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Friday, November 30, 2012

Computer Security for Pre and Post Collapse

With the significant amount of preppers that believe in the probability that the coming collapse will be either generated by the Government or will result in a heavy handed Government exerting martial law across the land, I offer this article on computer security.

While the Government has phenomenal capabilities when it comes to electronic tracking and eavesdropping, this capability is spread across many different agencies, so it is not a central location manned by 25,000 intelligence analysts per shift. It is really a bunch of diverse agencies and even separate offices within these agencies who don’t like to share information because it degrades the other’s power and status. So when people try to convince me of large government conspiracies, I always think and sometimes speak out and say,…”Really? This is the same government that is bankrupting social security?...the same government that purchases $3,200 office chairs and $5,000 hammers?.......the same government that wear clown suits to work, shoots funny videos and posts them to You Tube? “

Some of this article came from a Yahoo! article on computer security when shopping, but the same principles apply. See bottom of article on the Poor Man's e-mail communications.

Browsing the web anonymously? Think your online activities are private? Think again. Not only are your surfing sessions tracked by websites, search engines and social networks, but often your Internet service provider (ISP), web browser, government and potentially hundreds of online tracking companies. Whether it's to collect valuable marketing data or prevent terrorist activity, movie piracy or kiddie porn, everything you think you're doing privately in the comfort of your home is anything but private.

But just because you want to spend time online anonymously doesn't mean you're a cybercriminal or have something to hide. Not only do regular folks want privacy, but remaining anonymous can also protect yourself from malicious types out to steal your identity for financial gain — from spammers and scammers alike. And so there are a few things you can do to reduce the odds every click is tracked, archived and shared. The following are a few suggestions on where to start.

How does Facebook know to show you ads for your local gym, supermarket or college? This is because your computer's unique Internet Protocol (IP) address, assigned by your ISP, reveals your geographical whereabouts. Even if your computer generates a different IP address every time you boot up or log online, this number (e.g. can still tell of your general location.

And so there are many different solutions that can hide your Internet connection, allowing you to remain anonymous while online. Some are websites, such as free "online proxy servers" that conceal your identity — simply point the web address (URL) to the proxy server and surf right from their website (check out for a list of great options).

Others prefer Virtual Private Network (VPN) software that encrypts your online sessions. The browser-independent Hotspot Shield from AnchorFree, for example — available for Windows, Macs, iPhone and Android — channels all web activities through a personal VPN and secures all Internet communications by turning all HTTP traffic into the safer HTTPS (which is what your bank uses for a safe connection).

Free to use but with more features packed into the "elite" version ($29.95), Hotspot Shield is ideal for email and instant messaging, too, and reduces the likelihood of identity theft because you're not leaving a digital footprint -- including cyber-snoopers and rogue connections at Wi-Fi hotspots, hotels, airports, and so on.

Similarly, Tor is free software that defends you against Internet surveillance that threatens personal freedom and privacy. Short for "The Onion Router" — which gets its name for its "layered" approach to the encryption process -- Tor provides online anonymity as the software routes Internet traffic through a worldwide volunteer network of servers to conceal your location or online usage patterns.

Use USB sticks.  
In some cases, software to encrypt your connection is kept on a USB drive — therefore you can remain safe and secure even when using a public PC.

SurfEasy ($59.99) is a tiny USB key that fits into a credit card-shaped case to be kept in your wallet. When you plug it into a PC or Mac -- be it your own computer or a communal one -- it instantly launches its own password-protected browser and you're good to go -- no proxy or network settings to configure. Your browsing session is handled through SurfEasy's fast and secure private proxy network.

Your IP address will be masked throughout the session. A fr

ee alternative is called Tails, which can be downloaded and installed onto a USB stick to run independently of the computer's original operating system. Like SurfEasy, it lets you browse the web anonymously -- on virtually any computer — as all connections are channelled through the aforementioned Tor network.

Browser tweaks Anonymous proxy software is a great way to mask your IP address online, but there is still plenty of information about your web surfing habits stored on your computer — which could also be viewed over a network, say, at the office, by your IT department. At least it's somewhat easy to control your privacy settings directly in your web browser — unless your business forbids non-administrators from making changes to your browser settings, that is.

You can disable cookies — tiny text files stored on your computer with information about where you've been online, passwords and other info — and you should also delete your browser history to cover your tracks. All major web browsers — such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome or Safari -- allow you to delete your surfing history: simply go to the Options or Settings in your favorite browser and you'll see how to do this.

