Friday, July 31, 2015

The Road to Depravity......The Decay of Society and our Nation!

The Road to Depravity  

The amazing thing is that in the midst of all this moral depravity, we have the audacity to call ourselves a "Christian nation"! The fact of the matter is that we are a post-Christian nation that is now wallowing in secularism and paganism. The comedian Steve Allen summed it up well in a remark he often made about the American entertainment industry: "We have vulgarians entertaining barbarians."

Where did America get off course? How have we managed to move so quickly from a God-fearing nation to one that thumbs its nose at God?

An outline that describes our course to depravity can be found in the writings of the Apostle Paul. In Romans chapter one he states that the road to destruction for a nation begins when its institutions decide to"suppress the truth in unrighteousness," an action that will ultimately lead to people worshiping the creation rather than the Creator (Romans 1:18, 25).

The decade of the 1960's proved to be the turning point for America. 

But the cultural revolution against God that characterized that decade was rooted in developments that occurred early in the 20th Century. The two most influential were intellectual tides that swept into America from Europe. They arrived almost simultaneously.

One was Darwinism with its atheistic attack on the very concept of God. The origin and purpose of Man was called into question. Man was reduced to a mere animal, a product of chance with no particular purpose.

The other was the German School of Higher Criticism which challenged the Bible as the infallible revelation of God. The Bible was viewed instead as Man's search for God and was therefore considered to be full of myth, legend and superstition.

The Christian worldview suddenly came under attack from without and within the Church. The faith of many was shattered.

Embracing Moral Relativism

As the authority of God's Word was undermined, and Man's purpose became meaningless, moral relativism gradually took center stage. People began to challenge traditional concepts of right and wrong. As in the days of the Judges of Israel, people began to do what was right in their own eyes (Judges 21:25). They called it, "different strokes for different folks." Each man became a god unto himself, able to determine for himself his own values and ethics, if any. And anyone who would dare judge someone else's actions was declared "intolerant."

By the 1980's America had reached the point referred to in Judges 2:10 — we had produced a whole generation "who did not know the Lord..."

We had "suppressed the truth in unrighteousness" by banning prayer from public schools, prohibiting the posting of the Ten Commandments, and declaring that evolution was the only theory that could be taught about the origin of the universe.

Suddenly government was actively promoting all sorts of abominable activity such as gambling, abortion, and homosexuality. Eastern religions and mystical intellectual philosophies like the New Age Movement began to penetrate Christianity.

Earth Day became a national celebration. People gathered to worship "Mother Earth" rather than the Father God who created the earth. They joined hands and hummed to get synchronized with the rhythm of "Mother Earth." They further celebrated their new religion by hugging a tree or stroking a salmon.

Millions of people paid hundreds of dollars each to attend self-discovery seminars of various types. What they all had in common was the teaching that God resides in each of us, and that we must learn how to release our "god power."

Wallowing in Despair

By the 1990's, America had fulfilled another prophecy of the Apostle Paul about the end times. It is found in 2 Timothy 3:1-5:

But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power...

Notice that this prophecy predicts that the society of the end times will love three things: self, money and pleasure. 

The love of self is Humanism, the religion of America today. The love of money is Materialism, America's god.

When your religion is focused on self, and your god is money, the result is always a lifestyle based on the love of pleasure, which is Hedonism. 

Needless to say, that is the lifestyle of the "liberated" American as he enters the 21st Century.

But God cannot and will not be mocked (Galatians 6:7). Humanism, Materialism and Hedonism constitute a deadly combination. They always produce the same pay-off. It is what philosophers call Nihilism, which is a sixty-four dollar word for despair.

Look again at 2 Timothy 3:1-5. The passage describes a society wallowing in despair. The description reads like the news that we witness on TV every evening. The news reports are full of boastful, arrogant revilers who are ungrateful and unholy — as well as stories about rebellious children and reckless, conceited haters of good. And we are constantly bombarded with the opinions of those "professing to be wise" but who in reality are fools (Romans 1:22).

God's Discipline for Nations

In Romans, Paul tells us how God deals with people in rebellious nations. He says that God "gives them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity" (Romans 1:24). In other words, God steps back, lowers His hedge of protection around the nation, and allows sin to multiply as a judgment upon the nation.  AND NO AMOUNT OF PRAYER BY THE MINORITY WILL CHANGE THIS, GOD WILL ALLOW THE SINFUL MAJORITY TO HAVE THEIR WAY FOR A TIME!  THIS IS EXACTLY WHY THE ONLY SOLUTION IS THE RETURN OF CHRIST.

The first consequence is a sexual revolution like the one that occurred in America in the 1960's. Paul refers to it as the "dishonoring of their bodies" (Romans 1:24).

Paul says that if this judgment does not produce repentance, God will take another step back and lower His hedge of protection even further. In this second stage, He will deliver the nation to"degrading passions" (Romans 1:26). Paul explains that this judgment will be manifested in a plague of homosexuality. He says women will exchange the natural function for that which is unnatural, and men will abandon the natural function of the woman and burn in their desire toward one another,"men with men committing indecent acts" (Romans 1:26-27). Paul even mentions that those who participate in such evil will receive in their own bodies "the due penalty of their error" (Romans 1:27). Thus, the modern day AIDS epidemic is portrayed clearly as a judgment of God.

Nor is that the end of the process. Again, Paul notes that if the society persists in its rebellion, God will take another step back and lower His hedge of protection even further, giving them over "to a depraved mind" (Romans 1:28). At that point Paul says the society will become like the one he describes in 2 Timothy 3 — "filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful..." (Romans 1:29-31).  EXACTLY WHERE AMERICA STANDS IN THESE LAST DAYS!

He then adds a sobering thought: "We know that the judgment of God rightly falls upon those who practice such things" (Romans 2:2).

Teetering on the Edge of Destruction

America has reached the third and final stage that leads from judgment to destruction. !!!!

God has placed judgment after judgment on our nation in an attempt to call us to repentance — judgments like the war in Vietnam, the drug epidemic, the AIDS plague, the disintegration of the family, civil riots, violence in the schools, and natural disasters.

But we have refused to repent. We have, in fact, set our jaw against God, determined to go our own way and do our own thing. 

This attitude was manifested in the incredible proclamation issued by President Bill Clinton in June of 1999 when he called for Americans to "celebrate" homosexuality. He declared June 1999 to be Gay and Lesbian Pride Month. I responded by sending him an email message in which I asked, "What will you ask us to 'celebrate' next? Will you proclaim Adultery Pride Month? What about a month honoring prostitutes or pedophiles?" President Obama resumed this practice of designating the month of June to celebrate sexual perversion, but he has expanded it to include the LGBT community (lesbians, gay, bi-sexual and transgendered).

[The following paragraph was written in the year 2000.] The interesting thing is that despite our continuing rebellion, God has not yet touched our false god — the Almighty Dollar. 

I suspect He is still patiently waiting for us to repent, and if we fail to do so, He will destroy our god with the greatest economic collapse in recorded history, one that will reduce us to Third World status and remove us from our position as the world's only super power.

God brought the Soviet Union down overnight, and He can do the same to us, just as He did to the super power Babylon in ancient history. At the time He touched the Soviet Union, it was the world's greatest military power. But all its nuclear weapons and missiles could not protect it from the hand of God. Overnight the Soviet Union was reduced to political and economic chaos.

Begging for Judgment

The destruction that will fall upon us will be much worse, "for to those to whom much is given, much is expected" (Luke 12:48). The Russian people can say, "We did not know." But what can Americans say? We have been blessed like no other nation since ancient Israel. In addition to our political and economic blessings, we have been blessed spiritually with a saturation of the Gospel. We have an average of five Bibles in each home, we have radio and television evangelists, and we have an over abundance of churches. We have no excuse before God. !!!!!

