An Open Letter to President Obama and Congress on US Policy toward Ukraine and Russia

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As the United States races forward to develop policy to deal with the escalating crisis in the Ukraine, many citizens have been left totally uniformed respective of our regional interests and policies toward it. As a concerned citizen, I am respectfully requesting a pause to allow professional debate on the subject before the Administration effectively locks America into another Cold War with Russia. I, like many Americans, remember the days of the Cold War and do not wish to return to the fear of nuclear annihilation, incredible levels of defense spending, and never ending guerrilla wars across the globe.
Sadly, logic rarely plays any part in policy development and seems to have had almost no impact on the current administration’s policy decisions.  Further, as a mere voiceless citizen amongst the masses, I have little reason to suspect my voice matters or will ever be heard in front of our policy makers. As such, I risk being labeled a radical for daring to demand answers to critical questions all Americans should be concerned over as President Obama and the US Congress steer our nation toward a head on collision with Russia.  America, as every nation, has made many mistakes in its past.  Can we not, at least once, learn from these mistakes and try to get a policy right?  Rather than simply complain and point out the failures, I will offer solutions.  To that end, I recommend an initial, vigorous, public debate to inform upon and explore all policy options before our political knee jerk reactions land our nation in very dire waters. 
I am of the mindset that sanctions are the extreme extent of economic warfare, which is inextricably linked to waging warfare in the classical sense. Therefore, a declaration to destroy a nation’s economy is, in effect, the same as war. To assume otherwise is a dangerous oversight in respect to high stakes political brinkmanship. Perhaps the Russian oligarchs will still have steak and caviar, but sanctions will mean joblessness, hardship, and starvation for millions of Russians.  These deprivations upon the public amount to little difference from a shooting war.  Russia intimately understands this, but unlike Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya, Russia has the ability to effectively fight back against global bullying. Before walking further down this treacherous road with Russia, a formidable adversary I must add, I would like the President, Congress, and ultimately the American public to definitively answer and defend in open debate the following elementary questions:
What and specifically, whose interests are being served by our involvement in the Ukraine?  What vital national interests are at stake?  What will we receive in exchange for our involvement in Ukraine?  What are our policy goals in respect to Russia and Ukraine?  What end state do we seek by sanctioning Russia? What is the timeline by which we determine success in our policy?  How far are we willing to go to achieve those goals?  Will we commit to military action should sanctions fail to achieve our policy goals?  Are we willing to risk nuclear war?
What is the projected global economic impact of sanctions on Russia for the US economy?  Are sanctions our only tools?  What price is the US willing to pay for enacting painful sanctions on Russia?  If Europe won’t support sanctions, why should the US?  Do we truly have a global economy?  If so, wouldn’t hurting the Russian economy also hurt the world economy?  If Europe is correct that sanctions would hurt the EU’s economy, wouldn’t it by default also hurt the US economy?  Can the US economy afford more negative economic pressure?  Is sanctioning Russia over Ukraine worth billions of dollars in losses for the US economy?  How many dollars in losses are we willing to endure to achieve our policy goals in Ukraine?  Will one billion dollars in loans be enough money to stabilize Ukraine?  If not, how much are we willing to spend and what will we expect as a return on investment?  What is the actual probability the US taxpayer will be repaid for the loan to Ukraine?
Why can’t Ukraine fight for itself?  Isn’t Ukraine a European issue?  Why must the US fight Europe’s battles?  What are the historic consequences of intervening in Europe’s civil wars?  What is the historical precedent for American success in this type of intervention?
Who are the leaders in the Ukraine that we are now supporting?  Did they not take power through a violent overthrow of the elected Ukrainian government?  Who supported that revolution? Could the Russians have viewed this as a threat? If the tables were turned, would we approve of similar action on our borders? How do we decide who is and isn’t the legitimate government in the Ukraine?  Who are we to decide which coups, in a string of overthrows and power grabs, are legitimate after unilaterally deciding the formerly recognized Ukrainian government was illegitimate?  How do we know the current regime in power in Kiev will work toward America’s best interests?  If the leadership we back in Ukraine becomes unpopular and fails to deliver positive change, will we continue to back the regime?  If the leadership we back in Ukraine is itself overthrown, what is the potential damage to US interests in the region?
Will sanctions actually achieve our goals by altering Russia’s decisions or just further alienate a rather large and powerful nation?  How long are we willing to continue sanctions before we assess policy failure or success?  If sanctions fail to have the desired effect, what are plans B and C?  What is the cost of inaction?  What would be the benefits to supporting Moscow over Kiev?  Have we even considered supporting Moscow?  What are the Russian grievances?  What does Russia have to gain or lose in Ukraine?  How far is Moscow willing to go to defend what it considers its vital national interests in Ukraine?  How much pain is Russia willing to endure to achieve its policy goals respective of Ukraine? Are we willing to inflict that amount of pain to force our will on Russia? How much pain will doing so entail for the US?
Are we as a nation prepared to step firmly back into a new Cold War landscape for the indefinite future?  Is the US willing to play the game of chicken to its full conclusion?  If not, why should we engage in the dangerous game of brinkmanship in the first place?  What retaliatory measures will Moscow take in response to sanctions?  Where and how could Moscow feasibly hurt America the worst?  What are the implications of Moscow shutting down the Northern Supply Route to Afghanistan during our planned retreat in 2014?  What are the implications of Moscow authorizing advanced weapons sales to countries like Syria, Iran, and China?  What if Moscow attacked the US militarily?  What would be the most likely course of action for Moscow?  What would Moscow’s most dangerous course of action be?  Do Americans realize further escalation could lead to the deaths of many Americans across the world as Russia begins to retaliate?  Is this something that America considers an acceptable loss?
I would argue that if these very basic, yet critically important questions were honestly answered and publicly debated, the policy decisions respective of the situation in the Ukraine would be patently clear.  What Americans would realize is that intervention in Ukraine is not in our vital national interests.  The US could only derive a net loss to our global geopolitical stability, security, and strength.  The public would see that US actions will be ineffective, counterproductive, and ultimately futile.  Americans would not be willing to pay the true price of a reckless intervention.  
Perhaps, I am an unbending ideologue for asking that basic logic to be applied to our policy decisions.  Maybe, I am just a blind and backwards isolationist for wanting to avoid more foreign conflict.  Certainly, I must be a cold pragmatist for the mere insinuation that one should place American interests before foreign interests.  We might as well assume I am also greedy for suggesting I am not willing to have more of my tax dollars looted to pay the debts owed to foreign banks by foreign elites.  No doubt I am also unpatriotic for not rushing to arms to support military intervention in the Ukraine.  If so, then I stand guilty as charged. 

Sincerely,
Guiles Hendrik
April 20, 2014
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Contact: Please send questions or comments to guileshendrik@gmail.com

Why Fear Global Warming?

