This letter from an elderly woman to a good friend is one you will never forget

We don’t know the original author of this letter, but her message is powerful even in its anonymity.

 

“Dear Bertha,

I’m reading more and dusting less. I’m sitting in the yard and admiring the view without fussing about the weeds in the garden.

I’m spending more time with my family and friends and less time working. 

Whenever possible, life should be a pattern of experiences to savor, not to endure. I’m trying to recognize these moments now and cherish them. 

I’m not ‘saving’ anything; we use our good china and crystal for every special event such as losing a pound, getting the sink unstopped, or the first Amaryllis blossom.

I wear my good blazer to the market. My theory is if I look prosperous, I can shell out $28.49 for one small bag of groceries.

I’m not saving my good perfume for special parties, but wearing it for clerks in the hardware store and tellers at the bank.

‘Someday’ and ‘one of these days’ are losing their grip on my vocabulary. If it’s worth seeing or hearing or doing, I want to see and hear and do it now.

I’m not sure what others would’ve done had they known they wouldn’t be here for the tomorrow that we all take for granted. I think they would have called family members and a few close friends. They might have called a few former friends to apologize and mend fences for past squabbles. I like to think they would have gone out for a Chinese dinner or for whatever their favorite food was. I’m guessing; I’ll never know.

It’s those little things left undone that would make me angry if I knew my hours were limited. Angry because I hadn’t written certain letters that I intended to write one of these days. Angry and sorry, that I didn’t tell my husband and parents often enough how much I truly love them.

I’m trying very hard not to put off, hold back, or save anything that would add laughter and luster to our lives.

And every morning when I open my eyes, I tell myself that it is special. Every day, every minute, every breath truly is a gift.

Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance.”

 

[From an article published on LIFTABLE.COM]

 

NORM ‘n’ AL Note:  If you want to make this “party” even MORE THAN we hoped for,  just get to know the Lord of the party, who is also the Life of the party. His name is Jesus.

 

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As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

 

 

 

 

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“We’ve always known the surest sign of a crisis to be when our public officials announce there’s nothing to worry about”

How much actual money do you think
there is in the United States?

Every year in America trillions of dollars change hands. Or so it seems. People buy milk, pay babysitters. They pay their mortgages and their taxes.

But here’s the thing: There are only $1.5 trillion worth of actual dollars – physical money – in the entire world.

And most of those dollars are not in the United States. Estimates have some 50 percent to 75 percent of our dollars in overseas bank accounts or held by foreign governments.

A lot of what is left back here in the states is called “dead money.”  It’s stuffed in mattresses and safe-deposit boxes.  In fact, the amount of U.S. dollars being hoarded this way – that is to say the amount of dead money – is now at an all-time high.

So how many dollars does that leave actually circulating here in the U.S.?  Hard to say, but there might be as few as $375 billion…

And while that might seem like a lot of money, consider that a single U.S. company – Walmart – takes in nearly twice that amount in annual revenue, and our government spends 14 times that amount in just a year…

So if there are only 375 billion physical U.S. dollars in this country…what are people spending?

They are spending credit.

As you can see, for the past 30 or so years, the amount of credit has been growing exponentially.

That’s why, although wages have been falling since the 1970s…

…And although the value of all the wealth produced in America put together has actually fallen since Reagan was president (according to our calculations)…

…America still appears to be getting richer and richer.

Everything runs on credit. Even the food on your table.

 

Our wealth is not real. It’s credit, stored on a bunch of Wall Street computers.  All of it can disappear in the blink of an eye, because it’s not real money.

 

First the farmer gets a loan from the bank to buy his farm.  Then he uses credit to buy supplies, fuel, fertilizer, seed…everything.  After the crops are grown, the wholesaler – who got a loan to build his warehouse and processing center – uses credit to buy the raw food from the farmer so he can process and package it.

Then a trucker – who got an auto loan to buy his truck – uses credit to buy fuel so he can haul the food to a retailer.  The retailer needs credit to keep the lights on, the shelves stocked, and the stores open.  Each part of this chain can afford to take on that debt…because they know that eventually the consumer will buy that food…most likely using a credit card.

If the one crucial piece of that chain – credit – stops working… suddenly suburbs and cities are cut off from their food supplies… businesses can’t run…they can’t meet payroll…

Our wealth is not real. It’s credit, stored on a bunch of Wall Street computers.

