This blog is to help you in preparing for an emergency. It also contains other information that you might find spiritually up-lifting. This is not an official website of "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints". This site is maintained by Barry McCann (barry@mail.com)

Sunday, July 26, 2015

12 Ways The Economy Is Already In Worse Shape Than It Was During The Depths Of The Last Recession

Twelve - Public DomainDid you know that the percentage of children in the United States that are living in poverty is actually significantly higher than it was back in 2008?  When I write about an “economic collapse”, most people think of a collapse of the financial markets.  And without a doubt, one is coming very shortly, but let us not neglect the long-term economic collapse that is already happening all around us.  In this article, I am going to share with you a bunch of charts and statistics that show that economic conditions are already substantially worse than they were during the last financial crisis in a whole bunch of different ways.  Unfortunately, in our 48 hour news cycle world, a slow and steady decline does not produce many “sexy headlines”.  Those of us that are news junkies (myself included) are always looking for things that will shock us.  But if you stand back and take a broader view of things, what has been happening to the U.S. economy truly is quite shocking.  The following are 12 ways that the U.S. economy is already in worse shape than it was during the depths of the last recession…
#1 Back in 2008, 18 percent of all Americans kids were living in poverty.  This week, we learned that number has now risen to 22 percent
There are nearly three million more children living in poverty today than during the recession, shocking new figures have revealed.
Nearly a quarter of youngsters in the US (22 percent) or around 16.1 million individuals, were classed as living below the poverty line in 2013.
This has soared from just 18 percent in 2008 – during the height of the economic crisis, the Casey Foundation’s 2015 Kids Count Data Book reported.
#2 In early 2008, the homeownership rate in the U.S. was hovering around 68 percent.  Today, it has plunged below 64 percent.  Incredibly, it has not been this low in more than 20 years.  Just look at this chart – the homeownership rate has continued to plummet throughout Obama’s “economic recovery”…
Homeownership Rate 2015
#3 While Barack Obama has been in the White House, government dependence has skyrocketed to levels that we have never seen before.  In 2008, the federal government was spending about 37 billion dollars a year on the federal food stamp program.  Today, that number is above 74 billion dollars.  If the economy truly is “recovering”, why is government dependence so much higher than it was during the last recession?
#4 On the chart below, you can see that the U.S. national debt was sitting at about 9 trillion dollars when we entered the last recession.  Since that time, the debt of the federal government has doubled.  We are on the exact same path that Greece has gone down, and what you are looking at below is a recipe for national economic suicide…
Presentation National Debt
#5 During Obama’s “recovery”, real median household income has actually gone down quite a bit.  Just prior to the last recession, it was above $54,000 per year, but now it has dropped to about $52,000 per year…
Median Household Income
#6 Even though our incomes are stagnating, the cost of living just continues to rise steadily.  This is especially true of basic things that we all purchase such as food.  As I wrote about earlier this year, the price of ground beef in the United States has doubled since the last recession.
#7 In a healthy economy, lots of new businesses are opening and not that many are being forced to shut down.  But for each of the past six years, more businesses have closed in the United States than have opened.  Prior to 2008, this had never happened before in all of U.S. history.
#8 Barack Obama is constantly telling us about how unemployment is “going down”, but the truth is that the  percentage of working age Americans that are either working or considered to be looking for work has steadily declined since the end of the last recession…
Presentation Labor Force Participation Rate
#9 Some have suggested that the decline in the labor force participation rate is due to large numbers of older people retiring.  But the reality of the matter is that we have seen a spike in the inactivity rate for Americans in their prime working years.  As you can see below, the percentage of males between the ages of 25 and 54 that aren’t working and that aren’t looking for work has surged to record highs since the end of the last recession…
Presentation Inactivity Rate
#10 A big reason why we don’t have enough jobs for everyone is the fact that millions upon millions of good paying jobs have been shipped overseas.  At the end of Barack Obama’s first year in office, our yearly trade deficit with China was 226 billion dollars.  Last year, it was more than 343 billion dollars.
#11 Thanks to all of these factors, the middle class in America is dying.  In 2008, 53 percent of all Americans considered themselves to be “middle class”.  But by 2014, only 44 percent of all Americans still considered themselves to be “middle class”.
When you take a look at our young people, the numbers become even more pronounced.  In 2008, 25 percent of all Americans in the 18 to 29-year-old age bracket considered themselves to be “lower class”.  But in 2014, an astounding 49 percent of all Americans in that age range considered themselves to be “lower class”.
#12 This is something that I have covered before, but it bears repeating.  The velocity of money is a very important indicator of the health of an economy.  When an economy is functioning smoothly, people generally feel quite good about things and money flows freely through the system.  I buy something from you, then you take that money and buy something from someone else, etc.  But when an economy is in trouble, the velocity of money tends to go down.  As you can see on the chart below, a drop in the velocity of money has been associated with every single recession since 1960.  So why has the velocity of money continued to plummet since the end of the last recession?…
Velocity Of Money M2
If you are waiting for an “economic collapse” to happen, you can stop waiting.
One is unfolding right now before our very eyes.
But what most people really mean when they ask about these things is that they are wondering when the next great financial crisis will happen.  And as I discussed yesterday, things are lining up in textbook fashion for one to happen in our very near future.
Once the next great financial crisis does strike, all of the numbers that I just discussed above are going to get a whole lot worse.
So as bad as things are now, the truth is that this is just the beginning of the pain.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Emergency Lighting | Flashlight Power

