Archive for January, 2012

So far in 2012-A Doomsday Year I have covered in part the escalating food prices, the escalating energy costs, the increasing controls imposed upon us, and today I will look at the issue of communications in our daily lives.

We have come to take for granted many of the freedoms our constitution protects, and in so doing have become complacent in the way we simply accept what is being placed upon our dinner plate of daily news. Unfortunately, much of what we see on the front page of the dailies and the evening news is watered down, biased, and/or poorly reported by the media outlets. It used to be that a newspaper in large part would print just the facts on the front page, and nothing more. The papers were opinionated, but they wisely restricted opinionated articles to the opinion pages of the paper. Today, many of the stories we read are filled with statements that promote one ideology or another, and this is true for both side of the aisle, lefty and righty alike.

There are still places you can go today to get a good, factual report on many issues and events, but you usually have to do quite a lot of digging to find the truth. As this is an election year for the presidency, this fact makes it more vital than ever that you take the time to educate yourself of the real truth and not the truth that a special interest group wants to push. Take the story that claims Warren Buffett’s secretary pays more taxes than he does.

The left wants you to believe something that is not true, and they know it is not true, so they manipulate the facts so that at first glance it sounds like it is true, and grabs your attention, big time. When one of the richest men in the world gets away with paying less in taxes than most of the people reading this blog pay, it makes you mad, doesn’t it? At Obama’s State of the Union speech, Buffett’s secretary, Debbie Bosanek, got a front row seat sitting next to her royal highness Michelle Obama, and of course it was staged so that President Obama could make the most of the attention grabber of the evening.

According to several articles, Buffett’s 2010 tax return says he paid 6.9 million in taxes. I am guessing his secretary wasn’t paid all that much whereby she would be paying anywhere near that much in taxes in 2010, and their 2011 tax returns are probably going to be very similar to their 2010 returns. Percentage is where the truth is, and since most of Warren Buffett’s income is from capital gains, and that is where they twisted the claim that he paid less in taxes than his secretary. The top rate for capital gains income is 15 percent, period. Going by that rate, I pay nearly twice as much in taxes as Buffett does, including all federal and state taxes. The reality is that it probably takes me two years to make as much income as he pays out in taxes in a day. However, the left doesn’t want you to see that part of the argument. They only want you to be angry that the rich are better off than you are and are given all kinds of bennies for being rich. Class warfare at its finest. Remember this story when you look at the news. By the way, the right is just as guilty as the right when it comes to “modifying” the news to their advantage.

So where does communications come into the puzzle of predicting the future? It comes into the puzzle through the way certain items are left out of the commonly shared news, and which pieces are shared with gusto. One of the stories I have been following is the issue of the National Guard and how they are supposedly patrolling the US/Mexico border to cut down on illegal immigration. Unfortunately, their involvement was severely restricted, and their actual value was diminished to the point where the expense incurred did not come close to making it worth the taxpayer’s money for them to be there. If the military is going to patrol the border, they should do so fully armed with the intent of actually preventing illegal entry into this nation by anyone. They were relegated to performing nothing more than being used as a photo-op for political gain.

The more important issues that you see very little reporting on is the fact that the government wants to increase the usage of drone technology to patrol the skies under the guise of watching the borders of this nation, the natural inclination for many of us is to say, so what, we need the protection. In fact, we do, but this is not what will happen in the long run. These drones will be used for purposes beyond that which the constitution allows. But that doesn’t matter, because the powers that be only use the constitution when it suits their needs. And even then, they twist it into a perversion of what the constitution really means.

We look at the history of the world’s most despotic regimes and learn that the media outlets in those countries were usually the first target for control, and in some sense, we see the same thing happening today here today in the United States. Newspapers and television stations are afraid to say something different, something that might offend, simply because it is more politically expedient to go with what the “powers that be” want them to say. Global warming, gay rights, religious issues, morality and more are all subjects that are controlled by very small minority groups, and yet they have the biggest advantage because they have more political pull with the media outlets.

Those of us with a different standard or levels of morality and viewpoint still have outlets we can turn to, but these outlets are disappearing, overwhelmed in most part by the mainstream media in their push for popular support and advertising dollar. We will continue to see the far left ideology increase in power, as we get closer to Election Day. You will see an overwhelming majority of leftist attacks against sound, biblically based positions that the candidates may wish to take, but will not because of the fact that money and popularity goes hand in hand with the political structure in this nation. We, as a nation, will continue to see erosions in our society and economy as the left gains power and control, thus furthering our descent into failure as a nation. And when that point arrives, you had better be prepared, because Uncle Sam will not be there to give you a hand up, nor a hand out.

Watch the headlines and as the year passes by, you will begin to see what I mean.

