The ‘patient’ Fed has been lamenting the “lack of inflation” for far too long. It is about to get its wish.
American food merchants are struggling to import fruits and vegetables from Mexico as wait times at port of entries along the Mexico–US border have surged because of a shift in Customs and Border Protection (CBP) personnel away from the port of entries to remote regions of the border to fight illegal crossings. As a result, shipments of food have dramatically declined in recent weeks, and the result is an imminent spike in imported food prices in the coming months that could put a sizeable dent in consumer wallets.
Fruit and vegetable importers that wholesale to grocery stores throughout the US, could inflate prices by at least 20% to 40% if the wait times continue, with avocado prices already soaring (see “Mexican Avocado Prices Explode By Most In A Decade After Trump Border Threat“).
After the avocado price surge, cucumbers, eggplants, bell peppers, squash, cherry tomatoes, watermelons, and most other fruit and vegetables imported from the tropics would be affected.
“(The) Mexican border, it’s one of the most important crossings to the United States,” said Joshua Duran, Amore Produce sales representative.
About 43% of all US fruit and vegetables originate from Mexico. In the last several decades, Mexico has become the top trading partner with the US. Much of the US-Mexico commerce involves mega-corporations that send products back and forth across the border as part of a critical segment of their supply chain that has increased since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) took effect in 1994.
This month [April], distributor Amore Produce truck drivers hauling product from Mexico have experienced a 300% wait time at the various port of entries along the Mexico–US border, stuck in line for up to 15 hours.
“Now we are having a lot of problems in the border,” Duran said. “So, let’s say we used to have like five hours. We’re getting 10 or 15 hours to pass that truck to the United States…one or two (gates) are not enough to get all the entire trucks coming from Mexico and not only for produce, for all the products that people here in the United States get from Mexico.”
Increase wait times have depleted cold storage inventories of McAllen Produce Terminal Market, located just 20 minutes from the border. Duran said the importer cannot ship fresh produce across the country anymore becuase their truck drivers are waiting almost a day to move product across the port of entry – by the time it makes it to the US, the produce won’t make it fresh to the wholesaler.
“We couldn’t get it here and we couldn’t send it to the customers in the north,” Duran said.
Marabella Produce owner Alejandro Knight suggested that wait time increases have impacted his cold-storage levels in the last month. Knight said his warehouse is always at full capacity, but now, the floors are covered with empty pallets. Most of the produce Knight receives from Mexico is spoiled, thanks to wait time increases, warehouse workers have to immediately throw out the produce once it arrives.
“We cannot deliver a fresh product anymore if we have to wait for each load to cross, five to six days, it’s impossible to work like this,” Knight warned.
Knight said Mexican farmers are now “afraid” to export fruits and vegetables to the US because of extended wait times.
Salavador Contreras, an economist at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, said if wait times increase, it could inflate produce for everyday American consumers.
“It’s going to be felt at the grocery stores when we start paying more for limes and our avocados at the grocery store,” Contreras said.
If the wait times persist at the border, in the coming months Americans will be shocked by soaring prices in the produce section of their local grocery stores, a move that could reverse consumer sentiment right before an important election year. But at least the Fed will be delighted: it will have achieved some of that “symmetric” inflation overshoot it has been seeking for so long… and all thanks to Trump.
Law firms called on the Boy Scout of America Tuesday to release the names of 200 Boy Scout leaders who committed sexual abuse against minors.
The law firms of Greg Gianforcaro and Jeff Anderson & Associates revealed “perversion files” mentioned the accused leaders. The files contained allegations of sexual abuse that the Boy Scouts of America kept secret, The Associated Press reported.
Lawyers at press conferences in Midtown and Newark, New Jersey, Tuesday afternoon demanded the Boy Scouts of America release the names of the alleged abusers, the firms say.
The press conferences covered “shocking testimony,” according to The New York Post, from the law firms alleging that there are more than 7,000 child sex abusers and 12,000 victims in the Boy Scouts of America. Representatives revealed that in New York alone there are 130 perpetrators, and 50 in New Jersey.