Flashlight technology has come a long way since 1899 when British inventor David Misell obtained a U.S. Patent for an “electric device” using newly-invented “D-size dry cell” batteries. When he introduced the hand held light he initiated a revolution in lighting. Since then, flashlight design has made remarkable progress. Both light bulb and battery technology improved significantly, and the trend is continuing.

The Basics of Flashlights

The flashlight uses batteries that contain stored DC energy. Connecting several batteries together (in series) with a conductive metal strip, an on-off switch, and a bulb creates a flashlight. When the on-off switch or button on the flashlight is closed the circuit is complete and the bulb lights. Add more batteries and a different bulb and you can realize an even brighter flashlight. The flashlight can be left energized providing continuous light until the batteries discharge. Then the light bulb goes out and you must install new batteries to get the light back on.
emergency flashlight
The flashlight is a portable source of illumination
A flashlight creates a beam of light that illuminates objects nearby or distant depending on the power and shape of the light beam. As the distance from the flashlight increases, the beam spreads out and the illumination gets dimmer. The beam can be broad or narrow depending on the flashlight’s design, creating a spot light or a flood light..
Consumers evaluate and compare flashlights by the lumens of light produced, the strength (reach) of the light beam, and how long the battery will last. Size and weight have consistently been reduced so today portable lights like these can weigh just ounces.
A flashlight can produce light output from less than a lumen to over 3,000 lumens. Just 20 lumens is all the light you need to read this article in a dark room. I remember when I was a boy and it was bed time. I often hid under the blankets reading comic books with a flashlight until I became too tired to stay awake. That makeshift light worked well in my small reading cave.

Flashlight Designs

Today there are hundreds of flashlight designs for sale. A visit to a local home improvement or camping supply store will show a myriad of selections.
You’ll find penlights powered by a single AA or AAA battery. You’ll find handheld flashlights sized from several inches to over a foot long with batteries that energize tiny incandescent or LED bulbs. And you’ll see keychain flashlights, general purpose household flashlights, spotlights, floodlights, tactical lights, headlamps that provide hands-free movement, and even use-once glow-sticks that give off a greenish light for up to 12 hours. And there are multimode flashlights with switchable brightness controls that make the device bright, dim, strobe, or flash an SOS in Morse code. I even found a few flashlights with a zoom capability and multiple brightness levels. The ingenuity of the human mind is endless.
flashlight varieties
Flashlights come in many sizes, shapes, and prices
One type of multimode flashlight uses two double-A (AA) alkaline or nickel-metal-hydride(NiMH) rechargeable batteries and has three brightness settings—the standard setting will keep the bulb energized by alkaline batteries for just over two hours. The NiMH batteries will keep the light energized longer (about 3.5 hours). Switch to bright light and the batteries will last a little over an hour. Set the flashlight to the lowest (dim) setting and the batteries will keep the light bulb energized for over nine hours.

