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The greatest economy on Earth? Americans relying on food stamps, Medicaid, flat broke and living in moldy basements

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© Storywithoutaplot.files.wordpress.com
Could you imagine being a single parent and trying to survive in America today on $10.50 an hour? For a moment, I want you to imagine that you are living in a moldy apartment that is so badly maintained that rain seeps in whenever it rains.

You are employed, but you are completely dependent on government programs such as food stamps and Medicaid in order to make ends meet. Sometimes you would really like to take your small child somewhere fun, like a movie theater, but you can't really afford the gas money.

You are working as hard as you can, but you never seem to get anywhere, and you feel trapped because nobody seems to want to hire you for a better job. What I have just described for you is real life for a 22-year-old single mother from Chicago named Adriana Alvarez, but there are tens of millions of other Americans that have similar stories. If every day seems like it is a soul-crushing struggle for you, I want you to know that you are not alone. The long-term economic collapse that I chronicle on my website is not just about facts and figures. It is about real people that are quietly leading lives of silent desperation, and by now it has becoming exceedingly apparent that our politicians, the mainstream media and the gigantic corporations that dominate our economy do not really care much about the rest of us at all.

Life fundamentally changes once you become a parent. Instead of living just for yourself, all of a sudden you have a precious little child that is completely and totally dependent on you. And it is absolutely heartbreaking for any parent to look into the eyes of a little child and try to explain why there is not enough food or why they can't afford a better place to live.

With that in mind, I want you to read an excerpt from Adriana's recent blog post entitled "What It's Really Like To Support Yourself On McDonald's Pay"...
I'm a single mom with a three-year-old son named Manny. To support him, I work full-time as a cashier at a McDonald's in Chicago.

I've worked at McDonald's for five years, but still make only $10.50 an hour. The only way my son and I can make it is with food stamps, Medicaid, and a child care subsidy. Most of my coworkers are in the same boat, no matter how long they've held their jobs.

With child care, transportation to work, food, rent, and our other basic expenses, there's no money left over for living. Every time I think about taking Manny somewhere fun, like to a movie, I have to think about whether we can really afford the gas.

Extinguisher

Nine killed as bus catches fire from engine short circuit in India

Nine persons were on Tuesday killed and six others injured when a roadways bus caught fire in Peeparpur area, a senior police officer said on Tuesday.

The incident occurred this morning when the roadways bus going to Sultanpur caught fire due to short circuit in the engine near Ramgaon village, Superintendent of Police Heera Lal said.

He said 42 passengers were on board the bus. Some passengers managed to escape by smashing window panes of the bus.

The SP said that efforts were being made to identify the victims. The injured have been admitted to the hospital in Sultanpur.


Comment: Other vehicular fires recently include, a school bus in Massachusetts, where a "really loud bang" preceded the fire; a boat fire in South Carolina where an explosion occurred "after turning the engine on". As well as fires involving tractor trailers, cars, pickup trucks, and small planes.

There has also been a surge in wildfires, more manholes exploding, more apartment building explosions, more transformer explosions and even drinking well water in China so polluted that it caught fire!

Could some of these incidents be related to increased 'outgassing' as Earth 'opens up' from a build up of methane from deep below the planet's surface which is igniting?

Could some other incidents and the increasing number of power outages, such as in the Netherlands ,Turkey and Washington in the US, be affected by electrical 'grounding'?

See: SOTT Exclusive: Solar System 'grounding':Transformer explosions and electrical anomalies


Boat

Modern day 'coffin ship': Over 800 migrants dead in Libya shipwreck disaster

© Reuters/Darrin Zammit Lupi
Italian coastguard personnel in protective clothing carry the body of a dead immigrant off their ship Bruno Gregoretti in Senglea, in Valletta's Grand Harbour April 20, 2015.
More than 800 people have been confirmed missing or dead by the UN refugee agency in the latest Mediterranean Sea disaster involving migrants fleeing Africa through Libya. Critics say European countries must face responsibility for the crisis.

