10 Jan 2012

Gaddafi Billions Misinformation and Fake trial to hang his son Saif in Libya

Saif al-Islam, the most prominent son of the country's late leader Colonel Gaddafi, is being held in the western town of Zintan. He has been charged by The Hague with crimes against humanity – but will the ICC ever see him in court? World powers have urged the National Transitional Council (NTC) to extradite the prisoner to the International Criminal Court in Europe. The Hague tribunal wants to try Saif al-Islam for crimes against humanity. The new Libyan authorities, however, have pledged a home trial for the colonel's son in an attempt to establish its judiciary. The ICC had orginially given Libya until January 10th to decide whether – and when – it would surrender Saif al-Islam, and to give information about his mental and physical health. It also wanted Libya to answer concerns raised by activists that Saif al-Islam was being held incommunicado, without access to lawyers. Libya had asked for a three-week extension, citing security concerns. The haggling continued at The Hague, where the authorities agreed to only two weeks, citing procedural concerns. But while the two sides fuss over who keeps Saif, many are wondering whether either of the two is capable of giving him a fair trial. Sabah al-Mukhtar, president of the Arab Lawyers’ Association told RT that Libya’s judicial system is not prepared for a trial of such magnitude and significance. But extraditing him to The Hague is no guarantee his rights will be represented. “I’m not so certain that the Western powers, or indeed even the ICC, are really all that interested in human rights issues,” al-Mukhtar said. “Don’t forget, it’s the Western powers that destroyed Libya. It’s the Western powers and NATO that were hunting that man. They were going to kill him and suddenly they became all concerned about his human rights? It’s a little bit too tongue-in-cheek.”

Angelo: Who is still ignorant to the fact that the money continuously stated to be Gaddafi's spoils in western banks by our media is otherwise generally known by those not brain rinsed to have been regarded as the Libyan peoples by Gaddafi and that much of it was designed to help set up Africa's own Monetary Fund the AMF so that African nations in need would not need to go to the US Dominated IMF (International Mother Fuckers) when in difficulties only to get more screwed, like Greece et al.? Next you'll be saying that the attack on LIbya was not to thwart the African gold backed currency that would have destroyed western currencies through the flight to real backed money and in reprisal for the 75% funding of the African comms satellite that has apparently cost European comms business 500 million a year in lost revenues. Once the unwashed hear about Gaddafi's billions in loot, that cruel subterfuge gives the OK full steam ahead for war and pillage when the facts could not be further from the truth which is in fact that our government is a tyranny. The truth that our government conspired and destroyed a country that was the envy of its neighbours to get the spoils. The truth that 1984 is the subtle hell that we inhabit today, and we know it!

Hyperinflation Comes To Iran

Tyler Durden's picture
Hyperinflation has struck again, this time at ground zero of the most sensitive geopolitical conflict in agesIran. EA WorldView reports:
An EA source reports that a relative in Tehran ordered a washing machine for 400,000 Toman (about $240) this week. When he went to the shop the next day, he was told that --- amidst the currency crisis and rising import costs --- the price was now 800,000 Toman (about $480). Another EA source says that the price of an item of software for a laptop computer has tripled from 50,000 Toman to 150,000 Toman within days.
And so the opportunity cost for the Ahmedinejad regime to preserve its status quo gradually grinds to zero, as the entire economy implodes (courtesy of a few strategic financially isolating decisions) making further escalation virtually inevitable, in a 100% replica of the US-planned Japanese escalation that led to the Pearl Harbor attack, and gave America the green light to enter the war.
Summary of McCollum's 1940 memo. Source and 'the McCollum Memo'

Boycott SOPA: Android App Scans Barcodes to Help Boycott Bill’s Supporters

Android apps scans bar codes to identify products made by supporters of the draconian Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).