Incandescent vs. LED

Most families have at least one incandescent bulb flashlight, but light-emitting diode (LED) flashlights are rapidly becoming the norm. The LED light uses less battery power, is brighter, and lasts longer than its incandescent predecessor. An incandescent bulb can produce 8-10 lumens per watt. An LED can produce 100 lumens per watt, but LEDs need more battery voltage to operate (3.4 to 3.7 volts versus 1.5 volts for incandescent). This is why keychain lights and tiny penlights still use 1.5 volt incandescent bulbs.
Incandescent flashlights using alkaline dry-cell batteries have been the standard for years while small LEDs were used mainly as low-power indicator lights. Then in 1999 a white light LED flashlight using grouped LEDs was invented, creating bright light with efficiency and run times exceeding that of incandescent flashlight bulbs. As the popularity and use of LED flashlights continues, they are replacing the incandescent as the practical flashlight of choice for main use lighting.

Flashlight Performance

For emergency lighting, you don’t need the 100 to 250 lux (929 to 2,300 lumen brightness) common to room light with full electrical power. When power is out, 35 to 100 lumens will usually suffice for brightness during normal use with 8 to 20 lumens adequate for moving about between rooms. The idea is to use natural light during the day and emergency lighting after dark—adopting a circadian schedule whereby sleeping prevails at night and most of your activity occurs during daylight..
Once you decide on the purpose you intend for the flashlight you seek, selection is made by performance. Here you want to know lumens of brightness, how far the light beam is usable, the type of battery and how long it will provide power to produce light.
In 2009, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) published test and rating standards for all flashlights (FL1). Manufacturers were asked to print performance test results on the packaging. This is why you’ll often see FL1 standard values such as lumens, beam range, run time, and candela with signature icons printed on the front of many flashlight packages.

Flashlight Brightness

Flashlights with brightness between 1 and 20 lumens are good for key chains or small lights. A green glow-stick produces 0.6 lumens of light. A general purpose flashlight produces 30 to 100 lumens of brightness. A heavy-duty flashlight will produce 200 to 300 lumens of light. And high powered flashlights produce 1,000 up to 3,500 lumens.
The beam or throw value describes how far the light beam will shine (in meters) before the illuminance falls to 0.25 lux (the illumination of a full moon on a clear night). By mounting mirrors in a room and shining a flashlight up towards the ceiling you can reflect the light beam and increase the overall brightness effect in the area. Reflectors are included in flashlights to focus the beam and fix the beam width angle. Angles of 20 degrees or more are considered flood lights.

Run Time and Batteries

Run time describes how many hours the light can operate before the battery driving the lamp discharges to 10% of the voltage of a fresh battery. Many manufacturers make a graph showing light performance over time. These are usually available on their website or product literature.
The type of battery used in a flashlight is important in determining run time. Batteries can be disposable, rechargeable, or renewable using an external source of energy—think solar and think manual hand crank.
Battery types include alkaline and lithium disposable batteries, and lithium-ion (Li-ion), nickel cadmium (NiCd), andnickel-metal-hydride (NiMH) rechargeable batteries. Lithium batteries cost more than twice that of alkaline batteries, but lithium batteries often last many hours longer. Lithium batteries should not be interspersed with alkaline batteries—use alkaline with alkaline, lithium with lithium.
With the rechargeable batteries, nickel-cadmium batteries give you the most recycles (up to 1,500) followed by Li-ion with between 500 and 1,000 cycles. NiMH batteries are good for between 150 and 500 cycles.
Some consumers select emergency flashlights that all use the same type of battery so they have a simpler stocking issue. Others choose any type sold in stores because they want to have multiple options should the stores run low. The key is to have a good stock of back-up batteries on hand.

