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US food crisis: Spring’s record-late arrival in parts of the U.S. has catastrophic consequences for food industry – Food prices set to rise

The calendar might have said it was spring more than a month ago, but the physical signs of it around us told a much different story. According to officials data, this was the latest arrival of spring in 38 years of records for parts of Kansas and Oklahoma.

Portions of Washington and Oregon also saw the latest spring start on record. In parts of the Plains, in places like South Dakota, Nebraska and even into Oklahoma, a late spring like this year’s only happens once every 10 or more years. Many farming fields are ruined and will not be planted this year. Otherwise, planting has been dramatically delayed.

Spring and its typical green growth arrived later than usual in much of the U.S., save for parts of the South, thanks to a stubborn weather pattern that most noticeably affected parts of the central and southern Plains, Northwest and northern New England.

Spring was more than 10 days later than usual in those areas, according to data from The USA National Phenology Network, which tracks the physical arrival of spring by looking at when leaves and other growth appears and blooms.
crop map

Using data that dates back to 1981, the group also examined how unusual this spring’s lateness was compared to previous years and came to the following results:

This was the latest arrival of spring in 38 years of records for parts of Kansas and Oklahoma.

Portions of Washington and Oregon also saw the latest spring start on record. 

In parts of the Plains, in places like South Dakota, Nebraska and even into Oklahoma, a late spring like this year’s only happens once every 10 or more years.

The absence of spring was due to a stubborn upper-level pattern with a southward dip in the jet stream over parts of the Northwest, Plains and Midwest for much of March and April. This funneled below-average temperatures into these regions at times.
Chilly weather

Due to this chilly pattern, Marquette, Michigan, has received above-average snowfall (227.5 inches) and is experiencing its second-longest streak of temperatures below 70 degrees. The last time temperatures reached at least 70 degrees was September, 17, 2018, which was 238 days ago. The current record longest streak is 252 days.

The record will be tied if the temperature does not climb to at least 70 degrees by May 28. Based on the current forecast for Marquette, it is possible that a new record could be set. Here a summary for the USA:

Below-average temperatures from Montana to Wisconsin and as far south as Iowa and Nebraska lasted from January through April. Precipitation was also well-above-average in the Midwest and into South Dakota, as well as into parts of the West for the first four months of the year. 

Another cold blast surged southward in early May and brought near-freezing temperatures to portions of the central Plains. Duluth, Minnesota, even shattered a May snowfall record when more than 10 inches fell on May 8 into May 9.

Total catastrophe for US farming production

Some of the same locations in the Plains and Midwest with chilly temperatures also experienced very wet conditions. This combination of cold and wet has exacerbated the agricultural impacts of a late spring.

Snowmelt and heavy rainfall brought significant river flooding to parts of the Plains and Midwest in March. Many farming fields were ruined and will not be planted this year, according to the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC).
Corn

The Midwest Regional Climate Center noted that spring planting was delayed due to the wet and cold conditions in the region. As of the end of April, corn planting was behind the 5-year average in all Midwest states.

By May 12, only 30 percent of the nation’s corn acreage had been planted, 36 points behind the 5-year average. The corn planting in Illinois as of May 12 was the slowest on record, dating back to 1979, according to Karen Braun, global agriculture columnist at Thomson Reuters.
Soybean, Sugar Beet and Oat

The soybean crop is also behind schedule, and as of May 12, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) said that just nine percent of the nation’s soybean acreage was planted, 20 points behind the 5-year average.

In addition to flooding, persistent cold and late-season snow in the Dakotas has not allowed the soil to warm up and has prevented crop planting, the NCDC reported in its April summary.

Through the end of April, just seven percent of North Dakota’s sugar beet acreage had been planted, well below the average to date of 39 percent. Only seven percent of the acreage for oats was planted in South Dakota compared to the average of 62%.

Areas farther West also experienced difficulties. Farmers in Idaho delayed crop planting due to the high soil moisture and erosion caused by several storms in April, NCDC reported.

We have never had a year quite like this before, and U.S. food production is going to be substantially below expectations. I very much encourage everyone to get prepared for much higher food prices and a tremendous amount of uncertainty in the months ahead.