The Bible teaches that God never pours out His wrath without warning. He has been warning America for three decades through His judgments and His prophets. He has raised up prophetic voices throughout the land to warn the people of impending judgment.

Non-Christians have understandably mocked these warnings as "millennial madness." What is tragic is that many Christian leaders have also responded with ridicule. 

Many Christians seem to believe that God sits on His throne draped in an American flag, and that He would never touch His "anointed nation." After all, isn't He dependent on the wealth and influence and technology of America to spread the Gospel all over the world?  HUBRIS, EXTREME HUBRIS!

A Biblical Example of National Arrogance

It has happened before. When God got ready to pour out His wrath on ancient Judah, He raised up prophets like Micah and Jeremiah to warn the people of their impending doom. And what was their response? They pointed to the Lord's Temple and assured the prophets that God would never allow anything to happen to it (Jeremiah 7:1-4). They were safe, they thought, because the Shekinah glory of God resided in their Temple. The prophets were "full of wind," they argued, because God would protect His Temple and the nation to which He had entrusted it (Jeremiah 5:13). Their attitude was arrogance gone to seed.

And so it is in America today! 

We are a proud nation, a haughty nation. After all, we are "number one." In our pride we have turned our back on God. Like the Jews of biblical times, we want the blessings of God but not the God of the blessings.

A Biblical Type of America

Our prophetic type in the Bible is the nation of Judah. If you want to read about America in Bible prophecy, read Isaiah 5 and Jeremiah 5 and 6. These two prophets list the sins that motivated God to destroy that nation. The sobering reality is that they are the same sins that characterize America today.

Isaiah speaks of injustice, greed, pleasure seeking, blasphemy, moral perversion, intellectual pride, intemperance, and political corruption. Regarding moral perversion, Isaiah says people were "calling evil good, and good evil" (Isaiah 5:20). That's precisely what we are doing in America today regarding abortion, homosexuality and gambling. Isaiah sums up the root of his nation's decay (and America's) by asserting, "They have rejected the law of the Lord of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel" (Isaiah 5:24).  THIS IS NOT SOMETHING THAT THE PRAYERS OF A FEW DO GOODERS WILL FIX, IT WILL REQUIRE THE ENTIRE NATION TO SINCERELY REPENT, THERE IS NO SIGN, ABSOLUTELY NONE, OF THAT HAPPENING. THE CHURCH IGNORES ALL OF THIS AS IF IT WERE NOT HAPPENING, AS WELL AS IGNORING PROPHECY AND GOD'S END TIME PLAN. PRAYER IS POWERFUL, BUT GOD GAVE MANKIND FREEWILL AND MOST OF OUR AMERICAN BROTHERS AND SISTERS HAVE REJECTED GOD, THE VAST MAJORITY. 

Jeremiah, writing about 75 years later (God is so patient!), lists the same sins as still prevailing in the land. But he adds some new ones to the list: immorality and religious corruption. 

His summary statements are very revealing:

"They have made their faces harder than rock" (Jeremiah 5:3).

"They have refused to repent" (Jeremiah 5:3).

"This people has a stubborn and rebellious heart" (Jeremiah 5:23).

"They do not even know how to blush" (Jeremiah 6:15).

God destroyed this nation. Why would He deal any differently with a modern day clone? God "is the same yesterday and today, yes, and forever" (Hebrews 13:8). Or, as it is stated in Malachi 3:6, "I, the Lord do not change."

As America descends further into a moral abyss, Christians are going to come under increasing attack. Already society has written off evangelical Christians as "intolerant bigots" because they are the only ones speaking out today in behalf of righteousness.  A VERY FAINT VOICE OF THE COURAGEOUS FEW!

The media have declared open season on Christians. Christianity, the Bible and Jesus are openly mocked in movies, books, television programs and the arts. Similar attacks on blacks, homosexuals, Jews, or even Muslims would not be tolerated. But everything sacred to Christians can be trampled. There is no escaping the fact that we are in the midst of a culture war in America. The forces of paganism, secularism, atheism and humanism have launched an all-out attack on Judeo-Christian values.

The two sides in this war were well represented in the responses to the Columbine High School massacre in the spring of 1999.

Speaking from a Judeo-Christian perspective, Billy Graham said:

I agree with those who have remarked that the problem is not guns. Rather, it is the hearts of people which need to be changed. I would add that only God can change our hearts. That is the reason Jesus said, "You must be born again." Only God can give us a new nature that is demonstrated by love.

Speaking from the pagan perspective, Howard Stern, the radio "shock-jock" said:

There were some really good-looking girls running out with their hands over their heads. Did those kids [the killers] try to have sex with any of the good-looking girls? They didn't even do that? At least if you're going to kill yourself and kill all the kids, why wouldn't you have some sex?

A Double Standard

As the culture war intensifies, the press is practicing a double standard. For example, when reporting acts of violence against blacks, homosexuals or Jews, the deeds are instantly categorized as "hate crimes." But with regard to the acts of violence specifically aimed at Christians, these are written off as "random acts of violence."

Nationwide, people are being discriminated against in job hirings and promotions simply because they are Christians, something that would have been unthinkable in this country just a few years ago. Churches are being harassed as never before by the IRS, zoning boards and building inspectors.

The situation is going to get worse rather than better. Jesus told His disciples that the world would hate them just as it hated Him (John 15:18-19). Jesus also prophesied that in the end times, right before His return, all true believers would be hated on account of His name and would be persecuted (Matthew 24:9). The only reason more professing Christians are not being persecuted today is because most have become so compromised by the world that it would be hard to find enough evidence to convict them of being Christians!

The Prospect of Suffering

In addition to specific persecution, we as Christians face the suffering that is going to engulf our nation if Jesus tarries and delays His return until after America is judged for its rebellion. When God judges a nation, the rain falls on the just and the unjust. Believers are not immune to the suffering, but they are promised that God will walk with them through the suffering and sustain them. As God got ready to destroy Judah, He spoke reassuring words to the true believers in the land (Isaiah 43:2-3):

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, Your Savior.

Many of the believers who heard these words suffered terribly from the long siege of Jerusalem. Many were carried into captivity. But the Lord was always there to encourage them and to see to it that their basic needs were met.

Crucial Questions

As those of us who are Christians face both focused persecution and generalized suffering, how then should we live? How can we live victorious lives in the midst of societal chaos? How can we endure persecution and suffering? How can we remain faithful to the Lord? Are we to withdraw from the world? Are we to arm ourselves, flee to the wilderness, and hunker down in bunkers?

We are to stand up for Jesus and speak out for righteousness regardless of the consequences, where is the church? 

America: In God We Trust, But Money We Worship.

Money IS America's God. And, it's the deity we fight wars for.

Although a large majority of Americans claim to believe in God, their actions are largely motivated by material achievements.

In the US, money talks and unfortunately defines social values in a perverted system where what you have determines who you are.

The psychological cornerstone of capitalism and consumerism driven by marketing and advertising: turning a desire for a product into an artificial need so that enough is never enough. We live in a society where quantity supercedes quality in all aspects of life. The narcissistic and compulsive natures of this desire to accumulate more material possessions undermine any real social progress because this urge can never be fully satisfied.

Politicians are supposed to be public servants, yet without a very large quantity of cash, it is impossible for them to get elected to public office. Consequently the rich, the corporations, the banks get de facto control over the political process by financing political campaigns. In principle politicians, either Republicans or Democrats in the US, are supposed to work for the people and fight for the common good, but in reality they rely on and obey corporate masters. 