All of it can disappear within the blink of an eye. Because it’s not real money. The real money required to back it up…does not exist.

It only takes 3 unpaid creditors to legally force a single US company in bankruptcy, whether they want to or not.

How much more does it take to initiate a crisis on a national scale?

We are very likely about to find out.  As famed economist Herbert Stein once said: “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.”

 

How can there be so little money in America,
when we have so much wealth?

 

What about our billion-dollar tech companies…or our big brands like Coca Cola…or new technology like driverless cars…or all that oil wealth in our shale deposits…?

Let’s look a little closer.

It is so rare for Amazon to make a profit that it makes headlines when that happens.

In Tesla’s entire existence, it has had just two profitable quarters.  Meanwhile, Uber – a company “valued” at $66 billion – lost $3 billion in 2016.

And as for our oil wealth…58 oil companies went bankrupt in 2016 alone. And our great Barnett shale deposit in Texas – “the granddaddy of shale plays” – is now owned by the French (who ironically don’t allow fracking in their country, but are happy to do it here).

And what of our big brand companies? Well, are you aware of how they operate?

Take Ford. Now on the surface Ford appears to be an amazingly successful – and profitable – company.  But when you look closely you see that they are actually not purely a car manufacturer.  A big chunk of their business comes from loaning people the money to buy their cars.  

Guess how many of those auto loans went bad during the first half of 2016 alone: $449 million worth. That’s up 34%.  Do you know how high the default rate for 2007 subprime mortgages was right before the financial crisis? 8.05%. That’s it.

But here’s the most shocking part…let’s take Ford’s auto financing business out of the picture entirely.  Where do you think the money to build factories…buy parts…pay their employees…and keep the lights on is coming from?

It sure isn’t coming from their cash flow. Last time I checked they had a cash surplus of $1.9 billion.  Want to know how much short term debt (and other liabilities) they’re on the hook for?

$46 billion last time I checked. And short term debt is the kind you need to pay back within a year.  So months from now, Ford is going to try to roll over huge amounts of debt which they cannot possibly pay off with only 1.9 billion in cash on hand.

Here’s why all that debt is about to become a huge problem: Lenders are pulling out of the market because credit growth has finally turned negative.

That likely explains why…for the first time in 35 years…people are suddenly dumping bonds…causing yields (which have been falling for three decades) to suddenly break.

Who will lend to Ford, then?  More than that, who will lend to the hundreds of other companies doing the exact same thing? Coke, Chevron, Campbell’s, Kellogg’s, Harley Davidson, General Motors (which just closed five factories)…

Maybe Warren Buffett bails one or two of them out…but even he can’t save them all.  And it certainly won’t be the Fed…or the government (over $20 trillion in debt after Obama spent his way out of the ’08 crisis).

The money to save our system simply isn’t there. It was spent by previous administrations to save themselves.

Today, we are out there twisting in the wind totally on our own.

 

[From an article published by BONNER AND PARTNERS]

 

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As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

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Sanctuary cities, power politics, and a lesson from Chicago

“The rule of law is always compromised by power politics.”

Before Chicago’s mayor feuded with Attorney General Jeff Sessions over federal immigration policy, before sanctuary city politics and long before Donald Trump became president, a man they didn’t know was standing on a street corner in Chicago.

Dennis McCann, an insurance broker, was about to cross North Kedzie Boulevard and have dinner with a friend.

“He was going to meet a friend, a client, Jose Gonzalez, owner of El Cid, a restaurant there,” McCann’s brother Brian told me Tuesday. “They were close. My brother just wanted to cross the street and see his friend.”

It was June 8, 2011, and Rahm Emanuel had just been elected a few weeks before on the charms of his former boss, then-President Barack Obama. Jeff Sessions was a senator from Alabama. President Donald Trump was just a rich guy on reality TV.

Most likely there was nothing on McCann’s mind about illegal immigration and whether Americans have the right to control their own borders — issues that would later propel Trump to the presidency.

What was Dennis McCann thinking about? “He was probably thinking the same stuff you and I would think about when we cross the street and a friend is waiting,” said his brother, “like what to order, what to drink.”

So Dennis McCann began crossing the street.

And he was hit by a speeding car.

All that was left on the street were his sandals.  And the rest of Dennis McCann was being dragged hundreds of feet down Kedzie.