“It shouldn’t be us disclosing these names,” attorney Gianforcaro said during the Newark press conference, according to a video released by AndersonAdvocates. “It should be the institutions. It should be the Boy Scouts. They should be up here issuing the names of their leaders.”
Gianforcaro and Jeff Anderson & Associates pushed for a bill waiting to be signed by New Jersey Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy. The bill would allow survivors, specifically minors who are sexually abused, to sue both the offender and the Boy Scouts of America.
Representatives at the press conference said they are focused on “restoring the voice” of the children abused, calling them “the originators of the #MeToo movement.”
“#MeToo got one thing very very wrong, and Twitter gave it a pink hashtag. We are talking about something that is NOT a female only problem,” sexual assault survivor Bridie Farrell, CEO at NY Loves Kids, Inc., said at the press conference. “And that is something that NY Loves Kids, Inc., we’ve really tried to push which is #KIDSTOO. #KIDSTOO is not pink. Yeah, one in four girls stand up here, but one in six boys. And we see that with the Boy Scouts, with the Catholic Church, with all institutions.”
At least four persons on the list of the accused are priests, lawyers said.
When asked what the preferred outcome of the press conferences was, attorney Jeff Anderson said they hope that “kids are protected better.”
“That’s our hope. That’s our prayer. That’s our plan and that’s our purpose of assembling today,” Anderson said.
Americans are increasingly living in fear of the opposing political party. While the elites laugh and continue to enslave the populace even further because of this fear, Americans increasingly embrace their chains while asking them to be shortened, and all while dehumanizing those on a different plantation.
The fact is, none of us are free. We are all slaves to the same master – the political elites. The only way to be free is to accept it and attempt to free others in the process. So far, the government has not had to put literal chains on anyone because most Americans are mental slaves. If you own the mind, you won’t need to enslave the body. This is causing problems in problems in our society, however, as many fear those who think differently than they do while giving a pass to the ones actually at fault for their dissatisfaction.
Extreme partisanship has infected both democrats and republicans to the point of no return. According to Oregon Live, more than 40 percent of Americans say they are surrounded by “downright evil” and they’re referring to their fellow Americans who happen to belong to a different political party. This division and fear keep the elite wealthy, powerful, and increasingly authoritarian. While we fight each other, we can’t be bothered to actually take on the behemoth monster that is responsible for all this fear and division in the first place.
A recent academic paper by political scientists Nathan P. Kalmoe and Lilliana Mason, presented at the National Capital Area Political Science Association conference in January, concludes that the extreme partisanship of recent decades has made millions of Americans intellectually insular and emotionally numb. As a result, these hyper-partisans – and, to be clear, all of this goes for members of both major parties – feel little or no sympathy “in response to deaths and injuries of political opponents.” Some even show “explicit support for partisan violence.” –Oregon Live
The key component to all of this fear is ensuring the public stays divided by dehumanizing each other. This makes violence against each other suddenly “acceptable” to those stuck and enslaved by the system. A key reason for this “moral disengagement” is that partisanship in the cable-TV and social-media age has proven exceptionally good at dehumanizing one’s ideological opponents. Kalmoe and Mason’s unpublished paper found that about one in five Americans believe that those on the other side of the partisan divide “lack the traits to be considered fully human — they behave like animals.”
The portion of hyper-partisan Americans is worrisome even for those not on the political spectrum. Morality no longer matters if another human being is not seen as a human being. Kalmoe and Mason’s work indicates that the nature of this uptick in extreme partisanship provides people with the “psychological distancing” that allows them to rationalize physical violence and discrimination against others.
Instead of accepting that it is ALWAYS morally wrong to initiate force or violence against another human being for ANY REASON, Americans have rationalized such violence and theft as taxation or police brutality in order to justify their own political violence. This type of path is leading our society down a very dangerous path.
If you drive a car, I’ll tax the street,
If you try to sit, I’ll tax your seat.
If you get too cold I’ll tax the heat,
If you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet.
