drop, falling 25 percent to $17.65 at the close, after Morgan Stanley spokesman Mark Lane said the deal is still ``on track.''

Goldman Sachs Group Inc.'s index of stocks with high hedge fund ownership dropped 7.1 percent to the lowest level since August 2003. All 49 companies in the measure declined, giving the index a 38 percent loss for 2008.

Disney Declines

Walt Disney Co. retreated 6 percent to $26.57, the lowest price since February 2006, after Merrill Lynch downgraded the world's biggest theme-park operator to ``underperform'' from ``neutral,'' citing concern ``about the risk to earnings estimates in the current economic climate.''

General Growth Properties Inc. led an index of real-estate investment trusts in the S&P 500 to a 8.9 percent drop, sending the group to a four-year low. The mall owner at risk of not being able to refinance debt coming due this year fell 42 percent to $4.50, extending its slide over the past year to 92 percent.

Apartment Investment & Management Co., a REIT specializing in apartments, fell 27 percent to $25.50.

Tomorrow is the last day of a Securities and Exchange Commission rule banning short sales in more than 980 financial companies. Since it was announced Sept. 18, companies covered by the rule are down an average of 16 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The S&P 500 lost 17 percent during the period, while commercial banks in the gauge are down 23 percent.

GM, Ford Slump

General Motors Corp. fell 11 percent to $7.56, the lowest price since the 1950s. The automaker's European unit plans to reduce production by about 40,000 vehicles by the end of the year as credit-market turmoil causes a drop in car sales.

Ford Motor Co., the second-largest U.S. automaker after GM, tumbled 21 percent to $2.92, the lowest price since April 1983.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc., the chipmaker struggling to compete with Intel Corp., jumped 8.5 percent to $4.59 after saying Abu Dhabi will pay $700 million for a stake in a new company that will own two plants in Germany and build another in New York. The new company, which will assume $1.2 billion of AMD's debt, will receive as much as $6 billion from Abu Dhabi to expand the factories and get $1.4 billion in operating capital. Abu Dhabi will also pay $314 million to double its stake in AMD to 19 percent.

Commercial Paper Fund

Stocks opened higher after the Federal Reserve invoked emergency powers to create a special fund to buy commercial paper, which is short-term debt issued by corporations to fund operations.

American Express Co., the largest U.S. credit-card company by purchases, dropped 6.1 percent to $28.25. It had surged as much as 8.1 percent after the Fed's announcement. General Electric Co., whose businesses include jet engines, health care and television programming, added as much as 5.9 percent before closing down 5.1 percent at $20.30.

Both American Express and GE are among the biggest U.S. direct issuers of commercial paper. In the three weeks ended Oct. 1, finance-company commercial paper outstanding fell 16 percent to $683.4 billion, Fed data show.

``A connection is being made between the freeze-up in the credit markets and the drop-off in economic activity we've seen,'' said Robert Stimpson, a money manager at Oak Associates Inc. in Akron, Ohio. ``A step to loosen credit practices and allow companies to borrow again might forestall the economic weakness we've seen flow through'' to employment.

Earnings Watch

Earnings at S&P 500 companies probably dropped on average of 5.6 percent in the third quarter, according to analysts' estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Financial companies are forecast to lead the drop in profits with a 64 percent decrease, followed by an 11 percent slide in earnings at retailers, hoteliers, restaurant chains and other so- called consumer discretionary companies.

The S&P 500 has tumbled 36 percent from its record a year ago. Based on estimated profit, the S&P 500's price-to-earnings ratio is 11.9.

``On very conservative earnings expectations for the next 12 months this market at minimum is starting to look reasonably valued,'' Leo Grohowski, chief investment officer for the wealth management unit of Bank of New York Mellon Corp., told Bloomberg Television. The unit manages $162 billion. ``Times when it feels almost irresponsible to shore up equities, they tend to be good buying opportunities historically.''

To contact the reporters on this story: Elizabeth Stanton in New York at estanton@bloomberg.net; Eric Martin in New York at emartin21@bloomberg.net.

Marc McDonald said...

Hi Anonymous, thanks for that economics roundup article. We are truly entering another Great Depression.

Anonymous said...

FEMA sources confirm coming martial law

Wayne Madsen
October 8, 2008

WMR has learned from knowledgeable Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) sources that the Bush administration is putting the final touches on a plan that would see martial law declared in the United States with various scenarios anticipated as triggers. The triggers include a continuing economic collapse with massive social unrest, bank closures resulting in violence against financial institutions, and another fraudulent presidential election that would result in rioting in major cities and campuses around the country.

A d v e r t i s e m e n t

In addition, Army Corps of Engineer sources report that the assignment of the 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team (BCT) to the Northern Command’s U.S. Army North is to augment FEMA and federal law enforcement in the imposition of traffic controls, crowd control, curfews, enhanced border and port security, and neighborhood patrols in the event a national emergency being declared. The BCT was assigned to duties in Iraq before being assigned to the Northern Command.

On April 3, 2008, WMR reported on a highly-classified document regarding the martial law scenario: WMR has learned from knowledgeable sources within the US financial community that an alarming confidential and limited distribution document is circulating among senior members of Congress and their senior staff members that is warning of a bleak future for the United States if it does not quickly get its financial house in order. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is among those who have reportedly read the document. The document is being called the "C & R" document because it reportedly states that if the United States defaults on loans and debt underwriting from China, Japan, and Russia, all of which are propping up the United States government financially, and the United States unilaterally cancels the debts, America can expect a war that will have disastrous results for the United States and the world. "Conflict" is the "C word" in the document. The other scenario is that the federal government will be forced to drastically raise taxes in order to pay off debts to foreign countries to the point that the American people will react with a popular revolution against the government. "Revolution" is the document’s "R word.

9/11 Chronicles Part One: Truth Rising
Get the DVD and make copies or watch the high quality streaming and download version online at Prison Planet.tv. Click here to read more about the film and view sample trailers.

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95 Responses to “FEMA sources confirm coming martial law”
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95 jimmu Says:

October 8th, 2008 at 8:24 pm
I am more than a little intrigued by comments from anon too, but not from what he has seen or says but from what I saw on Sunday, September 30th sitting on a rail siding in northern Indiana. My wife and were traveling eastbound on the south side of a busy rail section due north of Fort Wayne, near the village of Garrett. It was waiting for passage of another train which was eastbound. What we observed was an incredibly huge shipment of armored personnel carriers. My wife estimated well over a hundred tracked vehicles. Anybody reading this who is with the rail system or willing to circulate in the railroad dispatch or scheduler circles who can determine where the shipment was destined for would be a great help.


My guess? Headed for Chicago. Wrong direction for Fort Drum in NY to go the Iraq.