Posts Tagged ‘Economic Meltdown’

Ignorance Is Futile Exclusive:

I’ve yet to see the question asked: with increasing computer power and quality of techniques why aren’t ‘we’ getting better at sustainable economics? Where is our age of prosperity? Increased computational power shouldn’t mean decreased prosperity for all… unless it’s being used to deliberately plunder the masses.

When we look at all the figures, from where the debt economy has been going for years, to the way the specific meltdown occurred and was carried out, to what’s looming on the horizon, how isn’t this deliberate?

This trend has been accelerating almost directly in line with accelerating technological change and the ever increasing collective power of the computers of those at the commanding heights.

Not even boosts in personal productivity from cell phones has managed to allow the populace to try and keep pace with the growing plutocrat oligarchs:

This is simple, and complex.

Simple Answer:
The economic war has been underway for many years, but until more recently it was a slow crawling menace. Until the mid-2000’s it was more of a scheme to cheat the masses, to keep us undermined yet just happy enough to not really notice the gradual decline. However, over the past few decades it has increased at an alarming rate, incidentally in line with computational increase. Until about 5 years ago it was mostly a plundering of the nation, and right about when that was finished, and when we were all unwittingly at our weakest ever, and when the technology was in place to pull it off, and with a new level of motivation never seen before, the plutocrats went for the jugular of the masses directly and then furthered their cause by instituting TARP “bailouts”.

This came as a one-two punch:
(1) They triggered the sea of debt into a tsunami by imploding the Property Price Index (engineered housing bubble), which directly plundered the ‘wealth’ of those who bought into the con.

(2) Oil price gauging. Completely manufactured fuel price hikes. Virtually everything we use is made from petroleum distillates & derivatives, and is then transported using petroleum based fuels. Triple the price of fuel, by design considering the actual cost and production of oil had never changed, and spike the prices of almost literally everything we all take for granted.

The timing of these 2 events is what to focus on. The fuel crisis was ratcheted up right in line with the increasingly looming ‘pop’ of the housing bubble, which squeezed everyone, especially the poor and the newly damned.

Complex Analysis:

Not only has the global economy imploded rather dramatically, all the hard numbers point towards an inevitable total collapse, especially in the USA. The Federal Reserve and EU Bank are both privately owned institutions, and there’s no debating this fact. The Federal Reserve in particular was at the heart of the US economic meltdown, which brought the rest of the world with it. These institutions are literally at the helm of each federal economy, and aren’t subject to being audited. They’re above each government, just the same as your local city government is subject to the state government, and the state to the federal government.

The global banking scheme is seemingly leading the world into a post-apocalyptic nightmare. How is this possible? Today we have increasingly powerful computers of all different sizes, yet the more powerful our computing hardware and software becomes the faster we’re falling into the abyss, instead of rising to an economic utopia. Computers clearly aren’t helping the system maintain a balanced budget sheet, while when you look at the graphs it appears they’re helping the elitist plutocracy to plunder the nations. Ask yourself how in the face of everything that’s happened in the past few year, billionaires increased in numbers and profits at a record rate in 2009 (Link 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7).

What a trillion dollars looks like in $100 bills:

Many people put all of the blame of our current woes on the housing bubble, but a more realistic view is that that crisis only sped up the inevitable. The massive spending associated with bailouts and stimulation merely put off even longer the inevitable. The longer this inevitable is put off the harder the crash will be. Just look at the numbers. Spending got us into the mess, so in response they spend and loan even more. Like it’s going out of style… literally.

It wasn’t originally designed to implode, despite that being how it looks today, but it’s always been designed to leech away the self-reliable wealth of those with less. The less you have the more it hurts you… is and always has been the purpose of the privately owned Federal Reserve bank. The mechanism responsible is inflation.

When the value of the dollar is deliberately reduced every year it creates a situation where you have to set up your surplus finances in ways that will hedge against the inflationary dollar devaluation. During ‘normal’ times, you could invest your money into your home or other property and as the value of the dollar goes down the value of the property would go up. This is just the opposite with automobiles which helps explain why social engineering has us all obsessing with dumping all of our money into our cars that are worth $10,000 less the day you drive it off the lot. Everybody’s primary financial concerns should be in how to position their earnings against inflation, not new spinner rims.

Now what happened with the housing meltdown is the big trend that makes it hard to believe that the design wasn’t to rob almost literally all of the populace, as normally the best thing the little guy can do is invest in his property so that he can fight off inflation. All those years most people thought their house was somehow naturally going up in value, in reality the dollar was going down in value and the markets knew it. Except now the value of our homes has plummeted, it’s unsafe to even invest in property, endless millions refinanced their homes and now owe more than the property is worth, and some 60% of US national assets have been absorbed by the Federal Reserve and the Big 6 banking cartel that are the majority stock holders in the “Fed”.

The other catalyst of the economic downturn was the fuel price crisis. It served as the 1-2 punch to the entire global economy. In the graph above you can see that the more fuel consumption went down the more the price went up. This is the opposite of how the market works, proving massive manipulation. What’s important about is it happened directly parallel to the housing collapse, which made its effects substantially worse than if it occurred in 1999. Assuming it was deliberate, what does this tell you about the titans of Wall Street and their disdain for the global populace?

That graph shows that neither oil production nor inventory had ever changed in ways to justify the spike in prices. On the contrary, inventories went up while consumption was down while mass scale price gouging like never before was in full effect. The answer for how this happened was market speculation. The big banks and hedge funds in effect ‘all’ got together and continuously bet in large scale that oil prices would go up, and sure enough that’s what happened. The costs of everything went up, people were broke, major institutions absorbed by the government & banks, the property markets crashed, and now the inevitable collapse is out in the open for everyone to see.

Note that during the peak of the oil crisis Obama actually went on the record saying that ‘fuel’ prices should be artificially increased so that people would use less fossil fuels. Now he didn’t say to raise oil prices in that particular quote, but inherently that is the overall goal of Cap’N Trade type policies, and we all had a devastating test run during the artificial fuel crisis. Can anyone say they were glad the test run of Cap & Trade happened?

Obama’s Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is a Federal Reserve agent, being the former president of the New York branch Federal Reserve Bank. Other Federal Reserve agents in the Obama Administration include Paul Volker, Christina Romer, Alan Blinder, Robert Rubin and Lawrence Summers.

As with 9/11, Bush ignored all of the warnings of the looming ‘economic 9/11’. His Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson was the former CEO of Goldman Sachs, a key player in the economic meltdown. Goldman has embraced the world of AI, with sophisticated AI supercomputers that utilize learning algorithms to conduct “high frequency trading” that allows them to literally cheat at the stock trading game, and in all likelihood conduct operations such as artificially raising global fuel prices. Goldman Sachs agents in the Obama’s inner circle include Gary Gensler, John Corzine, Rahm Emanuel, Mark Patterson, Neel Kashkari, Reuben Jeffery III and apparently even Elana Kagen.