Opponents of controversial govt plans to vastly expand copyright enforcement protections online have a new tool in their arsenal to fight back: Boycott SOPA. The Android app allows users to scan bar codes to determine if a product is either created by or somehow intimately related to a SOPA-supporting company.
SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act, was first proposed in the House of Reps on October 26th of last year. The legislation would give DOJ the power to force US based third-parties, including ISPs, payment processors, online advertising network providers, and search engines to either block access to infringing sites or cease doing business with it. SOPA would outlaw unauthorized streaming of copyrighted material with the threat of up to five years in prison for repeat offenders.
The legislation, while risking the very freedom and security of the Internet as we know it, is also is easily circumventable using a variety of methods we’ve discussed here at length in the past.
Boycott SOPA is another tool in the arsenal to show your displeasure with the bill. Its list currently contains over 800 brands and companies, and the developers promise to update it as they go along.
From the developers:
What it is: A free android application that you can use to scan bar codes to help identify if products are either created by or intimately related to SOPA supporting companies. There are currently over 800 brands/companies on our list. The list currently being used by the application is available here.
About the developers: We are two college kids that are unimpressed with the current SOPA bill and want to discourage it from getting passed in any way possible.
Other: This application will help you identify goods of companies which according to publicly available sources appear to have been supporting SOPA as of approx. January 5th 2011. It is Intended as an aid to identifying such products but should not be relied upon. You should carry out your own check in case of any product this app indicates is a product of a company supporting SOPA is not.

“An open Internet is crucial to American job creation, government operations, and the daily routines of Americans from all walks of life,” said Issa in a press release. “The public deserves a full discussion about the consequences of changing the way Americans access information and communicate on the Internet today.”Yesterday, Darrell Issa (R-CA), a vocal SOPA opponent, announced that on January 18th the House Committee on Oversight and Government will hold an oversight hearing to examine the “…potential impact of Domain Name Service (DNS) and search engine blocking on American cyber-security, jobs and the Internet community.”
Let’s hope it compels Congress to listen to the tech experts and not CEOs in the copyright industry, some of whom have shockingly said they don’t “…see anything good having come from the Internet.” Stay tuned. Source

Credit Card Firms: They Don't Just Steal From Cardholders

visa credit cards
Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Great story out this morning by Bloomberg reporter Thom Weidlich, detailing yet another devious and dirty scheme in the consumer credit industry.
The story outlines the misfortunes of a successful Park City, Utah restaurant called Cisero's that is best known for serving the movie stars and film glitterati attending the nearby Sundance film festival. The restaurant is engaged in a legal battle with its bank, but the larger struggle is between the restaurant and major credit cards like Visa and MasterCard.
It's a complex tale, but the gist of it is that the credit-card companies invoked arcane provisions of operating contracts with the merchant, and unilaterally "fined" the restaurant for enormous sums of money without proving any of the charges. Some of that money was actually debited from the merchants' account before they managed to close it.  
When a restaurant opens for business, it signs service contracts with middleman firms that allow them to accept charges from Visa and MasterCards. These middleman firms process the charges on behalf of the issuing cards, and also debit the accounts of merchants for things like debit fees.
The problem is that when merchants like these restaurant owners in Utah sign their service contracts, they also have to agree to a series of draconian security rules, under which they are automatically liable to the card companies if the card companies suspect fraud or lax security procedures.
In the case of the Utah restaurant, Visa and Mastercard both claimed that the restaurant allowed charges from fraudulently used cards, and also violated security rules by keeping the data for too many customer accounts on their company computer.
From Weidlich's piece:
Unknown to [the owners of Cisero's], data on 8,107 customers’ accounts had been stored in their computer system, they said. That was fewer than the 10,000 threshold for a fine to be imposed under Visa’s rules that certain customer data shouldn’t be stored on a merchant’s computer, they said.
Visa later said 32,581 accounts were on Cisero’s computer, without explaining how it got that number...
The credit companies never proved any of these allegations, never gave the restaurant an opportunity to answer the charges, and simply moved, through their middleman firms, straight to debiting the restaurant's account.
The two credit card companies each ultimately claimed preposterous levels of fraud:
Visa decided the “actual fraud” was $1.26 million and calculated Cisero’s total liability for noncompliance at $1.33 million, according to court papers. The restaurant’s “total pre-cap liability” was put at $511,513, the couple said in court papers, and ultimately Visa said Cisero’s owed $55,000...
MasterCard said it could assess $100,000 against the restaurant but was imposing only $15,000, they said. The card company later added $13,850 in loss claims by issuing banks based on fraudulent cards supposedly made with data stolen from Cisero’s system...
As Cisero's lawyers pointed out, the way the numbers kept shifting, as though Visa and MasterCard were simply making them up as they went along, suggested strongly that the whole business was less about merchant fraud and a lot more about just randomly taking money from small business owners who can't fight back:
“These various shifting numbers based on unexplained calculations” show that the “process is little more than a scheme to extract steep financial penalties from small merchants,” Cisero’s said in court papers.
The most galling part of the story is that the "fines" claimed by Visa and Mastercard were part of a fine-print arrangement that is virtually impossible for merchants to learn about, much less defend against. If you want to have a restaurant, you must allow credit card charges -- but if you allow credit card charges, you have to sign, sight unseen, an agreement that says you can be fined tens of thousands of dollars every time a credit card firm thinks your security procedures are bad:
When the restaurant and US Bancorp entered their first contract, “arcane operating rules -- over 1,000 pages in length -- were not publicly available to merchants and did not contain provisions on data security,” the McCombs said in their complaint.
The couple said they had no chance to negotiate over terms and no choice but to sign.
“Restaurants must be able to accept electronic payments from Visa and MasterCard to stay in business,” they said in the complaint. Not accepting customers’ cards “is simply not an option for Cisero’s.”
This story is another example of the central complaint against financial companies. They occupy a place in society in which they are a trusted part of our infrastructure. We allow many of our creditors to debit our bank accounts freely because we trust them not to simply steal our money without justification.
But the Bloomberg piece is just one more example of financial companies violating that trust. Episodes like the Utah business are apparently not uncommon, and other merchants have complained in recent years of an increasing tendency toward systematic overcharging in other areas:
The dispute is the latest in the contentious relationship between merchants and the card networks.
In 2003, in a suit brought by Cannon’s firm, New York-based Constantine Cannon LLP, Visa and MasterCard agreed to pay $3 billion to settle claims they overcharged on debit-card swipe fees.
Merchants last year successfully lobbied for federal legislation limiting the debit fees. Trade groups and merchants including the National Restaurant Association have filed an antitrust suit against the networks in federal court in BrooklynNew York that is still pending.
Nobody minds banks and creditors being greedy. But we can't live with big firms simply taking money out of bank accounts for no reason, and daring people to sue to get the money back. That's theft by bureaucratic force, not mere greed. Source