You might want to turn off auto-complete or someone on your computer could type in a few letters in a search engine or web address (URL) bar and any recent places you visited could fill in automatically. And don't click to allow sites to "remember my password" or someone could gain access to your private or financial information.

The easiest thing to do, however, is to see if your web browser has settings for surfing incognito — most of the major browsers do today. By enabling these privacy settings, your browser won't save any history (and download history), search queries, cookies or passwords. On a related note, Twitter recently announced a "Do Not Track" feature that prohibits the service from collecting info about its millions of users. Nice.

And Microsoft, in June 2012, said its upcoming Internet Explorer 10 browser -- expected to launch alongside Windows 8 later this year -- will not collect data about the online activity of its users by default. 'Do not track' tools and plug-ins Google raised a few eyebrows earlier in 2012 with its revamped privacy policy, which was updated to allow for the sharing of information between its various services such as Google Search, Gmail and YouTube. Therefore, if you search for recipes in Google Search you might be presented with cooking-related videos on YouTube. Handy? Sure. Invasion of privacy? Debatable. You could choose not to log into your Google account when using these services (er, or not use them at all) or you might want to install one of the free browser plug-ins that tell Google and other advertisers to back off.

One called Do Not Track Plus from Abine blocks marketers, search providers and social networks from tracking your online activity — and it's compatible with all major web browsers. After it's installed, a small icon will appear to the right of the browser's address bar to tell you if a website wants to send data from your visit to other companies. Speaking of requiring a login name and password on a variety of sites, some web-based services like Anonymizer can automatically generate temporary email addresses with unique usernames and passwords for any site you wish to access (excluding your bank or shopping sites, of course, or you can't access your account).

Similarly, another solution called BugMeNot lets users post free usernames and passwords for shared access to popular websites like video sharing sites and newspapers.

Poor Man’s secure E-mail
One of the easiest things to protect communications from two or more different people or groups that are geographically separated is to use the same e-mail account. This would require giving the account e-mail and password either face to face or through hard copy correspondence,….yes, the U.S. postal service is good for something.

Each party can access the e-mail account and left a message for the other saved in the drafts folder so the message does not have to be sent out over the internet. The subject line and to address should be benign and fake respectively. Using simple encryption, such as a book code, for the text of the e-mail text can enhance message security from all but the most sophisticated agencies.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Survival Weapons Training

Harold wrote me via e-mail and asked: "I am now totally focused on prepping. I think that within the next six years we will be without cars and electricity and that means without cell phones and computers. There will not be anyone to protect us except ourselves. My old friend is a local Deputy Sheriff and believes the same thing. We have stocked up an old hunting cabin that we use here in Kentucky. Both of us are in our late 50's. I have hunted all my life and can easily live in the woods, real comfortable there. I have a Browning BAR in .30-06 and am no stranger to taking deer but I am knowing that my rifle skills for defending my home or my cabin can be much improved. What are your recommendations for using a rifle for defending? God Bless. "

UrbanMan's comments: Harold, you are on track preparing a Bug Out location and having perhaps the beginnings of a survival team with your Deputy Sheriff friend. I find it interesting that you have a six year time frame for what is commonly called the collapse, the economic collapse, The End Of The World As We Know It (TEOTWAWKI) or simply SHTF. ...take your pick of monikers,...end result the same - our survival at risk.  The larger the collapse, the higher the threat to our culture surviving.

The BAR is a great rifle. I like the detachable magazine capability of it and hope you have several extra magazines. However ammunition is expensive for routine battle rifle training. Even a semi-auto .22 rifle like the Ruger 10-22 would allow you to train consistantly and not going broke.

Some of the skills you need to have to employ a firearm sufficiently for any purpose including defensive purposes include:

Accuracy. Being able to hit what you aim at.

Train on multiple targets. Most people go out and shoot one target. Taking a page from the practical pistol, rifle and shotgun community, some of they drills they incorporate includes multiple targets.

Speed. Shooting multiple targets,....... accurately!

Magazines changes or re-loading. This is a muscle memory drill that the more you do it the better and faster you will become. If you do not have a magazine fed gun, then you will rapidly appreciate one.

Clearing Malfunctions is another task. You may rarely get them so you will have to intentional make up the scenarios and it helps to have a training partner so you can do to for each other.