"We can say that 800 are dead," spokeswoman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Italy, Carlotta Sami, was quoted by AFP on Tuesday.

The confirmation came after most of the 27 known survivors of the shipwreck were interviewed.

"There were a little over 800 people on board, including children aged between 10 and 12. There were Syrians, about 150 Eritreans, Somalis... They had left Tripoli at about 8am on Saturday," Sami said.

© Reuters/Darrin Zammit Lupi
Surviving immigrants lie on the deck of the Italian coastguard ship Bruno Gregoretti in Senglea, in Valletta's Grand Harbour April 20, 2015.
The survivors, who hoped they would be smuggled into Europe from the unsettled region, said there was a stampede at the trawler they were sailing in after a Portuguese merchant ship approached the vessel. The trawler capsized, drowning hundreds of people.

Speaking to RT, Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire, decried the conditions the migrants had to endure on "rickety and unstable vessels."

"Many of these people were locked into the vessels and were not allowed to move around and were unable to seek some assistance from larger vessels that flow in the Mediterranean," he said.

The Italian Coastguard has so far confirmed recovering only 24 bodies.

The survivors are said to have been taken to holding centers, while at least two - a Tunisian and a Syrian - were reportedly arrested on suspicion of being members of the smuggling gang responsible for the deadly boat trip. One survivor was taken to a Sicilian hospital.

Comment: As for other cultures in recent times where emigration was a desperate necessity, these innocent people attempting to flee Africa, a continent raped and ravaged by Western imperialists and regime changers, are preyed upon mercilessly by unscrupulous 'people traffickers'. These days in our morally bankrupt Europe Union, people continue to flee from oppression and starvation. According to refugee organizations' estimates, since 1990 something in the region of 25,000 people have drowned while attempting to cross the Mediterranean to Europe. Since the Lampedusa migrant deaths of 2013, when hundreds drowned, thousands more desperate people have been rescued from these latter day versions of the 'coffin ships', then often detained in conditions amounting to a 'living hell'.


History repeating itself. Depiction of life on a 19th Century 'coffin ship'.



Roses

Despondent couple found dead in their Bellefontaine, Ohio home

© Columbus Dispatch
Charcoal grills taken from the bedroom of Randolph and Jodi Spiedel
Neighbors said they seldom noticed the couple in the little house at 225 W. High Ave. Yet the two were desperately reaching out for help.

In a listing on giveforward.com this year, Jodi Speidel wrote that both she and her husband, Randy, had chronic illnesses and had been living without gas heat all winter and without water for a week. With $33 in savings, she said, they were eating one meal a day and didn't have scraps left for their two cats.

"I have turned in every direction possible and don't know what else to do," she wrote. "If you can help, we will be forever grateful and will even pay you back once we get back on our feet."

No one responded on that website or a similar post on gofundme.com.

On Tuesday, the Speidels' landlord found a pink note on the front door of the one-bedroom house warning visitors about carbon monoxide inside.

The couple had taken two charcoal grills into their bedroom; locked the door; and, amid smoldering coals, died of carbon-monoxide poisoning. A suicide note indicates that both had agreed. She was 46 years old and he was 45. The deaths upset neighbors who said they could have offered help had they known.

"It's heartbreaking, like they didn't feel like they had anything," said Danielle Smith, 21, who lives across the street from the house where the Speidels died. "I wish I knew them better because I could have helped them."

One of their daughters, Kira Speidel, 20, in a post last month on gofundme.com, called her parents "the hardest-working people I know, and now that they literally cannot work anymore, they have nowhere to turn to."

People gathered at the W. High Avenue house on Wednesday. A man who said he was Kira Speidel's boyfriend said she was too upset to talk to a reporter.

Several cats prowled the yard; apparently the couple had put them outside before taking their own lives. A police officer confirmed that no animals were found inside.