During the economic disaster, Goldman executives cheered their results, emails went on to show. All throughout the crisis, Sachs reaped billions of dollars in record profits while the rest of the world economy has floundered. In July of 2010 Sachs was fined the record amount of $550 million by the SEC for their role in the Subprime fiasco. The same day their stocks actually went up 5% as those in the game know how much evil they had committed, and were relieved at only having to pay a mere $550 million. Days after the settlement, Sach’s put aside $9 billion for employee bonuses.
Sachs was Obama second largest campaign contributor, funneling him $994,795, 7 times what Enron famously gave to Bush. His other top contributors included Google, Harvard, University of California, Microsoft, Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, Stanford, IBM, Morgan Stanley, BP and General Electric.

These people are textbook “Disaster Capitalists”, those whose portfolios are stacked to reap profits and success in their goals via the mass scale suffering of others. It’s no secret that BushCo. was a regime of disaster capitalists, but ObamaCo. is too. Rahm Emanuel and Hillary Clinton have made public statements condoning the capitalization of crisis. The notorious Henry Kissinger said the economic crisis was a “great opportunity” for Obama to create a “new world order.”

Disaster capitalists are amongst the greatest threat to the world, as having people set up to reap profits ranging from millions to trillions sets a precedent of why would they prevent the crisis, especially if there are agendas that transcend money. “Problem Reaction Solution” is the mechanism to our undoing.

Between the agents from the Federal Reserve many of the key players in the economic meltdown are all accounted for. On top of everything above, Larry Summers, under Bill Clinton, played a key role in repealing the Glass-Steagall Act, which was set up after the first Great Depression to prevent it from happening again. He also helped deregulate derivatives, for which there is now a one quadrillion dollar bubble. After the modern collapse had already begun, Obama made him a top level adviser.

The Federal Reserve was the centerpiece of the housing bubble, as well as in serving as the vehicle to enable Congress to commit runaway spending that involves endless wars and the AGI Manhattan Project. In the meltdown aftermath, Obama moved immediately to hand the bankster monolith even more power, and the Congress banished Ron Paul’s legislation that would have given the Congress for the first time the ability to audit the Federal Reserve to bring to light their deeds.

These players are amongst those at the forefront of setting up a total plutocracy. In a plutocracy the wealthy rule everything, as described by an infamous leaked Citigroup memo.

The mentality of the classical elitist must be discussed. They tend to be Social Darwinists, who apply Darwinist theory to sociology. In their view it’s their divine role to dominate those beneath them, at the top of the food chain as the fittest to survive. This class of elites are their own social group, much like how most ordinary people identify themselves with race, political party, music scene, and so on. This social group adherence transcends the everyday social group affiliations the rest of us know, and elitist propaganda has us all wanting to identify with them to subconsciously justify their types of actions.

So we’re in the middle of a collapse that by all measures looks deliberate, that was caused by private stock holders, who made unfathomable amounts of cash on the ways up and down, and were handed trillions of unaccountable dollars in “bailout” money in the aftermath. Despite all of this, there’s still this push for a near-trillion dollar military budget (in the US alone), along with a global government based on a multi-trillions dollar global carbon tax, and even a mandatory “health care” obscenity that might cost trillions overall, yet somehow we’re not to come to the conclusion that there’s a total economic world war being waged against us?

Of course, to propose there’s a deliberate war, there has to be a “why” they would do it. The simple answers of “greed” or “power” are lackluster to address the scale we’re enduring. They believe they’ll become “gods” with indefinite lifespans of hundreds or even thousands of years, and to speed up the process they’re carrying out a full scale 21st Century Manhattan Project: The AGI Manhattan Project.

Who runs Barter Town?

Ignorance Is Futile Exclusive:

Considering the US is facing something like a Quadrillion dollar bubble, why not prepare for tomorrows Barter Economy? But why merely prepare to have some extra food in the looming collapse when you can position yourself to become a ‘Mad Max Millionaire’.

Hardly anyone is preparing for anything. Many can’t, but many can yet they don’t… SHTF. Hyperinflation makes the paper money useless. You flee the stomped ant hill population center you live in to your off the grid exit…

With the right preparations you’ll be the epicenter of your surrounding community, therefore planning into your MMM future should include what you would want to best serve such a role. The goal of this post isn’t to teach you to be a master of all trades, instead it’s about helping you realize where the ‘money’ is going to be in such a scenario, and how you might capitalize on it.

So here is a comprehensive outline of your steps to becoming the pillar of the community in the Barter Economy (BE).

Biodiesel (The Key):

Biodiesel is the smartest thing now, and for the BE. Just about any diesel engine made since 1992 can run straight biodiesel that you can make in your garage right now for about $1 per gallon. You can literally make the 3 chemical components needed for biodiesel from scratch. As the epicenter of trade, people can bring you the raw materials for barter, reducing your potential labor load. Tractors can do to a field in a couple hours what it would take a human weeks to do. Therefore, they with biodiesel will be the epicenter of the area. Imagine that today you can literally get 40 miles to the gallon at $1 per gallon with biodiesel, and then consider how useful such a commodity would be under Mad Max. With the right catch, and ingenuity, you can get into biodiesel for even lower than $1000. If you’re not lazy in the hands-on sense, there could hardly be anything smarter to do even if we weren’t on the verge of collapse. Let me repeat that: you can literally get 40 miles to the gallon at $1 per gallon with biodiesel. Lastly, the raw materials used for making biodiesel keep almost indefinitely unlike refined petrofuel.

The more fuel you can produce for your community the less of the rest you’ll have to do.  Fuel such as diesel will be at the top of the ‘food chain’ in BE demand.


A key ingredient for biodiesel, that can even be used for its own fuel purposes. Via a “Wood Gasifier“, you can make your own methanol. There are cars in the world that actually run on straight “Wood Gas” (methanol), with all of the equipment built right into the vehicle. You need this stuff to make biodiesel and for other purposes, but remember you can’t clean wounds with it (better suited for cleaning engines).


Has many uses. Obviously it can be made for consumption (so long as there is no longer an ATF to worry about), but its also important if you intend to be able to supply all energy needs. Biodiesel can’t power everything. You can also have it as an available medical supply, as without isopropyl and iodine, ethanol is where most will turn for cleaning wounds etc. So obviously you’ll want at least one good DIY still for ethanol production (seperate from a still for water).

Solar / Wind:

For comfort, obviously, having surplus solar panels and wind turbines hooked up would be ideal, but here we’re talking about usefulness not comfort. So the bare minimum should be ensuring you have the power needed to run your epicenter activities. One thing that would be good for a number of reasons is a solar / turbine system specifically tuned to maintain a decent sized deep freezer chest. In short, you’ll want to ensure that there is more than enough power in each sub-system to ensure availability of your key epicenter equipment.


You can spend $100 on a good Berkey filter, but this would be for personal scale. If you want to be the prime source of choice water then spend that $100 instead on my DIY design that will provide large amounts of clean water. You’re obviously going to need a good water supply to run it, so you’re going to want to be able to pump water from a well when there’s no rain to catch. If you look around there are some DIY methods for digging wells, but the depth potential using these methods wont always work everywhere. You can pump water by hand with a cheap hand up to about 20′, and there are windmill options. Don’t forget for $100 you can build a nice solar hot water heater.
DIY inexpensive high volume crystal clear Drinking Water Filtration


In terms of epicenter, you’ll want the equipment to be able to make large batches of food. If you have the facilities to make things like breads or maybe cheeses then the morale of your camp and community would be much higher. Trying to store enough rice or related in advance for such a role would require owning a grocery store now, so instead plan in ways of things you could produce then. Have lots of grain seeds on hand, and the ability to process the grain is key. You can always find locals to grow the grain crops for you, but you’ll need manual food processing equipment of all types (browse thrift stores).