Positional shooting - shooting from all different positions.

Weak hand and strong hand only shooting, in case you are wounded or injured you can still operate the gun.

Stress situations. When you are being shot at your stress level goes up (duh!). What this causes is increased heart rate; rapid, shallow breathing; sometimes tunnel vision; increase in gross motor skills; decrease in complex motor skills. It's hard to replicate in training, but physical exertion followed by conducting your shooting drills will give you a small idea of what stress does to your skills sets.

Tactics. Learn how to use cover and concealment. If you have a survival buddy or team learn how to fire and manuever as a team.

Prepare for the Defense.  Look over your properties where you think you may have to defend yourself.  Consider what the natural and concealed routes are that attackers would use.  Consider clearing areas you need to clear to give our fields of observation and fire.  Consider early warning devices to alert you, and emplacement of  obstacles to force attackers into areas to your advantage.

Bug Out route.  What if you are in danger of losing your position?  Consider a Bug Out route or method of safely as can be withdrawing from your home or cabin.  Establish a rally point if you have a team so in case separated, you can link up.  

A cache of supplies would be a good idea in case you are forced to Bug Out without much gear, equipment or supplies.

Consider going to a shooting school. Kyle Lamb of Viking Tactics hosts many such course mostly for military and law enforcement types. People and agencies I have worked with have contracted Kyle Lamb to run training for their personnel and tactical teams. You may not be able to attend any training but as luck would have it Kyle Lamb hosts training videos on You Tube, just enter "Kyle Lamb Viking Tactics" and see a slew of videos on shooting drills he recommends. Here is the video on a drill he calls the "396". Good luck to you Harold. .....Oh yeah, consider getting a magazine fed rifle.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Coming Collapse, Late November 2012 Edition

The Economic Collapse blog consolidated many different sites as they composed the massive list of lay offs and firings after Obama won re-election.

From the Blaze,.... major corporations have all announced layoffs in just the past two days...

Energizer; Exide Technologies; Westinghouse; Research in Motion Limited; Lightyear Network Solutions; Providence Journal; Hawker Beechcraft; Boeing (30% of their management staff); CVPH Medical Center; US Cellular; Momentive Performance Materials; Rocketdyne; Brake Parts; and Vestas Wind Systems; Husqvarna; Center for Hospice New York; Bristol-Meyers; OCE North America; Darden Restaurants; West Ridge Mine; United Blood Services Gulf;

From the American Thinker, we get a list of other companies downsizing,......

Teco Coal officials announce layoffs; Momentive Inc plans temporary layoffs for 150; Wilkes-Barre officials to announce mandatory layoffs; 600 layoffs at Groupon; More layoffs announced at Aniston Weapons Incinerator; Murray Energy confirms 150 layoffs at 3 subsidiaries; 130 laid off in Minnesota dairy plant closure; Stanford brake plant to lay off 75; Turbocare, Oce to lay off more than 220 workers; ATI plans to lay off 172 workers in North Richland Hills; SpaceX claims its first victims as Rocketdyne lays off 100; Providence Journal lays off 23 full-time employees; CVPH lays off 17; New Energy lays off 40 employees; 102 Utah miners laid off because of 'war on coal', company says; US Cellular drops Chicago, cuts 640 jobs; Career Education to cut 900 jobs, close 23 campuses; Vestas to cut 3,000 more jobs; First Energy to cut 400 jobs by 2016; Mine owner blames Obama for layoffs (54 fired last night); Canceled program costs 115 jobs at Ohio air base; AMD trims Austin workforce - 400 jobs slashed; 100 workers lose jobs as Caterpillar closes plant in Minnesota; Exide to lay off 150 workers; TE Connectivity to close Guilford plant, lay off 620; More Layoffs for Major Wind Company (3,000 jobs cut); Cigna to lay off 1,300 workers worldwide; Ameridose to lay off hundreds of workers;

From a Sy Harding on Forbes we get the analysis that people are generally ignorant of the coming collapse,...

The global economic recovery from the 2007-2009 financial collapse stalled last year and continues to worsen this year, with the International Monetary Fund cutting its forecasts for global economic recovery yet again, including for the U.S., and warning last week that risks of the world dropping back into a global recession “are alarmingly high”, and that “no significant improvements appear in the offing.”

That certainly sounds like the IMF doesn’t have much confidence that the ‘Troika’ (the IMF, EU, and ECB) will be successful with the euro-zone rescue plans and stimulus measures announced a month ago.