Recently, the Climate Change/Global Warming crowd has been growing ever more alarmist about dire consequences related to the alleged warming of the Earth. This should come as no surprise since the climate change movement traces its history directly to environmental extremists. However, it has only been a relatively recent phenomenon that environmental extremists teamed with the political left to craft an agenda designed scare people into submitting to their ideological fantasies and control. This has led to an ever increasing list of suffocating regulations, new laws, more bureaucrats, and even more burdensome taxes. In spite of the constant barrage of doomsday environmentalist propaganda I dare to inject logic and reason into this politically charged debate and ask the question: Why can’t “Global Warming” be good? What I find is that after stripping away the rhetoric, economics, and politics to expose the fundamental truth, I ultimately find that warming is not just good, but our best case possible climatic future.
Let’s begin by laying some basic groundwork. Much of the “global warming” hysteria is based upon highly politicized and government subsidized research by admittedly biased environmentalists. What you often don’t hear is that for every scientist sounding the alarm bells, there are just as many scientists dissenting and saying that the research doesn’t support the degree of fear mongering currently epidemic in government and the media. Further, these predictions are based on climatic simulations and models that are spit out of number crunching computers (black boxes) and are no better than the data fed into them. As such, there are literally hundreds if not thousands of widely used models that all claim to “predict” weather and climate patterns, yet the “Farmer’s Almanac” has a better record of predicting climate and weather patterns than your local weather man. Even short duration predictions are flawed! How many times have you gone for a weekend outing only to find out the “sunny” forecast turned into a rainy monsoon? Even worse, when has the hurricane season actually been consistently, accurately predicted? The fact is our best scientists can’t even give you accurate localized, contemporary forecasts and are even less capable of predicting global weather a hundred years into the future! To this point, scientists have not been able to accurately predict climatic patterns demonstrating that scientists still do not know and cannot accurately quantify the causal effects of what forms the Earth’s climate. At best this is an imprecise science and at worst climatic alchemy. Due to this one must rationally conclude that the models at best have limited to no predictive capability and at worst provide totally false data.
One has to concede that our historical baseline of global climate is limited and imprecise. This makes basing any future models inherently flawed because it is based on partial data sets that we can’t say for sure are even accurate or representative for the period in question. What we do know is that the Earth’s climate has continuously shifted between warm, wet periods and cold, dry periods (ice ages). The Earth has been warmer than it is today and the Earth has been much colder. What we don’t see is climatic stasis. Cycles do occur and the climate is perpetually in the process of either cooling or warming. This continual climatic variation lends validity to the broad term of “climate change,” but certainly doesn’t imply the Earth and all of its living creatures are doomed if any change occurs. In fact, humans have already survived through multiple ice ages and warm periods long before the industrial age. However, what a macro analysis of research from multiple scientific disciplines show is that it has always been during ice ages when humans faced their greatest challenges and NOT during the relatively short periods climatic warming. The reason for this is very simple. Biological diversity thrives in warm wet climates such as the Amazon Rain Forest, but must struggle to survive in harsh cold and dry climates such as the Arctic and Arabian Desert respectively. Thus, it is actually quite easy to conclude that not just man, but the vast majority of living creatures depend on warm, wet conditions to survive and thrive.
Assuming that the climate scientists are indeed correct the Earth is warming, this is reason for relief, not alarm. Yes, it is true that as the Earth moves through climatic cycles localized weather patterns will change. Yes, it is also true that in some cases this will have a negative impact, but globally speaking, during warming periods, far more areas will see a net benefit from warmer and wetter climate. With warmer temperatures and more rain, we will see parched desert land once again become fertile. The soil of the land we currently farm has become worn out and warming could be just the miracle farmers need to unlock new and vast fertile regions to meet the growing world demand for food. We will be able to plant crops further and further north and south and reclaim land that was once frozen and not suitable for sustained habitation. We will also see aquifers, lakes, rivers, and streams recharged with desperately needed fresh water. Even though some areas will become so dry, as weather patterns change, they will no longer be habitable, that is okay because the net result would make far more land available. Coastal cities may indeed see some flooding if the dire predictions prove accurate, but that too is ridiculously overblown. Governments for centuries have fought to create jobs and relocate insolvent cities. A sea level rise would provide the needed stimulus for nations to finally overhaul their horrific urban planning and put millions back to work. Most cities are in desperate need of or are beyond repair because they were never engineered to handle the massive number of residents they now sustain. Many cities also no longer occupy a strategic location and are dying since their original purpose for existence long ago disappeared. Instead of sitting idle and waiting for the water to rise as climate alarmists predict, why not seize this opportunity to build much more sustainable cities where they will be most viable? Trade routes, economic centers, travel hubs, and populations have all undergone major changes in just the last two decades and much more since most of the world’s major cities were first populated so isn’t it time to update instead of letting them die a slow death like Detroit?
Remember that if the Earth is not warming, it is cooling. Contrary to the climate alarmists, it is certainly possible that what we are witnessing is the last stages of a warming period as the Earth shifts into a cooling cycle, which notably, is climatically overdue according to the geological record. This alleged ramp in temperatures may in fact be cyclical and actually have almost nothing to do with the “greenhouse effect” and carbon emissions. I for one ascribe to this potentiality far more than I do one of prolonged warming. Cooling would be a true climatic disaster for mankind unlike the warming alarmists would lead you to believe. Much of North America, Europe, and Asia would be covered in thick ice sheets. Western Civilization would all be forced to relocate or perish. The food stresses on the world population as a result of massively reduced arable farmland would lead to unprecedented famine and starvation. Migration pressures on the equatorial latitudes would be overwhelming and lead to warfare and even greater death. Adding to the global disaster would be the fact that during cooling periods the Earth becomes much drier as water is locked into massive ice sheets. This would leave the Earth much drier than it is today in respect to land not covered by ice or permafrost. Desert like conditions would become pervasive and would exasperate conditions of famine as the global net total of arable land plummeted. By the time mankind reached equilibrium with the new carrying capacity of the Earth, more than two thirds of the world’s population will have died off. As such, logic would again dictate that given the choice between warming or cooling, warming is the overwhelmingly preferred option if your motive is to sustain maximum human life.
To date, an ice age isn’t what is being predicted by the scientific community. Instead, we have been told that we will face higher temperatures and rising sea levels; although, it seems that the climate change “experts” now seem to attribute any and all weather to the nebulous “global warming.” This fact alone is a red flag and screams of faux science. The most recent example has been to say in the same breath we have had a record cold winter because the temperatures are rising. Really? Has anyone taken a moment to rationalize how absurd statements like these are? I personally get a laugh out of the idiots running around trying to tell me that the Earth is warming because of bovine flatulence. What scares me far more than any potential global warming is that these extremist nut jobs seriously believe this garbage. They are either complicit in or oblivious to the fact that bovine flatulence has nothing to do with global warming and was only a special interest agenda lumped into the debate by animal rights extremists in a thinly veiled attempt to economically attack cattle farmers. Even a middle school student that has taken basic earth science knows that a hypothesis (global warming in this case) that purportedly claims to be proven valid no matter what outcome presents, irrespective of the dependent and independent variables, is utterly useless. This type of flawed hypothesis is called a non-falsifiable hypothesis (it can’t be proven wrong so it equally cannot be proven correct) and appears to have found favor within political propaganda circles. However, if a student were to use the same non-falsifiable logic for his science fair project’s hypothesis, the student would fail. Nonetheless, prestigious “scientists” still can’t seem to remember the basic, fundamental rules of the scientific method!
No matter what the future holds, paranoia, fear mongering, and alarmist hysteria will neither solve the problem nor improve our situation (although quite a few seem to have made a good living off of the scare tactics…Al Gore). Climate change has been a perpetual part of Earth’s history. Only through sheer hubris and reckless endeavor would man think that he can controllably alter this natural cycle and improve his outcome. One may rightly claim that it is a fool’s errand to try and play god with the weather. Climate change cannot be stopped any more than the weather you will wake up to without utterly destroying the Earth’s natural balance in real and quantifiable ways. Instead of alarmism, isn’t it time man embraced the change? Man’s responsible course of action is not to panic, but to adapt. After all, it has been man’s ability to think and adapt, which has allowed him to survive to present day.
In closing, I have a clear conscience as I add another log to my wood burning stove, which warms my mountain (soon to be ocean front) redoubt while I look out at my pickup truck with a big V-8 engine knowing I have done my part to sustain mankind. As for the rest of you driving around in a Prius, just say thank you.