Poll puts Ron Paul neck-and-neck with Obama

New Hampshire will host the nation’s first primary of 2012 on Tuesday, and although Election Day is still months away, it looks to be a heated matchup between President Obama and the top-tier Republican candidates. No matter which GOP hopeful walks away from New Hampshire with this win Wednesday morning, the frontrunners in the race for the Republican Party now all pose a viable threat to President Barack Obama according to the latest polling from CBS News. Conducted following last week’s slim win for Mitt Romney during the Iowa caucus, the results of the latest poll suggest that the big guns among the GOP are about to give Obama a run for his money. When quizzed to choose between a top-tier Republican and Barack Obama, the current president managed to only escape the hypothetical race as the victor in a few instances.
In the imagined match-up between Obama and Texas Congressman Ron Paul, the two are at a statistical tie.
In a poll of over 1,400 adults, 45 percent say that they would vote Ron Paul in a two-person race for the presidency against Barack Obama. The current commander-in-chief only managed to poll in 46 percent favoritism, putting the two in a statistical tie given the margin of error of 3 percentage points. In that make-believe race, Paul also secures 10 percent of the Democratic vote, even if running as a Republican. The congressman also surpasses the president in popularity among independent voters, garnering 47 percent of the vote from that group to Obama’s 40.
President Obama is guaranteed the victor in all of the other two-person match-ups imagined by CBS, except in the case of Obama against Mitt Romney. In such a race, the pool of voters polled give Romney the win with 47 percentage points to Obama’s 45, still putting a win for either a clear possibility given the 3 point margin of error. Who will prevail in a race against Obama is a matter to be realized in only nine months’ time. Meanwhile, however, the results of the poll suggest one thing for sure. Mitt Romney’s reign as Republican Party frontrunner is waning as Ron Paul continues to soar with support. “We’ve called this contest a two-man race between Ron Paul and Mitt Romney, and this poll is further proof of that,”Ron Paul 2012 National Campaign Chairman Jesse Benton says in a statement. “It also demonstrates Ron Paul’s support among independents, an important voting segment within which our candidate is strong.”
As the Rick Santorum campaign loses steam after a near-win in Iowa last week, the top-tier of GOP hopefuls continues to be former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and Paul, despite a smear campaign waged against the Texas congressman by the establishment that seems to be running scared with the real possibility of a Paul presidency. Jon Huntsman has in recent days seen a surge in popularity and current polling out of Suffolk University suggest that he or Paul pose the only threat to Romney at this time. “The battle for second place will be determined by which candidate has the best field organization to bring out the votes today,” David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston, writes Tuesday.“A good get-out-the-vote-operation accounts for up to 5 points, which can impact an expected outcome.” While Suffolk’s latest polling released Tuesday still put Romney on top, his popularity slipped during the five consecutive days preceding the primary. Ron Paul has maintained a solid presence in second place throughout the campaign in New Hampshire. Last week in Iowa, Paul walked away with third place in a victory that yielded Congresswoman Michele Bachmann to suspend her run. Source