So far in 2012-A Doomsday year I have covered in part the escalating food prices, in part one, and the escalating energy costs in part two. Historians are well aware of the fact that economic difficulties usually precedes a time of discontent and upheaval. Historically, we can look back at our own history and examine:

  • The economy of the 1760s as a precedent to the war for independence from the English empire;
  • The depression of the 1750s prior to the war for Southern Independence;
  • The period just before our entrance to WW I;
  • And our great world depression of the 1930s before WWII broke out.

Today, I will take a look at the increasing controls being placed upon the citizens of this country as we continue to steamroll towards the next great depression, which I believe will officially be recognized in late 2013 or early 2014. Of course, some analysts will say that this depression has already begun, and I for one agree with them. It normally takes some time for any government to accept the fact that failure has come upon them, and this economic situation we are enjoying today is no different.

Government controls come in many forms, from control of the media to removal of personal liberties. The headlines are ablaze with the reports that both the senate and the house have both tabled further discussion of the SOPA/PIPA legislation, accompanied by shout of victory by the opposition. Unfortunately, there has been no real victory as the intent is to restart passage of both of these pieces of legislation after the furor has died down.

The hallmark of any despotic regime is the thumbs on approach that the regime takes towards the media industry, and their attempts to squelch any untoward criticism of that regime. For example, if you own a newspaper and say something bad about fearless leader, you most likely will lose your newspaper, and quite likely your life as well. It used to happen all the time in the Soviet Bloc nations, and still occurs even today. The SOPA/PIPA legislation is a wide-ranging set of laws that could easily be used to quench the fires of dissent in this nation based upon the ability of the government to require any particular websites extinction based upon a false claim of copyright infringement. For example, if I were to use this, or another of my blogs to copy a substantial portion of any newspaper article with reference to wrongdoing by our government, they would be able to shut me down cold. This action would be based upon my “piracy” of the copyright holder of that newspaper article.

Granted, piracy is an unacceptable act, and we already have sufficient legislation on the books that addresses that issue today. Unfortunately, our government refuses to utilize current legislation and pursue those scofflaws that already break those laws. The true downside of this legislation is that instead of pursuing criminals, it makes it all that much easier for our government to control the public. The fear aspect of the law is what makes people allow their government to become stronger, and as the government gets stronger it becomes more despotic. Additionally, it is not just the federal level of legislation that the government uses to control people, but state and local level legislation as well. Take the increasingly frequent usage of what the government calls roadside sobriety checkpoints. I prefer to call them chokepoints, myself. These are where a state, county or local police agency sets up a roadblock and checks for drunk drivers or other persons who are operating a vehicle illegally.

We accept these chokepoints because we demand something be done about drunk drivers, or people who drive without insurance, or operate with a suspended license. This makes sense as we wish to be protected, however, this action actually violates our constitutional rights. Amendment four of the US Constitution, part of the Bill of Rights states:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

This means that your property, which includes the car you are driving in, shall be secure, and free from search without a warrant, and that warrant shall not be issued unless there is probable cause that you have violated a particular law. For Sherriff Billy Bob to set up a roadblock and check each car that passes through for violations is tacitly illegal. How can any law enforcement officer state without exception that each of those vehicles, without knowing who will be coming through that chokepoint, to be in violation of a law, and how could any competent judge agree to issue warrants against any and all vehicles that may be driving on that road during the established chokepoint? The answer is simple; they cannot.

We keep asking for more and more protections, but what we really accomplish is the surrender of our constitutional rights, and thus the surrender of our personal sovereignty. We allow a despotic regime to be established because we haven’t the courage to stand up and argue for our own rights, and our guarantee of liberty provide by the constitution.

I believe that no matter who wins this round of election for president, we will see an explosion of government control by the end of this year. My next post will go into some detail with what I see happening to support that view, by the way. Special interest groups are dictating more and more as to what we will be allowed to do and say, and I see that movement becoming stronger in the coming months. Obama-care is a patently unconstitutional piece of legislation, and yet many of us asked for it, to our shame. (Not me, by the way.) Our beloved incandescent light bulbs are going the way of the dinosaur, and the 100-watt light bulbs are already on the banned substance list. 100-watt bulbs are verboten as of 01 January of this year (2012).

The list of controls is growing longer every day, with the passage of each new law. As the economy continues its slide into failure, we will see more and more legislation to hide the reality and extent of the danger, while cloaking that public controlling legislation under the guise of it being “for our own well being.” Stay tuned while I address more of what I see as contributing to our demise as a nation and the collapse of the world as we know it today.

If you liked this post, please visit my main blog site at www.survivaltimestoday.net, where I post a broader range of topics.