This is a major national crisis, and it is just getting started. Get ready and be prepared

Three-Day Siege of Severe Thunderstorms With Damaging Winds, Tornadoes, Hail, Begins Today in the South and Midwest USA

Following a severe weather outbreak this past weekend, another multi-day siege of severe thunderstorms and heavy rain will begin today in the Plains before spreading into parts of the South, Midwest and East.

Another sharpening southward plunge of the jet stream will carve into the nation’s mid-section Wednesday, then lumber through the rest of the South and East through Friday.

In response to that active jet stream, a low-pressure system will develop in the Plains, importing increasingly warm and humid air from the Gulf of Mexico ahead of it.

As a result, we expect numerous thunderstorms to develop in the Plains, Midwest and South starting Wednesday, spreading east Thursday and Friday.

Here’s a look at the day-by-day forecast.
Wednesday

The threat of severe weather will be rather expansive, stretching from Texas to Wisconsin.

In the Plains, severe storms should be most numerous Wednesday afternoon near a cold front from the Texas Panhandle into northern Oklahoma and southern Kansas. Other more widely-scattered severe storms may flare up along a dryline from central Oklahoma into north and central Texas.

Large hail, possibly baseball-size or larger, tornadoes and damaging winds are possible in these areas.

A separate area of scattered severe thunderstorms is possible in the upper Midwest, including parts of Iowa, southern Wisconsin and western Illinois, with a few tornadoes possible.

Wednesday night, a line of severe thunderstorms with damaging winds and perhaps a few tornadoes is expected to sweep into eastern Texas, southern Arkansas and possibly northwest Louisiana. Other scattered severe thunderstorms may rumble through the mid-Mississippi Valley, primarily Missouri and Illinois, overnight.

Locally heavy rainfall may also result in flash flooding in a few spots.
Thursday

Thunderstorms will be ongoing early Thursday and will continue into Thursday night.

Severe thunderstorms are most probable Thursday in the Deep South, including much of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and parts of the Florida panhandle. At least a few severe storms are possible farther north into parts of the Ohio Valley.

This activity may be in the form of a long line of thunderstorms with damaging winds and perhaps some tornadoes.

Parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and western and southern Alabama appear to have the greatest chance for tornadoes Thursday, both embedded in the squall line and if any supercells develop ahead of the main line of thunderstorms.

This activity is expected to sweep east Thursday night into the Ohio Valley, southern Appalachians and Tennessee Valley.

Locally heavy rain may trigger flash flooding in some areas.
Friday

Thunderstorms should remain quite numerous Friday up and down the East Coast from Florida to the mid-Atlantic states.

Friday morning, this line of storms may produce a few damaging winds from the Florida Panhandle to the western Carolinas.

The line may then intensify by midday or early afternoon from the Florida Peninsula to Maryland. Damaging thunderstorm winds are the main threat, but a few tornadoes are possible. Locally heavy rain may lead to flash flooding in some areas, as well.

Some of these areas may pick up as much as 3 inches of rainfall, particularly from east Texas to the Ohio Valley. Heavy rainfall on already-saturated ground may lead to flash flooding in some locations.

This system will also bring soaking rain to the upper Midwest, where snowpack remains in place in some places. The melting of that snow, in combination with the rain, could aggravate ongoing river flooding.

April is generally the first month in what is typically the peak of severe weather activity in the United States, which runs from April through June.

The severe weather threat begins to migrate from the South to the Great Plains (otherwise known as Tornado Alley) during the month of April.

But severe weather can happen at any time during the year.

30 Inches Of Snow! Another Bomb Cyclone “Detonates” Over The Midwest, And The NOAA Is Warning Flooding Could Extend Into July

We aren’t supposed to have a major blizzard in April. Less than a month after a “bomb cyclone” caused apocalyptic flooding in the central part of the country, another “bomb cyclone” is hitting the exact same area. One meteorologist has called it “a life-threatening storm”, and at this moment over four million people are under blizzard warnings. South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska and Kansas are going to get absolutely hammered before the storm finally moves east on Friday. The authorities are warning that this new “bomb cyclone” will cause additional flooding in the region, but at this point we do not know how bad that flooding will be.