Puppets & Dictators: 'Revolution Guru' on OWS, Egypt, Libya

Despite an Arab League observer mission in Syria, there has been no let up in the bloodshed. Author and scholar Gene Sharp told RT in exclusive interview that non-violence is the only way for people to bring about a democratic change. Source

Pot. Kettle. Black. Palestine. Hello??? “Israel May Criminalize Comparison to Nazis”

The Israeli parliament will vote on a draft bill that would make it a crime in the country to compare people to Nazis. The legislation has been approved by Cabinet ministers and submitted to deputies. If adopted, the law could impose penalties of up to six months in jail and a $25,000 fine for using the word “Nazi or Holocaust symbols for purposes other than teaching, documentation or research, AP reports. Civil rights groups are criticizing the bill for infringing on freedom of expression. The legislation, however, was proposed in the wake of an ultra-Orthodox rally, when young boys were dressed as Nazi concentration camp inmates. The demonstrators who defended their community from “incitement” called police officers “Nazis.” SOURCE Headline quote by Max Keiser. Art by our own local boy Banksy on the walls of the NAZI GULAG CONCENTRATION CAMP for the indigenous Palestinian people, oops.

Hollywood Cons Congress - Max Keiser

Copyright and how Hollywood cons Congress by using Wall Street accounting. In the second half of the show, Max talks to Amir Taaki about hackers, piracy, technology and bitcoin. "Pea Brained Overrated Managerial Nincompoops".  Source

Bankers can wait. Targeting protesters is much more Cameron's cup of tea

The Vickers banking reforms are set for 2019. But when it comes to undermining protest ministers don't fanny about.