THE COMING KINGDOM OF GOD IS THE ONLY ANSWER AND IT IS WHAT CHRISTIANS EVERYWHERE SHOULD BE FOCUSED ON....WE ARE IN THE LAST DAYS!

ANOTHER RETAIL CHAIN ABOUT TO BITE THE DUST......A SAD FACT!

ANOTHER RETAIL CHAIN ABOUT TO BITE THE DUST

Just two years after Toy'R'Us attempted (and failed) to IPO, Bloomberg reports that insurance companies are cutting back on their coverage of the firm's suppliers. Without this 'insurance', which protects suppliers in case a retailer fails to pay them for merchandise - as in the event of a bankruptcy - the risks of shipping to the retail chain soar. Toys'R'Us bonds have collapsed to lows as investors recognize that credit insurers sometimes cancel existing policies if a company's performance declines precipitously enough to place its ability to keep operating in doubt. The same thing occurred in the months before bankruptcy filings at RadioShack, Borders, and Circuit City.



Washington's Most Expensive Speakers?........OUR WORLD IS INSANE!

I HOPE ONE OF YOU CAN TELL ME WHY ANY ORGANIZATION OR PERSON WOULD PAY ANY OF THESE BUFFOONS TO SPEAK. AND IF YOU DID WHY SHOULD ANYONE LISTEN TO ANY OF THESE IDIOTS SAVE FOR THE ONE EXCEPTION NOTED BELOW?

OUR WORLD IS INSANE.......... 

MS. RICE WOULD BE WORTH LISTENING TO, BUT PROBABLY NOT AT THAT PRICE. I WOULD RATHER PAY TO AVOID THE REST OF THEM AND THEIR ADVICE.  TRUMP IS AN ENTERTAINMENT MACHINE TEARING INTO HIS ENEMIES WITH VIGOR AND ABANDON, NOT MUCH INTELLIGENCE, BUT LOTS OF ENTHUSIASM. 


Washington's Most Expensive Speakers?


Hillary Clinton's keynote speech requirements which include the customary $225,000 plus a "chartered roundtrip private jet", $1,000 for a stenographer, and a host of other "incidentals."

But the Clintons actually come cheap compared to a certain former Fed chair. Here's a look at speaking engagement rates for some well-known former and current US officials and one real estate magnate.


Global freezing: A ‘mini ice age’ is on the way by 2030, scientists say.....THE TRUTH!

THE GLOBAL WARMING SCARE WAS AND IS A POLITICALLY MOTIVATED LIE, BASED ON GREED, FUELED BY THE AGENDA OF GREENIES AND THE ALTERNATIVE ENERGY INDUSTRY, AMONG OTHER THINGS. REPEAT A LIE OFTEN ENOUGH AND THE IGNORANT MASSES WILL BELIEVE ANYTHING.

THIS DOES NOT MEAN ICE ISN'T MELTING, IT IS. IT MEANS THEY MIGHT BE LYING ABOUT THE BIGGER PICTURE!   

Global freezing: A 'mini ice age' is on the way by 2030, scientists say

European scientists warn that by 2030, a decade of winters with deep freezing temperatures could bring about a "mini ice age" the likes of which hasn't been seen in 370 years.

Researchers at Northumbria University, led by Professor Valentina Zharkova, used mathematical models to predict solar activity will drop by 60% and trigger plunging temps around the world. The last time this happened was between 1645 and 1715,the Independent reported.

Zharkova is very confident about her outlook.

"Combining both waves together and comparing to real data for the current solar cycle, we found that our predictions showed an accuracy of 97%," she said.

Former NASA consultant and space shuttle engineer John Casey has been known to voice similar concerns. In fact, he wrote a book called "Dark Winter"in which he warns of crop failures and food riots.  THE VAST MAJORITY OF SCIENTIST'S THAT AREN'T PAID TO LIE FOR THE GOVERNMENT AGENDA, SEE THINGS THIS WAY. 

"We don't have 10 years," Casey said. "We've squandered so much time during President Obama's administration, eight years ... and we didn't have eight years to squander."

DRUG LORDS NOW HAVE SUBMARINES.......

Drug Wars, Real Wars, The Worlds A Real Mess
Cartels are using these 'narco-submarines' to move tens of thousands of pounds of drugs at a time.

In a joint operation, the US Navy, US Coast Guard, and assets from the Customs and Border Protection Office of Air and Marine, intercepted a "narco-submarine" filled with more than 16,870 pounds of cocaine off the coast of El Salvador.

On July 18, a Coast Guard cutter commandeered a self-propelled, semisubmersible vessel carrying 274 bales of cocaine weighing more than eight tons, according to a press release from US Customs and Border Patrol. Worth hundreds of millions of dollars!

The four individuals found with the illicit contraband were detained by US authorities.

Similar to a submarine, "narco-subs" are custom-built vessels used by traffickers to move large amounts of drugs. The first narco-sub was detected in 1993 and was built from wood and fiberglass, could not submerge, and could only travel at 10 mph.

narco submarine

narco submarine

HOW A DUMB ASS ATHLETE SPENDS HIS MONEY......REALLY STUPID!

I HOPE THEY GAVE HIM THE WATCH FOR ADVERTISING PURPOSES, OTHERWISE HE IS AN IDIOT!

Tennis Player, Rafael Nadal wears a $775,000 watch when he plays

Rafael Nadal's newest piece of equipment costs more than three-quarters of a million dollars, and yet it will probably never help him win a tennis tournament.

Nadal upgraded his on-court wristwatch to a $775,000 model made by Richard Mille for the French Open, Robert Frank of CNBS reports.

Nadal is no stranger to the world of high-end watches. In 2010 he began wearing another Richard Mille timepiece valued at $500,000. In 2013, he was wearing the predecessor to his current watch, one valued at $690,000. SO HE HAS A FEW MILLION INVESTED IN WATCHES! WHAT A FOOL!

Richard Mille will make only 50 of the RM27-02. It's most impressive features are its lightweight (20 grams) yet durable construction (can withstand 5,000 Gs of force).

Nadal, who's left-handed, wears it on his right wrist:


Nadal told Tom Perrotta of The Wall Street Journal that he was skeptical of wearing the watch at first.

"In the beginning there was a little bit of transition, we had to work together to adjust everything to my wrist," Nadal told WSJ. "It's like you are wearing nothing. It's part of my skin."

According to Perrotta, Nadal has lost two Richard Mille watches that were stolen (one was later recovered) and nearly lost a third when a fellow player found one in a locker room. LIKE I SAID, HE IS AN IDIOT! EASY COME, EASY GO, A FOOL AND HIS MONEY!

Rafael Nadal Richard Mille watch
Rafael Nadal Richard Mille watch
Rafael Nadal watch
Rafael Nadal watch


Thursday, July 30, 2015

You Just Can’t Make This Stuff Up!......SIGNS OF THE TIMES!

You Just Can't Make This Stuff Up!

The United Kingdom has gone batshit crazy. There's simply no other way to put it.

Britain Wants to Force Nursery School Teachers to Identify "Extremist" Children. 

Here's an excerpt:

Never fear good citizens of Great Britain. While your government actively does everything in its power to protect criminal financial oligarchs and powerful pedophiles, her majesty draws the line at toddler thought crime. 

We learn from the Independent:

A three-year-old child from London is one of hundreds of young people in the capital who have been tipped as potential future radicals and extremists.

As reported by the Evening Standard, 1,069 people have been put in the government's anti-extremism 'Channel' process, the de-radicalization program at the heart of the Government's 'Prevent' strategy.