By Guiles Hendrik
April 4, 2014
All rights reserved.

Russia Laughs at Obama’s Red Line in Russia: What’s Next for Relations?

President Obama and his Secretary of State John Kerry have to be the laughing stock of the foreign policy world.  In less than a year they have managed to draw two “Red Lines” only to have them almost immediately ignored, crossed, and forgotten.  With this track record the word impotent comes to mind in reference to US Foreign Policy and particularly President (Carter) Obama.  Not to be trifled with, President Obama and his partners within the EU managed to order the assets of a handful of Russians frozen, obviously leaving Putin quaking in his finely crafted leather shoes.  The act is almost comical in that it seems to show even less resolve than if Obama and the EU had done nothing.  After all, freezing the non-existent US assets of a couple dozen Russians long after they hid and/or offshored anything of value can only be viewed in one of two ways.  Either the US is as weak as it appears or the US never intended to truly oppose Russia’s aims to annex Crimea and this is all political show so that they can say they “stood up to Putin.”  Further, at least one of victims of Washington’s sanctions appears to have nothing to do with events in the Ukraine and everything to do with Russia’s Christian grounded stance against homosexuality, which at least someone high up in the Obama Administration took exception.  This random list of targets unrelated to the events in the Ukraine undermines any shred of legitimacy the sanctions purportedly were imbued with.  Either way, Putin has to be concluding that at this point the US and the EU have zero resolve when it comes to actually opposing Russia’s annexation of Crimea.  Nonetheless, Putin, the same man that would order a former Russian defector assassinated with a rare radioactive isotope placed in his cocktail in a fine London bar, is not likely to take Obama’s cheap shot lightly.

Now that Washington has proved it couldn’t resist taking a cheap shot, what can we expect Russia’s response to be?  First of all, Putin has shown that unlike Obama, his actions speak for themselves and he doesn’t need to talk.  Since Washington and the EU attacked Russia financially, it is likely Russia will respond financially.  Last week, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov declared that any sanctions introduced by Washington against Moscow will have a “boomerang” effect.  Senior Russian Presidential Advisor, Sergey Glazyev, one of the individual’s sanctioned by Obama’s executive order, suggested Russia would dump US treasuries and walk away from the US Dollar as a reserve currency.  It is questionable how much of an impact this would have, but it certainly wouldn’t help the US economically and add to the growing list of countries dumping the US Dollar as the world’s reserve currency.  American businesses operating in Russia may also suffer retaliation in the form of their assets being frozen, confiscated, or shutdown.  Further, Russia has the ability to call in billions in debt from the Ukraine and cut supplies of gas to the Ukraine and EU.  Cutting gas supplies to the EU would certainly hurt Russia too, but this logic is fundamentally flawed if one believes that it will deter Russia.  Russia is renowned for its ability to suffer austerity.  In fact, one of the critical failures in US-Russia policy has been the inability of our senior policy makers to recognize Russia’s ability to endure extreme hardships and willingly cut off its nose, leg and hand to spite its face if it means victory can be assured.  The US and EU are not willing to go to those extremes so, by that fact alone, Russia will prevail in any developing economic stand-off.

Respective of Russian natural gas and oil, I produced a paper a half a decade ago that looked into the future political ramifications of Russian geopolitical power as Western economies waned and Asian economies waxed.  What became apparent was that once Russia completed pipelines in its east that could link their large gas and oil fields to China and coastal ports in the Pacific, Russia would gain significant leverage in what had previously been a status quo relationship with Europe between supply and demand.  Until recently, Europe has always felt safe in that at worst, Russia would only cut gas supplies during a political crisis for a short period of time because Russia needed the money as much as Europe needed the gas.  However, with pipelines now directly extending supply to China, Russia is more than able to divert supplies from Europe, southeast to China.  This is a game changer, which increases Russia’s geopolitical maneuver space.  China welcomes this and is happy to buy all of the petrol resources it can obtain from Russia so that its supplies are more reliable.  Further, China will be likely to back any move that drives Russia to sell to China at more favorable rates, which to date, have been below what Russia was willing to agree to sell at.  China would also see the advantage of a marginalized Russia that dumps the US Dollar and is willing to trade directly in their respective currencies.  Remember, China seeks to replace the US Dollar as the world’s reserve currency and sees that transition as critical to achieving super power status and eclipsing the US.  Considering the above, it is highly likely that China will not just quietly support Russia, but actively back Russia against the US and EU.

Russia also has the ability to increase the sale of military weapons to countries such as Iran and Syria.  In particular, the S-300 air defense system would be a highly sought after leap ahead in technology for both the Iranian and Syrian militaries.  This system alone would be penetrable by American airpower; however, it would significantly increase the complexities and cost of carrying out any type of air attack against either nation.  Russia could also dangle the idea of selling an even more advanced S-400 air defense system, which if fielded, would mean that US would be at a high risk of losing significant numbers of aircraft in the event they attacked any nation using the system.  Respective of countries such as Israel, the S-400 would make it all but impossible for them to successfully carrying out an air attack making any suggestion of the sale of the weapon system a serious threat.  Respective of the civil war in Syria, Russia could begin sending ship loads of various weapons and even advisors and troops to support President Assad.  This would tip the balance in favor of Assad just as his army is gaining ground on the rebels making it possible to achieve a decisive victory.  Ensuring Assad’s victory would have the added benefit of snubbing Washington while stopping Qatari efforts to build a gas pipeline to Europe that would reduce the European reliance on Russian gas.