In part one of “2012-A Doomsday Year?” I wrote about the rising costs of food, and in particular, some of the insidious ways that these cost increases become implemented in a way that most of us really do not see the increase. That is at least until we suddenly get hit with the fact that the can of tuna fish we are holding in the grocery store used to cost quite a bit less than it does now. Food prices are not the only things we will see drastic increases in over the next year. I fully expect the price of gasoline to rise to a level significantly higher than it is today. I filled my car last night with 87-octane e10 fuel at a price of $3.349 per gallon. A couple or so weeks ago, I paid $3.269 per gallon at the same C-store.

That is not much of an increase, comparatively speaking, but it is in fact what I believe is the beginning of what will be a long term trend to crank the price of automotive grade fuels up to a level at least 25 to 30 percent higher than what we are comfortable with today. What do I base my predictions on, and what kind of timeframe are we looking at here? Simply put, part of my reasoning has to do with what some analysts refer to as a situation known as peak oil. Unfortunately, many in the prepper community have a false idea as to what peak oil really means, and are led astray by some of the merchants of fear we encounter all too frequently when discussing preparedness and survivalism.

Another part of my reasoning lies in the fact that the subsidies that have allowed for lower ethanol costs in the fuel stream are gone, and this is the causative factor for the recent increase in gasoline prices at the pump. The true cost of Gaia worshiping is starting to come to light, but people still fail to see the truth of the so called climate change argument, or rather, the climate non-change argument. However, this is another issue that I will get into later, for now, the increasing price of fuels is the topic under discussion.

Peak oil, as I mentioned earlier, is a somewhat misunderstood or misrepresented phenomenon that can in fact mean different things to different groups of stakeholders. One camp suggests that peak oil will occur when the maximum amount of oil is reached, and the supply begins to decline. In one sense this is a correct description, as the peak of any commodity is considered to be when its maximum rate of production is reached, and the available supply begins to decline. This goes for any non replenishing product, not just oil. Copper, silver, gold, and other minerals all can be placed under the same consideration. When you pull all there is out of the ground, there ain’t no more. That’s when the price will really skyrocket.

However, when I talk about peak oil a different definition is suggested. Since 1979 the ethanol industry has been subsidized by the taxpayers to the tune of 600 billion dollars and then some. Because the tax bennies expired on 01 Jan of this year, this will drive the price of ethanol up, and therefore the cost of gasoline at the pump. I do not actually see any major jumps in the price of crude over the next twelve months, barring any military action regarding Iran’s posture, however, we will see a gradual increase with a lot of bumps and grinds tempering that increase. Again, the bigger consumer level price increase will be mostly the ethanol component of the fuel we are forced to use in our vehicles.

Herein lies the bigger problem with fuel prices and preparing for the coming times. The RFS program created under the Energy Policy Act (EPAct) of 2005 established the first renewable fuel volume mandate in the United States. This mandate required 7.5 billion gallons of renewable- fuel to be blended into gasoline by 2012. This will happen, but the situation gets worse. According to the EPA’s renewable fuels website:

Under the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007, the RFS program was expanded in several key ways:

  • EISA expanded the RFS program to include diesel, in addition to gasoline;
  • EISA increased the volume of renewable fuel required to be blended into transportation fuel from 9 billion gallons in 2008 to 36 billion gallons by 2022;
  • EISA established new categories of renewable fuel, and set separate volume requirements for each one.
  • EISA required EPA to apply lifecycle greenhouse gas performance threshold standards to ensure that each category of renewable fuel emits fewer greenhouse gases than the petroleum fuel it replaces.

RFS2 lays the foundation for achieving significant reductions of greenhouse gas emissions from the use of renewable fuels, for reducing imported petroleum, and encouraging the development and expansion of our nation’s renewable fuels sector.

The elimination of this subsidy will force the price of ethanol to rise as the government-forced usage of it increases, as we get closer to 2022. This will naturally cause the price at the pump to reflect the increasing production prices. We are going to need to accommodate an increase in the production of a fuel that is of questionable worth at the cost of mo0re than just the creation of ethanol. More crop acreage is going to be needed to be utilized for fuel production at the expense of food production acreage.

Currently, to add to the escalating price we find that speculative investment is creating a situation whereby the actions of Iran as it threatens to close the Strait of Hormuz is seemingly causing the price of crude to rise. The reality is, as always, that it is really the speculative investment market that is causing the rise in price. Other Arab powers have already promised to increase production should Iran make good on its promise, so in effect the supply available should not drop, suggesting that this pending crisis is really a non-event in real terms. Always be aware that speculative investment drives much of the pricing in commodities markets.

So, to summarize thus far, we have two major factors contributing towards the coming collapse of life as we have come to relish it, 1. increasing food prices, and 2. increasing fuel prices. Both of these elements are vital points to consider as you make your plans to survive the coming times. In part three of 2012-A Doomsday Year? I will look at some of the geopolitical elements and how what happens on a global basis really does affect you, and what you do in your back yard.