The good news is that the ground has been softened up by warmer weather since the last “bomb cyclone”, and that should mean that more of the moisture is absorbed before it flows into the major rivers.

But the bad news is that we are being told that this storm “could break records”. The following comes from the Daily Mail…

A historic blizzard that could break records for April has hit the Great Plains and Upper Midwest.

Parts of six states were under blizzard warnings on Wednesday, in an area that included Denver; Cheyenne, Wyoming; Scottsbluff, Nebraska; and Pierre, South Dakota.

Early on Wednesday morning, thundersnow was reported in Pierre and surrounding parts of South Dakota, as well as southern Minnesota.

When meteorologists call this a “blizzard”, they aren’t exaggerating one bit.

Some of the snowfall totals that are being forecast seem absolutely crazy. According to CNN, some parts of the Midwest could actually get more than 30 inches of snow…

The Plains could get more than 2 feet of snow by Friday morning, and South Dakota could be the hardest hit, with more than 30 inches possible. High winds are making travel even more treacherous.

“Travel will be very difficult to impossible” Wednesday evening into Friday morning, a National Weather Service office in Nebraska said, using language nearly mirrored by offices throughout the region.

Needless to say, 30 inches of snow has the potential to cause a tremendous amount of flooding, especially since it is expected to melt very rapidly.

By noon on Wednesday, some portions of South Dakota had already received 18 inches of snow, and authorities in Minnesota had already responded to 213 auto accidents by Wednesday evening.

If you live in the areas affected by this blizzard, please do not go out unless it is absolutely necessary.

In case you are wondering, yes, this is incredibly unusual.

As CNN has noted, it is quite rare for a “bomb cyclone” to form over the middle part of the United States…

This one comes about four weeks after a similarly powerful system dumped heavy snow and rain on some of the same territory, leaving hundreds of millions of dollars in livestock and crop damage in Nebraska alone, largely through flooding.

It’s rare enough to have one form inland, much less two in a month. More typically, bomb cyclones form off the US East Coast in the form of nor’easters.

So the fact that we have now had two in less than a month should tell you that something is up.

As I have repeatedly stressed, our planet is becoming increasingly unstable and global weather patterns are dramatically changing.

What we have seen so far is not the end of the story. Rather, the truth is that we are only in the early chapters of a cataclysmic shift, and there isn’t anything that anyone can do to stop it.

In recent weeks I have written multiple articles about the historic flooding that we have witnessed so far in the middle of the nation. The damage that we have seen up to this point has been absolutely unprecedented, and needless to say this new storm is going to make things even worse…

The coming storm was expected to exacerbate flooding along the Missouri River in areas where dozens of levees were breached in March, exposing communities to future surges.

The river was not expected to crest in areas of Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri until between three to five days after the storm.

Since the major rivers are not going to crest for several days, it is probably going to be about a week before we really know how much damage this new storm has caused.

And even once we get past the immediate threat posed by this storm, the truth is that this crisis is very far from over.

The National Weather Service has warned us that there will be “above-average precipitation across much of the Lower 48” for the next few months, and the NOAA just told us that flooding “will continue to be an issue along the Missouri and Mississippi rivers into July”.

Into July?

Seriously?

We are watching a great tragedy unfold in our nation’s breadbasket, and we should all be praying for the thousands of farmers in the middle of the country that have been financially ruined by all of this flooding. Thousands upon thousands of them will not be able to plant crops at all this year, and many of them will end up leaving the profession for good.

Read More @ EndOfTheAmericanDream.com

‘Bomb cyclone’ hammers Plains and Midwest with blizzard conditions and 18 inches of snow, cancelling hundreds of flights and cutting power for 60,000

A storm system known as a ‘bomb cyclone’ is slowly churning through the US interior for the second time in a month, unleashing a blizzard in parts of the Midwest while creating hazardous fire conditions farther south.

By Thursday, as much as 18 inches of snow had fallen in parts of South Dakota, where Governor Kristi Noem closed state offices for a second day, while heavy snow and strong winds made travel conditions treacherous.