Finally, among numerous options for retaliation, Russia has the ability to make NATO’s withdrawal from Afghanistan extremely painful.  First of all, Russia has the ability to shut down all supply routes to and from Afghanistan from the north.  This would disrupt NATO’s ability to sustain the current forces in Afghanistan and retard efforts under way to retreat with all of its equipment in tow.  Further, it would force NATO to pay premium prices to Pakistan to move all of its equipment out of the country via Karachi.  The Karachi route is extremely dangerous and once it is clear that the US must use this route, the Taliban could concentrate its attacks along the entire stretch of this road network.  Even darker is Russia’s proven, albeit very covert ability to provide the Taliban with substantial support and weapons.  Should the Russians decide to really make life a living hell for the US, expect to see the Taliban suddenly supplied with more sophisticated weaponry capable of destroying armored vehicles from long range or even engaging NATO aircraft and drones.  Imagine what NATO’s retreat from Afghanistan would look like as troop numbers dwindle and the remaining isolated outposts begin to be overrun, supply convoys are wiped out by sophisticated  laser beam riding anti-tank weapons, and aircraft are suddenly being shot down by the modern Russian equivalent of the Stinger missile.

In truth, the US is far more exposed than many realize.  Should Washington decide to ratchet up pressure on Russia by continuing to try and subvert Russia’s historic sphere of interest, expect Putin to begin playing cards he has so far politely held in reserve.  Putin’s trump cards are for, let’s say, more uncivilized forms of diplomacy, which Washington now seems to want to engage.  Obama’s thug style Chicago politics may have worked within the confines of the decrepit US political system, but Barry will be sorely mistaken if he thinks he even remotely approaches a match for Putin in the global arena.  As Putin has repeatedly demonstrated with very little talk and decisive action, Washington is a paper tiger that not just lacks teeth, but a functioning brain.

 

By Guiles Hendrik

March 23, 2014

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PM Maliki Accuses Qatar and Saudi Arabia of Waging War against Iraq

As we have reported for some time, the US support to Al Qaeda affiliated jihadist groups waging an insurgent war in Syria would cause the conflict to spread beyond Syria’s borders. Specifically, we pointed out that the Qatari and Saudi backed insurgents would threaten the Shia dominated (Iranian leaning) government in Iraq. This came to fruition after anti-government militants seized control of the city of Fallujah in December. Since then Iraqi forces have been unable to get the city back from the rebel fighters. Further proof of our predicted regionalization of the war came recently after Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki accused Saudi Arabia and Qatar of declaring war on Iraq and supporting global terrorism. The Iraqi leader blamed the two countries for orchestrating the latest wave of bloody violence to hit Iraq this year, which continues unabated and at levels not seen since the height of the bloodshed during the US occupation. Of course you will never hear this in a White House briefing or on the CNN and Fox propaganda networks.
Prime Minister Maliki placed the blame for the increasing terrorist violence in Iraq on Qatar and Saudi Arabia in an interview with France 24. He said both countries are supporting extreme sectarian groups within Iraq, with a view to destabilizing the country and are “attacking” Iraq through Syria. “I accuse them of inciting and encouraging the terrorist movements. I accuse them of supporting them politically and in the media, of supporting them with money and by buying weapons for them. I accuse them of leading an open war against the Iraqi government,” said Maliki, adding that Saudi Arabia and Qatar not only supported terrorism in Iraq, but also sponsor terrorism worldwide. Maliki made it clear that Saudi Arabia and Qatar are causing the violence when he said both countries are “buying weapons for the benefit of these terrorist organizations.” Maliki also echoes our warnings over US policy supporting known terrorists in Syria when he warned the Gulf States that their support of global terrorism “will turn against them.” Let’s consider for a minute that the leader of Iraq just squarely blamed Saudi Arabia and Qatar for terrorism worldwide. If it is true, would it not mean the entire war on terrorism has been one of the largest and misguided scams? How can it be that after a decade of fighting terrorism all around the globe that US intelligence and our leaders missed evidence that showed Saudi Arabia and Qatar were supporting terrorists? After all, aren’t Saudi Arabia and Qatar solid allies and friends of the US? The fact is Maliki is a politician suddenly caught in a rare candid moment of truth telling and the US has for decades turned a blind eye to Saudi Arabia’s blatant and deliberate support to terrorism against Americans.
If only the US government was as honest as Maliki we might actually make some headway against Islamic extremism. It should come as no surprise that one of the primary reasons we have been unsuccessful in the war on “terrorism” is because we have never attacked its real epicenter within Saudi Arabia. In fact we have criminally turned a blind eye to the terrorist acts of the Saudi government, which have led to the deaths of thousands of Americans. According to the leaked and still classified congressional report on 9/11, senior Saudi government officials were directly involved in the funding, planning, and execution of the 9/11 attacks; yet, our government has covered it up and kept it from the American people that deserve the truth. Instead of attacking Saudi Arabia for carrying out an act of war against the US, the US falsely accused and attacked Iraq under false pretenses. Instead of telling the truth to Americans, two presidents have now sent Americans to fight and die in foreign lands far removed from the real problem. Unlike Maliki, the US government has consistently misled and lied to the American people to protect THE terrorist state of Saudi Arabia. In the land of laws, this is called aiding and abetting terrorism and it is still a federal felony crime. This is nothing short of treason.

By Guiles Hendrik
March 14, 2014
All rights reserved.

An Open Letter to Connecticut Law Enforcement

Connecticut has a storied history in the founding of our republic.  As a state at the forefront of the Revolutionary War, its patriots stood firm in the face of tyranny.  What they helped achieve was nothing short of miraculous in respect to the new nation with freedoms and liberties never before known to previous generations of countless subjects.  In the coming days and weeks, you as law enforcement officers will be ordered to enforce a draconian gun control law against the wishes of the very same type of men that stood against tyrants and freed our nation from monarchy.  Will you go door to door and arrest those patriots that refuse to lay down their arms in the face of unconstitutional legislative action?  I ask that you do stand down and refuse to obey those orders for the common good.

Many of these peaceful citizens will be farmers, teachers, carpenters, doctors, soldiers, sportsmen, fireman, and former law enforcement that have dedicated their professional lives to the betterment and protection of their fellow citizens.  They are the true first line of defense for their families and communities.  They are you and me.  You will be told that these “former” law abiding citizens are suddenly now dangerous felons that pose an existential threat to peace in your state.  Those that refuse to hand over their lawfully obtained and peacefully maintained firearms will be deemed outlaws and you will be tasked with stamping out this rebellion.  How will you justify your actions?  Are you “just doing your job” like the Gestapo’s foot soldiers?  Will you use maximum force for officer safety at the risk of innocent citizens being harmed or killed?  When you have to kill your fellow citizens to disarm them will it be worth it?  When your actions lead to more deaths of children and innocents will it be justified?  Will your actions truly serve good or evil?  Are you willing to risk your life for the leftist bureaucrats that care nothing for you and look with contempt at law enforcement behind closed doors as brutish, uneducated, hired guns?  Will you stand with the people of your communities or the tyrants in government?  Do you realize that this issue is far bigger than Connecticut?