The three-year-old in the program is from the borough of Tower Hamlets, and was a member of a family group that had been showing suspect behavior.

The fact that this story broke on the same day that chairman of the UK's Lords Privileges and Conduct Committee, Lord John Sewel, was caught on video snorting cocaine off the breast of a prostitute with a £5 note, is simply priceless. 

You Just Can't Make This Stuff Up!

From the BBC:

Lord Sewel is facing a police inquiry after quitting as House of Lords deputy speaker over a video allegedly showing him taking drugs with prostitutes.

The footage showed him snorting powder from a woman's breasts with a £5 note.

In the footage, Lord Sewel, who is married, also discusses the Lords' allowances system.

Lord Sewel served as a minister in the Scotland office under Tony Blair's Labour government.

The UK government is so far gone that it insists on protecting the public from toddlers, rather than protecting toddlers from powerful sexual predators. In case you need a reminder:

In Great Britain, Powerful Pedophiles are Seemingly Everywhere and Totally Above the Law

In Great Britain, Protecting Pedophile Politicians is a Matter of "National Security"


...attempts to access more than 42,000 sites classed as pornographic from the UK Parliament's computer network were made during April alone, totaling more than 1,300 each day.

Plenty Of Canaries In This Coal Mine......MORE PESKY FACTS!

Plenty Of Canaries In This Coal Mine

If you are looking for a "canary in a coal mine" type of warning for the entire global economy, you have a whole bunch to pick from right now.  "Dr. Copper" just hit a six year low, Morgan Stanley is warning that this could be the worst oil price crash in 45 years, the Chinese economy is suddenly stalling out, and world trade is falling at the fastest pace that we have seen since the last financial crisis.  In order not to see all of the signs that are pointing toward a global economic slowdown, you would have to be willingly blind.

All of these signs are indicating that another great economic crisis is here, and that a global financial implosion is just around the corner. 

AMERICANS ARE STARTING TO GET IT!......QUESTIONS ARE BEING ASKED!

AMERICANS ARE STARTING TO GET IT!

The American political class has failed the country, and should be fired.

When do we get to exercise democracy and fire every factotum, apparatchik, toady and lackey in the state who has abused his/her authority?

10 Companies That Act Like They Hate Their Customers....... AVOID SUPPORTING THESE COMPANIES AS MUCH AS YOU CAN!

AVOID SUPPORTING THESE COMPANIES AS MUCH AS YOU CAN!

10 Companies That Act Like They Hate Their Customers

10 major corporations that are infamous for terrible customer service and just so happen to have a strong aversion to competition.

1. Comcast Cable

Cable television subscribers dodged a major bullet when Comcast's proposed merger with Time Warner Cable fell through earlier this year. Even so, Comcast remains the largest cable television provider in the U.S. In both 2010 and 2014, Consumerist named Comcast "Worst Company in America" thanks to its ever-increasing prices and endless stream of consumer complaints. And year after year, Comcast finds itself at the bottom of the American Consumer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). In a free-market system, customers who are treated badly should be able to take their business elsewhere. However, that's easier said than done when options are so limited. In Philadelphia, the alternatives to Comcast are satellite television via DirecTV and FiOS broadband and/or Internet television via Verizon (which still services DSL broadband in Philly but has been aggressively encouraging its Philly customers to switch to FiOS). That is not a genuinely competitive market. If one wants cable TV (as opposed to satellite or Internet TV) or cable broadband in Philly, the Comcast monopoly is unavoidable.  

2. Time Warner Cable

In early 2013, Time Warner, the U.S.' second largest cable television provider, announced it was launching a $50 million ad campaign in hopes of winning back customers it had lost, including 140,000 subscribers in 2012's third quarter. Clearly, Time Warner was worried about customers switching to DirecTV for television or from cable broadband to Verizon FiOS for their high-speed Internet needs, but when it comes to cable, Time Warner dominates the market in many areas, and that lack of real competition has resulted in terrible customer service. According to ACSI, Time Warner Cable has ranked consistently low for customer satisfaction.

Deceptive marketing and misleading promotions are a common complaint with Time Warner Cable. In January, New Networks Institute filed a complaint against Time Warner and Comcast with the Federal Communications Commission and called for an investigation of the companies' billing practices.New Networks Institute examined the long list of charges of typical Time Warner Cable bills and asserted that they were ridden with questionable or bogus fees; for example, one October 2014 triple-play bill from Brooklyn totaled $190.77 and was 112% higher than the $89.99 Time Warner was advertising for triple-play. New Networks' complaint noted that between 1992 and 2014, Time Warner's cable television prices in Brooklyn had increased by 306%, an increase the complaint attributed to a lack of competition.

3. Verizon

As some of Verizon's FiOS customers see it, the telecom giant does have one redeeming quality: it isn't Comcast. In May, Verizon agreed to pay a $90 million penalty after the FCC and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau went after it for cramming, the unethical practice of adding unauthorized third-party charges to a customer's bill in exchange for a commission. The cramming charges, which show up on the bill as a fee or tax, could range from a few cents to several dollars. Yet cramming is only the tip of the iceberg where Verizon's mistreatment of customers is concerned. In 2014, Verizon Wireless agreed to pay $64 million to settle a class-action lawsuit for overcharging wireless customers, and in 2010, overcharging customers resulted in a $25 million fine from the FCC (Verizon agreed to pay refunds of between $2 and $6 to about one in six customers). Forbes Magazine contributor Joan Lappin echoed the frustration of millions of Verizon customers when, in a 2012 article, she complained: "you had best budget an hour for any call to Verizon, no matter what the topic."

4. AT&T

In 2012, Lifehacker.com conducted a survey on customer service and compiled a list of the five worst companies. Comcast, not surprisingly, came in at #1, and #2 was AT&T (the other three were Time Warner Cable, Verizon and PayPal). The most common complaints included slow data connections, dropped calls and billing errors. And if customers grow fed up with AT&T's poor service and decide to go elsewhere, it comes at a heavy price: another major complaint was AT&T's exorbitant fees for early termination. In May 2010, AT&T announced that with "advanced, higher end devices" such as smartphones and netbooks, early termination fees could be as high as $325, depending how far into the contract the customer was. With "basic and quick messaging phones," AT&T's early termination fee was "only" $150. Such fees are prorated, so a customer who is 18 or 19 months into a 24-month contract would pay a lower termination fee than someone who cancels after four or five months.

5. United Airlines

In the U.S., there have been so many mergers that only four airlines—United, American, Southwest and Delta—now control 85% of domestic air travel. The result of all this consolidation: higher fares and worse customer service. According to the Department of Transportation, airline-related complaints increased by 26% in 2014. The number of lost or delayed bags increased by 17% between November 2013 and November 2014. And the larger United has become, the more customer service has suffered. In a November 2014 commentary for the New Yorker, Tim Wu listed a variety of ways in which the United/Continental merger had been terrible for consumers, from soaring baggage fees to ruder flight attendants to escalating fares (some as much as 57% higher on routes that became uncompetitive thanks to the merger).

Wu noted that baggage fees "soared to as high as $100" and that "change fees, which have always been outrageous, grew higher: $200 for domestic, $300 for international." Wu was also critical of how United's new pre-boarding policies affected people with small children. Wu complained: "I suppose that everyone has his breaking point. For me, it was while trying to pre-board an overcrowded flight to Miami with a noisy baby in my arms, only to be ordered back in line by a curt agent. At that moment, I realized that United had quietly eliminated the traditional practice of pre-boarding 'passengers with small children,' choosing to favor a few elite fliers over the convenience of everyone else."