Just days after Tuesday’s high of 78 degrees in Denver, whiteout conditions were reported in western Nebraska, where the Department of Transportation closed several highways Thursday morning. Winds briefly reached 107 mph in Pueblo West, Colorado due to a ‘gustnado.’

On Thursday morning, some 13,200 homes were without power in Minnesota and 12,600 homes in South Dakota. More than 180 flights were cancelled at Denver International and 170 flights at Minneapolis-St Paul International.

The Minnesota State Patrol said it has responded to more than 200 crashes statewide since Wednesday.

Residents throughout the north-central United States could expect downed trees, widespread power outages, road closures and treacherous driving conditions through Friday, the NWS said.

Schools in Minneapolis and St. Paul were among hundreds that closed in Minnesota, where as much as two feet of snow is expected by Friday.

The storm knocked out power Wednesday to thousands of homes and businesses in South Dakota, disrupted air and ground travel from Colorado to Minnesota, and threatened to swell rivers in the Midwest that flooded after March’s drenching.

Both this storm and the one several weeks ago qualified as a ‘bomb cyclone,’ a weather phenomenon that entails a rapid drop in air pressure and a storm strengthening explosively, according to David Roth, a forecaster at the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center in Maryland.

Bomb cyclones are defined as a drop in atmospheric pressure of 24 millibars in 24 hours.

The latest storm’s impacts are likely to be similar to last month’s, Roth said. That blast dropped heavy snow and led to massive flooding in the Midwest that caused billions of dollars in damage in Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa and South Dakota.

Hopefully this time it will be a slow snowmelt,’ Roth said.

Particularly hard hit by the storm were eastern South Dakota and southwestern Minnesota. Winds in excess of 50mph were expected, creating life-threatening conditions, according to the National Weather Service.

‘We’re calling it historic because of the widespread heavy snow. We will set some records,’ said Mike Connelly, a weather service meteorologist in Aberdeen, South Dakota.

Transportation officials closed Interstate 29 from east central South Dakota to the North Dakota border, as well as a 270-mile section of Interstate 90 between Rapid City and Mitchell, South Dakota.

Numerous traffic crashes were reported in northeastern South Dakota, and the storm knocked out power to thousands of homes and businesses in Sioux Falls.

In Colorado, officials closed a 150-mile stretch of Interstate 76 from just northeast of Denver to the Nebraska border, and Governor Jared Polis activated the National Guard in case troops are needed to rescue stranded motorists.

Denver Public Schools announced delayed starts Thursday for some campuses due to weather.

About half of the daily flights at Denver International Airport were canceled on Wednesday.

In Nebraska, the State Patrol sent additional troopers into the state’s panhandle, and officials closed Interstate 80 in that region.

‘This storm is going to be dangerous,’ Patrol Maj. Russ Stanczyk said.

An unusual but not rare weather phenomenon known as ‘thunder snow’ – snow accompanied by thunder and lightning – was reported in central South Dakota.

‘It’s essentially a thunderstorm, but it’s cold enough for snow,’ Connelly said.

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts extended five weather-related executive orders until May 15 to help communities gain fast access to the state’s emergency resources.

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz said ‘the National Guard stands ready’ to rescue any stranded motorists.

The weather service posted an ice storm warning into Friday morning for a portion of southern Minnesota, noting that thick ice could accumulate on power lines and lead to outages.

Strong winds associated with the weather system were also creating dangerous wildfire and travel conditions in New Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma.

The weather service issued a high wind warning for the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles.

Winds in excess of 50mph were combining with low humidity and an unstable atmosphere to create critical fire conditions in the three states.

Forecasters in New Mexico said the winds also would make travel difficult on north-south oriented roads, such as Interstate 25. In southern New Mexico, the US Army’s White Sands Missile Range closed Wednesday because of the winds.

Forecasters said this week’s storm will swell rivers again, though likely not to the levels seen last month due to the absence of a wet snowpack on frozen ground.

But even moderate rises in the Missouri River will push more water into drenched Fremont County in southwestern Iowa, Emergency Manager Mike Crecelius said.

Last month’s flooding swamped 455 houses and thousands of acres of farmland in his region.