Meat Market:

This could be a deep issue, but small scale easy animals for this role that you could pursue now (assuming you don’t want large animals) are quail and rabbits. These are ideal survivalist types of creature anyways. Quail mature faster and eat less per pound of meat harvest than chickens, and rabbits out reproduce and out mature just about anything, and can eat just about anything if it comes down to it. The key is preparedness, so having any creature types in inventory is the key, but you could also save money now while preventing animal torture on your behalf by slaughtering your own meat (you do eat meat don’t you?).


Being able to trap food is better than spending the time and ammo hunting / fishing it. But as the epicenter you’ll want more to be able to make traps to trade. Trying to stockpile masses of mesh wire in advance would be counter-productive to other efforts, but the tools and methods are key to have now. You can get mesh on the way out (hopefully), but you’ll really want to already have ideas in mind of how to make traps without a good source of mesh wire. This is just an outline, but the info is all out there if you look.


The more chemistry you’re able to do the more services you can provide. Therefore knowledge, skills and equipment are all key. Look up a UK show called “Rough Science” to see some cool chemistry examples using rough materials and equipment.


This is important for food, water, chemistry and so on. Not only would you ideally have mason jars, but think of how useful tons of plastic or glass containers of all shapes and sizes would be. You likely currently throw out ‘choice’ containers daily. If you have a garage you could start tossing the cleaned out containers in an empty refrigerator box, instead of whatever bin you put out by the street. Imagine how many sturdy containers you discard per year.


In the old days, wars were actually fought and entire regions were hegemonically dominated over spices. As we now know, not only do spices make food taste better, but most have other notable great values. Many have antioxidants and / or other healthful compounds. A great many have anti-microbial effects, meaning food cooked with lots of the spices will keep longer.


In the BE, people will be growing their own vegetables. Many will have a decent enough set of seed types after not too long, so the key to your preparations on this front will be in having a vast variety of seed types so that you’ll have plenty more to offer while the others have averaged out their seeds with each other. I know for a fact that you can end up with 300 or more types of seeds with a limited budget over the course of a year.


If you want to be the local doctor this can be trickier. Having a supply of ethanol is key, but bandages is another problem. Having a doctor or EMT type in your crew is an obvious plus. Regardless there are some basic tools you’d need that can be done on the cheap. If you get lucky on Craigslist you could end up with some impressive equipment and maybe even the stuff needed for person to person blood transfusions. Beyond that just a get routine of trying to spot medical supplies on clearance and you could have a major health kit by the time the BE occurs. See also the Knowledge section below.


With a reasonable investment not only can you offer an invaluable service to those who come to trade, you can have better dental health now (which you’ll want in the BE reality). For about $150 you can get an ultrasonic “scaler”, which is the ultimate invention in dentistry. This device blasts off plaque and even nicotine stains without even scraping (scraping is unrecommended!). “Drill” type heads can even be attached to some of them, but to go the normal drill route you can get the whole setup with scaler and other items included for something like $500 on ebay.

Library / Book Store:

Knowledge is power, especially if there wasn’t such a nice Internet handy for use. Therefore archiving data from the Internet is key. There are endless webpages that go into great detail in all of the things that would set one ahead, and handy GNU programs can copy entire websites for easy offline use.With the new ‘Internet Kill Switch‘ measure in place these efforts could already be invaluable.

There are many ways to get PDF file e-books at all levels of advancement. Google Books allows you to download PDF’s of old public domain texts from the 1800’s that tell you how they used to do everything. For instance, search for “Yeast” and set the criteria to ‘free’. If you want to be the purveyor of knowledge you’ll need to be able to print, therefore you’ll want a good printer with large external linked in inkwells that are a smart investment anyways if you print often. SHTF, and you add printer paper to your list of desired barter items and they’ll bring the paper to you. Printers would even be ‘worthless’ to most should there not be power anymore.


To ensure your best operational capabilities you’ll need to be able to weld (and cut steel). Like most of the rest herein, Craigslist is your ticket to finding a good deal on a suitable welder unit. I suggest getting one over 200 amps as 90 amp units can’t weld very thick steel. The problem is in powering it. This feature (welding) will add significantly to your project estimate having nothing going in. If you already have a good diesel generator then you’re set, but otherwise you could go the woodgas route that has other advantages. One setup has a 10kW twin engine generator, but such a nice all in one combined system like that could be pricey.…


Every town needs a good blacksmith, and its possible to cheaply get a forge setup going that burns old automotive oil to power the forge (needs a blower fan). With no more gas stations there wont be much of a shortage of old spent oil for a good while.

Fresnel Lenses:

Using the screen from an old rear projection TV you can literally vaporize aluminum cans or melt glass! The usefulness of such a device are profound when energy and ability is an issue. If I managed to get about 90 screens for free in 2 months using Craigslist, then anyone can get some of these (especially since I stopped chasing the free TV’s over a year ago). Imagine if if they were worth their weight in silver or better. I weighed a big lens from the middle of my stack and it clocked in at 6 lbs. 6 lbs. x $18 per ounce is $1728. And there are other useful things you get when you scrap out a whole TV, especially if you know anything about working with electronics. Get enough, and you also end up with many perfectly good TV’s (it’s true). Lastly you also get 3 high quality (glass) magnifying glasses perfect for starting fires. For getting lots of TV’s at once, call around to TV repair shops. That is the best way actually.


In the barter Economy, where supply chains may be cut off via marauders, bugs will be the scourge of existence. When you cant buy “Off” at the store you will run out eventually. Therefore you need renewable sources of insect repellents, to help people overcome this menace.

There are not too hard to find lists of seeds for such plants to be found online, and many herbs that have repellent properties of varying degrees, but one easy thing you can do is visit Asian markets to purchase live stalks of Lemon Grass.

Lemon Grass contains Citronella, and you can even cook with it like many Asians do. You can stick the stalk into dirt, or water to get them to start regrowing. I did this with root hormone and without, using both potted dirt and jars of water. There was a slight edge of root and plant growth with root hormone in water. In the potted soil tests there seemed to be a slight edge for the stalks that didn’t have hormone. But honestly the edge of difference was marginal regardless of how I did it, except that the potted specimens were slightly slower overall than the jar subjects. In any case, eventually you’ll end up with seeds.

So that is one clear example of such a useful resource, and there are many others for combating different pests. The real issue is that seeking out seeds (or trees) of this nature is key to providing the best possible service to your area.

Sugar Daddy:

The ability to ‘grow’ sugar is a crucial role in the BE. Sugar is needed not only for food but for the production of ethanol for fuel or drink. What many might not know is that Sugar Beet is how the non-tropical world generates sugar, and molasses. Therefore having a stock of sugar beet seeds will help ensure your MMM future.