Consider that until you begin to breach doors and enter the homes of peaceful citizens at gunpoint, there was no threat.   There was no bloodshed.  There was no violence in these communities emanating from these lawful gun owners.  If you enforce this unconstitutional law, it will be you that brings violence and bloodshed to the innocent.  You will surrender your title of protector of the innocent and become the very evil you claim to stand against.  You will lose all standing amongst the citizenry as legitimate.  You will become nothing more than the armed thugs of the elite and deserve your earned fate.  Ironically, you will be the very threat against which, citizens were given the right by law to be armed.

A healthy republic relies on the action of free men with unimpeachable integrity, inquisitive minds, and steadfast moral constitutions.  Your founding fathers left a clear mandate for you to resist tyranny in every form at every opportunity.  Every one of you should intuitively understand that surrendering arms is not about protection but about the total power and control of the state at the expense of a citizen’s freedom and liberty.  The power of the government is inversely proportional to the freedom of the people; the more powerful the government, the less free the people.  However, the power of a nation is directly proportional to its freedom and liberty; the more free the peopl                                                                                                                                                                                             e, the stronger the nation.  Remember that even the United States Attorney General, Eric Holder, stated as recently as last month that you should not enforce laws you feel are unconstitutional.  Further, the oath many of us took was to defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic.  This is your moment to stand firm with your fellow citizens against tyranny and let it be known that you will not be a part of their oppression.  Do what tyrants fear most and stand up to them.  Without their brutish enforcers, the schemers have no power.  I ask each and every one of you to show true courage and utterly refuse to enforce Connecticut’s unconstitutional gun control laws.  Prove to the tyrants that the old blood of patriots is still alive and well amongst New England’s citizens and you will defend liberty and freedom today as your forefathers did in 1776.  Stand firm, stand united, but do not stand for the schemers that seek to disarm and control our nation.  Refuse to enforce this law.

 

Sincerely,

Guiles Hendrik

Truth Trickles Out: Afghanistan troop cuts will likely lead to Taliban surge, study warns (Surprise…exactly as we predicted)

March 3, 2014: Our track record continues its pristine record of accurately cutting through the lies and deception and correctly forecasting the impact of United States’ policy.  In one of the most recent reveals, it took a gold star panel of overpaid, retired bureaucrats and generals (forgive me if I am redundant) to “discover” that NATO’s optimistic predictions for Afghanistan’s future, contrived at its 2012 Chicago summit, were ridiculously flawed.  The study conducted by the “nonpartisan” think tank CNA concluded that stability in Afghanistan will require tens of thousands more troops costing billions more dollars than NATO envisioned at its 2012 summit.  The review,conducted at the behest of the Pentagon’s policy directorate, found that the Taliban insurgency is likely to swell in the years following the upcoming US and NATO military withdrawal, which contradicts the expectations set at NATO’s May 2012 summit. The review also saw widespread deficiencies in NATO’s planning for Afghanistan manpower, logistics, air support and ministerial strength.

As we reported previously, it was readily apparent to anyone willing to take an unbiased look at the situation in Afghanistan that our counterinsurgency strategy “coined” (pun intended) by strategic snake oil salesmen like disgraced General David Petraeus, Australian “fiction author” David Kilcullen, and RAND Associate Director/Mental Incompetent Seth Jones was an abject failure.  In particular, sealing the border connecting Afghanistan to Pakistan, the single most critical element required to win in Afghanistan, was not even attempted and discounted by the brain trust listed above.  Further, the brain trust relied nearly exclusively on financial aid (bribes which ultimately funded the Taliban) and training of the Afghan police and military (soon to just be a well trained and equipped Taliban army), which has again proven to have no historical precedent for success in warfare.  The damning Government Accountability Office (GAO) study (http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d1166.pdf) sums up this situation succinctly stating: “The Afghan government and international community have set an objective of having the Afghan army and police lead and conduct security operations in all Afghan provinces by the end of 2014. As of September 2010, no ANA unit was assessed as capable of conducting its mission independent of coalition assistance.”  After a decade and almost a trillion dollars of direct and indirect spending the US had effectively trained a whopping 0% of the Afghan Army to operate on its own!  Anyone that thought just a few hundred billion more dollars and a couple more years would change this was stupid or lying…perhaps both.  I am honestly sick of listening to these idiots create policy after policy on how to “win” in Afghanistan when none of them have a lick of sense, have been in an actual firefight firsthand, or can show that a single policy they recommended led to a decisive US victory.  Of course many excuses were put forth, but the reality was something much deeper as those with functional brains recognized.  The fact was that victory was impossible without the will to actually fight a war to decisive ends, which required the US to have a coherent strategy, competent leadership, the ability to unilaterally run the Afghan government, and the “US” military (not the Afghan enemy) to prosecute a war of attrition across the border into Pakistan and wipe out millions of Pashtuns.  None of these necessary conditions were in place, which created an insurmountable situation in Afghanistan in respect to achieving a decisive victory.

Not so ironically, the review comes as the US policy makers realize they must retreat out of Afghanistan in defeat and will need an alibi to cloak their failure.  Dusting off the Iraq playbook, it should come as no surprise the US, after “exhausting all options with an intractable President Karzai,” will have to pull its troops out of Afghanistan because he won’t sign a status of forces agreement (SOFA).  The spin will be used to justify Bush and now Obama’s military defeats, but don’t expect anyone to question Jay Carney about why after invading, occupying, killing over a hundred thousand people, and placing our puppet in charge that we somehow are now unable to stay because of minor bureaucratic red tape.  The weakness of the public mind knows no bottom.

The CNA review panel at least is correct in recognizing the persistent Taliban insurgency will mount an increased threat to the Afghan government for years after the envisaged NATO withdrawal. The CNA team’s prediction of an increased Taliban threat to Afghanistan through 2018, supported by a recent US intelligence assessment, “stands in direct contradiction to the assumption of a reduced insurgent threat made at the Chicago Summit,” the report states. This is about as much credit as I can give the CNA team.  Beyond this, their analysis becomes pure garbage and it is nauseating to think how many tax dollars were spent on this trash.