Don’t ask me what I want it for
If you don’t want to pay some more
‘Cause I’m the taxman, yeah, I’m the taxman…
And you’re working for no one but me.
— George Harrison, “Taxman”
We’re not living the American Dream. We’re in the grip of a financial nightmare.
“We the people” have become the new, permanent underclass in America.
(John Whitehead) We get taxed on how much we earn, taxed on what we eat, taxed on what we buy, taxed on where we go, taxed on what we drive, and taxed on how much is left of our assets when we die, and yet we have no real say in how the government runs, or how our taxpayer funds are used.
Case in point: Lawmakers across the country have been acting as fronts for corporations, sponsoring more than 10,000 model laws written by corporations, industry groups and think tanks such as the American Legislative Exchange Council.
Make no mistake: This is fascism disguised as legislative expediency.
As a recent investigative report by USA TODAY, The Arizona Republic and the Center for Public Integrity points out, these copycat bills have been used to “override the will of local voters” and advance the agendas of the corporate state. “Disguised as the work of lawmakers, these so-called ‘model’ bills get copied in one state Capitol after another, quietly advancing the agenda of the people who write them.”
In this way, laws that promise to protect the public “actually bolster the corporate bottom line.”
For example, “The Asbestos Transparency Act didn’t help people exposed to asbestos. It was written by corporations who wanted to make it harder for victims to recoup money. The ‘HOPE Act,’ introduced in nine states, was written by a conservative advocacy group to make it more difficult for people to get food stamps.”
Talk about Orwellian.
So we have no real say in how the government runs, or how our taxpayer funds are used, but that doesn’t prevent the government from fleecing us at every turn.
This is true whether you’re talking about taxpayers being forced to fund high-priced weaponry that will be used against us, endless wars that do little for our safety or our freedoms, or bloated government agencies such as the National Security Agency with its secret budgets, covert agendas and clandestine activities. Even monetary awards in lawsuits against government officials who are found guilty of wrongdoing are paid by the taxpayer.
We’re being forced to pay for endless wars that do more to fund the military industrial complex than protect us, for misguided pork barrel projects that do little to enhance our lives, and for the trappings of a police state that serves only to imprison us within its walls.
All the while the government continues to do whatever it likes — levy taxes, rack up debt, spend outrageously and irresponsibly — with little thought for the plight of its citizens.
We’re being played as easy marks by hustlers bearing the imprimatur of the government.
Truly, if there is an absolute maxim by which the federal government seems to operate, it is that the taxpayers — who fuel the nation’s economy and fund the government’s programs — always get ripped off.
Examples abound of wasteful government spending.
$28 million for a camouflage pattern for the Afghan National Army’s uniforms that had to be discarded because it clashes with the desert; $80 million to corral wild horses that would fare better unpenned; $5 million for a study to conclude that fraternity and sorority members drink more than their peers; and more than $1 billion worth of small arms, mortars, Humvees, and other equipment that has gone “missing” in Iraq.
If Americans managed their personal finances the way the government mismanages the nation’s finances, we’d all be in debtors’ prison by now.
Still, the government remains unrepentant, unfazed and undeterred in its money grabs.
Because the government’s voracious appetite for money, power and control has grown out of control, its agents have devised other means of funding its excesses and adding to its largesse through taxes disguised as fines, taxes disguised as fees, and taxes disguised as tolls, tickets and penalties.
With every new tax, fine, fee and law adopted by our so-called representatives, the yoke around the neck of the average American seems to tighten just a little bit more.
Everywhere you go, everything you do, and every which way you look, we’re getting swindled, cheated, conned, robbed, raided, pickpocketed, mugged, deceived, defrauded, double-crossed and fleeced by governmental and corporate shareholders of the American police state out to make a profit at taxpayer expense.