When governments seek to protect the rich from the poor, they act swiftly and decisively. When they undertake to protect the poor from the rich, they fanny about for years until the moment has passed.
On Tuesday afternoon the House of Lords will consider a bill containing a cruel and unnecessary clause, whose purpose is to protect landlords who keep their houses empty. Under current law, if squatters move into your home (or a home that you are soon to occupy) and fail to leave the moment you ask, the police can immediately remove them.
The only houses with weaker protections are those that remain empty. There are 700,000 such homes in England alone, almost half of which have been empty for a long time. They have long been a refuge for street sleepers and other homeless people. Landlords already possess civil powers to remove them, and the police can step in if squatters ignore the court orders.
Last year the government launched a consultation on criminalising all squatting in residential buildings; 96% of the respondents argued that no change in the law was necessary. But on 1 November, just five days after the consultation ended, the government jemmied an amendment into the legal aid bill, already halfway towards approval. This meant that the House of Commons had no chance to scrutinise it properly, and objectors had no chance to explain the issues to their MPs.
The result of this blatant insult to democracy is that people who have housed themselves at no cost to anyone are likely to be summarily evicted. Houses will fall back into disuse, and the government's housing bill will rise: by between £35m and £90m, according to the campaign group Squash. Worse still, the new law will help unscrupulous landlords to evict tenants where there is no written contract, by declaring them squatters and calling the police.
Compare this rush to prosecute the poor with the government's leisurely approach to banking reform. It will wait until 2019 to implement the mild measures proposed by John Vickers. As Robert Jenkins, who sits on the Bank of England's financial policy committee, points out, the date is distant enough "to allow lobbyists to chip away until the proposal becomes both unrecognisable and ineffective".
David Cameron's proposals for addressing executive pay have the same function: they are designed to be as ineffective as possible while creating an impression of action. On Monday he announced that he wants to scrap the top rate of income tax, making the people who caused the economic crisis even richer and the poor poorer. Those who contest the destructive practices of the feral rich, by contrast, are harried by draconian laws and paranoid policing.
Last month City of London police sent a letter to the banks titled "Terrorism/extremism update for the City of London business community". It warned of the following "substantial" terrorist threats: Farc in Columbia, al-Qaida in Pakistan, and Occupy London. It advised the banks to "remain vigilant" as "suspected activists" from the Occupy movement were engaging in "hostile reconnaissance" – the sort of language that might have been used to report German spies in the second world war. When asked to explain the letter, the police told the Guardian that it had been circulated to "key trusted partners". The banks are the trusted partners of our impartial law enforcers; those who seek to hold them to account are terrorists.
The police keep ratcheting up their tactics to ensure that protest against the status quo is futile. On 30 November they introduced a new one: the pensions march in central London was sealed off with three-metre steel walls, meaning that no one except for those marching could see what was happening or read the banners. The protesters were, in other words, prevented from explaining their purpose to the public.
While the government has introduced no meaningful sanctions to discourage a repetition of the crash, it has also failed to repeal the oppressive laws preventing us from challenging those who caused it. When he became deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg promised that the government would "remove limits on the rights to peaceful protest". But there is no such measure in the protection of freedoms bill, which was supposed to have been the vehicle for this reform, and which also comes before the Lords on Tuesday.
The restrictions on assembly and peaceful protest in the 1986 Public Order Act, 1992 Trade Union Act, 1994 Criminal Justice Act, 1997 Protection from Harassment Act, 2003 Anti-Social Behaviour Act and 2005 Serious Organised Crime and Police Act remain unrepealed. Together they permit the police to stop any protest they wish and arrest the participants. Far from reforming the law, the prime minister has hinted that he will tighten it further. Speaking to the Commons liaison committee in November, he claimed that "the right of people to protest is fundamental" but that "you shouldn't be able to erect tents all over the place". His approach to the issue is the same as Tony Blair's: you can protest, as long as it's ineffective.
The effort of both police and government is to predetermine political outcomes. They are using the law to make democracy safe for business and the super-rich: ensuring, in other words, that it isn't really democracy. Source

Chinese Central Banker Declares That 'Gold Is The Only Safe Haven Left'

China is making an even bigger move toward gold in reaction to money printing around the world (via @JamesGRickards).
People's Bank of China official Zhang Jianhua declared yesterday: "No asset is safe now. The only choice to hedge risks is to hold hard currency - gold."
Zhang, the bank's research director, recommended buying the dips: "The Chinese government should not only be cautious of the imported risk caused by rising global inflation, but also further optimize its foreign-exchange portfolio and purchase gold assets when the gold price shows a favorable fluctuation." Source

Gonzalo Lira tells us how Americans are Escaping from the USA

Merkozy reunites and turns up the heat on Greece to reform and cut the national debt, as markets fear the Greek bailout is unraveling. And signs of paranormal activity continue as investors pay Germany to lend the government money. The interest on 6-month German Bills -- close to 5 billion dollars worth -- were auctioned at a negative yield. We'll talk about why. And the chairman of the Swiss National Bank has resigned after allegations his wife cashed in on the central bank's policy to weaken the Swiss Franc. But as bad as this currency transaction scandal is -- is it worse than the zero interest rate policy that the US Federal Reserve is engaged in, skimming off the top of everyone's bank accounts? And should other central bankers follow suit and resign themselves? Hell, forget about waiting for the bankers to resign, and freedom to return to America. Should people who are worried about totalitarianism and financial repression in the US just pack their bags and get the hell out of Dodge? That's what Gonzalo Lira, founder of Strategic Planning Group, a company that helps protect its clients from events...well, like the kind we are describing...seemingly fat tail events that keep on getting fatter. Black Swans that keep on getting blacker. The paranormal that seems all too normal these days. We ask, should people just start planning their escape from the USA, and if so, where do they go? Again, Gonzalo Lira is here to explain this to us, and to give us his take on where Americans are fleeing during a deleveraging that is taking not just capital, but people with it. Source