Meanwhile China and Japan, the world’s second and third largest economies, are in a serious economic slowdown. China’s stock market is down 40% from its peak in 2009. Japan’s market is down 22% from its 2010 peak and still 51% beneath its peak in 2007.

U.S. corporations seem to be preparing for the difficult times ahead. They are hoarding capital and refusing to invest it in their futures, apparently being to make sure they can pay their bills and survive anything that might lie ahead.

The fear of corporate managements could also be seen in the way that corporate insiders sold off holdings and continued even after the Fed announced its QE3 stimulus measures. Hedge-fund managers likewise did not participate in the June rally, instead selling off as well.

Private-equity funds are having a similar under-performing year, up on average of only 4%. As the Journal says, that is not what their investors planned on. The funds were also suspicious of the rally, and are sitting on close to $1trillion in cash.

However, U.S. consumer confidence has jumped to 83.1 in October from 78.3 in September!!

And at 83.1, consumer confidence is getting close to the 87 level it averaged in the year prior to the 2008-2009 recession. That’s a lot more recovery than global economies have achieved, including that of the U.S. Is it just due to the pixie dust being puffed out by Wall Street and the Fed, about to be blown away by the gathering storm others see coming? We are likely to soon know the answer.

All this before we face the Govermental Fiscal Cliff that is finally in the mainstream news after heading this way for the past five years. Wait until the Department of Defense lays off a butt load of civil service and downsizes the military. Further military cuts will impact negatively not only major defense contractors (see Boeing in the list of lay offs) but local businesses around military installations.

Taxes are going up; more government spending and debt; inflated prices from everything from fuel to food.

Then there is the National Drought,...
And finally, the ability of the United States to produce food to feed the people has greatly diminished simply because of the great drought that has occured.  The worst U.S. drought in decades has deepened again after more than a month of encouraging reports of slowly improving conditions.

60.1 percent of the lower 48 states were in some form of drought as of Tuesday, up from 58.8 percent the previous week. The amount of land in extreme or exceptional drought — the two worst classifications — increased from 18.3 percent to 19.04 percent.   Read the entire article on the national drought conditions here.

Stock up people,..prepare well. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Federal Government Planning on Warrantless Surveillance of Your E-mails

UrbanMan's comments: I have always thought that the Federal Government's Law Enforcement Agencies needed the ability to quickly gain approvals for electronic surveillance so they could timely react to threats. I thought that the separations of authority for the various federal agencies would provide some safe guards. I thought the warrant requirements of the Patriot Act would serve to provide Americans with another safeguard on Government intrusions into our freedoms and constitutional rights. Then a report on Yahoo titled "Senate bill rewrite lets feds read your e-mail without warrants" concerning a Senate bill being proposed by Senator Leahy (D-CT) and reported as being quietly re-written to give not only more surveillance capability but warrantless capability.

I have been middle of the road between people who think the Government is going further and further into a Geroge Orwell envisioned government and the people who think the Government is there to help us. It is the obvious over reach of this bill that not only concerns me about our rights and privacy, but also pushes me to plan to survive in a decayed infrastructure and also in a total collapse, because this is just crazy and a possible sign of things to come.

A Senate proposal touted as protecting Americans' e-mail privacy has been quietly rewritten, giving government agencies more surveillance power than they possess under current law.

CNET has learned that Patrick Leahy, the influential Democratic chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee, has dramatically reshaped his legislation in response to law enforcement concerns. A vote on his bill, which now authorizes warrantless access to Americans' e-mail, is scheduled for next week.

Leahy's rewritten bill would allow more than 22 agencies -- including the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Communications Commission -- to access Americans' e-mail, Google Docs files, Facebook wall posts, and Twitter direct messages without a search warrant. It also would give the FBI and Homeland Security more authority, in some circumstances, to gain full access to Internet accounts without notifying either the owner or a judge. (CNET obtained the revised draft from a source involved in the negotiations with Leahy.)

Revised bill highlights

> Grants warrantless access to Americans' electronic correspondence to over 22 federal agencies. Only a subpoena is required, not a search warrant signed by a judge based on probable cause.

> Permits state and local law enforcement to warrantlessly access Americans' correspondence stored on systems not offered "to the public," including university networks.

> Authorizes any law enforcement agency to access accounts without a warrant -- or subsequent court review -- if they claim "emergency" situations exist.