‘The problem is that we’re not getting any time for the water to recede and things to dry out, so the levees can’t be fixed; houses can’t be fixed; crops can’t be planted,’ he said.

Crisis Alert: It’s Spring And A Monster Winter Storm Is About To Punish Central U.S.

About three weeks into spring and 40 million Americans are under wind-related advisories, and millions more are expecting blizzard conditions across the Midwest.

Parts of Wyoming, Colorado, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Minnesota are expecting heavy snow resulting in blizzard conditions through Thursday.

“This is potentially a life-threatening storm,” Patrick Burke, a meteorologist at National Weather Service (NWS) in College Park, Maryland, said on Wednseday morning.

Parts of Utah, Nevada, western Wyoming, Idaho, and California could see wind speeds approaching hurricane strength on Wednesday, with some gusts up to 74 mph.

About 4 million people in Colorado, Nebraska, the Dakotas, Iowa, Wyoming, and Kansas are under severe winter storm warnings and blizzard warnings through Thursday morning, NWS said.

Flood evacuation orders have already been issued in Oregon and Washington state.

NWS warned that some areas of western Minnesota and southeast South Dakota could see 30 inches of heavy wet snow by Thursday afternoon.

The region in focus is the Central U.S., the same area where a “bomb cyclone” hit last month and unleashed deadly flooding and blizzards.

The extreme whipsaw in temperatures on Tuesday in the Central U.S., allowed the storm to supercharge overnight, could be on the verge of becoming a “bomb cyclone” in the next 12 hours.

Reuters said the drop in temperatures on March 13 was also responble for last month’s cyclone.

Regions in northwest Missouri’s Holt County have not yet recovered from last month’s flooding which estimates have put the damage into the billions of dollars.

The storm is expected to crossover the Great Lakes area and northern Michigan on Friday, bringing more rain and snow to the East North Central U.S.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-04-10/its-spring-and-monster-winter-storm-about-punish-central-us

Pepe Escobar: This Is The Key Word In The Trump-Kim Show

By reaffirming the Panmunjom Declaration, the US President has committed to bringing its military back from South Korea and thus a complete denuclearization of the South as well as the North…

The Trump-Kim geopolitical reality-TV show – surreal for some – offered unparalleled entries to the annals of international diplomacy. It will be tough to upstage the US President pulling an iPad and showing Kim Jong-un the cheesy trailer of a straight-to-video 1980s B-grade action movie – complete with a Sylvester Stallone cameo – casting the two leaders as heroes destined to save the world’s 7 billion people.

Away from the TV, the former “Rocket Man”, now respectfully recast in Trump terminology as “Chairman Kim”, did strike a formidable coup by completely erasing the dreaded acronym CVID – or “complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization” – from the final text of the Singapore joint statement.

Throughout the pre-summit negotiations, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) had always stressed an “action-for-action” strategy leading to denuclearization, as in Pyongyang being compensated every step of the way instead of waiting until after complete denuclearization – a process that could last over a decade – to be eligible for economic benefits.

The Singapore joint statement enshrines exactly what the Russia-China strategic partnership – formalized in the recent Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit – was suggesting from the beginning: a double freeze.

The DPRK holds off on any new nuclear and missile tests while the US and South Korea stop the “war games” (Trump’s terminology).

This logical sequence of the Sino-Russian roadmap is based on what South Korean President Moon Jae-in agreed with Kim Jong-un at the inter-Korean summit last April. And that ties in with what North Korea, South Korea and Russia had already discussed at the Far East summit in Vladivostok last September, as Asia Times reported; economic integration between Russia and the two Koreas, including the crucial connectivity of a future Trans-Korean railway with the Trans-Siberian.

Once again, this is all about Eurasia integration; increased trade between North Korea and Northeast China, concerning mostly Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces; and total, physical connectivity of both Koreas to the Eurasian heartland.

That’s yet another instance of the New Silk Roads, or Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) meeting the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU). And not by accident South Korea wants to connect deeper with both BRI and the EAEU.

When in doubt, re-read Panmunjom

The Singapore joint statement is not a deal; it’s a statement.