Wu, who described the merger as a "consumer sinkhole," is not the only one complaining. In its 2014 report, "The Unfriendly Skies: Five Years of Airline Passenger Complaints to the Department of Transportation," the consumer-oriented OSPIRG Foundation described United as "one of the most complained-about airlines."

6. American Airlines

If one dislikes the customer service at United, American Airlines isn't likely to be much better. According to OSPIRG's report, American "has generated increasingly more complaints per 100,000 customers since 2009" and "is now one of the most complained-about airlines." Canceled flights were a common complaint in OSPIRG's report, while "other top problems were about baggage, customer service" and "issues with reservations, bookings, and boarding." A big part of the problem is American's size: it became the largest airline in the U.S. when, in 2013, it merged with U.S. Airways. American, U.S. Airways and America West used to be three separate companies that were competing with one another; now, they are one big company and consumers are the losers.

7. Bank of America

On May 6, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders unveiled a bill that calls for breaking up the largest banks within a year, including Bank of America. Sanders' bill has zero support from Republicans in Congress, but the very fact that he is making such a proposal is a plus. BofA, one of the behemoths that was considered "too big to fail" during the Panic of 2008, has been allowed to keep growing larger, and the larger it becomes, the worse its customer service gets. In March 2013, the Wall Street Journal reported that nearly one-fourth of all consumer complaints CFPB was receiving were BofA-related. And more than once, BOA has made the top three in Consumerist's annual Worst Companies in America poll. A common complaint is all the fees the bank charges, from overdraft fees to minimum balance fees for basic checking and savings accounts. A $12-per-month fee for balances below $1500 can add up to $120 per year. BofA is the bank that, in 2011, planned to impose a $5-per-month fee on debit cards but backed down because the outcry was so vehement. In 2013, the CFPB found that BofA accounted for 30% of mortgage-related complaints in the U.S. Two-thirds of those complaints, CFPB found, involved debt collection, loan modifications and foreclosures.

8. Wells Fargo

In May, two major lawsuits were filed against Wells Fargo: one in a federal court, the other a state lawsuit filed by Los Angeles City Attorney Michael Feuer. In both lawsuits, Wells Fargo is accused of exploiting customers by opening unwanted accounts in order to generate fees. Matthew Preusch, an attorney in the federal case, alleges: "We have heard from Wells Fargo customers in multiple states who have been charged fees or faced collection actions for accounts they did not sign up for." Ideally, Wells Fargo should have been broken up into 25 or 30 smaller banks after the Panic of 2008, which would have injected a lot more competition into the marketplace. Instead, Wells Fargo has been allowed to gobble up one bank after another (including Wachovia in 2009). The less competition megabanks face, the worse their practices become. As the lawsuits filed in May indicate, it is Wells Fargo's customers who have been paying the price.

9. Aetna

The Affordable Care Act of 2010, aka Obamacare, has brought some desperately needed reforms to the health care insurance industry in the U.S. One of the goals of Obamacare is injecting more competition into that industry. However, the ACA needs to be expanded considerably, and doesn't do enough to rein in companies like Aetna, which has a long history of raising premiums considerably while subjecting Americans to abysmal customer service. California resident Kevin Roberts knows that all too well: when Roberts' daughter, who suffers from autism, needed occupational therapy in 2012, Aetna repeatedly referred him to a clinic that didn't even offer the type of treatment she needed. And it was also in 2012 that thousands of California doctors filed a lawsuit alleging that Aetna routinely denied patients access to out-of-network physicians even when they had policies that were supposed to cover out-of-network expenses.  

10. Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield

In 2011, the American Medical Association reported that 19.3% of health insurance claims were being processed incorrectly in the U.S. Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield, aka Anthem, Inc., was among the worst offenders: only 61% of its claims were being processed correctly. But despite its bungling and atrocious customer service, Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield wasn't exactly known for reasonable prices. In 2009, Anthem Blue Cross raised rates as much as 68% on some individual policies in California only to announce that there would be additional rate hikes of up to 39% in California the following year. When the California state government's patient advocacy office issued its annual report in 2014, it gave Anthem's HMO plans only one out of four stars in the area of patients being able to "get care easily." Anthem received more bad publicity in California in 2014 when it refused to pay for the hospitalization of Jeffrey Rusch, who was suffering from metastatic stage-four cancer, even though Rusch and his wife had paid Anthem over $100,000 in premiums since 2008. Anthem insisted that Rusch's hospitalization for chemotherapy was medically unnecessary, although Anthem relented and agreed to cover the expense after Rusch went public with his nightmare.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A VERY TROUBLED MARKET.....ANOTHER PESKY FACT!

A VERY TROUBLED MARKET

They do ring a bell at the top. The bell is ringing loud and clear. The bell is ringing so hard, it broke. Anyone not heeding the warnings will end up being much poorer. This will not end well. 
The market has fallen for five consecutive days. The Chinese market is already crashing. I wonder how many people are prepared to see their investment portfolio or 401k fall by 50% – again. We're gonna find out.

Why the big slowdown? Why is the world falling apart? Because you can't fake an economic recovery... Instead of "stimulating" a recovery, the feds have "simulated" one.

So far, all the Fed's cheap credit has done is exaggerated and prolonged our false sense of security, and created the illusion of recovery.

The Fed dropped the price of capital to near zero. Commodity producers took the bait. They borrowed money and increased production. You can't get real demand from empty credit. Real demand comes from Main Street, not Wall Street. And for that, you need a real recovery, not a phony one.

57% of Americans believe the US economy is "getting worse," which has left Gallup's Economic Confidence Index tumbling to its lowest in 10 monthsThe decline in Case Shiller home price index is the biggest since July 2014 which confirms the view that "over the next two years or so, the rate of home price increases is more likely to slow than to accelerate.

Historically, the occasions of large numbers of New Highs AND New Lows at the same time did not bode well for the stock market. This is another example of the growing emergence of data points that echo the previous 2 cyclical tops.

The worst market outcomes in history have always emerged after an overvalued, overbought, overbullish advance has been joined by deterioration in market internals. Look at the data, and you'll realize that our present concerns are not hyperbole or exaggeration. We simply have not observed the market conditions we observe today except in a handful of instances in market history, and they have typically ended quite badly.

This is one of the most important moments in a generation to examine all of your risk exposures, the extent to which you believe historical evidence is informative, your tolerance for loss, your comfort or discomfort with missing out on potential rallies even in a wickedly overvalued market, and your true investment horizon. Review all of your risk exposures here.


Greek Economy Faces Total Collapse.........ANOTHER PESKY FACT!

Greek Economy Faces Total Collapse As Doctors Flee, Retail Sales Plunge 70%

As Greece prepares to weather still more austerity in exchange for a third EU bailout program, the economy has fallen into a veritable tailspin, as retail sales collapse, doctors flee, and credit is nowhere to be found.

Wholesalers can't pay for supplies. Importers' foreign counterparts won't trade.

Turnover in retail commerce is posting an annual drop that in some cases amounts to 70 percent even though the market is in a sales period.

The Athens Medical Association (ISA) warned about major shortages in medical staff over the next years, since an increasing number of Greek doctors, especially those working in highly specialized fields, and nurses are looking for jobs abroad and leaving the country. According to the association's figures, more than 7,500 doctors have migrated to other countries since 2010.

Doubts persist about whether a severely weakened Greek economy can support another program after a six-year slump that has cut output by a quarter and sent unemployment over 25 percent.

The only real question at this point is whether Greece can possibly navigate the next several months without descending into outright chaos, politically, economically, and socially.

YOU COULD ASK THE SAME QUESTION ABOUT CHINA.