The US Schools With Their Own Police

More and more US schools have police patrolling the corridors. Pupils are being arrested for throwing paper planes and failing to pick up crumbs from the canteen floor. Why is the state criminalising normal childhood behaviour? In 2010, the police gave close to 300,000 "Class C misdemeanour" tickets to children as young as six in Texas for offences in and out of school, which result in fines, community service and even prison time. What was once handled with a telling-off by the teacher or a call to parents can now result in arrest and a record that may cost a young person a place in college or a job years later. Source/full story

Commuting Tips in Tehran Iran

Arash Ahmadi will try to overcome obstacles that tourists may face when visiting Tehran. Source

Jim Sinclair: A Big Surprise is Coming

How To Prepare For The Difficult Years Ahead

How should people prepare for the difficult years that are coming?  I get asked about that a lot.  Once people really examine the facts, it is not too hard to convince them that an economic collapse is coming.  But once they accept that reality, most of them want to know what they can do to prepare themselves and their families for the hard times that are ahead.  Well, the truth is that it does not have to be complicated.  Many of the things discussed throughout this article are things that most of us should be doing anyway.  Now is not the time to be splurging on luxuries or expensive vacations.  Now is not the time to be going into large amounts of debt.  Instead, we all need to get back to the basics and we all need to do what we can to become more independent of the system.  Just remember what happened back in 2008.  Millions of Americans lost their jobs and millions of Americans lost their homes.  Now experts all over the globe are warning that another great financial crisis that could be just as bad as 2008 (or even worse) is coming.  Those that don't take the time to prepare this time are not going to have any excuse.
But there is also a lot of sensationalism out there.  There are some people out there that claim that the economy is going to collapse all at once and that we are going to go from where we are now to some type of a post-apocalyptic "Mad Max" society almost overnight. Well, that is just not going to happen.  We are not going to wake up next week in a world where we are all fighting each other with sharp pointed sticks. Just like anything else, an economic collapse takes time.  I like to describe what is happening using an analogy from the beach.  When you build a mighty sand castle, it is not totally destroyed by the first wave that comes along, right? Well, it is the same thing with the U.S. economy.  It was the greatest economic machine that the world has ever seen, and it is most definitely in decline.  But there are stages to that decline. The "wave" that came along in 2008 did a huge amount of damage.  Our economy has not recovered from that. Now another wave is coming.  But that will not be the end.  There will be other waves after that. Eventually, this thing is coming all the way down.  Someday America will be such a horror show that it will be hard to believe that it is the same place that many of us grew up in. But in the short-term, we are going to be facing a major league recession and millions of Americans will lose their jobs.  It won't be the end of the world, but for some people it may feel like it. So when you are talking about "how to prepare", the truth is that it depends on what kind of time frame you are talking about. In the long-term, a lot of the things that even the hardcore survivalists are doing will not be nearly enough. In the short-term, there are things that all of us can do to weather the coming storm....
Get Out Of Debt
The global financial system is headed for a massive crisis.  Just like in 2008, a lot of people are going to lose their jobs and a lot of people are going to lose their homes. In such an environment, it makes sense to travel as "lightly" as possible. That means getting rid of debt. Some forms of debt are worse than others.  Mortgage debt is not that bad.  We all need somewhere to live, and not all of us can run out and immediately pay off our mortgages. But there are other forms of debt that are absolutely toxic.  A good example of this is credit card debt.  There are very few things that are as good at bleeding your finances as credit card debt is.  For example, according to the credit card repayment calculator, if you have a $6000 balance on a credit card with a 20 percent interest rate and only pay the minimum payment each time, it will take you 54 years to pay off that credit card. During those 54 years you will pay $26,168 in interest rate charges on that credit card balance in addition to the $6000 in principal that you are required to pay back.  That is before any fees or penalties are even calculated. But a lot of Americans still have not learned to stay away from credit card debt.  In fact, one out of every seven Americans has at least 10 credit cardsOuch. The truth is that in future years there is a good chance that you may be facing a situation where you are not making as much income, so you want to try to start reducing your expenses right now.  Getting out of debt will help you to do this.
Save Money