“I heard the impact, saw this man go up into the sky and land on the windshield,” witness Alberto Aceves told the Tribune at the time, describing how Dennis McCann fell off the hood to roll under the speeding car. “I pull up to the passenger side screaming at him. ‘Stop! The guy’s under your car.'”

The driver finally stopped the car, got out and tried to run, but was arrested by police.

Saul Chavez, then 35, a Mexican immigrant here illegally, had been drinking heavily. The Cook County sheriff’s office said Chavez had a blood alcohol content of 0.29 percent, more than three times the legal limit. Chavez had just completed probation after a drunken driving conviction two years before.

Chavez was charged with a felony — aggravated DUI — and was given a $250,000 bond. Two days after McCann was killed, federal officials filed an immigration detainer, believing Chavez was living in the U.S. illegally. The form requested that Cook County notify Immigration and Customs Enforcement if Chavez was scheduled to be released.

Sanctuary cities and power politics

But as Chavez sat in jail, Chicago Democrats on the Cook County Board were playing immigration politics. Led by Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, and catering to the Latino vote, they worked out a new policy:  The Cook County Board decided that federal detainer requests would be ignored, and those suspected of being in the country illegally and in jail on criminal charges could make bond without fear of deportation.

Chavez did make bond. Cook County did not notify immigration officials. And within days, what happened?  Chavez fled. He disappeared back into Mexico, where he remains out of reach of the short arms of Chicago’s law.

“I’ve talked to the feds recently,” said Brian McCann. “They know where he is. Chavez is in Mexico. There is a Mexican warrant out for him. But it hasn’t been served.”

McCann was quiet for a moment.

“What justice did my brother get? Chicago Democrats got to pander to the Hispanic vote and ignore the rule of law. And the mayor now gets a campaign issue. And my brother? Nothing.”

I first wrote about this case years ago, and called Brian McCann on Tuesday to write about it again, to remind people that politics isn’t the only thing at stake here. Lives are at stake. And confidence in the rule of law is also at stake. Without confidence in the rule of law, a republic collapses into mob rule.

Sessions is threatening to withhold federal law enforcement grants if Emanuel continues with Chicago’s sanctuary city policy. Emanuel filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration, demanding the federal funds.

“Chicago will not be blackmailed into changing our values, and we are and will remain a welcoming city,” Emanuel said.

Our Chicago values?

Hearing the mayor talk, you almost forget that he was stridently opposed to illegal immigration not long ago. And under Presidents Bill Clinton and Obama, he demanded repeated and high-profile federal immigration raids and deportations and crackdowns at workplaces across America.

But now he’s Mayor Zorro.

What’s amusing is that some are so blinded by their hatred of Trump, and so oblivious to how Chicago politics really work, that they’re actually applauding Emanuel for standing up to alleged Trump bullying.

Rahm must smirk at such useful idiocy. It all plays into his hands. He’s hurt himself with African-Americans, so he drops his sanctuary city card again and again, cozying up to Latinos as he seeks re-election.

“Under Clinton and Obama, Rahm was against all this,” said Brian McCann. “Now he’s a sanctuary cities proponent. The rule of law is always compromised by power politics. That’s all this is: power politics for Rahm and Preckwinkle. And public safety be damned.”

Big-city Democrats step over people like Dennis McCann, because the Dennis McCanns are in their way. Mentioning the Dennis McCanns runs counter to approved power-politics narratives, and they become the forgotten.

And you wonder why Trump won the election?

 

[From an article by John Kass, written for The Chicago Tribune]

 

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As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

 

 

 

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Extremely unusual convergence of events in the 40-day period just ahead

Learn about this very unusual convergence of events just ahead...