UPS fires warning shot.....ANOTHER PESKY FACT!

UPS fires warning shot across the bow of the stock market and the Fed

Selloff in UPS stock and the Dow transports is a warning of a similar correction for Dow industrials.

United Parcel Service Inc. has fired warning shots across the bow of the Federal Reserve and the stock market, by saying on Tuesday that U.S. economic growth appears to be slowing.

The package-delivery giant's cautious outlook runs counter to what Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen said earlier this month. It also suggests investors should take the relative weakness in UPS stock, as well as the Dow Jones Transportation Average, more seriously, as a warning that a much bigger selloff may be on the horizon for the broader market.

UPS is the biggest member of the Dow transports, measured by total sales and market valuation, so investors, and even the Fed, should be 
paying close attention.

According to the Dow Theory of market analysis, which has remained relevant among market watchers for over a century, members of the Dow transports are believed to have their finger on the pulse of the economy. That's because they act as the link between those who make the goods—members of the Dow Jones Industrial Average—and those who consume them.

So when the Dow transports and UPS stock underperform the broader market, it could portend weakness in the broader market.

"If the Dow transports and Dow industrials diverge—for example, if the industrial average keeps climbing while the transports decline—watch out."





The Presidential Election Year Cycle Has Turned Negative.........ANOTHER PESKY FACT!

The Presidential Election Year Cycle Has Turned Negative

Here's more bad news for this already beleaguered bull market: The so-called Presidential Election Year Cycle has turned negative.

Not until the July-September quarter of next year will this cycle once again forecast above-average stock market returns.

This, no doubt, will come as a surprise to casual followers of the Presidential Election Year Cycle, since its premise is that politicians, regardless of party affiliation, go to great lengths to make sure the economy is booming on Election Day. But the historical record tells a different story: The 12 months before a presidential election tend to be disappointing ones for the stock market.

As you can see from the accompanying chart below
, the stock market's best quarterly returns are concentrated at the beginning of the third year of the four-year cycle. The chart is based on the Dow's quarterly returns since its creation in the late 1800s, and focuses on fiscal years beginning Oct. 1.

Historically, the quarter we're in currently, along with the next two, have produced only modest gains. And this string of three mediocre quarters is followed by a big down quarter — the biggest loss, on average, of any quarter of the entire four-year cycle.

An additional worry traces to the Federal Reserve's extraordinary monetary stimulus since the 2008-2009 financial crisis. Because stimulus historically has been more associated with the period immediately preceding Election Day, it's certainly possible that the Fed has transferred into past years what Fed-induced strength the market would otherwise benefit from in coming months.

If so, it becomes a distinct possibility that the market over the next year will underperform the already depressed expectations of the Presidential Election Year Cycle. In any case, it can't be good news for stocks that the bull market has lost one of its strongest supports.



Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Satanic Statue in Detroit Unveiled......AMERICA IN THESE LAST DAYS!

DARK DAYS IN AMERICA........THE LAST DAYS!

Satanic Statue in Detroit Unveiled

The "largest public satanic ceremony in history"

A little before midnight this past S
aturday, a crowd of around 700 gathered in an old industrial warehouse a few blocks from the Detroit River for what they'd been told was the "largest public satanic ceremony in history." Most of them professed to be adherents of Satanism, that loosely organized squad of the occult that defines itself as a religious group. Others came simply because they were curious. After all, Satanists exist in the popular psyche as those who casually sacrifice goats and impregnate Mia Farrow with Lucifer's child; if this ceremony was indeed unprecedentedly big, who knew what could be in store?

The reality of the event — and of the contemporary Satanic movement at large — was tamer, and, if the Facebook pictures speak the truth, harmlessly festive: a cross between an underground rave and a meticulously planned Halloween party. They were there to publicly unveil a colossal bronze statue of Baphomet, the goat-headed wraith who, after centuries of various appropriations, is now the totem of contemporary Satanism. The pentagram, that familiar logo of both orthodox Satanists and disaffected teens, originated as a rough outline of Baphomet's head.

The statue itself is almost nine feet tall, and weighing in at around a ton. The horned idol sits on a throne adorned with a pentagram, but it is the idol's wings, and not his chair, that curiously evoke the Iron Throne from a certain celebrated HBO fantasy series. He has the jarring horns of a virile ram but the biceps of a guy who lifts four or five times a week. His legs, which are crossed, end not in feet but in hooves. It might seem more menacing if not for the two bronze-statue children standing on either side of him — a girl on his left; a boy on his right; both are looking up at him earnestly.

"Baphomet contains binary elements symbolizing a reconciliation of opposites, emblematic of the willingness to embrace, and even celebrate differences," Jex Blackmore, who organized the unveiling, told TIME late Sunday night. In a sense, the statue is a stress test of American plurality: at what point does religious freedom make the people uncomfortable?


A MARKET PLACE BUILT ON LIES......THE PESKIEST FACT!

A MARKET PLACE BUILT ON LIES

What authorities have created is a facsimile of a market. It looks like a market on the surface, but only gamblers and fools risk capital in markets based on false information.

The markets are now tightly bound to central planning policies: any change in policy has an immediate and potentially disastrous effect on the value of assets.

By propping up the price, the authorities have injected false information into the market, and as a result, nobody can trust that current prices are real.

Central planning asset purchases aimed at propping up prices destroy the essential price discovery needed by investors.

With prices distorted and trust lost, where can investors put their money?

Price declines undermine the official narrative that all is well and expose the lie for what it is.

AN IMPORTANT LESSON FOR INVESTORS......ANOTHER PESKY FACT!

AN IMPORTANT LESSON FOR INVESTORS

There is a salutary lesson being given right now to anybody who invests in Western markets but few are paying attention. If the penny drops, things could get very ugly indeed.

Everything... EVERYTHING... rests on one ephemeral thing – the market's confidence in the power of Central Banks to ensure a good outcome no matter what. Anybody paying attention to the lesson should not just be thinking about what might happen when that fragile confidence evaporates, but taking steps to ensure they don't get caught out when it does. The problem comes in leaving such precautions a day too long... Ask anybody who was considering selling their Chinese equities last Friday but didn't...

When markets are rising, cognitive dissonance reigns supreme.

When Fear took over, the Central Bank was powerless to react.

THE WORLDS ECONOMIES AT A GLANCE....A GREAT GRAPHIC!

THE WORLDS ECONOMIES AT A GLANCE

Today's data visualization is the most simple breakdown of the world economy that we've seen. Not only is it split to show the GDP of dozens of countries in relation to one another based on size, but it also subtly divides each economy into its main sectors: agriculture, services, and industry. The lightest shade in each country corresponds to the most primitive economic activity, which is agriculture. The medium shade is industry, and the darkest shade corresponds to services, which tends to make up a large portion of GDP of developed economies in the world economy.

To take it one step further, the visualization also shades the countries by continental geography, to easily see the relative economic contributions of North America, Europe, South America, Asia, Oceania, and Africa.

The World's Economy in One Visualization

10 Countries That Hate The U.S. The Most...........

10 Countries That Hate The U.S. The Most


10. Slovenia

Disapproval rating: 54%
GDP per capita: $29,658
Unemployment rate: 9.8%
Life expectancy: 80.3 years

A majority of Slovenian survey respondents said they did not approve of U.S. leadership. Despite the country's status as a major ally in NATO and a member of the EU, Slovenia's disapproval rating of 54% was the 10th highest of the 135 countries reviewed. Like several other countries disliking the U.S., Yugoslavia, which included Slovenia, once had close diplomatic ties to the Soviet Union. Many residents have likely not forgotten the tensions during the Cold War. Slovenia was also hit hard by the European financial crisis, with public debt as a percentage of GDP growing from 22% in 2008 to 63% in 2013. This may also have contributed to the poor approval rating, as countries suffering financially are less likely to look favorably on the wealthiest nation in the world.