Emergency Flashlights

One popular flashlight design that proved itself during emergency power out conditions is the headlamp. It’s also called a headlight. This device channels light to a specific area. Headlamp batteries can produce 11 to 120 lumens of light and last for 150 hours or more. You need brightness reaching out about seven feet for walking at night. Lithium batteries are typically not used in headlamps. For example, the Rayovac 120 lumen headlight uses three AAA batteries.
Headlamp/Headlight products produce between 11 and 120 lumens, with a reach between 9 and 40 meters, and a run time between 5 and 12 hours. They cost between $14 and $20 each. Some of these have multiple modes of operation.
Flashlight options went from 8 to 3500 lumens and reached out (beam throw) 12 to 391 meters, with operational battery lives between 1 and 50 hours on the brightest setting. Prices varied from $1.97 up to $70 with incandescent versions selling for much less than products using LED s.
Cell phones are another form of emergency light. According to comments on various forums, cell phones are available with flashlight capability in the 8, 12, 16, 25, 40, or 50 lumen range of brightness—suitable for finding a keyhole, a light switch, or to illuminate your way through the house.
A category of lighting called “every day carry” (EDC) covers devices that are used working or emergency lights. The most popular EDC light manufacturers (in order of mention) are Fenix (23.8%), Streamlight (10.5%), Preon (5.6%), and Surefire (4.9%).
What are the most popular flashlights used by actual emergency survivors? To determine this, I read blogs and case studies covering major emergency events when electrical power was lost for over three days. I found over 60 makers and types of flashlights, head lamps, pen lights, and lanterns being used during these incidents. I also read flashlight product reviews.to see what products are most popular today.
Five manufacturers were mentioned the most—Fenix (13.3), Maglite (13%), Streamlight (10%), UltraFire (6.7%), and Inova (3.3%).
Survivors who prepared for emergencies selected multiple forms of lighting—headlamps (one per person), small penlights or key chain lights, LED flashlights with various brightness, beam distances and run times, and 360° illumination lanterns. By judicious use of these resources, few survivors ran out of light and battery power. They used ceilings, walls, and mirrors to enhance light coverage. And they turned them on only when being used thus extending the run times out for days or weeks. A number of these survivors commented that neighbors, who failed to prepare, often found themselves stuck with flashlights that ran out of battery power causing them to frantically scrounge around to find or borrow replacement batteries. Failing to plan is planning to fail, and this adage showed up often during these emergencies.
By positioning flashlights around your home so you always have access to a device, you’ll never be left in the dark more than a few seconds when a power outage occurs at night. Here’s where knowledge is power—light power.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Radio Review: Baofeng’s UV-82HP

When folks at Baofeng Tech asked me if I’d review the new 8 Watt UV-82HP UHF/VHF ham radio, the FIRST thing I thought of was comparing two different models against each other at their max power setting, and see how great a difference there was in range. A totally unscientific comparison, but doable, since I already own two Baofeng’s, two Baofeng UV-5R’s. I figured it would settle, (at least in my mind), the range question from a practical standpoint, plus give a reference point radio to compare. 

Let’s start with a first impression…

UV-82HP: you can play the FM radio for three 8 hour days at work on a full battery charge. 
For some, (like me), that’s important. It’s also a practical test of current drain, like keeping the radio turned on scanning memory banks all day. Figure around 18 to 24 hours service between charges under light duty cycle.   Audio volume and clarity is VERY impressive. I’m also impressed with the radio’s fit and feel. There’s substance to the radio, but because of it’s slim form factor, there’s no problem with it clipped to a pants pocket all day. It’s not a bulky brick. 
If ever I hear some blow-hard spout off about “cheap Chinese Radios” I’d hit them with this one… it’d leave a dent.  
The LED flashlight has an enclosed lens and reflector focusing the light. A radio with a built-in flashlight is occasionally more handy than the radio itself.