We are about to witness an extremely unusual convergence of events that many believe could represent a major turning point for our nation and the world.
By now you have probably heard that on August 21st a total solar eclipse will move across the entire continental United States for the first time in decades.  In fact, we have not seen a total solar eclipse cross from the west coast to the east coast in 99 years.  And it will be the very first total solar eclipse that is only visible in this country since the United States first became a nation.
Starting with that event, there will be a whole lot going on until we reach the end of September.  Here are 12 critical events that are going to happen over a 40 day period from August 21st to September 30th, 2017.
August 21 – The “Great American Eclipse” will sweep across portions of Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.
Seven years later, another very unusual total solar eclipse will move across our nation, and when you plot the paths of both eclipses on a map, they form a giant “X” right over the center of the United States.
August 23 – A FEMA exercise known as “EarthEX2017” will simulate “catastrophes such as mega earthquakes, cyber terrorism or high altitude electromagnetic pulse attacks”.  An exercise sponsored by FEMA and the U.S. Department of Energy set to take place on August 23 called EarthEX2017 will wargame responses to catastrophes such as mega earthquakes, cyber terrorism or high altitude electromagnetic pulse attacks. 
The exercise will simulate a “subcontinent-scale, long duration power outage, with cascading failures of all other infrastructures,” according to the official Earth Ex website.  “Black sky events” are defined as “Catastrophic occurrences caused by man or nature that bring society to its knees.”
September 1 – This marks the start of FEMA’s annual “National Preparedness Month”.
September 1 – The U.S. State Department’s ban on U.S. citizens traveling into North Korea goes into effect.  Many are concerned that this is yet another sign that we are moving toward war with North Korea.
September 11 – This will be the 16th anniversary of 9/11.
September 20 – Rosh Hashanah begins at sunset.
September 21 – The UN International Day Of Peace
September 23 – This is the date of what has become known as “the Revelation 12 sign”.  If you are not familiar with this alignment yet, a very detailed report is available here.  On September 23, 2017 a sign will form in the heavens that fits the description of Revelation 12. According to computer models, this is the only time this sign will occur in history.
September 24 – Very important national elections will be held in Germany.
September 29 – Yom Kippur begins at sunset, and it concludes on September 30th.  Of course September 30th will be the end of a 40 day period that began back on the day of the Great American Eclipse on August 21st.
September 29 – U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says that the debt ceiling will be breached on this day if Congress does not raise it by then.
September 30 – If Congress does not pass a budget by the end of this day, there will be a government shutdown just like we witnessed in 2013.
On top of everything else, the month of September is when the Federal Reserve is scheduled to begin unwinding their 4.5 trillion dollar balance sheet.  The other big market force that could ruffle markets is clearly the Fed, which is expected to begin the untested task of unwinding its $4.5 trillion balance sheet in September.
It is also very interesting to note that a large asteroid will come within 4,200 miles of our planet on October 12th.  The asteroid has not been seen since its 2012 discovery, when it sped past Earth at about one-fourth the distance from Earth to the moon.  It’s been too distant and too faint to be detected over the last five years. As it starts to approach Earth this summer, large telescopes will be used to detect it and re-establish the asteroid’s precise trajectory.  The asteroid, known as 2012 TC4, could come as close as 4,200 miles to Earth, NASA said. That’s actually fairly close, when you consider that the moon is about 239,000 miles away.
So what does all of this mean?  In this day and age, we desperately need independent thinkers who are willing to challenge the system.  Way too often people just go with the herd and will believe whatever the mainstream media tells them to think.  Never let someone else do your thinking for you.  Investigate things for yourself and come to your own conclusions.  Learning to think critically is one of the most important skills you can have.
[From an article published by PROPHECY NEWS WATCH]
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As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by
NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

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What are you sticking with in today’s investment marketplace?

norm-al-170811

 

We’re sticking with gold God.  Here’s why…

First and foremost, gold might look pretty good down here, but God has so much of the stuff He paves heaven’s roads with it.

And don’t ever forget…no matter how much of it you manage to accumulate, you won’t be taking ANY of it with you when you leave Planet Earth.  The closest you’ll ever come is to take some of what you manage to collect, and send it on ahead.  [By donating it to God’s work here.  Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.  …If you wish to be perfect, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”  (Matthew 6:21, 19:21)]  Not only does God keep track of what we give and where we give, He also keeps track of HOW we give.  “God loves a cheerful giver,” remember?

Don’t be a hoarder, be a helper.  God only asks us for ten percent, you know.  Most of us give more than that as a tip for good restaurant table service.

Once you get used to spreading your money around a bit, doing a little good here, a little good there, you’ll enjoy the feeling so much you’ll start trying to live on less and give more away. (It has happened to many others, we promise you.)

If you happen to be among those who are still skeptical about the whole “God thing” and not really convinced that God is really there, or that the Bible is really true, please let us pose one question to you: How do you explain all the prophecies in the Bible which have come true in centuries past?  (Never mind the prophecies which we will see coming true in years ahead.)