9. Tajikistan

Disapproval rating: 54%
GDP per capita: $2,536
Unemployment rate: N/A
Life expectancy: 67.4 years

Disapproval of the U.S. rose from 39% in 2013 to 54% in 2014 in this primarily Sunni Muslim, landlocked Central Asian country. Tajikistan's perception of The U.S. was not alone in suffering last year. Approval of the EU also fell 15 percentage points to 32%, and approval of China slipped 11 percentage points to 61%. The U.S. and Russia are competing to provide what Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Central Asia Daniel Rosenblum described as "security cooperation" with Tajikistan. Tajikistan is one of 17 countries — six of which are former Soviet republics — in which the majority of respondents approved of Russia's leadership. Some 93% of Tajik respondents approved of Russia's leadership, the strongest such approval rating of any country. Tajikistan is one of the poorest former Soviet bloc countries with a struggling economy, corruption, power shortages, and other problems. It has the lowest GDP of the countries disapproving of the U.S.


8. Austria

Disapproval rating: 55%
GDP per capita: $45,789
Unemployment rate: 5%
Life expectancy: 80.9 years

Disapproval of the U.S. rose nine percentage points from 2013 to 55% in 2014 in this Central European country, which was once the seat of power for the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Following its defeat in World War I, the Empire was split and Austria became a smaller republic. It was annexed by Nazi Germany in 1938 and then occupied by the Allies at the end of World War II in 1945. It joined the EU in 1995. U.S. officials have been critical of Austria for continuing to trade with Iran and North Korea and for permitting the wanted leader of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) to leave Austria. In addition to being one of the countries with the highest disapproval ratings of the U.S., Austria was also one of the 10 countries with the highest disapproval rating of China with 70% of respondents turning thumbs down on Chinese leadership. Austria is also somewhat of an outlier on this list, as it is neither a former Soviet Republic, nor a predominantly Islamic nation.


7. Egypt

Disapproval rating: 58%
GDP per capita: $10,877
Unemployment rate: 13.4%
Life expectancy: 71.1 years

While the U.S. and Egypt both belong to the U.N., IMF, World Bank, and WTO, and have been trade partners for many years, 58% of Egyptians disapprove of U.S. leadership — the seventh worst rating among countries reviewed. Egypt is the most populous country in the Arab world and a key ally of the U.S. in its effort to fight terrorism and promote stability in the region. The disapproval rating remained flat since the ousting of democratically elected President Mohammed Morsi. However, the subsequent cuts to the U.S. aid budget to Egypt and its condemnation of Morsi's ousting likely did not help improve the disapproval rating. Ties with the country's newly elected president, former General Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, remain strained.


6. Iran

Disapproval rating: 61%
GDP per capita: $16,881
Unemployment rate: 11.2%
Life expectancy: 74.1 years

The U.S. and Iran's deep dislike for one another spans many years. In 1953, the CIA helped oust Iran's Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh to prevent the country from supporting the Soviet Union. Once leadership was secured under America's favored ruler Reza Shah Pahlavi, Iran grew powerful with vast oil revenues and U.S. weapons. However, the Shah had to later flee to Egypt amid the growing Iranian Revolution, which opposed the Shah's "anti-Islamic" and Westernizing government. In 1979, Iranian revolutionaries seized the U.S. embassy in Tehran, taking 66 Americans hostage for 444 days. There have been U.S. restrictions on activities with Iran in one form or another since then. More recently, the U.S. and other Western nations have imposed extremely severe sanctions on Iran in an attempt to curb its nuclear capabilities. This April, the world's major powers agreed on a framework for a nuclear deal with Iran. The country's foreign minister said Iran will continue its nuclear enrichment program if all sanctions are not lifted by the end of negotiations.


5. Pakistan

Disapproval rating: 65%
GDP per capita: $4,574
Unemployment rate: 6.2%
Life expectancy: 66.6 years

Pakistan's disapproval rating of U.S. leadership is greater than all but four other countries. According to the U.S. State Department, Pakistan has received well over $4 billion in civilian assistance from the U.S. from 2009 through 2013. In addition, the country has received about $13 billion from the U.S. in military aid over the past 13 years. America's involvement in the country may actually be the problem, however. The U.S. focused its operations in Pakistan after the 9/11 attacks, and it continues to maintain a strong presence in the country to combat terrorism. Osama bin Laden was hiding in Pakistan, and the U.S. mission to kill him may have also increased disapproval among many Pakistanis.


4. Lebanon

Disapproval rating: 66%
GDP per capita: $16,430
Unemployment rate: N/A
Life expectancy: 80.1 years

A religiously diverse Middle Eastern country — 54% Muslim and 41% Christian — Lebanon is one of 15 countries in which a majority of respondents disapprove of U.S. leadership. It is also one of 11 countries where a majority disapprove of the EU leadership, and one of eight countries in which a majority disapprove of Germany's leadership. Since the end of the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war, Congress has approved more than $1 billion to improve Lebanese security forces' control over the country and foster economic growth. The U.S. standing among Lebanese respondents improved slightly from 2013, when 71% disapproved of the U.S. Possibly contributing to a longer term U.S. loss of standing in Lebanon is the fact that some members of Congress questioned continued funding of U.S.-sponsored initiatives there. Since the 2012 fiscal year, Congress has placed conditions on annual aid to Lebanon.


3. Belarus

Disapproval rating: 69%
GDP per capita: $17,623
Unemployment rate: 0.51%
Life expectancy: 72.5 years

As in several other former Soviet Union countries, many Belarus residents may still harbor dislike for America as a result of tensions during the Cold War. Further, the U.S. backing of Ukraine after Russia's annexation of Crimea may have exacerbated ill will toward the U.S. in Belarus, as it did in other countries in the region. The country is still friendly with Russia, as about 62% of Belarus respondents approved Russia's leadership, up from 46% in 2013 — the largest such increase among countries reviewed. The county's high opinion of Russia, the country disapproving of the U.S. the most, may partly explain its similarly poor perception of the U.S. Also, poor economic factors may partly account for the poor rating, as economically struggling nations often look upon the U.S. unfavorably. 
The country's inflation rate of 18.1% was the fifth highest among countries reviewed, and the GDP per capita of $17,623 was among the lower figures world-wide.

2. Palestinian Territories

Disapproval rating: 72%
GDP per capita: N/A
Unemployment rate: N/A
Life expectancy: N/A

The 72% disapproval rating of Palestinians toward the U.S. improved somewhat from 2013, when 80% disapproved of U.S. leadership — the worst rating at the time. The U.S. government has stated it favors a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. However, perceptions among Palestinian Territories residents will likely not improve as long as the U.S. is perceived as fully supporting and aiding Israel despite its continued occupation of the Palestinian Territories. Hamas, the effective governing body in the Gaza Strip since 2007, is also considered by the U.S. and other Western nations to be a terrorist organization.