The problem with the study is the CNA panel falls short on accurately getting the present facts right and thus, utterly blows their long term forecasted endstate, which predicts a stalemate.  “We conclude that this force is not likely to defeat the Taliban militarily, but that if it can hold against the Taliban insurgency through 2018, the likelihood of a negotiated settlement to the war will increase,” the CNA review found.  The reality is that every province that has been turned over to the Afghan military has effectively been turned over to Taliban control.  The Taliban have outlasted the US, NATO, and the Afghan military for over a decade.  The Taliban will make short work of the Afghan military one on one.  To think they will be looking for a “negotiated settlement” is utter insanity.  The Taliban will defeat and absorb the Afghan army rapidly.  As the last US forces pull out of Afghanistan the Taliban will mount a full scale assault on Kabul to retake the country.  This will leave the situation on the ground almost the same as the US found it in 2001 with the difference being the Taliban are far more numerous, better trained, better armed, better organized, and with an earned hatred of the US.  In a laughable twist to counter this, the CNA team advises (remember, the team is made of “senior” policy makers and generals) the Pentagon to keep international military advisers in the Afghanistan ministries of defense and interior through “at least” 2018 to mitigate long-term problems, including corruption and incompetence.  After reading this, I was left with zero doubt why the Taliban have outlasted the US military.  Our leaders are idiots.  It is a joke to propose that a few advisors will save the day.  Equally blind is the notion that corruption and incompetence, not a viable enemy at the gates will be the big problem for the encircled Karzai regime.  Even with a large number of troops and advisors in country right now, the US has failed to accomplish defeating the military or rooting out corruption.  After thousands of Americans have been killed in this useless war, there still is not even the slightest spark of logic or integrity within the senior echelon and the apathetic public remains in a mute, trance like state when it comes to calling out President Obama and his mob of derelict morons driving the US off a policy cliff.

To conclude, make no mistake of these facts and further predictions.  One, the US suffered a strategic defeat in Afghanistan.  Two, the US will use the failure, albeit an intentional failure, to sign a SOFA (agreement) as a means to save face as it retreats.  Three, the Taliban will retake the country and will be more powerful than they ever could have been if the US did not invade back in 2001.  Four, the Karzai puppet regime will not last to 2018 and Karzai will most likely be killed or flee back to Europe where he hid billions of US aid in complicit Swiss and Dubai banks.  Fifth, in absence of a war in Afghanistan and a failing domestic economy, the US will start wars elsewhere to feed the coffers of the Congressional-Military-Industrial Complex and distract the unemployed masses back in the US.

By Guiles Hendrik

March 3, 2014

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Feds Withhold Water To California Farmers For First Time In 54 Years

 

And just as we warned….

Drought

Drought

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The US Bureau of Reclamation released its first outlook of the year and finds insufficient stock is available in California to release irrigation water for farmers. This is the first time in the 54 year history of the State Water Project. “If it’s not there, it’s just not there,” notes a Water Authority director adding that it’s going to be tough to find enough water, but farmers are hit hardest as “they’re all on pins and needles trying to figure out how they’re going to get through this.” Fields will go unplanted (supply lower mean food prices higher), or farmers will pay top dollar for water that’s on the market (and those costs can only be passed on via higher food prices). – See more at: http://www.thedailysheeple.com/feds-withhold-water-to-california-farmers-for-first-time-in-54-years_022014#sthash.bgLTNut1.dpuf

http://www.thedailysheeple.com/feds-withhold-water-to-california-farmers-for-first-time-in-54-years_022014

Walmart’s Staggering Profit Drop is the Canary in the Coal Mine for US Economy

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February 20, 2014:  Today the world’s largest retailer posted a staggering 21 percent drop in fourth quarter profit and.  Walmart quickly blamed bad weather and cuts to food stamps, but this is a weak excuse at best.  Even Walmart doesn’t seem to buy their excuses because they slashed their profit forecast for the rest of the current year.  Per Walmart’s rationale, the cut would only be justified if they expected more snow this summer!  A closer look reveals a much direr situation in the US economy.  As the world’s largest retailer, a near quarter drop in profit is the proverbial canary in the coal mine for the US retail market.

Contrary to the endless spin vomited by the US mass media and Obama White House, the economic reality is grave.  The US economy never recovered and is about to fall off another, much larger cliff.  As a result of inflation, un/underemployment, high taxation, suffocating regulation, sky high food and fuel costs, centralized economic planning, massive debt, and an industrial base that has gone overseas, the US economy is now in shambles.  For the majority of Americans, they have witnessed over the last decade a near total destruction of their wealth and a rapidly deteriorating standard of living.  Americans no longer have the disposable income they enjoyed just six years ago and as a result are not spending money.  This fact has been demonstrated by repeatedly bad retails sales numbers that go much further back than any snowstorms can justify this winter.  As a result, the retail sector of our economy is suffering the initial brunt of the next wave of collapse.  The result of this will be a tidal wave of retail stores shuttering store fronts this year.  Already there are historic levels of vacant retail space in the US and this datum point is set to rapidly rise.

Consider that Wal-Mart earned $4.43 billion in the quarter that ended Jan. 31, 2014, which was over a BILLION dollars less than its posted $5.6 billion earnings for the same quarter just a year earlier.  A billion dollar difference!  The weather and food stamps simply are not sufficient to justify this near one quarter loss in profit.  For starters, let’s dispatch the snowstorm myth.  Every winter, including last winter brought cold weather and snowstorms that spread across the country.  Demolishing the food stamp myth is even easier.  First, if the majority of shoppers at Walmart are welfare and food stamp recipients, our country has already gone over the edge and no longer has a productive middle class.  This stat alone would spell disaster for the US.  Second, and more specific to dismantling the Walmart alibi, the amount of people and thus the overall amount of money paid out in food stamps actually increased over the period.  That would mean their profit from food stamp recipients should have gone up now down.  Furthermore, even though the food stamp programs’ overall $80 billion annual budget was only cut by about $4 billion, Walmart seems to think it alone endured over a billion dollar loss as a result.  Only a fool could conjure this type of math knowing full well that would represent well over 100% of what has allegedly been cut to date in payouts from the program.

Walmart’s excuse for the collapse in profits is a pure lie to placate stockholders and the real data are far scarier.  Illustrative of this fact is that Wal-Mart itself reports that its stores, which account for about 60 percent of its business, recorded their fourth consecutive quarter of revenue declines at stores that have been open at least a year.  This revenue report undeniably shows that revenues were dropping long before any snowstorms or cuts to food stamps.  No business, not even Walmart can withstand near 25% quarterly drops in profit for long.

What we are witnessing now is the collapse of retail, which will ripple throughout the economy in the form of job losses, higher unemployment, and even less income.  This will undermine government tax revenues, kill manufacturing, pop the housing bubble, and cripple the overall economy.  As we have been warning, the next, much bigger, economic collapse is nearing and you need to prepare.  Woe be the economist that shrugs off consistent reports of massive retail losses; especially, when they are coming from the world’s largest retailer.

 

By Guiles Hendrik

February 20, 2014

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The Impending Food Price Crisis: Time to Plant Your Survival Garden

 

Food Shortage

Food Shortage

In case you have been asleep for the last five years or somehow managed to not buy any groceries, you should know that the price of groceries has quadrupled over as many years.  For the rest of us feeding our families, we are intimately aware of how much more we have had to pay for groceries in recent years.  It has gotten so bad that many families that used to be able to purchase roughly a shopping cart of groceries for $100 now are paying upwards of $400 dollars for less food of less quality.  Coupled with high prices of gas and energy, most of us have experienced a large net loss of our purchasing power as our disposable income has all but vanished.  Of course this directly contradicts the Obama Whitehouse’s assertions that there has been little to no inflation and economically things are better.  Ask yourself this, do you actually have more disposable income than you did just a few years ago?  Has your quality of life improved?  Sadly, the answer is more often than not a resounding “NO” as the numbers of individuals on government assistance programs like food stamps has exploded.  This article will discuss the basics on how to weather the coming food price crisis.