UV-5R: (First this Crevat: I LOVE my UV5-R’s)  The radio resembles a handheld radio version of a Sherman Tank, a small Sherman Tank. While the ’82 is slim and curvy, the ‘5R is not. Part of it’s appeal has been it’s utilitarian chunkiness, however, I found the ‘5R to be a bit little top heavy clipped to my belt, the antenna trying to upend the radio, so I seldom kept the radio clipped to my side for long. I usually just carry them around. As for volume, compared to the ’82…it’s no comparison, the 5R’s speaker sounds thin and tinny, the female voice commands a mumble most of the time.  

Please understand, while both radios have the same circuit design, I’m comparing Apples to Oranges here, the UV-82HP is a different radio model from a feature standpoint, as well as performance, as I soon found out. First… testing how both models compared working from a level playing field.
Rubber meets Road…RF meets Ozone
Testing for typical performance, I used both of my stock UV-5R HT’s and the ’82HP at the same power output, to compare signal reports through a local repeater about 5 miles away.
I discovered the UV-82HP receiver had some signal fading due to antenna orientation, vertical being distinctly stronger than horizontal. So did the UV-5R’s, only not as much. 
Holding the radio upright, the received signal clears up fine. It’s not a big problem, it just means I can’t look cool holding the radio sideways like they do on TV or in the movies.

All things the same, only different…
It turns out under identical power levels and operating conditions, the UV-82HP’s transmitted audio signal into the repeater was louder than both UV-5R’s. This was confirmed through signal reports from my contact, who didn’t know which radio I was using. Perhaps carrier deviation is just hotter in this particular HT, but over all, the UV-82HP had a better quality signal than both of my UV5-R’s.  Actually, I’m more lead to think it’s the battery capacity of the different radio models making the difference, the UV-5R’s using stock 1500 mAh. batteries, vs the UV-82HP, with 1800 mAh. (That’s a little radio tech secret… you get a cleaner signal with greater battery capacity.) The batteries and supplied chargers are not interchangeable between the UV-82HP and the UV-5R.  
This may also explain the longer duration between recharge, just listening to the FM radio.

The Main Event
On testing extreme range, I tried all three radios… the two UV-5R’s, and the UV-82HP, to get into a distant repeater, each using the radio’s highest transmit power.
It ended up being no contest…
For this test, I worked into the 1500′ blowtorch of the Pee Dee region, the W4PDE 2 meter repeater outside of Dillion SC. It’s 57 miles away, and generally covers a 125 mile radius. 
After several attempts, both UV-5R’s couldn’t raise the repeater, no response at all. 
I expected that. It was quite a stretch to expect the 4 watt UV-5R’s to get that far, especially with me standing at street level. But surprisingly, the UV-82HP hit the repeater first time with ease.  My contact, Tim W2SOC, reported my signal clear and readable with some white noise on my signal. Still, a VERY respectable report. Later on that evening, back home in the woods, the UV-82HP reached the Dillion repeater again, this time at 50 miles away. But sadly, both UV-5R’s couldn’t cut the mustard again. I have to say in the past, I had reached the Dillion repeater from my front porch, with one of my UV-5R’s …on a good day. But this wasn’t one of those days for a UV-5R, it was however, another day in paradise for the UV-82HP.

All things being the same, the UV-82HP has better signal quality overall than my UV-5R’s. As for it’s greater power settings, it’s obvious the radio’s range is significantly greater.