1. Russia

Disapproval rating: 82%
GDP per capita: $24,298
Unemployment rate: 5.5%
Life expectancy: 71.1 years 

No country disapproves of America more than Russia, where 82% of survey respondents said they disapproved of U.S. leadership. This was also the worst rating from Russia in the history of the survey. While many Russians do not like America, residents of many other countries do not approve of Russia. The median disapproval rating of Russian leadership was greater than the median approval rating, the only country to claim this distinction. And while a majority of residents in 15 countries disapprove of the U.S., a majority of residents in 42 countries disapprove of Russia's leadership. Russia's disapproval rating of U.S. leadership worsened considerably from 2013, increasing 12 percentage points. Recently implemented U.S.-led Western sanctions on Russia have likely intensified Russians' disapproval. According to historical data from the Levada Center, Russia's independent public opinion tracker, negative attitudes toward the U.S. spiked during the invasion of Iraq and worsened again in 2008 after the Russia-Georgia conflict. More recently, the U.S. sided with Ukraine after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Almost 25% Of US Shopping Malls Have Closed In The Last Two Years......A VERY PESKY FACT!

Almost 25% Of US Shopping Malls Have Closed In The Last Two Years

More than 400 of the 2,000 largest malls in the U.S. have closed in the past two years. No new enclosed malls have been built since 2006. SOME RECOVERY!

Ten retailers that left an imprint in the American marketplace have faded into oblivion, retailers like Hollywood Video, Builders Square, Best Products, Musicland, Linen 'n Things, Circuit City, K.B. Toys, Border Books, Montgomery Ward and Woolworth. Several of these started in the 1800s.

In addition, many retailers are downsizing or closing some of their stores, including Blockbuster, JCPenney, Sears and Staples.

It probably won't be too long until local malls will also be closing their doors. The retail sales for these outdated businesses is just not there anymore. Shopping habits are rapidly changing to online shopping, which is increasing every year.

Amazon is the leader and has a new program offering same-day shipping. Where else can you order in the morning and have delivery the same day?

Places with no "anchor" stores won't draw traffic. Retailing is dangerous and 
 changing fast.

THINK ABOUT ALL THAT DEBT ON ALL THAT COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE, THIS IS ONE REASON THE FED IS VERY HESITANT ABOUT RAISING RATES. A LOT OF LOANS RESET OVER THE COMING YEARS AND WITH THINGS THIS TOUGH NOW THEY WILL ONLY GET MUCH WORSE, WHEN / IF RATES RISE.

Chinese Stocks Suffer Second Biggest Crash In History....ANOTHER PESKY FACT!

Chinese Stocks Suffer Second Biggest Crash In History, 1,500 Companies Halted Limit Down

This was not supposed to happen.

After pledging, investing and otherwise guaranteeing the Chinese stock market to the tune of 10% of GDP, and intervening on at least 40 different occasions in the past month ever since China's stock bubble burst in late June, with the subsequent crash nearly taking the Shanghai Composite red for the year, overnight China officially lost control for the second time, when after a weak start to the Monday trading session, things turned very ugly in the last hour, when the Shanghai Composite plunged by 8.48%, closing nearly at the lows, and tumbling some 345 points for its biggest one-day drop since February 2007 and its second biggest crash in history!

The selling was steady throughout the day, but spiked in the last hour on concerns China would rein in its market-supporting programs following IMF demands to normalize its relentless market intervention. According to Bloomberg's Richard Breslow: "fear that the extraordinary support measures employed to hold up the market may be scaled back caused heavy afternoon selling resulting in a down 8.5% day." Of course, one can come up with any number of theories to explain the plunge: for example the PBOC did not buy enough to offset the relentless selling.



The last thing the communist party and the PBOC wanted was another massive sell off after having not only fired the "bazooka" but come up with a different bazooka to halt "malicious sellers" virtually every day, including threats of arrest.

Nobody was spared in the selloff and of the 1,114 stocks in the Shanghai Composite, 13 closed higher on Monday.

Here, courtesy of the WSJ, are some of the more amazing numbers of today's selloff:

The Shanghai Composite Index ended down 8.5% at 3725.56, its second-straight day of losses and worst daily percentage fall since February 27, 2007. The smaller Shenzhen Composite fell 7% to 2160.09 and the ChiNext, composed of small-cap stocks and sometimes known as China's Nasdaq,  closed 7.4% lower at 2683.45.

More than two-thirds of the stocks in the Shanghai Composite, or about 765 companies, hit their down limit on Monday. Those limits prevented hundreds of stocks from logging sharper declines, though they can also make it harder for investors to exit positions.

Since the Shanghai Composite peaked in June, it has lost 28% of its value. 

Massive intervention by authorities in Beijing engineered a rebound for the country's stock markets earlier this month, but Monday's selloff eroded much of that recovery.

Although hundreds of stocks have resumed trading since the market bottomed earlier this m
onth,126 stocks on the Shanghai Composite are still halted.

International investors have been ditching Chinese stocks for the past few weeks, spooked by widespread share suspensions that locked up capital. Investors sold stocks during 13 of the past 16 trading sessions via the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect, a trading link connecting the two cities that launched in November. Cumulative outflows now total 39.9 billion yuan, or U.S. $6.43 billion.

According to Reuters, there was little to explain the scale of the sell-off. Some analysts said fears that China may hold off from further loosening of monetary policy had contributed to souring investor sentiment.

Sure enough, narratives to "explain" the selling which beget more selling, were promptly offered, as can be seen in this Bloomberg summary of aftter the fact research reports;

NORTHEAST SECURITIES

"The decline, extending losses on Friday, is a technical correction after hundreds of companies rebounded 50% with dozens of stocks even doubling after the sell-off," analyst Shen Zhengyang says by phone

"The rebound from the earlier sell-off has pretty much come to an end and the market needs to take a breather"

Possible expansion of yuan band may put the currency under  depreciation pressure, while pick-up in home prices in 1st-    tier cities may mean weaker-than-expected monetary easing policies going forward

Mkt might enter range-bound consolidation after technical correction, but upside will be limited as investor confidence was shattered in earlier sell-off


CHINA SOUTHERN FUND

Mkt slumps due to "fragile" investment sentiment, investors locking in profit from previous rebound: chief strategist Yang Delong says in phone interview

A shares extend decline as investors started to take profit from last Friday after recent mkt rebound

Investors lose faith in a longer-term rebound

Expects China to roll out more measures to boost A shrs if SHCOMP drops below 3,800

Govt backed funds, with big enough war chest, may buy stocks after mkt slump today

SHENWAN HONGYUAN GROUP

Pullback today mainly due to profit-taking, while news on possible govt exit of mkt rescue also has impact on mkt: analyst Qian Qimin

Weakness in heavyweight stks may lead to "double dip" in mkt, sees "policy bottom" at 3,500 points as index below that level may trigger panic again

Fundamentals underpinning bull mkt may have disappeared given low probability in further monetary easing, potential investment shifting to property mkt, more cautious mkt sentiment


SINOLINK SECURITIES

A share slump today is an "aftershock" as mkt sentiment needs longer time to recover from previous mkt correction: analyst Huang Cendong

We agree with one thing: having gone all in, the Chinese government can't stop now, and after pledging half a trillion for its Plunge Protection Team (recall China skipped all the QE pleasantries and proceeded straight to buying stocks, launching a quasi-nationalization of the market and making the China Securities Finance Corp a Top 10 shareholder of numerous stocks), it will be forced to do even more, in the process crushing confidence that much more, since investors both offshore and domestic, realize that the fair value of stocks is far lower than current price ex. government intervention.

"Investors are not confident that the bull market will return any time soon," Jimmy Zuo, a trader at Guosen Securities, told Bloomberg.

"People want to pocket profits after the benchmark index rose past the 4,000 mark."

And who can blame them? The only question we have is when will people in other "developed" markets wake up to their own just as manipulated markets, and decide they too have had enough with the rigged casino.

Actually, there is another question: the last time Chinese stocks had a near-record crash, the PBOC somehow "discovered" 600 tons of gold hiding under the couch to prop up confidence. We wonder how much it will "discover" this time.