The absolutely key item is number 3: “Reaffirming the April 27, 2018, Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work toward the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

This means that the US and North Korea will work towards denuclearization not only in what concerns the DPRK but the whole Korean Peninsula.

Much more than “…the DPRK commits to work toward the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula”, the keywords are in fact    “reaffirming the April 27, 2018, Panmunjom Declaration…”

Even before Singapore, everyone knew the DPRK would not “de-nuke” (Trump terminology) for nothing, especially when promised just some vague US “guarantees”.

Predictably, both US neocon and humanitarian imperialist factions are unanimous in their fury, blasting the absence of “meat” in the joint statement. In fact there’s plenty of meat. Singapore reaffirms the Panmunjom Declaration, which is a deal between North Korea and South Korea.

By signing the Singapore joint statement, Washington has been put on notice of the Panmunjom Declaration. In law, when you take notice of a fact, you can’t ignore it later. The DPRK’s commitment to denuclearize in the Singapore statement is a reaffirmation of its commitment to denuclearize in the Panmunjom Declaration, with all of the conditions attached to it. And Trump acknowledged that by signing the Singapore statement.

The Panmunjom Declaration stresses that:

“South and North Korea confirmed the common goal of realizing, through complete denuclearization, a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula. South and North Korea shared the view that the measures being initiated by North Korea are very meaningful and crucial for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and agreed to carry out their respective roles and responsibilities in this regard. South and North Korea agreed to actively seek the support and cooperation of the international community for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

That’s the commitment. “International community”, as everyone knows, is code for the US as The Great Decider. If Washington does not bring back its military from South Korea, there will be no denuclearization. Essentially, that’s the deal discussed between Kim and President Xi Jinping in their two crucial, pre-Singapore meetings. Get the US out of the peninsula, and we have your back.

So all focus should be on “reaffirming”, the key word in the Singapore joint statement. 

Iranian electronic warfare facility blown up south of Damascus, second explosion in 4 days

Powerful explosions were reported early Monday, May 21, in the Naijah area south of Damascus. A Syrian military academy situated there serves as an Iranian/HIzballah intelligence war room and an Iranian electronic warfare facility. The explosions were reported by Sky News in Arabic with no official confirmation or indication of what caused them. If confirmed, this would appear to be the second pinpointed attack in four days on an Iranian military target in Syria. On May 18, fuel, arms and ammunition depots at a Syrian air base near Hama were blown up, causing massive explosions. Despite Syrian official denials, a number of Iranian officers were killed in this attack on one of Iran’s most important bases in Syria.  DEBKAfile’s military sources learned later that the attack was carried out by an unnamed ground force, which fired eight missiles at the base.

 

North Korea cancels talks with South, threatens to call off US talks over military drills

North Korea has canceled a summit with South Korea and has threatened to call off a summit between US President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un over American military drills with South Korea, according to South Korean media reports.

Pyongyang has canceled talks with Seoul due to ongoing Max Thunder military exercises between the South and the US, Yonhap news agency cited North Korean media. The drills have been described by the North as a rehearsal for invasion of the DPRK and a provocation amid warming inter-Korean ties.

AFP reported that North Korea has also threatened to scrap the highly-anticipated summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The meeting is scheduled for June 12 in Singapore.

The news comes as a blow after the historic talks between the leaders of two Koreas in April and the meeting between Kim and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Pompeo said Sunday that any deal paving the way for a nuclear-free Korean peninsula will have to include certain US safeguards, and reassurance that Kim won’t become a target of yet another regime change attempt.

Pyongyang had scheduled the dismantling of its nuclear bomb test site to take place between May 23-25, North Korean media reported on Saturday.

Reports that the talks have been suspended come just hours after Seoul and Pyongyang agreed on Tuesday to hold high-level inter-Korea talks on May 16. The leaders were planning to discuss steps needed to follow the plan of the peninsula’s denuclearization.

Wednesday’s now suspended talks were to include a 29-strong delegation from North Korea led by Ri Son-gwon, chairman of the ‘Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the country’ along with a five-member South Korean delegation, led by Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon.