You must understand that our current state of decay is just the beginning as things will get much worse in the United States.  For starters, California is experiencing historic drought that is decimating its agricultural industry as we outlined in our previous article.  Far worse is that our government is moving closer and closer to a totalitarian state run by left leaning Marxists heavily influenced by global bankers and corporate elites that care nothing for you and are only focused on increasing their power, wealth, and control over you.  Add to this the fact the Federal Reserve continues to counterfeit over a trillion dollars a year and then bills you, the taxpayer, for the created debt even as you suffer from the very real devaluation of the dollar because of the Federal Reserve’s engineered inflationary measures.  These few issues are by no means all inclusive, but illustrate some of the major drivers pushing costs higher and higher as your wages and real earnings are decimated.  These government programs will only intensify as higher taxes, fees, and penalties are lumped on by local, state, and federal governments to offset their rising operating costs, which rob you of any remaining disposable income.  Thus, it begs the question that many are asking…. “How will I be able to feed my family and still pay my bills?”

Fortunately, the answer is neither new nor complex.  One must become self-sufficient.  Self-sufficiency is the same solution our forefathers intuitively recognized and the maxim most farmers, pioneers, and Americans lived by up until the last half of the 20th Century.  Many thought the time for small farms and garden plots was gone for good, but the crisis of increasing food prices has driven Americans back to rediscovering that the old ways were in fact better.  So, if you have been saving your survival seeds for when things get bad, you should seriously consider planting them this year and procuring new seeds for future crops while you still can.  Once things go beyond the tipping point to a full blown crisis, it will be too late to plant, grow, harvest, and use your seed stores.  The garden will provided you affordable, healthy, great tasting, fresh food when no one else can afford or find it in grocery stores.  Further, any excess can be sold or used to barter for other goods you may not have in surplus.

A healthy garden takes years to fully develop to its maximum potential so starting now allows you to experiment with crops, fail (yes, you will have failures), build a tool inventory, and begin building an inventory of food stores via dehydration (drying) and canning.  You will learn what varieties of plants grow best where in your soil.  You will also get to taste various vegetables and decide which are best suited to your family’s palate.  Devising a pest control strategy that works will also be vital.  All of this takes time, sweat, and practice.  There are no real shortcuts to this so get started now.

To begin, select the best land you can for your crops.  This may mean moving to a new location with better soil, water access, and sunlight or simply developing your backyard.  For you folks still imprisoned in the cities, you may want to invest in hydroponic systems or rooftop gardens.  Having the right tools will be critical.  The best hand tools are not the ones made today, but old antique hand tools with solid steel implements.  You can often find these cheaply online or at flea markets and yard sales.  Make sure you have redundancy.  You will also need an ample supply of good seeds.  I recommend that you stick with quality heirloom seeds that have been optimized for your growing conditions.  Make sure you get a wide variety of seeds so that you can experiment with different crops.  For example, if one specific variety of tomatoes does poorly, you may find a different variety does very well saving you from a total crop loss for the season.  You will also need to devise a method to protect your crop from pests such as animals, insects, and diseases.  I have found solar powered electric fences are the best method for keeping out animals like deer that will wreck an entire garden in a single night.  The solar powered electric fence is very easy to set up and affordable.  Dusting crops like beans and potatoes with lime does well at keeping insects back while preventing nutritional diseases.  I also found using a torch around plants to kill weeds is an effective organic solution to weed control.  When it comes to fertilizers, bone meal and manure are two of the best organic solutions.  Just make sure any manure you use is seasoned well so that you don’t introduce invasive weed species to your soil.

For those of you looking to grow gardens or enter into small farming operations, you may also want to employ low profile or clandestine methods.  Many of our readers live in suburban neighborhoods with unconstitutional and oppressive home owners association (HOA) covenants that ridiculously forbid gardening.  In these areas fencing in your yard may be your easiest option.  If that isn’t possible, many people have turned their basements into mini greenhouses, but run the risk of drawing attention of local authorities that may mistakenly suspect illicit marijuana grow operations are afoot.  In this case it may be best to actually let local law enforcement know what you are doing to prevent a mistaken and highly dangerous SWAT raid on your home.  However, if the wrong people know you have food, they may target your residence to steal your crops so discrete is good.  Those of us lucky enough to be in rural areas do not have oppressive HOAs and can grow large gardens, but could become subject to crop confiscation.  The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has steadily increased its efforts to identify all farming operations throughout the country and many suspect that in a time of crisis the government could use this information to confiscate crops to feed the masses.  As protests in Kiev turn violent, an important, illustrative lesson from the Ukraine’s history comes to mind.  During the period between 1932 and 1933 when the Ukraine fell under Soviet control, an estimated 12 million Ukrainians were intentionally starved to death as a result of resisting Stalin’s takeover of power and government mismanagement of agricultural policies.  During this period, the communist government forced confiscation of all household foodstuffs and restricted the population movement to other areas all while shipping off, warehousing, destroying, or leaving unharvested millions of tons of grain that could have fed the Ukrainians.  The urban populations suffered the worst and died by the millions of starvation and disease while the rural populations were demonized and blamed by the communists for the government’s actions.  If you have any question as to why this genocide was carried out, Henry Kissinger succinctly explains it when he stated that if you want to control the population, control its food supply.

This Ukrainian lesson illustrates how a centralized government like ours that mismanages policies and is continuously seeking greater power could seize your crops during a crisis to effectively control our citizens.  To avoid this, don’t report your crops to the government.  Further, plant multiple gardens and crops in various areas throughout your property.  One garden would be overt while the others would be hidden and made to “NOT” look like a standard garden.  In fact, if your garden looks like a fallow field of weeds or just a part of the forest it will draw little to no attention.  In addition, cultivate wild crops and livestock considered “weeds” and wild animals so that they go overlooked even by the most zealous commissar sent by the government to inspect, record, and confiscate your crops.  This technique is highly successful and practical for preppers since even the most savvy of government bureaucrats are generally idiots in respect to anything that actually requires real work or true practical knowledge.  The average USDA inspector couldn’t tell you the difference between spinach and burdock and certainly wouldn’t recognize chicory and dandelions as a staple food crop.  Wild leeks (ramps) and asparagus also would be passed over by even many country folks.  They also wouldn’t recognize your cover crops that feed a disproportionately large deer herd, but certainly would be able to tag, number, and seize every chicken and head of cattle you may possess.  Fish ponds are also nice additions because unless the bureaucrat is ready to dig out and drain your pond or spend a lot of time learning to fish, any fish you have stocked will also go under reported.  Fruit and nut trees interspersed with the forest also will most likely go unnoticed so look at planting stands of these trees in small clearings vice large orchard settings.