> Says providers "shall notify" law enforcement in advance of any plans to tell their customers that they've been the target of a warrant, order, or subpoena.

> Delays notification of customers whose accounts have been accessed from 3 days to "10 business days." This notification can be postponed by up to 360 days.

It's an abrupt departure from Leahy's earlier approach, which required police to obtain a search warrant backed by probable cause before they could read the contents of e-mail or other communications. The Vermont Democrat boasted last year that his bill "provides enhanced privacy protections for American consumers by... requiring that the government obtain a search warrant."

Leahy had planned a vote on an earlier version of his bill, designed to update a pair of 1980s-vintage surveillance laws, in late September. But after law enforcement groups including the National District Attorneys' Association and the National Sheriffs' Association organizations objected to the legislation and asked him to "reconsider acting" on it, Leahy pushed back the vote and reworked the bill as a package of amendments to be offered next Thursday. The package (PDF) is a substitute for H.R. 2471, which the House of Representatives already has approved.

One person participating in Capitol Hill meetings on this topic told CNET that Justice Department officials have expressed their displeasure about Leahy's original bill. The department is on record as opposing any such requirement: James Baker, the associate deputy attorney general, has publicly warned that requiring a warrant to obtain stored e-mail could have an "adverse impact" on criminal investigations.

Christopher Calabrese, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, said requiring warrantless access to Americans' data "undercuts" the purpose of Leahy's original proposal. "We believe a warrant is the appropriate standard for any contents," he said.

An aide to the Senate Judiciary committee told CNET that because discussions with interested parties are ongoing, it would be premature to comment on the legislation.

Marc Rotenberg, head of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, said that in light of the revelations about how former CIA director David Petraeus' e-mail was perused by the FBI, "even the Department of Justice should concede that there's a need for more judicial oversight," not less.

Markham Erickson, a lawyer in Washington, D.C. who has followed the topic closely and said he was speaking for himself and not his corporate clients, expressed concerns about the alphabet soup of federal agencies that would be granted more power:

There is no good legal reason why federal regulatory agencies such as the NLRB, OSHA, SEC or FTC need to access customer information service providers with a mere subpoena. If those agencies feel they do not have the tools to do their jobs adequately, they should work with the appropriate authorizing committees to explore solutions. The Senate Judiciary committee is really not in a position to adequately make those determinations.

The list of agencies that would receive civil subpoena authority for the contents of electronic communications also includes the Federal Reserve, the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Maritime Commission, the Postal Regulatory Commission, the National Labor Relations Board, and the Mine Enforcement Safety and Health Review Commission.

Leahy's modified bill retains some pro-privacy components, such as requiring police to secure a warrant in many cases. But the dramatic shift, especially the regulatory agency loophole and exemption for emergency account access, likely means it will be near-impossible for tech companies to support in its new form.

A bitter setback

This is a bitter setback for Internet companies and a liberal-conservative-libertarian coalition, which had hoped to convince Congress to update the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act to protect documents stored in the cloud. Leahy glued those changes onto an unrelated privacy-related bill supported by Netflix.

At the moment, Internet users enjoy more privacy rights if they store data on their hard drives or under their mattresses, a legal hiccup that the companies fear could slow the shift to cloud-based services unless the law is changed to be more privacy-protective.

Members of the so-called Digital Due Process coalition include Apple,, Americans for Tax Reform, AT&T, the Center for Democracy and Technology, eBay, Google, Facebook, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, TechFreedom, and Twitter. (CNET was the first to report on the coalition's creation.)

Leahy, a former prosecutor, has a mixed record on privacy. He criticized the FBI's efforts to require Internet providers to build in backdoors for law enforcement access, and introduced a bill in the 1990s protecting Americans' right to use whatever encryption products they wanted.

But he also authored the 1994 Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, which is now looming over Web companies, as well as the reviled Protect IP Act. An article in The New Republic concluded Leahy's work on the Patriot Act "appears to have made the bill less protective of civil liberties." Leahy had introduced significant portions of the Patriot Act under the name Enhancement of Privacy and Public Safety in Cyberspace Act (PDF) a year earlier.

One obvious option for the Digital Due Process coalition is the simplest: if Leahy's committee proves to be an insurmountable roadblock in the Senate, try the courts instead.