Showing Off…
At this years local field day, the UV-82HP was the belle of the ball because it was NEW! 
I got the radio in the hands of as many Hams as I could for their feedback.  Owners of UV-5R’s liked it’s fit and finish, and everyone liked it’s greater power output. Those who own older UV-82’s were envious, but knew it was the logical next step in the model line. 
The two-button PTT feature, used to select between two banks of memory, was initially confusing for UV-5R owners, but they quickly caught on to how it eliminates need to manually select between memory banks, and allows you to work two separate stations, just by pressing one or the other key button. If you don’t like the feature, you can turn it off in the settings using programming software. 
One noted the ’82 seemed more geared for using preset memories, which it is, arriving out of the box set up in channel mode. You hold down the menu button when turning on, to switch the radio to frequency mode. I also showed both radios to Hams who don’t own neither radio, asked them to pick which one they like. Most chose the UV-82HP over the UV-5R because it felt “more like a radio”, (One even called the ‘5R “a toy radio”)
Assessing ease of use. 
Right off the bat I noticed manual programming is more refined than with the UV-5R series, however, a practiced hand is still needed to set up and load memories manually. It’s obvious the radio begs to be programmed plugged into a computer, using programming software like CHIRP.  Incidentally, the ’82 doesn’t come with programming software or a USB programming cable. Not a problem with those who already have a earlier model Baofeng, but if you’re new to the brand, you should consider getting the programming cable too. Trust me, you’ll want one, even with this radio. The included manual is thick, informative, and written by someone here in the US.
Using the most recent daily build of CHIRP software, (it’s very good free software BTW), and accessing repeaterbook.com for the local repeater list, I had the radio on the air, 5 minutes out of the box.
Summing Up
I’m impressed with the UV-82HP, it’s a big step up from the UV-5R, with a more refined design. Overall, the radio is easy to set up using programming software and a USB cable, (which most Baofeng radio owners already own), and it has plenty of transmit power. It’s a perfect alternative to the popular high power variant of the UV-5R, the Baofeng BF-F8HP. It appears cross-compatibility of batteries and chargers between same model series radios would be a factor. If your comfortable with how a UV-5R operates, and seek greater power, then go with the BF-F8HP. However if you seek a more refined design in functions and form, along with very respectable range, you should take a serious look at the UV-82HP, I think you’ll be very glad you did.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