On the backside of raising your crops, you must secure your harvest.  The very best way I have found to accomplish this is by building multiple low profile root cellars away from your house.  A root cellar can be very simple (essentially a hole in the ground with an insulated cover) where root crops, fruits, and canned goods can be stored for long periods of time.  These natural storage vessels can be constructed in a way as to be virtually invisible to all but the most astute observer.  By utilizing outdoor food storage locations, you prevent your food supplies from being looted or confiscated in their totality while building a strong alibi respective of “having no food.”  Anyone doubting you would certainly search your home and after finding only the minimum staples would be forced to conclude that you indeed have no food and thus, could not be growing additional food since it would have to be stored somewhere.

In summary, you have been warned of impending food price spikes even as your wages are diminished by our central economic planners.  Your choices now are to either run the risk that all will be well and government that created these problems will suddenly fix them or implement your last minute survival food production plans.  I am recommending to all of our readers to plant every inch of land they can this year since I have become convinced that our economy is teetering on the brink of its greatest economic collapse in history.  Food will become scarcer and prices will rise with every coming month.  This is a certainty.  If you decide to plant the worst outcome would be to have an overabundance of food come the autumn harvest and critical practice and experience growing a garden for real.  Although we preach last “minute” survival, “minute” is very relative in respect to gardens where a more apt description would be last season survival.  Failure to plant your crops this spring will delay any chance of a food crop by not just a year, but a year and a half because of the lead-lag time between planting and harvesting.  Time is wasting so get busy!

 

By Guiles Hendrik

February 18, 2014

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California’s Water Shortage Will Lead to a Spike in Food Prices and Economic Peril

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As California’s drought stretches into years, the situation according to California’s Governor Jerry Brown is becoming dire.  “Today I’m declaring a drought in the state of California,” said Brown. “We’re facing perhaps the worst drought California has ever seen since records began being kept about 100 years ago.”  As a result, incremental actions to restrict water use have been placed into effect.  Most recently, Governor Brown announced last Friday that they won’t send any water from the state’s vast reservoir system to local agencies beginning this spring, an unprecedented move that affects drinking water supplies for 25 million people and irrigation for 1 million acres of farmland.  The restrictions in water use will be particularly detrimental for anyone involved in agriculture where irrigation is vital for California’s crops raised primarily in arid regions.  The result of this drought and necessary restrictions to California industry and agriculture will mean a spike in food prices and even greater job losses in California.

People fall over themselves lauding the wonderful weather Southern California offers its residents.  However, what Southern California doesn’t offer is adequate fresh water to support the state’s massive population.  Fresh water is the most basic resource for life; yet, over 38.3 million people call it home even though natural sources of freshwater are far inadequate.  Historically, the snow pack in the Sierra-Nevada Mountains has filled reservoirs to supplement California’s water demand, but with record low snowfall, no relief is in sight or expected.  More alarming is the fact that climatologists are warning that this drought could continue anywhere from a couple decades to two hundred years based on California’s historical climatic cycles.  If indeed this drought persists unabated, it could mean that California will be entering a historic dust bowl situation that could effectively collapse the state.

Further compounding the problem is that California leads the country as the largest producer of agricultural products (crops and livestock), accounting for more than 11 percent of the national total, based on the 2007 Census of Agriculture.  To support this, approximately 80% of California’s freshwater is used for irrigation.  Given the shortages, California cannot provide freshwater for its inhabitants and agriculture and industry.  As such, the tap will be turned off first for California’s farmers.  In fact the mere threat of water rationing has already forced many farmers to leave fields fallow and write off this year’s crops as a total loss.  The situation is even worse for fruit and nut orchards where the water restrictions could kill productive trees that take years to grow to fruit bearing size.  Livestock too will not survive without water so cattle, swine, and poultry populations will be slaughtered and not replaced.  As farmers shutter their operations until conditions improve, the businesses that sprung up around California’s agricultural industry are also going out of business.  This will cost California billions of dollars in lost revenues and further exasperate the already high unemployment in California.

The result of the drop in California’s agricultural production will restrict food supplies even as demand globally is growing causing food prices to skyrocket this year.  This will result in major shortages of products that California produces for the United States such as artichokes, lettuce, spinach, peaches, and strawberries.  Many other products such as tomatoes, bell peppers, and carrots, which California produces 1/3, 1/2, and 2/3’s of respectively, will see major price spikes.  Meat prices will also spike after cattle, swine, and poultry populations are slaughtered since herd numbers are already at historic lows.  If not already bad enough news, inflation will continue to erode the purchasing power of the dollar compounded by the dollar’s weakening status globally as a currency.  Add this to a nation with an economy already in collapse and its citizens watching any remaining disposable income vanish as their quality of life descends down a toilet bowl lined by socialist and Marxist economic policies and we have a very real recipe for social unrest.

In case the impact of California’s drought hasn’t caught your attention yet and you still don’t see why it matters, let me be clear.  The drought in California will cause your grocery bill to double again this year.  If you are an average, struggling, middle class American, you will be forced to cut even more from your already bone thin budget and for the first time actually have to go without when it comes to many food items so that you can pay your most basic bills.  This will further reduce the disposable (what if any is left) income Americans have to spend, which will put even more retailers out of business this year.  This will lead to a cycle of more layoffs and higher unemployment as the US economy enters into a collapse of historic proportions.

Taking a page from the government, this impending disaster offers opportunity for those savvy enough to foresee it and take action.  For starters, it would be wise to enter into direct agreements with cattle and pig farmers for set amounts of beef/pork now before prices spike.  Buying a steer or hog now at current prices that will be slaughtered later in the year will save you hundreds of dollars if not more later in the year when prices spike.  To illustrate the already rising prices, the prices of beef have already spiked 16.8% this year and bacon is up 22.8%.  Further, if you haven’t started a sustainable garden you need to begin now.  Invest in a large quantity and variety of heirloom seeds suitable for your growing conditions.  Gardens are not something that happen magically after tossing a few seeds into the yard.  As we have said many times, gardens take time (years), work, and experimentation to perfect.  Anyone waiting to the last minute to plant a garden “when things get really bad” will fail miserably.  Invest now in a garden that will produce beyond the needs of your family and it will reward you handsomely with tasty, healthy food at a price you can afford.  If you don’t have the land, make a deal with someone who does so that you can gain access to fresh produce.  Further, any additional produce not needed can be sold or bartered at a premium price later this summer when the shortages and price hikes really begin to be felt.

In summary, California is entering a period of drought that may last beyond our lifetimes or end next year.  Either way, the water shortage will cause grocery bills to spike to record high levels.  This will further destabilize the already sick US economy.  To protect oneself, the smart prepper will invest in food products and sustainable food production capabilities such as good land, farms, livestock, and gardens to insulate his family from the upcoming price hikes and shortages and turn misfortune into a money making opportunity.

 

By Guiles Hendrik

February 17, 2014

All rights reserved.