Weaponry in the BE will be crucial for hunting and defense, therefore a local gunsmith will serve a special role. While you clearly will need plenty of firepower to defend your position as the epicenter, the focus in this context is usefulness to others. Therefore skills, tools, documentation and other related equipment to the role of gunsmithing (and bladesmithing) is needed.

Ammo in general will be an excellent item of barter, but while trying to outfit yourself as the epicenter trying to stockpile more than you intend for yourself could be self-defeating. For your own ammo stockpiles, seek out as much brass casing ammo as possible. You might even score a huge stockpile of empty brass casings of all different sorts on your next trip to an outdoor gun range, especially if you find one on state park property that isn’t attended.

In the BE, being able to reload ammo will be the only real long term solution to the ammo crisis. So basic reloading equipment is a good idea in general, but in particular there will be a need for gunpower, primer caps and bullets (slugs). Its not hard to find info on making gunpower from things like manure, or re-prime caps using even strike tip matches, but having little casts for making your own slugs is the real tool to have in advance.

From there the weapons themselves are the issue. It might be hard to budget a kit of spare parts for your weapons, just for yourself. So trying to have such for other weapons types borders on ludicrous. However, with the right tools and knowledge you can function as a gunsmith even without. The main things are any special tools that various weapons need, and a good array of tools in general. Shotgun News is a good marketplace publication where you can browse most of the usually inexpensive weapon specific tools you might want. You’ll also want a good array of cleansing devices, cloths, and large amounts of gun worthy oil.

For knowledge the Internet in general, the torrent networks and even Google Books have plently of resources on gunsmithing and bladesmithing.

For gun oil, don’t waste wads of cash investing in overpriced specialty gun oil. You’d be able to harvest it from automobiles. While any ideally only slightly used motor oil will do the trick, the best stuff you’re looking for is synthetic oil blends, or ATF transmission fluid.

“Ironically, the product that scores at or very near the top of just about everyone’s testing is also the most available, and the cheapest. It also has good migration, a good boundary lubrication package, is the right weight (thickness) for general firearms use, doesn’t oxidize over long periods of storage, and is compatible with a wide range of metals and plastics. In addition, it is recommended by at least one real degreed firearms engineer! Just what is this miracle elixir??…Dexron-type Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF). That’s right, plain ol’ ATF.”

“Motor oils: Generally good boundary lubrication (particularly the Havoline formulations), but very poor corrosion resistance and poor resistance to open-air oxidation. In addition, their pour-point additives often contain benzene compounds, which aren’t a good thing to have next to your skin on a regular basis! ATF is better on every count, even if it is a tad more expensive. (ATF is still 1/10 to 1/100th the cost of a specialty “gun oil”!)”…

This thread is a choice place to read about alternative oils. A commenter there stated:

Been using ATF on my guns for years, even on my CCW that frequently rides in my pocket. No rust, things move like they should, and ATF is cheap.
…I used RemOil, Militec, and a variety of other gun specific lubes prior. I see no functional difference between them and plain old ATF except for price.


Motor oils can have additives that aren’t particularly good for you and are missing useful additives that most decent gun oils will have. Other than that they obviously do a good job of lubrication. The main disadvantage of motor oils compared to a good quality gun oil is that motor oils are typically do a very poor job of corrosion prevention.

If you like Mobil 1, the “L” in Breakfree CLP is the same synthetic oil that was used in the original formulation of Mobil 1 (Mobil 1 was reformulated when the supply of the original synthetic oil dropped). What Breakfree CLP gives you that Mobil 1 doesn’t is that the “P” provides some of the best corrosion protection on the market. In the tests I’ve seen, Breakfree CLP scores near the top while Mobil 1 scores near the bottom.

If corrosion protection isn’t an issue and you know that the motor oil in question doesn’t have additives that would make it a poor choice for an item handled & worn (for example, at least one formulation of Mobil 1, i.e. EP 15W-50, contains zinc dithiophosphate which the MSDS says has a low order of toxicity and may result in eye, skin, or respiratory irritation, also the aforementioned benzene found in some motor oils) then motor oil isn’t a bad choice.

On the other hand, there are choices available (such as ATF) that provide the same level of economy that motor oil does but that are a much better overall match for the application than motor oil is.

A gun oil elixer:

CONTENTS: Ed’s Red Bore Cleaner

1 part Dexron II, IIe or III ATF, GM Spec. D-20265 or later.
1 part Kerosene – deodorized, K1
1 part Aliphatic Mineral Spirits, Fed. Spec. TT-T-2981F, CAS
#64741-49-9, or may substitute “Stoddard Solvent”, CAS #8052-41-3, or equivalent, (aka “Varsol”)
1 part Acetone, CAS #67-64-1.
(Optional: Up to 1 lb. of Lanolin, Anhydrous, USP per gallon, OK to substitute Lanolin, Modified, Topical Lubricant, from the drug store)…

This page is a must see. They did corrosion trials with different oils in different ways and you can see photo test results. This page is similar, but without photos. Neither test tested ATF fluid though.

Tactical Landscaping, Inc.:

With all you’ll be doing in your new job, the last thing you’ll want to be doing is visiting others locations to try and install Mad Max ‘security systems’ for them, but you might be able to provide them the right equipment.

Black Berries: Black berries are the ultimate perimeter defense barrier, that also provide a nice source of food. Once they get established, its like having nets of barbed wire as your fortress walls. You can get a good several hundred seeds from a little basket of berries. To do this crush the berries up into a sludge, add the sludgeand a little water into a deep jar, and allow it to sit for several days until the slime will wash off with water while clean seeds drop to the bottom. Next dry them out and (very important) freeze them for a month or more so that they’ll germinate. Next plant as many in pots as you can maintain, and / or visit your assumed exit property and plant them around the entire perimeter of the property. [The next big category in thise guide will tell you where to get pots should you intend to be a major supplier.]

True Mad Max: Then theres the more extreme true to the sense of Mad Max style ‘landscaping’. Barbed (or razor) wire is surely something of desire in perimiter defense, but why stop there when you can build massive walls using cheap and plentiful used automotive tires? The logistics of being in advance able to have enough tires to build your walls while also being a supplier of such resources could be a challenge, but one solution could be to buy the local auto junk yard in your desired exit region. Besides, this is Mad Max era we’re talking about afterall… Imagine all those spare parts and raw steel.

Garden Supply:

Gardening will be the new way of life in the BE, so having supplies to trade is another important area of concern. Attempting to invest currency into this facet, in advance, could be fiscally daunting, but there are some things you can do.

Pots: If you know a landscaper, you might just have your ticket to thousands of free planting containers of all sizes. Any landscaper with a decent operation goes thru a thousand or more of these per year. There exists no deposits on containers, therefore you might be doing them a favor taking these endless leftovers.

Locals: If you’re lucky, you can work out some potentially sweet deals with locals to dump truckloads of woodchips and even manure out at your exit location to have it all there in advance.