10 Household Items That Can Be Used As Life Saver During Survival Situations

10 itemsThere is no denying that the internet today is filled with articles and blogs about ‘the basic stuff we need to bring in our bug out bag…’ or ‘the bare essentials for survival…’ and the likes. And most of the time, the things being mentioned in these posts appear over and over and over again as if we’re not yet fed up of reading this overload of information. So instead of writing another guide about the usual suspects, I decided to share about the other things which can be equally useful in times of disasters and emergencies. Stick around as we are going to give a rundown of the 10 household items which can used as life saver during survival situations and probably leave some space for them to be included in your bug-out bags.
  1. Sanitary napkins
  • Conventional use: These things are often used by women during their menstrual visit. Sanitary napkins are usually made to absorb huge amount of menstrual fluids and are always sterilized to avoid the genitals from being infected.
  • Survival use: This household item can be used as padding for treating wound injuries in the field. Simply patch the napkin like you do with a gauze bandage and it will protect the wound from getting infected.
  1. Super glue
  • Conventional use: This heavy duty adhesive is used mostly for doing house repairs as it can stick to most surfaces like wood, plastic, leather, ceramics, and even glass.
  • Survival use: Super glue is actually safe to use for adhering severely wounded areas because of its sterile composition. If you don’t have any strings to use for stitching, simply apply the glue over to the lacerated area and wait for 3 minutes until completely fastened. Just bear in mind, this is a very painful process. So it would help if you can provide more support to the victim so he can bear the hurt with ease.
  1. Whistle and compact mirror
  • Conventional use: Compact mirrors are used mostly by women if they feel the need to do a quick re-touch. On the other hand, a whistle is used to call out the attention of others by making a loud audible sound.
  • Survival use: If you are stranded in the wilderness, you can make use of these items to call out the attention of an incoming rescue party. A mirror can be utilized to redirect the rays of the sun to signal rescuers and guide them to your point of location (like an aerial rescue). A whistle can also be a great addition to your survival gear as it can be used to direct the rescue group to find you if any visual indicator is not possible to be seen immediately (like in most jungle or cave-in rescues).
  1. Charcoal and cheesecloth
  • Conventional use: Charcoal is often used for barbequing while cheesecloth is mostly used for wiping excess moisture in meats and for straining.
  • Survival use: These 2 household items can be used to purify water. Place lumps of charcoal in the cheesecloth and let the water pass through it like you do with a normal strainer. The coal has the ability to clean the water by trapping microorganisms while the cloth will filter most of the solid impurities that make the water filthy.
  1. Gunpowder
  • Conventional use: To blast ammunition when fired by a gun and for making fireworks.
  • Survival use: For cauterizing wounds – This stuff is usually seen in action movies. If ever you are wounded severely and you need to close the wounded area to avoid infection, simply dust equal amounts of gunpowder into the affected area and light it up! Obviously, this will hurt a lot. So it would help if you bite on something to mend the pain a bit while going through the process.
  1. Chewing gum
  • Conventional use: To freshen up breath after meals.
  • Survival use: A stick of gum is a good appetite suppressor. The chewing motion of our mouth signals the brain that we are eating something. Thus, we don’t feel hungry right away. This is very helpful especially during an event of emergency when food is scarce and possibly rationed into equal portions to feed all the members of the bug-out group.
  1. Vinegar
  • Conventional use: Good for adding flavor into our salads and is also a great household cleaning agent.
  • Survival use: This household item can be used as a replacement for alcohol for sterilizing wounds and prevent any infection from happening.
  1. Condoms
  • Conventional use: Contraceptive.
  • Survival use: A strip of condom is flexible and waterproof that you can use it as a waterproof bag for storing water (up to 5 gallons!) and for preventing electronic gadgets from getting wet.
  1. Harmonica
  • Conventional use: For playing harmonious music.
  • Survival use: This item is a very helpful tool for coping up with the traumatic situation you are facing. Simply play the harmonica and this will help you relieve all the stress and anxiety you are feeling and learn to face the next day with a renewed hope and a positive vibe that everything will be fine eventually. (Unless of course you are in a situation you need to be silent.)
  1. Baking soda
  • Conventional use: For baking and for household cleaning.
  • Survival use: Baking soda can be used to treat stomachaches (just add 1 teaspoon to a glass of water), preserve the flavor of stored drinking water, and for stopping fires from getting out of control.

Friday, July 17, 2015

The Bankruptcy Of The Planet Accelerates – 24 Nations Are Currently Facing A Debt Crisis

