Saturday, February 9, 2013

College Graduates Are The New Debt Slaves

With the average cost of attending college in America at $120,000, a family of four should expect their children’s college to cost more than a home. Yet, optimism about the value of education provided justification for students to borrow $42 billion from the US this year. And many of them will end up as student-loan debt slaves.

With the estimated cost of attending a four year state college in America at $120,000, the average family of four should expect their children’s college to cost more than buying a home.  Even though only 24% of Americans believe college is affordable, 97% still believe getting a college degree is financially important to improve your life.  This optimism regarding the value of education has provided the justification for 60% of the 20 million students in college last year to borrow $42 billion from the United States government this year to stay in school.  But with the reward for a college degree falling and default rates sky-rocketing, many students and their parents will end up as the student loan debt slaves.

College tuitions since 1986 have risen by a breath taking 498%, compared to 115% for general price inflation.  The main driver for this hyper-inflation was the dramatic expansion of the Federal Stafford Loans since 1992, following Congress’ elimination of requirement that government-backed student loans be subject to parental income restrictions.  The most enticing aspect of these sub-prime loans is that repayment is deferred while a student is enrolled as at least a half-time student, then are subject to a grace period for six months after the student leaves school either by graduating, dropping below half-time enrollment, or withdraws.  The sudden access to billions of dollars in “free money” allowed highly unionized colleges to dramatically increase tuition rates without fear of driving away financially strapped under-graduates. Read more...

South America Goes Critical: Now Chavez Devalues Currency: “This May Well Be the Lighting of the Proverbial Fuse… Everywhere.”

While Europe’s fiscal woes seem to be on everyone’s financial radar recently, and rightfully so, there is instability everywhere.

This is a global economic crisis and it’s affecting hundreds of millions of people all over the world.

Earlier this week Argentine President Cristina Kirchner responded to her country’s sky-rocketing inflation rates by freezing prices on food, a move Forbes magazine says will soon lead to widespread corruption in the business community and government.

In Venezuela, where President Hugo Chavez has attempted to control all aspects of his country’s economy, price freezes instituted on essential goods like diapers and cleaning products over a year ago failed to curb soaring inflation which registered at over 22% last year. In response, with their quiver out of arrows, the Venezuelan government announced today that they are devaluing their national currency, the Bolivar, by over a third. The announcement had the immediate impact of increasing the price for a US dollar in Bolivar by nearly 50%.

By boosting the bolivar value of Venezuela’s dollar-denominated oil sales, the change is expected to help ease a difficult budget outlook for the government, which has turned increasingly to borrowing to meet its spending obligations.

But analysts said the move would not be sufficient to end the government’s budget woes or balance the exchange rate with an overvalued currency. Economists predicted higher inflation and a likely continuation of shortages of some staple foods, such as cornmeal, chicken and sugar. Read more....

The Prepper Filter – 11 Questions That Will Help You Be A Better Prepper

I was recently asked by someone in a conversation “What is a Prepper”?  I started to answer the question with a knee jerk reaction being that a prepper is someone with a cache of bullets, band aids and beans stored away in the event that the world shows signs of coming to an end via economic collapse, EMP events, Madrid earthquakes or other major disasters.  After a long pause, my definition came out of my mouth and it was that a prepper is simply one who prepares.

This led to a short conversation spurred on by the person asking what they are preparing for.  We talked for a little bit and ended the conversation both a bit confused because they didn’t understand why someone would can meat when they can freeze it and I couldn’t understand how they haven’t heard about a power outage lasting for more than a week.  It was not surprising to see our conversation go in that direction and end the way it did given that upwards of 95% or more of the population just don’t see that there is any reason to think that society can break down, but what was surprising was the thought process I had that followed our conversation.

Make no mistake about it; there will be a crash of some sort and depending on how far we fall will determine how bad it is.  We are a hand to mouth society far removed from the habits of our ancestry who stored food in their cellars, produced food in fields and gardens and had food producing animals out in the back 40 to sustain them.  Today procurement of food is completed via going continually to the grocery store, eating out and ordering in.  Virtually no one is paying attention to how long a person’s family will last if that supply chain is disrupted for any reason. Read more....

Watch: Greeks Fight For Food: “I Never Imagined That I Would End Up Here”

Once a bastion of European success and center of tourism, the country of Greece has become the harbinger of things to come for the rest of the world’s developed nations.

Not long ago Greeks were enjoying high paid salaries, early retirements, excess cash, and seemingly never ending economic growth.

Today, just a short time after a financial collapse that rocked global financial markets, Europe’s darling has turned into a frightening example of what happens when governments and their people take on more debt than they can ever hope to repay.

The end result is a warning to the rest of us.

Hundreds of people jostled for free vegetables handed out by farmers in a symbolic protest earlier on Wednesday, trampling one man and prompting an outcry over the growing desperation created by economic crisis.

Images of people struggling to seize bags of tomatoes and leeks thrown from a truck dominated television, triggering a bout of soul-searching over the new depths of poverty in the debt-laden country.