Center for Disease Control:

Should there be a pandemic, people will need somewhere to turn. Just stockpiling gas masks and filter cartridges wont be good enough, and trying to budget more than you’ll need isn’t wise unless you’re today wealthy, but there are natural solutions.

Elder Berries.

Elder Berries, garlic, onions (grow both Yellow Onions & Shallots), oregano, allspice, echinacea, capsicum (peppers), cinnamon, ginger, tumeric and others are all natural defenses to flu viruses. Elder berry, allspice and cinnamon come from trees. Elder berries are the most effective defense for flus, and luckily its the tree people from most climates will actually be able to grow. If you find seeds you’ll need to freeze them for them to germinate, and like most perennial trees they take years to reach high production so this in one thing you dont want to wait around to do. The rest you can grow yourself.

Beyond what you would grow, other things of importance are ethanol & vinegar for cleansing. [search Google Books for “vinegar”] The best method of administering ‘sambucol’ (elder berry extract) is via alcohol tincture made from vodka grade ethanol.


Stocking up on TONS of footgear (for economic purposes) would be a problem. Knowing how you might utilize available materials for this purpose is the solution.

Rubber: You can consider cutting up automotive tires to make sandals out of them. Although without electric power tools it could be massively difficult to cut the tires. I get the feeling a sawzall could make quick work of it. Lets see…

This site here is very descriptive and says to not use tires that have steel reinforcements. Then you just use utility knives. has some pages dealing with this. This one talks about using steel radials:

I used an angle grinder to cut the tire. It was messy, noisy, and stunk, but I couldn’t face the struggle with a saw. It didn’t take long at all once I got the hang of it. It IS tough to find tires w/o steel nowadays. Once you are done cutting them out, go over the edges with a pair of cutters and clean up any wires poking out. Instant pain/blood on any part of the body touched with the edge otherwise. I think the steel is essential to the sandal’s success when it comes to the straps.

The smell of that burning rubber would be like instant migraine for me personally. Sawzall might be able to do it. But another comment in that page says to go to ATV shops to get used ATV tires which don’t use steel.

One way or another all of this is doable, but the important thing would be to actually build a pair or so now, so that you’ll know what you’ll need to be able to do it. Then you’ll need to ensure having the enablers in place in the BE.

Leather: Leather working tools will be a must, and luckily they are rather simple.. Sharp knife, cardboard & poster board for making patterns, round pointed needle, stitch spacer, ice pick / nails. Also look into water and wax hardening techniques.


Nothing says civilized like a good hair cut, and shave. Inherently in such a situation you’ll want to have a straight razor, and razor strap sharpener setup. But why not stock up on a few extra blades? There’s no telling what people would trade for a good clean shave. Then of course you’ll want some good scissors, and an electric shaver assuming you’re to have electricity to power it.

Blades & Bows:

Eventually ammo will run out, and reloading will become more and more scarce and futile. It will still be around, but people will cling to it for ‘special occasions’ of desperation. For everyday action blades and bows will eventually triumph.The specifics of mastery of these two categories go beyond the scope of this entry, but here are some thoughts.

Blades: Use the web, and archive data. There’s tons of sites out there providing all levels of detail for blade smithing. This category is on the same page as black smithing. You might also find some videos worth your while using the torrent networks, perhaps. Some sites I’ve seen have highly recommended automobile leaf springs for making knives and short swords.

Bows: For making high quality bows from wood you’re going to have to do some research. But a more heavy duty and semi-easy crossbows again automotive leaf springs are of particular interest:

Other Thoughts:

I say if you have money just sitting in the bank then be smart and buy large quantities of all the things you know you’re going to use regardless. With inflation and everything else the price of everything is constantly going up, while the value of the dollar sitting in the bank is going down. In light of this reality the best investments you can make are into preserving the value of the dollars you possess. And it turns out that a great many of these sorts of things have great barter / quality of life value just in case.

Freecycle is how I got my first few rear projection big screen TV’s. But shortly thereafter I realized it has a more limited audience. I’m not even knocking it, except I was going for massive quantity of TV’s (for the Fresnel Lenses, etc). That’s when I found my way towards Craigslist’s Free section.

I say use both!! Freecycle’s only limitation was my absurd ambition. Going all out, I ended up with 90 big screens in about 2 months. In terms of big screens, I went on to figure out that TV repair shops are the best way to pull up and fill a whole 20′ truck in one stop: people take their old RP TV’s in for repair, and after getting a quote for as much or more than the TV is worth they leave it for dead. Dumps charge to dispose of them, so it becomes a loss for repair men who don’t have time to totally strip them down.

One thing about Freecycle is you have to maintain an about 1:1 request/offer ratio. That’s another key reason you want to use both services in unison. CL is so useful. I got 400lbs. of baking soda loaded into my truck for free one of the last times I was ‘on it’, about a year ago. Even having warehouse access, I still got so full of MM wealth in a matter of months that I don’t too often even get around to checking the free page ever. And that’s just free stuff. You could actually get real lucky and pick up a hardly used $2500 biodiesel processor system for $450.

Challenger Investigation Got $175 Million. Columbia $152 Million. Lewinsky $30 Million. 9/11 $15 Million. Financial Crisis Gets Only $8 Million

Source: Washington’s Blog

The government spent $175 million investigating the Challenger space shuttle disaster.

It spent $152 million on the the Columbia disaster investigation.

It spent $30 million investigating the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

The government only authorized $15 million for the 9/11 Commission.

And how much has the government authorized for the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission? You know, the commission charged with getting to the bottom of what caused the financial crisis?

Just $8 million.

These figures don’t account for inflation. For example, the Challenger investigation cost over $300 million in today’s dollars.

You can tell alot about the questions which the government is truly interested in finding answers to by the amount of money it authorizes for the various investigations.

By Michael Snyder – BLN Contributing Writer

Most Americans know that the U.S. economy is in bad shape, but what most Americans don’t know is how truly desperate the financial situation of the United States really is.  The truth is that what we are experiencing is not simply a “downturn” or a “recession”.  What we are witnessing is the beginning of the end for the greatest economic machine that the world has ever seen.  Our greed and our debt are literally eating our economy alive.  Total government, corporate and personal debt has now reached 360 percent of GDP, which is far higher than it ever reached during the Great Depression era.  We have nearly totally dismantled our once colossal manufacturing base, we have shipped millions upon millions of middle class jobs overseas, we have lived far beyond our means for decades and we have created the biggest debt bubble in the history of the world.  A great day of financial reckoning is fast approaching, and the vast majority of Americans are totally oblivious.

But the truth is that you cannot defy the financial laws of the universe forever.  What goes up must come down.  The borrower is the servant of the lender.  Cutting corners always catches up with you in the end.

Sometimes it takes cold, hard numbers for many of us to fully realize the situation that we are facing.

So, the following are 50 very revealing statistics about the U.S. economy that are almost too crazy to believe….

#50) In 2010 the U.S. government is projected to issue almost as much new debt as the rest of the governments of the world combined.

#49) It is being projected that the U.S. government will have a budget deficit of approximately 1.6 trillion dollars in 2010.

#48) If you went out and spent one dollar every single second, it would take you more than 31,000 years to spend a trillion dollars.