There has been so much attention on Greece in recent weeks, but the truth is that Greece represents only a very tiny fraction of an unprecedented global debt bomb which threatens to explode at any moment.  As you are about to see, there are 24 nations that are currently facing a full-blown debt crisis, and there are 14 more that are rapidly heading toward one.  Right now, the debt to GDP ratio for the entire planet is up to an all-time record high of 286 percent, and globally there is approximately 200 TRILLION dollars of debt on the books.  That breaks down to about $28,000 of debt for every man, woman and child on the entire planet.  And since close to half of the population of the world lives on less than 10 dollars a day, there is no way that all of this debt can ever be repaid.  The only “solution” under our current system is to kick the can down the road for as long as we can until this colossal debt pyramid finally collapses in upon itself.
As we are seeing in Greece, you can eventually accumulate so much debt that there is literally no way out.  The other European nations are attempting to find a way to give Greece a third bailout, but that is like paying one credit card with another credit card because virtually everyone in Europe is absolutely drowning in debt.
Even if some “permanent solution” could be crafted for Greece, that would only solve a very small fraction of the overall problem that we are facing.  The nations of the world have never been in this much debt before, and it gets worse with each passing day.
According to a new report from the Jubilee Debt Campaign, there are currently 24 countries in the world that are facing a full-blown debt crisis
■ Armenia
■ Belize
■ Costa Rica
■ Croatia
■ Cyprus
■ Dominican Republic
■ El Salvador
■ The Gambia
■ Greece
■ Grenada
■ Ireland
■ Jamaica
■ Lebanon
■ Macedonia
■ Marshall Islands
■ Montenegro
■ Portugal
■ Spain
■ Sri Lanka
■ St Vincent and the Grenadines
■ Tunisia
■ Ukraine
■ Sudan
■ Zimbabwe
And there are another 14 nations that are right on the verge of one…
■ Bhutan
■ Cape Verde
■ Dominica
■ Ethiopia
■ Ghana
■ Laos
■ Mauritania
■ Mongolia
■ Mozambique
■ Samoa
■ Sao Tome e Principe
■ Senegal
■ Tanzania
■ Uganda
So what should be done about this?
Should we have the “wealthy” countries bail all of them out?
Well, the truth is that the “wealthy” countries are some of the biggest debt offenders of all.  Just consider the United States.  Our national debt has more than doubled since 2007, and at this point it has gotten so large that it is mathematically impossible to pay it off.
Europe is in similar shape.  Members of the eurozone are trying to cobble together a “bailout package” for Greece, but the truth is that most of them will soon need bailouts too
All of those countries will come knocking asking for help at some point. The fact is that their Debt to GDP levels have soared since the EU nearly collapsed in 2012.Spain’s Debt to GDP has risen from 69% to 98%. Italy’s Debt to GDP has risen from 116% to 132%. France’s has risen from 85% to 95%.
In addition to Spain, Italy and France, let us not forget Belgium (106 percent debt to GDP), Ireland (109 debt to GDP) and Portugal (130 debt to GDP).
Once all of these dominoes start falling, the consequences for our massively overleveraged global financial system will be absolutely catastrophic
Spain has over $1.0 trillion in debt outstanding… and Italy has €2.6 trillion. These bonds are backstopping tens of trillions of Euros’ worth of derivatives trades. A haircut or debt forgiveness for them would trigger systemic failure in Europe. EU banks as a whole are leveraged at 26-to-1. At these leverage levels, even a 4% drop in asset prices wipes out ALL of your capitalAnd any haircut of Greek, Spanish, Italian and French debt would be a lot more than 4%.
Things in Asia look quite ominous as well.
According to Bloomberg, debt levels in China have risen to levels never recorded before…
While China’s economic expansion beat analysts’ forecasts in the second quarter, the country’s debt levels increased at an even faster pace. Outstanding loans for companies and households stood at a record 207 percent of gross domestic product at the end of June, up from 125 percent in 2008, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
And remember, that doesn’t even include government debt.  When you throw all forms of debt into the mix, the overall debt to GDP number for China is rapidly approaching 300 percent.
In Japan, things are even worse.  The government debt to GDP ratio in Japan is now up to an astounding 230 percent.  That number has gotten so high that it is hard to believe that it could possibly be true.  At some point an implosion is coming in Japan which is going to shock the world.
Of course the same thing could be said about the entire planet.  Yes, national governments and central banks have been attempting to kick the can down the road for as long as possible, but everyone knows that this is not going to end well.
And when things do really start falling apart, it will be unlike anything that we have ever seen before.  Just consider what Egon von Greyerz recently told King World News
Eric, there are now more problem areas in the world, rather than stable situations. No major nation in the West can repay its debts. The same is true for Japan and most of the emerging markets. Europe is a failed experiment for socialism and deficit spending. China is a massive bubble, in terms of its stock markets, property markets and shadow banking system. Japan is also a basket case and the U.S. is the most indebted country in the world and has lived above its means for over 50 years. So we will see twin $200 trillion debt and $1.5 quadrillion derivatives implosions. That will lead to the most historic wealth destruction ever in global stock, with bond and property markets declining at least 75 – 95 percent. World trade will also contract dramatically and we will see massive hardship across the globe.