“These images make me angry. Angry for a proud people who have no food to eat, who can’t afford to keep warm, who can’t make ends meet,” said Kostas Barkas, a lawmaker from the leftist Syriza party. Read more....

Are All Those Guns and Ammunition for Obama’s Civilian National Security Force?

Speculation abounds surrounding the 2 billion rounds of ammunition purchased by the Department of Homeland Security and other national alphabet agencies in recent years. Moreover, as the White House and their cohorts in Congress contemplate the disarming of American citizens, the very assault weapons purported to be so dangerous in the hands of law abiding gun owners are being purchased in mass quantities by local and federal law enforcement agencies.

So what is the purpose and motivation behind the government’s continued efforts to stockpile so much firepower?

One frightening theory could explain what the President and his national security apparatus are up to.

Many of you will remember a story I broke a long time ago – about presidential candidate Barack Obama’s little-noticed announcement that, if elected in 2008, he wanted to create a “civilian national security force” as big, as strong and as well-funded as the Defense Department.

Here’s what he actually said at a campaign stop in Colorado July 2, 2008:

“We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.” Read more...

A True Survival Story: “Taking Their Possessions and Some Seeds, They Had Retreated Ever Deeper Into the Forest”

When Josef Stalin instituted a campaign of purging dissidents in the 1930′s, some 17 million people were left dead or missing by the time it was all said and done.

Had you been targeted for extermination during this Great Purge, your chances of survival very rapidly approached zero.

Most became victims when their government classified them as enemies of the state.

Some, however, and against all odds, found a way to survive.

This forest [Russian Taiga] is the last and greatest of Earth’s wildernesses. It stretches from the furthest tip of Russia’s arctic regions as far south as Mongolia, and east from the Urals to the Pacific: five million square miles of nothingness, with a population, outside a handful of towns, that amounts to only a few thousand people.

Thus it was in the remote south of the forest in the summer of 1978. A helicopter sent to find a safe spot to land a party of geologists was skimming the treeline a hundred or so miles from the Mongolian border when it dropped into the thickly wooded valley of an unnamed tributary of the Abakan, a seething ribbon of water rushing through dangerous terrain. The valley walls were narrow, with sides that were close to vertical in places, and the skinny pine and birch trees swaying in the rotors’ downdraft were so thickly clustered that there was no chance of finding a spot to set the aircraft down.

But, peering intently through his windscreen in search of a landing place, the pilot saw something that should not have been there. It was a clearing, 6,000 feet up a mountainside, wedged between the pine and larch and scored with what looked like long, dark furrows. The baffled helicopter crew made several passes before reluctantly concluding that this was evidence of human habitation—a garden that, from the size and shape of the clearing, must have been there for a long time. Read more....

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Gunships Over Miami: “Machine Gun Fire, Strafing Runs, Troops Rappelling From Choppers, and Road Blockades”

Gun control advocates say deadly assault weapons have no business being on the streets of America.

But, apparently, those same people who would restrict you of your ability to defend yourself have no objections to fully loaded military gunships flying over American population centers.

That’s exactly what happened in Miami, Florida recently when the U.S. military, in conjunction with local law enforcement agencies, staged an “urban training exercise,” justifying the action as as preparation of our troops for deployment overseas.

If we’re supposedly pulling our military out of Afghanistan and Iraq, which urban environment is it that the military and local police are training for?

Military “exercises” in populated urban environments are now so routine, so commonplace, they are no longer reported by the national media and are left as “human interest” stories for local news stations. Read more....

Defiance: “This Is A Standing Invitation To My Fellow Americans…”

Nunc Pro Tunc: The Coming Day of Burn Barrels and Blessings

This is a standing invitation to my fellow Americans: If congress ever enacts a law mandating the registration and/or a production ban of detachable magazine semiautomatic rifles then you are hereby invited to the town square of your local community. There, burn barrels will be set up and we will publicly burn Form 4473s, FFL Bound Books, state and local registration records, and the sales receipts for every firearm in the United States. On that same day, FFL holders and public officials holding electronic firearms records will simultaneously erase those records, permanently and irretrievably. (Using special file erasure software such as Blancco, X-Ways, and Stellar Wipe, or though the physical destruction of disk drives.)

Spontaneous Gatherings, Spontaneous Combustion

This burn barrel day–likely to be held the day after the President signs any new draconian legislation–will include speeches, public prayers, and the blessing of those who have gathered by ministers, rabbis, and priests.

The core of the activities on that day will be stalwart public defiance of any new unconstitutional law(s), the open and notorious destruction of records that might be used to enslave us, and vocal public affirmations of solidarity of free men and women, in the face of tyranny. This will be a defining moment for America–a line drawn in the sand. We will forthrightly declare that we will not obey any unconstitutional law and that we will treat it dismissively, as if it had never been enacted – nunc pro tunc. We will pledge ourselves to the defense of liberty, both individually and collectively. We will vow that if ever called to jury duty, we will nullify any unconstitutional laws, vacating the charges against the accused, in accordance with our long-standing right as jurors. Read more....