#47) In fact, if you spent one million dollars every single day since the birth of Christ, you still would not have spent one trillion dollars by now.

#46) Total U.S. government debt is now up to 90 percent of gross domestic product.

#45) Total credit market debt in the United States, including government, corporate and personal debt, has reached 360 percent of GDP.

#44) U.S. corporate income tax receipts were down 55% (to $138 billion) for the year ending September 30th, 2009.

#43) There are now 8 counties in the state of California that have unemployment rates of over 20 percent.

#42) In the area around Sacramento, California there is one closed business for every six that are still open.

#41) In February, there were 5.5 unemployed Americans for every job opening.

#40) According to a Pew Research Center study, approximately 37% of all Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 have either been unemployed or underemployed at some point during the recession.

#39) More than 40% of those employed in the United States are now working in low-wage service jobs.

#38) According to one new survey, 24% of American workers say that they have postponed their planned retirement age in the past year.

#37) Over 1.4 million Americans filed for personal bankruptcy in 2009, which represented a 32 percent increase over 2008.  Not only that, more Americans filed for bankruptcy in March 2010 than during any month since U.S. bankruptcy law was tightened in October 2005.

#36) Mortgage purchase applications in the United States are down nearly 40 percent from a month ago to their lowest level since April of 1997.

#35) RealtyTrac has announced that foreclosure filings in the U.S. established an all time record for the second consecutive year in 2009.

#34) According to RealtyTrac, foreclosure filings were reported on 367,056 properties in March 2010, an increase of nearly 19 percent from February, an increase of nearly 8 percent from March 2009 and the highest monthly total since RealtyTrac began issuing its report in January 2005.

#33) In Pinellas and Pasco counties, which include St. Petersburg, Florida and the suburbs to the north, there are 34,000 open foreclosure cases.  Ten years ago, there were only about 4,000.

#32) In California’s Central Valley, 1 out of every 16 homes is in some phase of foreclosure.

#31) The Mortgage Bankers Association recently announced that more than 10 percent of all U.S. homeowners with a mortgage had missed at least one payment during the January to March time period.  That was a record high and up from 9.1 percent a year ago.

#30) U.S. banks repossessed nearly 258,000 homes nationwide in the first quarter of 2010, a 35 percent jump from the first quarter of 2009.

#29) For the first time in U.S. history, banks own a greater share of residential housing net worth in the United States than all individual Americans put together.

#28) More than 24% of all homes with mortgages in the United States were underwater as of the end of 2009.

#27) U.S. commercial property values are down approximately 40 percent since 2007 and currently 18 percent of all office space in the United States is sitting vacant.

#26) Defaults on apartment building mortgages held by U.S. banks climbed to a record 4.6 percent in the first quarter of 2010.  That was almost twice the level of a year earlier.

#25) In 2009, U.S. banks posted their sharpest decline in private lending since 1942.

#24) New York state has delayed paying bills totalling $2.5 billion as a short-term way of staying solvent but officials are warning that its cash crunch could soon get even worse.

#23) To make up for a projected 2010 budget shortfall of $280 million, Detroit issued $250 million of 20-year municipal notes in March. The bond issuance followed on the heels of a warning from Detroit officials that if its financial state didn’t improve, it could be forced to declare bankruptcy.

#22) The National League of Cities says that municipal governments will probably come up between $56 billion and $83 billion short between now and 2012.

#21) Half a dozen cash-poor U.S. states have announced that they are delaying their tax refund checks.

#20) Two university professors recently calculated that the combined unfunded pension liability for all 50 U.S. states is 3.2 trillion dollars.

#19) According to, 32 U.S. states have already run out of funds to make unemployment benefit payments and so the federal government has been supplying these states with funds so that they can make their  payments to the unemployed.

#18) This most recession has erased 8 million private sector jobs in the United States.

#17) Paychecks from private business shrank to their smallest share of personal income in U.S. history during the first quarter of 2010.

#16) U.S. government-provided benefits (including Social Security, unemployment insurance, food stamps and other programs) rose to a record high during the first three months of 2010.

#15) 39.68 million Americans are now on food stamps, which represents a new all-time record.  But things look like they are going to get even worse.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture is forecasting that enrollment in the food stamp program will exceed 43 million Americans in 2011.

#14) Phoenix, Arizona features an astounding annual car theft rate of 57,000 vehicles and has become the new “Car Theft Capital of the World”.

#13) U.S. law enforcement authorities claim that there are now over 1 million members of criminal gangs inside the country. These 1 million gang members are responsible for up to 80% of the crimes committed in the United States each year.

#12) The U.S. health care system was already facing a shortage of approximately 150,000 doctors in the next decade or so, but thanks to the health care “reform” bill passed by Congress, that number could swell by several hundred thousand more.

#11) According to an analysis by the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation the health care “reform” bill will generate $409.2 billion in additional taxes on the American people by 2019.

#10) The Dow Jones Industrial Average just experienced the worst May it has seen since 1940.

#9) In 1950, the ratio of the average executive’s paycheck to the average worker’s paycheck was about 30 to 1.  Since the year 2000, that ratio has exploded to between 300 to 500 to one.

#8) Approximately 40% of all retail spending currently comes from the 20% of American households that have the highest incomes.

#7) According to economists Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez, two-thirds of income increases in the U.S. between 2002 and 2007 went to the wealthiest 1% of all Americans.

#6) The bottom 40 percent of income earners in the United States now collectively own less than 1 percent of the nation’s wealth.

#5) If you only make the minimum payment each and every time, a $6,000 credit card bill can end up costing you over $30,000 (depending on the interest rate).

#4) According to a new report based on U.S. Census Bureau data, only 26 percent of American teens between the ages of 16 and 19 had jobs in late 2009 which represents a record low since statistics began to be kept back in 1948.

#3) According to a National Foundation for Credit Counseling survey, only 58% of those in “Generation Y” pay their monthly bills on time.

#2) During the first quarter of 2010, the total number of loans that are at least three months past due in the United States increased for the 16th consecutive quarter.

#1) According to the Tax Foundation’s Microsimulation Model, to erase the 2010 U.S. budget deficit, the U.S. Congress would have to multiply each tax rate by 2.4.  Thus, the 10 percent rate would be 24 percent, the 15 percent rate would be 36 percent, and the 35 percent rate would have to be 85 percent.


The U.S. Economic Collapse Top 20 Countdown

By Michael Snyder – BLN Contributing Writer

So just how bad is the U.S. economy?  Well, the truth is that sometimes it is hard to put into words.  We have squandered the great wealth left to us by our forefathers, we have almost totally dismantled the world’s greatest manufacturing base, we have shipped millions of good jobs overseas and we have piled up the biggest mountain of debt in the history of mankind.  We have taken the greatest free enterprise economy that was ever created and have turned it into a gigantic house of cards delicately balanced on a never-ending spiral of paper money and debt.  For decades, all of this paper money and debt has enabled us to enjoy the greatest party in the history of the world, but now the bills are coming due and the party is nearly over.

In fact, things are already so bad that you can pick almost every number and find a corresponding statistic that shows just how bad the economy is getting.

You doubt it?

