Americans Brace For Shock Surge In Everyday Food Prices

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“).

“(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….

LA Homeless Deaths Jump 76%

Kaiser Health News reports that a record number of homeless people died across Los Angeles County last year, on bus benches, parks, hillsides, railroad track, and sidewalks.

Deaths skyrocketed 76% in the last five years, far outpacing the growth in the city’s homeless population.

As of 2018, the city’s total homeless population was about 53,000, an increase of 39% since 2014. The study said a majority of the people weren’t living in government shelters but rather on city streets.

Government officials and so-called experts have limited understanding of what the primary cause for the rise in deaths, but they said the opioid crisis could be a significant reason.

An increase in deaths outlines that Los Angeles County, a region of more than 10 million inhabitants, is in the midst of a homelessness crisis.

Based on that criteria, the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner reported 3,612 deaths of homeless people from 2014 to 2018.

Male deaths were much higher than female deaths, the study noted. Even though African Americans make up fewer than 10% of the county’s population, they accounted for 25% of the homeless deaths.

Substance abuse played a primary role in at least 25% of the deaths over the last five years, according to the coroner’s data.

There has also been a sharp increase in deaths of millennials who were homeless. For instance, the deaths associated with adults under 40 – more than doubled.

“We need to take action now,” said Rev. Andy Bales, CEO of the Union Rescue Mission shelter on the city’s infamous Skid Row. “Otherwise next year, it’s going to be more than 1,000.”

The report paints a grim picture of a public health crisis expanding like wildfire across Los Angeles.

As to why the report didn’t mention the root cause of homelessness on the West Coast is beyond our comprehension. One of the main drivers has been income inequality, derived from the financialization of the economy and excessive monetary [federal reserve] policy over the last decade or more, has collapsed the middle class, leaving them on borderline poverty levels.

WSJ: Why Didn’t Mueller Investigate Whether Steele Dossier Was Russian Disinfo?

Since the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s redacted report, several questions have been asked as to why certain things were not investigated, and key players were never interviewed, according to President Trump.

Perhaps the most glaring omission is Mueller’s failure to consider that the infamous “Steele Dossier” – which used Kremlin sources – could have been Russian disinformation itself.

Asking that very question, the Wall Street Journal’s Kimberly Strassel opines on this “stunning omission.”

Kimberly Strassel via the Wall Street Journal

Politicians keep reminding us not to lose sight of special counsel Robert Mueller’s broader assignment: to investigate Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. If only someone had reminded Mr. Mueller.

One of the biggest failures of the Mueller probe concerns not what was in the final report, but what was not. Close readers will search in vain for any analysis of the central document in this affair: the infamous “dossier.” It’s a stunning omission, given the possibility that the Russians used that collection of reports to feed disinformation to U.S. intelligence agencies, sparking years of political maelstrom….

Well gee, maybe it’s because he knew it was concocted by US and british intelligence agencies?   But then what does that say about his own complicity in “russiagate”?

They just can’t pass up an opportunity to whip up public hysteria and support for war with russia can they?

“I Will Dispose Of It”: Trump Pulls Out Of UN Arms Trade Treaty Over 2nd Amendment Concerns

President Trump announced Friday that the United States will withdraw its signature from the UN Arms Trade Treaty after concerns were raised by 2nd Amendment activists that it might infringe on Americans’ right to bear arms.

“Under my administration we will never surrender American sovereignty to anyone, we will never allow foreign bureaucrats to trample on your Second Amendment freedom and that is why my administration will never ratify the U.N. trade treaty,” Trump said during the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting in Indianapolis, according to Fox News.

“I am officially announcing today that the United States will be revoking the effect of America’s signature from this badly misguided treaty, we’re taking our signature back,” Trump added.

The treaty, signed in 2013 by former President Barack Obama, seeks to regulate international trade in conventional firearms to “prevent and eradicate the illicit trade in conventional arms and prevent their diversion.”

On Friday, Trump signed a notice to the Senate asking that the ratification process be stopped and the treaty returned to the White House, where Trump said “I will dispose of it.” 