Is 2012 to be the year of doom, or multiple dooms, as some have prophesied, or will it be just another year of ho-hum news and business as usual, with just a side of anticipation as we edge closer to 21 December 2012? Many people are suggesting that there may be truth to the ancient Mayan Calendar theory that life will end, as we know it, and a rebirth of the world will occur. My personal belief is that we will indeed trudge on towards our destined final days with barely a notice of that days passing, much like the passing of the new millennium which began on 01,01,2000.

Whenever some nut-job with enough you know what’s decides to embark upon a campaign of misinformation and fear-mongering you can pretty well bet on there being a huge herd of followers to counter the effects of the nay-sayers. Either side you play on, if you get in the game early, you stand to reap some good financial gain from the claim, no matter what the claim is, and even if the claim is proven false right from the get-go.

Calendars come and calendars go, but the days upon the pages are just simply pages. They are simply mankind’s way of telling God what day it is, and nothing more. I don’t believe in the Mayan Calendar myth any more than I believe that Santa Claus is a real being.

However, I do believe that we are going to see some huge changes will occur as to life as we know it today. We keep repeating the same tired old mistakes year after year, decade after decade, and century after century. Moreover, each time we make the mistake it immediately becomes the worse scenario in the history of man. It usually is not, of course, but it does make for good press coverage. But of even greater importance to the governments of the world, it provides an opportunity to increase the governments control over its citizens.

What do I see happening to make me believe that this year will be a year of drastic changes? Several items in the news over the last few weeks tell me to beware of certain situations.

For one thing, 2011 saw an overall average price increase at the consumer level of approximately 2.5 to 3.0 percent in at home food categories. There are now several guesstimates as to what the 2012 rates will be, but the most reliable seems to be the Food Institutes projection of: “The all-food CPI is projected to increase 2.5 to 3.5% over 2011 levels, with food-at-home prices increasing 3 to 4% and food-away-from-home prices increasing 2 to 3%…” My own analysis suggests a 3.5 to 4.0 percent or greater increase in at home foods. One of the reasons that I tend to hold to a greater increase is simply because retailers bent over backwards and then some to keep from having to pass increases on to the consumer.

Costs at the distribution level will continue to increase and there will in fact be no alternative available except to raise prices at the shelf level of commerce. Manufacturers have been quite adept at hiding food price increases from the consumer thus far, but people are beginning to wonder out loud where their paychecks are going. The shelf price (the price you see per unit on the UPC tag on the shelf) has been fairly stable, but the price per (price per measured unit i.e. quart, ounce etc.) has been steadily changing in several ways. Cans of coffee, soup and other goods may be the same size as two years ago, but they have fewer content. For instance, a one pound can of coffee we once bought has turned into a twelve ounce can of coffee. My favorite beans that used to be sold in sixteen ounce can are now fifteen ounces. And the shelf price has risen by several cents.

This has been a gradual transition to higher prices, so most people have only been casually aware of this trend. However, in keeping costs low, individual retailers have cut services and payroll to make up for the dwindling profit margin. Additionally, they have cut the quantities and varieties of products carried in store. The end result will be that as customer demands for variety and service increase to meet expectations, shelf prices will have to increase to cover those costs to meet consumer demands.

The cycle will repeat itself as the consumer balks and protests at the price increases, causing the retailer to cut payroll and so on. Round and round until we find ourselves in a position that nobody has a job that pays enough to buy the products that we want to buy causing more business failures and changes because there are not enough profits to keep the business running and growing in an acceptable fashion. Today, most retail profit comes not from the markup of an item, but from the sheer volume of product sold.

This is why we see big box chains growing bigger, while the smaller local chains either simply close their doors or get swallowed up through acquisition by the mega corps of the retail world.

My prediction is that towards the end of the year we may well see an exponential increase in the numbers of food riots around the world, and may come to see a few here in the United States, a relatively unheard of commotion in this nation.

And that point brings me to the further indications of why I believe we will see some pretty disturbing events happen here in America this year, especially after Obama has been reinstated as demander in chief of this nation. That is right, I believe he will be reelected as he seems to be the best puppet that the new world order has ha d available for many years. A perfect neo-con, just like his brother in arms, George Bush was. Of course, Mitt Romney appears to be a perfect neo-con as well, so maybe the Republicans have half a chance after all.

I will get into some other aspects of my guesstimates for the year of 2012 in part two of this posting. But as a teaser let me say that I believe that the Occupy movement has been utilized as a training tool for further implementation of the new world order, as well as how several financial reports lead me to see that total financial failure is not that far off. Tune in next time on the same bat channel, at the same bat time as we see what the projected outcome will be for 2012.