Well, check this out….

20 – Gallup’s measure of underemployment hit 20.0% on March 15th.  That was up from 19.7% two weeks earlier and 19.5% at the start of the year.

19 – According to RealtyTrac, foreclosure filings were reported on 367,056 properties in the month of March.  This was an increase of almost 19 percent from February, and it was the highest monthly total since RealtyTrac began issuing its report back in January 2005.

18 – According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in March the national rate of unemployment in the United States was 9.7%, but for Americans younger than 25 it was well above 18 percent.

17 – The FDIC’s list of problem banks recently hit a 17-year high.

16 – During the first quarter of 2010, the total number of loans that are at least three months past due in the United States increased for the 16th consecutive quarter.

15 – The Spanish government has just approved a 15 billion euro austerity plan.

14 – The U.S. Congress recently approved an increase in the debt cap of the U.S. government to over 14 trillion dollars.

13 – The FDIC is backing 8,000 banks that have a total of $13 trillion in assets with a deposit insurance fund that is basically flat broke.  In fact, the FDIC’s deposit insurance fund now has negative 20.7 billion dollars in it, which actually represents a slight improvement from the end of 2009.

12 – The U.S. national debt soared from the $12 trillion mark to the $13 trillion mark in a frighteningly short period of time.

11– It is being reported that a massive network of big banks and financial institutions have been involved in blatant bid-rigging fraud that cost taxpayers across the U.S. billions of dollars.  The U.S. Justice Department is charging that financial advisers to municipalities colluded with Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Lehman Brothers, Wachovia and 11 other banks in a conspiracy to rig bids on municipal financial instruments.

10 – The Mortgage Bankers Association recently announced that more than 10 percent of all U.S. homeowners with a mortgage had missed at least one payment during the January-March time period.  That was a record high and up from 9.1 percent a year ago.

9 – The official U.S. unemployment number is 9.9%, although the truth is that many economists consider the true unemployment rate to be much, much higher than that.

8 – The French government says that its deficit will increase to 8 percent of GDP in 2010, but by implementing substantial budget cuts they hope that they can get it to within the European Union’s 3 percent limit by the year 2013.

7 – The biggest banks in the U.S. cut their collective small business lending balance by another $1 billion in November.  That drop was the seventh monthly decline in a row.

6The six biggest banks in the United States now possess assets equivalent to 60 percent of America’s gross national product.

5 – That is the number of U.S. banks that federal regulators closed on Friday.  That brings that total number of banks that have been shut down this year in the United States to a total of 78.

4 – According to a study published by Texas A&M University Press, the four biggest industries in the Gulf of Mexico region are oil, tourism, fishing and shipping.  Together, those four industries account for approximately $234 billion in economic activity each year.  Now those four industries have been absolutely decimated by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and will probably not fully recover for years, if not decades.

3 – Decent three bedroom homes in the city of Detroit can be bought for $10,000, but no one wants to buy them.

2 – A massive “second wave” of adjustable rate mortgages is scheduled to reset over the next two to three years.  If this second wave is anything like the first wave, the U.S. housing market is about to be absolutely crushed.

1 – The bottom 40 percent of all income earners in the United States now collectively own less than 1 percent of the nation’s wealth.  But of course many on Wall Street and in the government would argue that there is nothing wrong with an economy where nearly half the people are dividing up 1 percent of the benefits.


25 Questions To Ask Anyone Who Is Delusional Enough To Believe That This Economic Recovery Is Real

By Michael Snyder – BLN Contributing Writer

If you listen to the mainstream media long enough, you just might be tempted to believe that the United States has emerged from the recession and is now in the middle of a full-fledged economic recovery.  In fact, according to Obama administration officials, the great American economic machine has roared back to life, stronger and more vibrant than ever before.  But is that really the case?  Of course not.  You would have to be delusional to believe that.  What did happen was that all of the stimulus packages and government spending and new debt that Obama and the U.S. Congress pumped into the economy bought us a little bit of time.  But they have also made our long-term economic problems far worse.  The reality is that the U.S. cannot keep supporting an economy on an ocean of red ink forever.  At some point the charade is going to come crashing down.

And GDP is not a really good measure of the economic health of a nation.  For example, if you would have looked at the growth of GDP in the Weimar republic in the early 1930s, you may have been tempted to think that the German economy was really thriving.  German citizens were spending increasingly massive amounts of money.  But of course that money was becoming increasingly worthless at the same time as hyperinflation spiralled out of control.

Well, today the purchasing power of our dollar is rapidly eroding as the price of food and other necessities continues to increase.  So just because Americans are spending a little bit more money than before really doesn’t mean much of anything.  As you will see below, there are a whole bunch of other signs that the U.S. economy is in very, very serious trouble.

Any “recovery” that the U.S. economy is experiencing is illusory and will be quite temporary.  The entire financial system of the United States is falling apart, and the powers that be can try to patch it up and prop it up for a while, but in the end this thing is going to come crashing down.

But as obvious as that may seem to most of us, there are still quite a few people out there that are absolutely convinced that the U.S. economy will fully recover and will soon be stronger than ever.

So the following are 25 questions to ask anyone who is delusional enough to believe that this economic recovery is real….

#1) In what universe is an economy with 39.68 million Americans on food stamps considered to be a healthy, recovering economy?  In fact, the U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasts that enrollment in the food stamp program will exceed 43 million Americans in 2011.  Is a rapidly increasing number of Americans on food stamps a good sign or a bad sign for the economy?

#2) According to RealtyTrac, foreclosure filings were reported on 367,056 properties in the month of March.  This was an increase of almost 19 percent from February, and it was the highest monthly total since RealtyTrac began issuing its report back in January 2005.  So can you please explain again how the U.S. real estate market is getting better?

#3) The Mortgage Bankers Association just announced that more than 10 percent of U.S. homeowners with a mortgage had missed at least one payment in the January-March period.  That was a record high and up from 9.1 percent a year ago.  Do you think that is an indication that the U.S. housing market is recovering?

#4) How can the U.S. real estate market be considered healthy when, for the first time in modern history, banks own a greater share of residential housing net worth in the United States than all individual Americans put together?

#5) With the U.S. Congress planning to quadruple oil taxes, what do you think that is going to do to the price of gasoline in the United States and how do you think that will affect the U.S. economy?

#6) Do you think that it is a good sign that Arnold Schwarzenegger, the governor of the state of California, says that “terrible cuts” are urgently needed in order to avoid a complete financial disaster in his state?

#7) But it just isn’t California that is in trouble.  Dozens of U.S. states are in such bad financial shape that they are getting ready for their biggest budget cuts in decades.  What do you think all of those budget cuts will do to the economy?

#8) In March, the U.S. trade deficit widened to its highest level since December 2008.  Month after month after month we buy much more from the rest of the world than they buy from us.  Wealth is draining out of the United States at an unprecedented rate.  So is the fact that the gigantic U.S. trade deficit is actually getting bigger a good sign or a bad sign for the U.S. economy?