The Max Thunder 18 drills are one of a number of joint military drills carried out by South Korea and the US in the Korean peninsula. North Korea has long viewed these drills as a show of aggression towards Pyongyang.

The two-week Max Thunder 18 air drills kicked off on Friday, with over 100 planes taking part, including F-22 fighters and B-52 bombers, Yonhap reported last week.

“Through this practical exercise, the air forces of South Korea and the US plan to improve aerial operations techniques,” an anonymous South Korean official told Yonhap.

Does The Stupid Ever Stop? South Africa To Copy Zimbabwe Model To ‘Prosperity’

Doesn’t South Africa have the internet yet?  Or, even books?

The new South African finance minister, Nhlanhla Nene, has just come out with an amazing plan to help the people!  He will devalue their money into worthlessness! This always works out well.

Nhlanhla has proposed an “ingenious” new plan to help the country’s impoverished black population: print money and hand it out to people.

The minister declared:

South Africans are continuing to be poor when we can print more money to ensure that everybody has it. Our people are poor because there is a shortage of money in the country.

It’s not the shortage of jobs that makes people poor, it is the shortage of money. We have paper and ink, so we will print more money and give it to the poor, and make all of them billionaires if that is possible.

es, make them billionaires.  There were countless trillionaires in Zimbabwe, even quadrillionaires… but it turns out that “trill-life” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, as many were left eating bugs in torn up t-shirts.

But let’s go ahead and break down just how ridiculous the minister’s plan is.

His main fallacy: “Our people are poor because there is a shortage of money in the country.”

No, money is just a signal, or representation of value, which leads to his second fallacy, “It’s not the shortage of jobs that makes people poor, it is the shortage of money.”

Really? How does anyone anywhere ever make money to begin with? By working a damn job!

If instant riches was as easy as printing money, then why not make everyone on Earth a trillionaire by printing up more money?  Because that’s moronic, that’s why.

Unfortunately, the South African finance minister seems incapable of learning from his nation’s neighbor. Or from any other hyperinflation in history.

If Nhlanhla doesn’t even realize he’s making the same mistakes as Zimbabwe, which is right next door and happened a few years ago, then the Republic of “Weimar” probably just sounds like “wiener” in German to him. Which he probably likes.

But, way back in the 1920s in Germany, they proclaimed the exact same thing. “There isn’t enough money!”

They fixed that “problem” within just a few years and German girls became prostitutes to the world in a bid to survive.

Meanwhile, in more recent times, the situation in Zimbabwe has become so bad that the price of bitcoin recently surged there, trading at nearly double the international rate.

The reason? Rampant hyperinflation left the country with essentially no currency, forcing the government to adopt the US dollar and South African rand.

Border patrol in South Africa was even put on “red alert” because so many Zimbabweans were fleeing their own nation.

Apparently, Nhlanhla or whatever his name is, never even heard about it.

Which begs the question we always ask of central bankers… are they really THIS stupid or are they acting on purpose to destroy the country, put in stricter controls, impoverish the people and keep their place at the top of the food chain?

It’s hard to imagine even this Nhlanhla guy could be this dumb.  He’d have to be living in a bubble to not even notice what’s been going on in his own country due to Zimbabwe’s hyperinflation.

Luckily, it doesn’t really matter if they are stupid or evil… or both. They are probably both. We now have access to non-central bank currencies like bitcoin and others.  And, I advise everyone in South Africa to run, not walk, to trade in what is remaining of the South African rand for precious metals and cryptos before Nhlanhla completely obliterates it.

And, if you want more information on how to do so, make sure to check out The Dollar Vigilante’s newsletter (HERE) where our subscribers gained a 2,192% return in cryptos in 2017!

Or, you can listen to Nhlanhla and become a South African rand “billionaire” and see how that works out for you.

Anarcho-Capitalist.  Libertarian.  Freedom fighter against mankind’s two biggest enemies, the State and the Central Banks.  Jeff Berwick is the founder of The Dollar Vigilante, CEO of TDV Media & Services and host of the popular video podcast, Anarchast.  Jeff is a prominent speaker at many of the world’s freedom, investment and gold conferences as well as regularly in the media.

© 2018 Copyright Jeff Berwick – All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.