While supporters of the treaty have argued that it could not infringe on Second Amendment rights, the document had long been opposed by the NRA — who pointed to the treaty’s call for national recordkeeping and for governments to share those records, and claimed that the treaty meant that U.S. gun policy “could become the rest of the world’s business and subject to its approval, on pain of trade restrictions if it doesn’t meet ‘international norms.’”

Trump has been skeptical of both the U.N. and multilateral agreements and supported the NRA’s concerns in his speech. –Fox News

“By taking these actions, we are reaffirming that American liberty is sacred and that American citizens live by American laws not by laws of foreign countries,” said Trump.

Iran Warns False Flag “Accident” Could “Lure” Trump Into War

Following US declarations that Washington and its allies intend to take Iranian crude exports down to “zero” by cancelling waivers previously granted to eight nations, tensions are now soaring over the Strait of Hormuz, with Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) attempting to lay down the law amid fears the US Navy could move to block Iran’s access, given the IRGC’s new terror designation.

On Wednesday Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said if the US intends to pass through the Persian Gulf’s vital choke point — the waterway’s narrowest strait routinely patrolled by Iran’s military it must dialogue with those who defend it”. Sharif’s words were essentially a provocative declaration that the US military must ask Tehran’s “permission” to enter the strait. However, he elsewhere explained that he doesn’t believe that President Trump wants war with Iran, but that he could be “lured into one” by his more hawkish advisers….

Along with tightening sanctions the White House has indicated it will take measures to halt Iranian shipments in international waters wherever its tankers are found. Such bellicose rhetoric has been flying between Washington and Tehran since the Trump administration first pulled out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal last May.

Further addressing the tightening sanctions noose on Wednesday, Zarif said, “We’re allergic to pressure.” He added, “Try the language of respect, it won’t kill you, believe me.”

No safe amount of alcohol during pregnancy, suggest researchers

Researchers found that teenagers who were exposed to alcohol while in the womb showed altered brain connections that were consistent with impaired cognitive performance. Their findings were reached by measuring the responses from a brain imaging technique called magnetoencephalography (MEG) and then analyzing them with tools developed using chaos theory.

FASD is one of the leading causes of intellectual disability worldwide and is linked to a wide array of neurological issues, including ADHD. While the prevailing theory links expectant mothers’ alcohol consumption to cognitive impairments for children, questions about the extent of this effect remain. Despite the known link, researchers are uncertain about the precise mechanism by which alcohol alters the developing brain….

Subjects who were exposed to alcohol in the womb were more likely to have issues with connections through their corpus callosum, the band of brain tissue that connects the left and right halves of the brain. Deficits in this area have been reported in people with schizophrenia, multiple sclerosis, autism, depression and abnormalities in sensation….

DOJ could build Assange case on Espionage Act, carries possible death sentence

Julian Assange could be charged under the Espionage Act for leaking classified material in addition to the hacking charge he already faces, a US Department of Justice document indicates.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is investigating “possible violations of United States federal criminal law regarding the unauthorized receipt and dissemination of classified information,” said a letter addressed to former WikiLeaks spokesman Daniel Domscheit-Berg, requesting an interview.

The letter suggests the DOJ is looking for evidence to charge the WikiLeaks founder with more than the computer crime detailed in the indictment against him unsealed in April.

The Espionage Act, a 1917 law intended to protect military secrets, has been used as a powerful implement against whistleblowers. Chelsea Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison under the Act for her role in leaking evidence of US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, while Edward Snowden was hit with two charges under the Act for his disclosures related to mass surveillance.

Investigations into WikiLeaks started as early as 2008, even before the publication of the Iraq and Afghan war logs, as well as the horrific ‘Collateral Murder’ footage. The DOJ began its own probe into Assange one year later, after WikiLeaks published nearly five decades’ worth of State Department diplomatic cables….

Is not mass surveillance without warrant or even any evidence of wrongdoing a form of espionage against the people?   How do you imprison a criminal government?