#9) Considering the fact that the U.S. government is projected to have a 1.6 trillion dollar deficit in 2010, and considering the fact that if you went out and spent one dollar every single second it would take you more than 31,000 years to spend a trillion dollars, how can anyone in their right mind claim that the U.S. economy is getting healthier when we are getting into so much debt?

#10) The U.S. Treasury Department recently announced that the U.S. government suffered a wider-than-expected budget deficit of 82.69 billion dollars in April.  So is the fact that the red ink of the U.S. government is actually worse than projected a good sign or a bad sign?

#11) According to one new report, the U.S. national debt will reach 100 percent of GDP by the year 2015.  So is that a sign of economic recovery or of economic disaster?

#12) Monstrous amounts of oil continue to gush freely into the Gulf of Mexico, and analysts are already projecting that the seafood and tourism industries along the Gulf coast will be devastated for decades by this unprecedented environmental disaster.  In light of those facts, how in the world can anyone project that the U.S. economy will soon be stronger than ever?

#13) The FDIC’s list of problem banks recently hit a 17-year high.  Do you think that an increasing number of small banks failing is a good sign or a bad sign for the U.S. economy?

#14) The FDIC is backing 8,000 banks that have a total of $13 trillion in assets with a deposit insurance fund that is basically flat broke.  So what do you think will happen if a significant number of small banks do start failing?

#15) Existing home sales in the United States jumped 7.6 percent in April.  That is the good news.  The bad news is that this increase only happened because the deadline to take advantage of the temporary home buyer tax credit (government bribe) was looming.  So now that there is no more tax credit for home buyers, what will that do to home sales?

#16) Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac recently told the U.S. government that they are going to need even more bailout money.  So what does it say about the U.S. economy when the two “pillars” of the U.S. mortgage industry are government-backed financial black holes that the U.S. government has to relentlessly pour money into?

#17) 43 percent of Americans have less than $10,000 saved for retirement.  Tens of millions of Americans find themselves just one lawsuit, one really bad traffic accident or one very serious illness away from financial ruin.  With so many Americans living on the edge, how can you say that the economy is healthy?

#18) The mayor of Detroit says that the real unemployment rate in his city is somewhere around 50 percent.  So can the U.S. really be experiencing an economic recovery when so many are still unemployed in one of America’s biggest cities?

#19) Gallup’s measure of underemployment hit 20.0% on March 15th.  That was up from 19.7% two weeks earlier and 19.5% at the start of the year.  Do you think that is a good trend or a bad trend?

#20) One new poll shows that 76 percent of Americans believe that the U.S. economy is still in a recession.  So are the vast majority of Americans just stupid or could we still actually be in a recession?

#21) The bottom 40 percent of those living in the United States now collectively own less than 1 percent of the nation’s wealth.  So is Barack Obama’s mantra that “what is good for Wall Street is good for Main Street” actually true?

#22) Richard Russell, the famous author of the Dow Theory Letters, says that Americans should sell anything they can sell in order to get liquid because of the economic trouble that is coming.  Do you think that Richard Russell is delusional or could he possibly have a point?

#23) Defaults on apartment building mortgages held by U.S. banks climbed to a record 4.6 percent in the first quarter of 2010.  In fact, that was almost twice the level of a year earlier.  Does that look like a good trend to you?

#24) In March, the price of fresh and dried vegetables in the United States soared 49.3% – the most in 16 years.  Is it a sign of a healthy economy when food prices are increasing so dramatically?

#25) 1.41 million Americans filed for personal bankruptcy in 2009 – a 32 percent increase over 2008.  Not only that, more Americans filed for bankruptcy in March 2010 than during any month since U.S. bankruptcy law was tightened in October 2005.  So shouldn’t we at least wait until the number of Americans filing for bankruptcy is not setting new all-time records before we even dare whisper the words “economic recovery”?

SEC Didn’t Act After Spotting Wall Street Risks, Documents Show

Greenspan wanted to keep housing bubble concerns from public, new transcripts show

E-mails Show Goldman Execs Boasting as Housing Meltdown Unfolded

Fed Transparency: Dorgan, Grassley Push Amendment To Disclose Spending

The Fed Is Only Authorized to Conduct MONETARY Policy, But It Has Also “Become the Single Largest FISCAL Actor in the U.S. Economy”

Ron Paul on Fox News: Audit the Federal Reserve

Why is Obama’s top man defending the Fed?

Backdoor taxes to hit middle class

Goldman “Sideshow” Hyped To Push Through Obama Banking Reform

Former Nazi bank to rule the global economy

Goldman Sachs CEO on Dem Banking Bill: ‘I’m Generally Supportive’

Levin to Goldman Sachs: ‘You Knew It Was a S–tty Deal!’

Goldman to Congress: We didn’t mislead clients

Economists: The stimulus didn’t help

Lee supports audit of Federal Reserve

Wow! The SEC Formally Charges Goldman Sachs With Fraud

Goldman Sachs Admits To Engaging In “Improper Behavior” During The Housing Crash – But They Aren’t About To Give The Money Back

How Goldman Sachs Made Tens Of Billions Of Dollars From The Economic Collapse Of America In Four Easy Steps

Big Banks Are Back as JPMorgan, Citigroup Turn Corner on Crisis

Obama Debt Czar Says Tax Hikes “On The Table”

US prepares to push for global capital rules

For nations living the good life, the party’s over, IMF says

America’s Crumbling Infrastructure

Major Banks Said to Cover Up Debt Levels

Alan Grayson Discloses That Dodd Bill Covertly Eliminates Already Passed Legislation Requiring Full Fed Audit

IMF’s Global Taxes Can Only Be Enforced Through Global Government

IMF “FAT Tax” To “Reign In Banks” Will Increase Costs For Consumers

WH: Obama Not Going to Return $1M in Goldman Cash

Sherman: Dodd Bill Contains Unlimited Bailout Authority

Obama on ‘Global Rebalancing’: American Consumers & Government Aren’t Coming Back Any Time Soon

London Observer: Now we know the truth. The financial meltdown wasn’t a mistake – it was a con

Casino Carnival Barker Jim Cramer Defends Goldman Sachs

Goldman Sachs set to pay £3.5bn in bonuses

Obama Banking Regulation Bill Does Not Go After Big Banks

Bankers Prepare To Assault Americans With VAT, Transaction Taxes

Other Major Banks Did Deals Similar to Goldman’s

Investor Who Made Billions Not Targeted in Suit

Banksters Rally Round Fed To Keep Bailout Trillions Secret

Bernanke: We Must Raise Taxes and Cut Services • Sane People: No, We Need to Stop Endless Bail Outs, Imperial Adventures and Fraudulent Schemes

Federal Reserve Power Grab Bill Moves to Senate

Federal Reserve Must Disclose Bank Bailout Records

Lehman Brothers’ chiefs concealed losses with accounting ‘gimmick’ days before $700billion collapse

IMF Head Calls For Huge Global Warming Slush Fund

Barney Frank Demands Bernanke Probe Fed Involvement In Watergate Scandal And Iraq Arms Sales Following Ron Paul Questioning

EU Federal Economic Government Proposal Mirrors Nazi Plan For Fourth Reich

Gordon Brown to push for ‘Tobin tax’ after Wall Street crackdown