Here is how God explains those prophecies: “I am God, and there is no other.  I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.’  When I have spoken it, I will bring it to pass.  When I purpose it, I will also do it.  My salvation shall not delay.”  (from Isaiah ch. 46)

If God knows history in advance and can tell us in advance how something is going to turn out, which He has done many, many times in the Bible (and there is no other foundational book for any other religion which can demonstrate this), does this not give God the edge in being able to convince us He is real?  Jesus even said to one of His disciples, “If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father.”  (John 14:9)  In other words, “if you want to know what God is like, just get to know Me.”

THAT is an invitation you should accept!

 

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As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

 

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US healthcare is often compared with the Canadian version. Here are the figures.

Canadian health care cost figures

 

According to the nonpartisan Fraser Institute, many Americans falsely believe that Canadians pay nothing for health care visits. This couldn’t be further from the truth.  A scathing new report just revealed how much Canadians actually pay for their “free” health coverage, and revealed deep problems with the system that Democrats want to force onto Americans.

“Canadians often misunderstand the true cost of our public health care system,” the institute found in a detailed report. “This occurs partly because Canadians do not incur direct expenses for their use of health care, and partly because Canadians cannot readily determine the value of their contribution to public health care insurance.”

In other words, the system seems almost designed to hide costs from the people who pay them. Canadians end up paying through a complex web of taxes at both the national and local level.

A “typical Canadian family of four will pay $12,057 for health care in 2017—an increase of nearly 70 percent over the last 20 years,” explained The Daily Caller, which dug into the Fraser report.  Over a $1,000 per month is hardly “free,” and the costs keep increasing. So do the wait times — and people often forget that having coverage on paper is not the same as receiving timely care.  Wait times for many medical procedures were approaching half a year.

“For all those tax dollars, there is still a long waiting list for a host of operations, both routine and urgent. Another Fraser Institute study recently revealed that 63,000 Canadians left the country in 2016 to seek medical assistance elsewhere — usually the U.S.,” explained the Caller.

According to the Fraser report: “Services are being rationed.  In our last report on wait times in Canada, we discovered that the average wait time from referral to treatment was 20 weeks. That was the longest wait time in the history of our survey.”

It turns out that the socialist model doesn’t work so great in real life. Who knew?

Almost everybody agrees that America’s health care system needs to be overhauled and simplified. Costs are high, the system is complex, and everything only became more confusing with the Affordable Care Act, which is proving itself to be anything but affordable.  Single payer systems are clearly not all they’re cracked up to be.

Canada is often seen as the ideal model… but it would be wise to take a closer look at its flaws.

 

[From an article published by the CONSERVATIVE TRIBUNE]

 

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As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

 

 

 

 

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New US Navy carrier strike group now in Persian Gulf to help obliterate what’s left of ISIS

New carrier strike group arrives in Persian Gulf to get rid of ISIS

After about two months of the USS George H.W. Bush aircraft carrier sitting off Syria’s coast to support ground operations against ISIS, the USS Nimitz has arrived in the Persian Gulf to hammer whatever is left of the terror group.

“For the Nimitz Strike Group, today is game day,” said Rear Adm. Bill Byrne, commander of Nimitz’s carrier strike group said in a US Navy statement sent to Business Insider. “When you hear the roar of the jets today it is for real; it’s game on.”

The Nimitz and its accompanying carrier strike group, which the US Naval Institute reports includes a guided-missile cruiser and four destroyers, will support the US-led effort to eliminate ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

Though ISIS continues to coordinate attacks abroad, the terror group has suffered incredible defeats in the territory it once declared as its “caliphate.” In Iraq, ISIS’s foundational city, Mosul, has been liberated by Iraqi security forces with the help of carrier-launched aircraft.

CLICK HERE for US Navy video

In Syria, more than half of ISIS’s last remaining stronghold, Raqqa, has been liberated. In late July, Army Gen. Raymond Thomas, head of US Special Operations Command, said that the US-led fight against ISIS had killed 60,000 to 70,000 militants.

“The enemy is very worn out,” Maj. Gen. Najm al-Jabouri of the Iraqi Security Forces told Reuters on Monday. “I know from the intelligence reports that their morale is low,” the general added.

Meanwhile, a fresh carrier air wing aboard the Nimitz began operations against ISIS on Monday as US-backed forces on the ground continue to make progress.

However, the F-18 squadrons aboard the Nimitz face an increased risk, as the pilots aboard the George H.W. Bush saw the first air-to-air combat since 1999 .

 

[From an article published by BUSINESS INSIDER]

 

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As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

 

 

 

 

 

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