Eye 1

Former Chicago police commander Jon Burge, convicted in connection to torturing suspects, condemns victim reparations

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© Flickr/ Thomas Hawk
Convicted former Police Commander Jon Burge has publically condemned a reparations fund that would support victims of police torture, whom he referred to as human vermin and "guilty, viscous criminals." He also believes he will be "vindicated."

For decades, Burge had been accused of running a "midnight crew" of Chicago Police officers who allegedly tortured African American suspects. In 2011, he was convicted of perjury for lying under oath in civil lawsuits connected to that torture.

This month, Mayor Rahm Emanuel agreed to create a $5.5 million reparations fund to compensate victims of police torture.

Burge, who maintained his Fifth Amendment rights when questioned under oath about the alleged torture, criticized the compensation program in an interview with writer and Chicago Police officer Martin Preib, which was published on "The Conviction Project."

Burge directed his remarks at politicians, the media, and alleged torture victims Anthony Holmes and Darrell Cannon as well as the plantiffs' attorney Flint Taylor.

"These private attorneys grow rich because the city of Chicago is afraid to defend the lawsuits filed by these human vultures," Burge said in the interview. "Ask the mayor and City Council members how many relatives of the victims of these crimes they spoke with before deciding on their 'Reparations.' "

Comment: See also:Chicago to pay $5.5 million for decades of torture during police interrogations


Stormtrooper

Detroit police arrest 9-year-old boy, leave mother in panic searching for missing son

© Flickr/ Tony Webster
A Detroit mother called the police, panicked that her 9-year-old son hadn't returned home. However, it turns out he had been arrested and the police neglected to inform her.

Stephanie Horton's 9-year-old son went off to play with friends and, when he didn't return, Horton assumed the worst and reported him as missing. It wasn't until the next day that police bothered to inform her that Kamian wasn't missing — he was in police custody after being arrested for a home invasion.

Horton was further distressed to learn that her son had been arrested the day she reported him missing.

Officers said they did not have a way of contacting Horton, saying they didn't know her number and that they had gone to her house but she was out at the time. However, that doesn't explain why they didn't inform her when she called.

"I said how could I not be notified until 24 hours later. No explanation, no information, no anything," she told local media.

Turns out, the charges for the home invasion against the third-grader got dropped as well. However, Horton say she is still concerned about her son's activities because of the company he keeps.

"There are some older guys who come and take him and he does what they tell him to do," Horton said. "We have been having a problem with that, coinciding with an officer trying to keep them away from here, but to no avail."

Sun

Wildlife managers and cattle ranchers battle for pasture lands in drought stricken California

© Reuters / Robert Galbraith
Tule elk and cattle graze together in the D Ranch pasture in Point Reyes National Seashore, California April 9, 2015.
A herd of tule elk move warily along a California coastal hill as a herd of Black Angus cattle graze nearby. Despite the apparent peaceful coexistence, the animals are at the center of a battle for precious grasslands reduced by the state's drought.

Ranchers and farmers who live and work within the 71,000-acre (287-square km) Point Reyes National Seashore, 35 miles (56 km) northwest of San Francisco, want the free-roaming elk fenced in so their livestock do not have to compete for grass.

Wildlife advocates and many park users are opposed after almost half of the majestic elks died while living in a 2,600-acre fenced-in area in the northern part of the park. The park has not yet determined how much land the free-ranging elk herd might be confined to — or even if they would be fenced in.

The Point Reyes National Seashore is one of the few parks in America with agricultural operations, some of them dating back to the 1800s. They were purchased by the federal government to create the preserve and the lands were leased back to the same families for agriculture.

Red Flag

Chelsea Manning and the Deepwater Horizon deaths

© Unknown
Five years ago Monday, 11 men died on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig—despite Chelsea Manning's effort to save their lives.

Let me explain.

The BP drilling rig blew itself to kingdom come after the "mud"—the cement used to cap the well—blew out.