The overt and costly signs of the despotism exercised by the increasingly authoritarian regime that passes itself off as the United States government are all around us: warrantless surveillance of Americans’ private phone and email conversations by the NSA; SWAT team raids of Americans’ homes; shootings of unarmed citizens by police; harsh punishments meted out to schoolchildren in the name of zero tolerance; armed drones taking to the skies domestically; endless wars; out-of-control spending; militarized police; roadside strip searches; roving TSA sweeps; privatized prisons with a profit incentive for jailing Americans; fusion centers that collect and disseminate data on Americans’ private transactions; and militarized agencies such as the IRS, Dept. of Education, the Smithsonian and others with stockpiles of ammunition, to name some of the most appalling.
Meanwhile, the three branches of government (Executive, Legislative and Judicial) and the agencies under their command—Defense, Commerce, Education, Homeland Security, Justice, Treasury, etc.—have switched their allegiance to the Corporate State with its unassailable pursuit of profit at all costs and by any means possible.
We are now ruled by a government consumed with squeezing every last penny out of the population and seemingly unconcerned if essential freedoms are trampled in the process.
While we’re struggling to get by, and making tough decisions about how to spend what little money actually makes it into our pockets after the federal, state and local governments take their share (this doesn’t include the stealth taxes imposed through tolls, fines and other fiscal penalties), the police state is spending our hard-earned tax dollars to further entrench its powers and entrap its citizens.
If you want to know the real motives behind the government’s agenda, follow the money trail.
When you dig down far enough, you quickly find that those who profit from Americans being surveilled, fined, scanned, searched, probed, tasered, arrested and imprisoned are none other than the police who arrest them, the courts which try them, the prisons which incarcerate them, and the corporations, which manufacture the weapons, equipment and prisons used by the American police state.
It gets worse.
Americans have also been made to pay through the nose for the government’s endless wars, subsidization of foreign nations, military empire, welfare state, roads to nowhere, bloated workforce, secret agencies, fusion centers, private prisons, biometric databases, invasive technologies, arsenal of weapons, and every other budgetary line item that is contributing to the fast-growing wealth of the corporate elite at the expense of those who are barely making ends meet—that is, we the taxpayers.
Those football stadiums that charge exorbitant sums for nosebleed seats? Our taxpayer dollars subsidize them.
Those blockbuster war films? Yep, we were the silent investors on those, too.
This isn’t freedom.
You’re not free if the government can seize your home and your car (which you’ve bought and paid for) over nonpayment of taxes.
You’re not free if government agents can freeze and seize your bank accounts and other valuables if they merely “suspect” wrongdoing.
And you’re certainly not free if the IRS gets the first cut of your salary to pay for government programs over which you have no say.
If you have no choice, no voice, and no real options when it comes to the government’s claims on your property and your money, you’re not free.
As former Congressman Ron Paul observed, “The Founding Fathers never intended a nation where citizens would pay nearly half of everything they earn to the government.”
Unfortunately, somewhere over the course of the past 240-plus years, democracy has given way to kleptocracy (a government ruled by thieves), and representative government has been rejected in favor of a kakistocracy (a government run by the most unprincipled citizens that panders to the worst vices in our nature: greed, violence, hatred, prejudice and war) ruled by career politicians, corporations and thieves—individuals and entities with little regard for the rights of American citizens.
The American kleptocracy continues to suck the American people down a rabbit hole into a parallel universe in which the Constitution is meaningless, the government is all-powerful, and the citizenry is powerless to defend itself against government agents who steal, spy, lie, plunder, kill, abuse and generally inflict mayhem and sow madness on everyone and everything in their sphere.
This dissolution of that sacred covenant between the citizenry and the government — establishing “we the people” as the masters and the government as the servant — didn’t happen overnight.
It didn’t happen because of one particular incident or one particular president.
It has been a process, one that began long ago and continues in the present day, aided and abetted by politicians who have mastered the polarizing art of how to “divide and conquer.”
By playing on our prejudices about those who differ from us, capitalizing on our fears for our safety, and deepening our distrust of those fellow citizens whose opinions run counter to our own, the powers-that-be have effectively divided us into polarized, warring camps incapable of finding consensus on the one true menace that is an immediate threat to all of our freedoms: the U.S. government.