A shockingly high number of American families are operating without any kind of financial cushion whatsoever.... -According to a Harris Interactive survey taken in 2010, 77 percent of all Americans are living paycheck to pay check. -According to one recent survey, one out of every three Americans would not be able to make a mortgage or rent payment next month if they suddenly lost their current job. This is one reason why so many Americans have lost their homes and why so many Americans have fallen below the poverty level in recent years.  They simply had no cushion. Last year, 2.6 million more Americans dropped into poverty.  That was the largest increase that we have seen since the U.S. government began keeping statistics on this back in 1959. Don't let this happen to you.  At a minimum, everyone out there should have a cushion that will cover at least 6 months worth of expenses.  Preferably, you should have a cushion that will last you at least a year. Yes, I know that is a tall order.  But you would be amazed at how much money the average American family wastes in a typical month.  Almost all of us have areas where we can cut back. Trust me, in the middle of a major recession you will be really glad that you are sitting on a pile of savings.
Get Independent Of The System
What would you do if you lost your job tomorrow?
Would you have any other income?
How long would it be before you lost your home?
Those are very important questions. The truth is that the system is failing and so we all need to work hard to become more independent of the system. So what does that mean? Well, instead of relying on someone else to employ you indefinitely, you can start up a business in your spare time.  Yes, it will cut into your television time, but if someday you lose your job you will be extremely happy that you still have some income coming in. Another way of becoming more independent is to start a garden. Yes, you can run down the street and buy giant piles of cheap food right now, but that will not be the case forever.
Store Food And Focus On The Essentials
I might get into a little trouble for saying this, but the truth is that there is not going to be a major famine in America in 2012. However, that does not mean that you should not be storing food and other essentials. In the old days, our grandparents always saved up food.  It was just a natural thing for them to do.  This was especially the case if they lived through the Great Depression. When hard times come, you will be glad that you have food stored up.  Plus, food is never going to be cheaper than it is today.  Having food stored up is a great hedge against the rising food prices that we will see in the future. No, we are not going to see hyperinflation by the end of the year like many of the sensationalists are warning.  But someday you will be really gladthat you stored up food for yourself and your family. We live in a world that is becoming more unstable with each passing month.  You never know when the next natural disaster, pandemic, war or national emergency will strike. It only makes sense to store food and other basic essentials that you will need in the future. In a previous article entitled "20 Things You Will Need To Survive When The Economy Collapses And The Next Great Depression Begins", I listed 20 of the things that you would need in the event of a major disaster, a national emergency or a total economic collapse.  These are things that you are going to want to make sure that you have ready right now, because after the crisis begins it may be too late to prepare....
#1) Storable Food
#2) Clean Water
#3) Shelter
#4) Warm Clothing
#5) An Axe
#6) Lighters Or Matches
#7) Hiking Boots Or Comfortable Shoes
#8) A Flashlight And/Or Lantern
#9) A Radio
#10) Communication Equipment
#11) A Swiss Army Knife
#12) Personal Hygiene Items
#13) A First Aid Kit And Other Medical Supplies
#14) Extra Gasoline (But Be Very Careful How You Store It)
#15) A Sewing Kit
#16) Self-Defense Equipment
#17) A Compass
#18) A Hiking Backpack
#19) A Community
#20) A Backup Plan
In the comments to that article, the readers suggested the following additional items....
A K-Bar Fighting Knife, Salt, Extra Batteries, Medicine, A Camp Stove, Propane, Pet Food, Heirloom Seeds, Tools, An LED Headlamp, Candles, Clorox, Calcium Hypochlorite, Ziplock Bags, Maps Of Your Area, Binoculars, Sleeping Bags, Rifle For Hunting, Extra Socks, Gloves, Gold And Silver Coins For Bartering.
Once again, a lot of these things are not going to be needed right away.  The economy is going to go through a lot more ups and downs before it totally dies. In the short-term, keep an eye on the European debt crisis, the Japanese debt crisis and the U.S. debt crisis.  There are a lot of similarities between what happened back in 2008 and what is happening now. And what happened following the crisis of 2008? Unemployment shot through the roof. So be prepared for that. Make a plan for how you and your family will survive if you end up unemployed. Also, when it comes to "how to prepare", there is one aspect that is often overlooked. During the difficult years ahead, we are all going to have to be mentally and spiritually toughIt won't matter how good your physical and financial preparations are if you are cowardly and paralyzed by fear. The times that are coming are going to test all of our hearts. Some people are going to make it and some people aren't. Some people will become so consumed with fear that they will give up completely. Don't let that happen to you. Prepare your heart, soul, mind and body right now for what is coming.  For those that are cowardly the years ahead will be a total nightmare, but for those that overcome the fear the years ahead have the potential to be a great adventure. Source