The oil company, the federal government and the industry were shocked—shocked!—at this supposedly unexpected explosion in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

USA

American Justice - FBI lab overstated forensic hair matches in 95% of cases, including 32 death sentences

The Justice Department and FBI have formally acknowledged that nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants over more than a two-decade period before 2000.

Of 28 examiners with the FBI Laboratory's microscopic hair comparison unit, 26 overstated forensic matches in ways that favored prosecutors in more than 95 percent of the 268 trials reviewed so far, according to the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and the Innocence Project, which are assisting the government with the country's largest post-conviction review of questioned forensic evidence.

The cases include those of 32 defendants sentenced to death. Of those, 14 have been executed or died in prison.

"These findings are appalling and chilling in their indictment of our criminal justice system, not only for potentially innocent defendants who have been wrongly imprisoned and even executed, but for prosecutors who have relied on fabricated and false evidence despite their intentions to faithfully enforce the law," Blumenthal said.

- From the Washington Post article: FBI Overstated Forensic Hair Matches in Nearly All Trials efore 2000
© Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post
FBI headquarters in Washington.
The American justice system is broken. Completely and totally broken. This has been one of the key themes here at Liberty Blitzkrieg since inception, and I've come to realize that the death of the rule of law is the single most important issue facing our society at this time.

This site has focused on the increased use of selective prosecution in these United States. If you are poor, disenfranchised, or a dissident, the full force of the law will rain down on your skull like a thousand tons of bricks. We have seen this repeatedly in cases such as the South Carolina man who was fined $525 and fired from his job when he failed to pay for a $0.89 soda refill. We saw it in the case of Aaron Swartz, the child prodigy was driven to suicide by overly aggressive and ambitious feds.

Finally, we saw it in the case of Barrett Brown, who was threatened with over a century in jail for essentially exposing the criminality of certain very rich and/or powerful individuals.

On the other side of the fence, we see that anyone associated with the power structure can do whatever they want with zero repercussions. We saw this in the case of General David Petraeus, who received a slap on the wrist for passing on highly classified information to his mistress and biographer Paula Broadwell. We saw it in how DEA agents were't even fired from their jobs despite participating in sex parties filled with prostitutes that were paid for by drug cartels, and sometimes taxpayer funds. Most despicably, we have seen it in the explosive use of deferred prosecution agreements when it comes to all the bailed out Wall Street banks, thus ensuring that no senior bankers went to prison and that their bonuses would be forever protected.

Chart Bar

Raising the minimum wage to $15 would benefit all workers as well as the economy

Giant corporations and the wealthy are naturally united in their hatred of the $15 minimum wage. Surprising, however, is the strong opposition sometimes encountered by workers who make barely above $15 an hour.

The anti-$15 logic of these workers varies. Some simply repeat the misinformation they hear on the media, that a higher minimum wage would cause mass inflation and unemployment, regardless of the fact that, according to the U.S. Department of Labor there is no evidence to support these claims.

Some workers against $15 say such an increase isn't fair, since they haven't had a raise in years and have worked hard to get what little they have. Unfortunately, it's becoming increasingly untrue that people "get ahead" when they work hard. The economy has fundamentally shifted in the last 30 years to the point where the average fast food worker is now 29 years old.

Opportunities to earn a living wage have shrunk exponentially. According to a recent study 43 percent of the U.S. workforce earns under $15 an hour. There are simply not enough high wage jobs to leap into; the leaping is now going in the opposite direction.

Comment: In a world that was not ruled by psychopaths, there wouldn't be such inequality in income and paying people a living wage would be a matter of course. However, the elites have always manipulated the system to keep them in power and their ruthless greed will continue to put downward pressure on wages until the global economy collapses, which may happen rather soon. While the PTB may, in fact, be aware of the coming economic catastrophe, what they do not realize is that they too will most likely be destroyed as they have lost their Mandate of Heaven.