We are now the subjects of a militarized, corporate empire in which the vast majority of the citizenry work their hands to the bone for the benefit of a privileged few.
Adding injury to the ongoing insult of having our tax dollars misused and our so-called representatives bought and paid for by the moneyed elite, the government then turns around and uses the money we earn with our blood, sweat and tears to target, imprison and entrap us.
All of those nefarious government deeds that you read about in the paper every day: those are your tax dollars at work.
So what are you going to do about it?
There was a time in our history when our forebears said “enough is enough” and stopped paying their taxes to what they considered an illegitimate government. They stood their ground and refused to support a system that was slowly choking out any attempts at self-governance, and which refused to be held accountable for its crimes against the people. Their resistance sowed the seeds for the revolution that would follow.
Unfortunately, in the 200-plus years since we established our own government, we’ve let bankers, turncoats and number-crunching bureaucrats muddy the waters and pilfer the accounts to such an extent that we’re back where we started.
Once again, we’ve got a despotic regime with an imperial ruler doing as they please.
Once again, we’ve got a judicial system insisting we have no rights under a government which demands that the people march in lockstep with its dictates.
And once again, we’ve got to decide whether we’ll keep marching or break stride and make a turn toward freedom.
But what if we didn’t just pull out our pocketbooks and pony up to the federal government’s outrageous demands for more money?
What if we didn’t just dutifully line up to drop our hard-earned dollars into the collection bucket, no questions asked about how it will be spent?
What if, instead of quietly sending in our tax checks, hoping vainly for some meager return, we did a little calculating of our own and started deducting from our taxes those programs that we refuse to support?
As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, if we don’t have the right to decide what happens to our hard-earned cash, then we don’t have any rights at all.
After all, the government isn’t taking our money to make our lives better.
Two young black punks were boldly assaulting an older white man in Chicago outside a McDonalds while one of their patrons filmed the whole thing. People from inside watched the struggle happen outside through the window and were more or less quiet until the white man pulled out a firearm to defend himself, and that’s when people seemed to have the problem.
According to CWB Chicago, the incident occurred at Magnificient Mile where just two days prior, a violent mob forced police to intervene, resulting in 21 arrests.
Video shot from within the McDonalds showed two young black men attempted to assault an older white man. One of the young men attempted to wield mace against the older man, but quickly retreated as the other got into a grappling match with the older man. The fight resumes behind ads on McDonald’s windows, but suddenly the young man grappling with the older man retreated.
As the older man came into view, he could be seen holding a gun at the youth attacking him. Up until that point, hardly anyone had murmured a peep about the man being assaulted. It was only when he drew his firearms that people began to panic. Screams could suddenly be heard from women within the McDonald’s with one screaming “NO!” as the man pushed forward with his pistol raised.
Thankfully, no one was seriously hurt as after the pistol was drawn, the incident deescalated. The young men seemingly moved off, no longer interested in assaulting the older man.
Two things we can take from this…
For one, a good guy with a gun absolutely does see to it that violence is stopped. According to CWB Chicago, the man is not affiliated with a police department and appears to just be an armed citizen. The two young men seem to have little problem doing violence to the older man until the weapon is drawn and suddenly there was peace.
The second, however, is that though the firearm stopped the fight, it would appear that this is where people decided the situation was disagreeable. This is a problem. If the man was aided against the two men then perhaps the gun wouldn’t have had to come out. Sadly, no one did. He was forced to rely on the firearm.
Imagine you spent two years completely screwing up at your job, I mean not merely getting every single thing wrong but loudly, proudly getting in everyone else’s face about how right you are. You’d get fired, terminated, 86’d, and Schiff-canned. But not the mainstream media. The media hacks failed for two years-plus, nonstop and without equivocation, but are they ever going to be held to account? No, they’re just going to gather in a big circle and Pulitzer each other.
