This week on Survival Saturday, learn about how astronomical consumer credit card debt is providing Americans with the deadly illusion of prosperity, get proof that the average diet is more akin to Soylent Green than actual food, and hear about the government’s latest volley in their determined assault on privacy- it’s for your own good, you know.

Survival Saturday is  a round-up of the week’s news and recommended reading material for folks who are interested in being prepared.

Shock: Americans Owe Nearly a Trillion Dollars on Credit Cards

Many times when you point out to a doubter that our economy has not recovered at all, they smugly point out the full parking lots at the mall or tell you about the line they had to wait in to buy the newest electronic gadget. But this is just an illusion of prosperity, perpetrated by the financial industry’s concentrated efforts to keep us spending to the point of “cannibal consumption.”

The real tale is told by the fact that Americans are in more deeply debt than any time in the history of our country and that number just keeps growing. According to an astonishing report by Michael Snyder, “U.S. consumers accumulated more new credit card debt during the 4th quarter of 2015 than they did during the years of 2009, 2010 and 2011 combined.”

Numbers like this underscore the fact that most folks are only one missed paycheck away from personal financial disaster.  As jobs continue to be lost, prices continue to increase, and companies like Wal-Mart close hundreds of stores, we’ll begin to see the effect more frequently. This spending frenzy simply cannot continue.

People are reaching the point at which they simply can no longer pay their bills or keep a roof of their family’s head.  Here’s what to do if you happen to be in that dire situation yourself and here is a proven method to dig yourself out of debt.

How Long Before Your Cell Phone Is No Longer Private?

A couple of weeks ago, Apple famously refused the FBI’s request to unlock the iPhones of the people accused of the San Bernadino shooting. (Here’s the awesome letter from CEO Tim Cook.) Former Congressman Ron Paul resoundingly supported Apple’s decision, saying that the company was a “better defender of our liberties than our own government.”

The FBI vs. Apple argument will be heard in front of a US Magistrate on March 22.  If the government has its way, your text messages, call log, and personal information will be up for grabs to law enforcement entities in this latest volley of regulatory harassment and the attempt to legalize the invasion of privacy.

In a speech on Friday, Obama earnestly promoted the backdoor access to cell phones to apprehend child pornographers, to prevent terrorist acts, and for tax enforcement. Also, for sheer entertainment value, he threw in a few lines about his commitment to privacy and preserving civil liberties. Of course, even without Apple’s help, the Feds can attempt to hack your phone, but here’s a cool strategy that could make the task take 127 years.

Mindblowing Statistics on the State of American “Food” Intake

Did you know that nearly 60% of what Americans consume is ultra-processed? The definition of “ultra-processed food” is “Formulations of several ingredients which, besides salt, sugar, oils, and fats, include food substances not used in culinary preparations, in particular, flavors, colors, sweeteners, emulsifiers and other additives used to imitate sensorial qualities of unprocessed or minimally processed foods and their culinary preparations or to disguise undesirable qualities of the final product.” Soylent Green, anyone? Basically, it’s just as I wrote in my article on The Great American Grocery Hoax: the stuff being sold to us is not actually food.

Is it any wonder then, that another recent study confirmed that more than half of all Californians are diabetic or pre-diabetic? Or that cancer is the #1 cause of death in the Western world and that nearly half of us will get it during our lifetimes?

What you eat can actually influence which genes are actually activated or suppressed, exerting more control over whether you get a hereditary disease than the combined genetics of your parents. But you don’t have to fall victim to the horrible offerings in the grocery store. Learn how to eat again with this e-course (I took it and it’s excellent!) and take back the reins by learning to raise your own food in this free online summit, even if you don’t live on a farm.

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