Imagine you committed a racial hate crime where you falsely accused people who didn’t look or think like you of a horrible atrocity, and that you’d have gladly picked some poor saps with the wrong skin tone out of a line-up and sent them to prison for decades given the chance. Now imagine the two half-wits you hired to help you managed to get caught on video buying their stereotype get-up and spilled it all to the fuzz, though the fact you paid them with a check – because you’re a criminal mastermind – was already enough to get a grand jury to indict your sorry AOC. Now, what are the chances the DA is going to transform your 16 felony counts into a $10K fine and a couple days community servicing? Your chances of said outcome are poor. They are poor because your pals are neither Mrs. Obama or Willie Brown’s gal pal.
Now imagine that you studied really hard while the rich kids partied and smoked dope and splattered water on you by running their BMWs through puddles as you walked home from high school. Imagine your last name is “Chang,” or that your dad is a soldier and not a hedge fund manager, or that your mom is a waitress and not a TV bimbo. Now imagine how you feel when Durwood Richguy IV gets admitted to Harvard when he can’t count past 10 with his Gucci loafers on and you get slotted on a waiting list for Gumbo State.
Imagine you handled classified information and you took it home and put it on your iPad. Do you think the FBI would be super-concerned with your feels about it and give you a pass, like Felonia Milhous von Pantsuit got from Jim Comey, or would you be bunking with Michael Cohen? And speaking of that Looming Doofus, if you lied under oath in front of Congress, do you think you’d be free to wander the country, posting stupid tweets of yourself staring at trees and beaches?
Yeah, sure, that would totally happen.
The American dream has morphed into the American grift. And we normal people are the marks.
Let’s stop pretending. Let’s stop accepting the ruling class’s lies. And let’s stop lying to ourselves. America has changed. There used to be one standard, one set of laws, one set of rules. Now, there are two.
The one set of rules for normal people is designed to jam us up, to keep us down, to ensure that the power of the powerful never gets challenged.
And the one set of rules for the elite can be summed up like this: There are no rules.
The media howls about the rule of law. Democrat poohbahs cry about the rule of law. The Fredocon gimps whimper about the rule of law. But the “rule of law” they aspire to is merely their rule over you. To them, the rule of law is not some transcendent principle. Its purpose is not to ensure equality and fairness in our society. It’s a weapon designed to make sure nothing disrupts their scam.
Why do you think our elite is so eager to pass new laws and regulations? Is it because normal people like you and me are running wild in the streets? No, of course not. They don’t want to regulate political campaigns to make sure elections are fair. They want to regulate them so they will always win and we never will again. They don’t want a Green New Deal because they care about the weather in 2219, but because they want to take our power and our money for themselves. They don’t want to ban our guns because we’re dangerous to other Americans but because, armed and ready to defend our rights, we’re dangerous to their power.
Do you, even for a second, think any of the rules, regulations, statutes or laws they propose are even going to be applied to them? Do you see the DOJ ever indicting some liberal Dem or some pliable submissivecon for “campaign finance violations?” We know the answer to that because Hillary is wandering around the woods, with a goblet of screw-top Chardonnay glass in her withered paw, free as a bird.
Do you see them giving up their SUVs and trudging to work on foot or riding in some greasy, stinky bus? Will they give up their air travel? How about their beef? Tofu veggie burgers are for peasants. And their minions will always have guns even as you are rendered disarmed and defenseless.
Our elite is not elite. Instead, it’s a bunch of bums who somehow got a little money and took the reins of power and are now shaking-down our great nation for every penny they can wring out of it. We owe them nothing – not respect, not gratitude and certainly not obedience.
If you still wonder how we got Trump, just look around you. He’s a cry for help, a scream against the injustice we’re surrounded by. This injustice is poison to our country. This injustice is what makes republics fall apart, when the worthless ruling class pushes its contempt in the people’s collective face so hard and for so long that the population finally screams “The hell with this!”
It can’t continue. It won’t continue.
That’s the essential message of my novels People’s Republic, Indian Country and Wildfire, about an America split apart into red and blue nations and going uphill and way, way downhill, respectively. Check ‘em out so that when the consequences of our failed elite’s venal, stupid decisions arrive, you won’t be surprised.