Judges already have been wrestling with how to apply the Fourth Amendment to an always-on, always-connected society. Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that police needed a search warrant for GPS tracking of vehicles. Some courts have ruled that warrantless tracking of Americans' cell phones, another coalition concern, is unconstitutional.

The FBI and other law enforcement agencies already must obtain warrants for e-mail in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee, thanks to a ruling by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2010.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Two Threats to Survival Preppers

I have talked to over a dozen people since Obama was re-elected about what that means to Survival Preppers. It seems many are now concerned that without the need or chance to be re-elected second Obama administration can implement not only economic regulations that will hurt preppers but the Government is in position to implement changes to our second amendment freedoms as well as our very liberty.

Some of these people I have talked to cannot articulate what they are concerned about other than gun control. They have some vision of impending economic doom,.... and as middle of the road as I am, I can't say that they are completly mistaken.

I think besides the chance of an economic collapse being greater with a continuation of the the fiscal policies of the last four years, the real two possible threats to preppers are the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and the United Nations Small Arms Treaty.

National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)

The NDAA authorizes the military to: 1) detainment of persons captured within the United States of America without charge or trial, 2) prosecute said persons through military tribunals for persons captured within the United States 3) the transfer of persons captured within the United States of America to foreign nations (foreign jurisdictions).

Of course this is in violation of the Constitution of the United States of America. But the Government's point is to trust them, they will be very select in using the provisions of the NDAA on American citizens. In fact Senator Carl Levin stated on the floor of the Senate that the NDAA did not pertain to citizens of the U.S. But not we now know that the Office of the President of the United States, requested that such restriction be removed from the 2012 NDAA.

What is more troubling is that the NDAA passed the Senate. An amendment from Senator Udall to forbid the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens, was was rejected by a vote of 38–60, along party lines.

What this means is that most of the 4th, 5th and 6th amendment rights that U.S. citizens have enjoyed for a couple hundred years now can be taken away by the U.S Government, presumably the Justice Department, using military assets which are free of restrictions of statutory authority that Federal Law Enforcement agencies have. Potential loses of these rights:

The right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures (4th Amendment);
The right to be free from charge for an infamous or capitol crime until presentment or indictment by a Grand Jury (5th Amendment;
The right to be free from deprivation of life, liberty, or property, without Due Process of law (5th Amendment);
The right to a speedy trial by an impartial jury of our peers in the State or District where the alleged crime shall have been committed (6th Amendment);
The right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation and to confront witnesses (6th Amendment);
The right to Legal Counsel (6th Amendment; and even the right to be free from excessive bail and fines, and cruel and unusual punishment with comes from the 8th Amendment;

The threat here is possible and becomes real if the Government continues to lump survival preppers into anti-government threats groups like the right wing militas and anarchists, like they have with various "intelligence reports" from Department of Homeland Security.

UN Arms Treaty,..and It Will Happen

I previously wrote about this back in August - that post is here.

If you think that a conservative House of Representatives would not allow this happen, you are both right and wroing. If it was in the power of the House it would not happen, but the House is not a player in approval/disapproval of this treaty.  Let me write that again"  It does not matter what Congress wants or does not want - this power is in the President's hands.

If two thirds of the U.N. main body (general membership - not the security council) votes for this treaty, then this treaty becomes defacto law for at least four years unless rejected by the President or the Senate. If this treaty goes into effect it will have the effect of a Constitutional Amendment. Let me say that again,....If this treaty goes into effect it will have the effect of a Constitutional Amendment superceding the 2nd Amendment. The Supreme Court precedence is that International Treaties, that the U.S. is a signature to, trumps U.S. Law. And again, the U.S. will be de facto signatures unless either the President or the Senate reject it.

And speaking of the Senate,....figure the odds on a newly re-elected Barack Obama rejecting this Treaty. Figure the odds on Senator Harry Reid even allowing a vote on this in the Senate. And what is scary is that only a reported 51 Senators, prior to the last election, were against the original treaty. The new Senate will have even more Senators supporting this treaty. The treaty would require nations to register guns and their owners.

Certain types of guns will be outlawed. And the subsequent U.S. Government performance in the treaty provisions will most assuredly require no notice inspections of those people considered to own "arsenals".

The threat here is probably that the UN Arms Treaty will effect gun onwers and since Survival preppers are indivudually responsible for their own security, the ability to own guns and buy ammuniton will certainly be adversely effected by the UN Arms Treaty.

This threat is probable and becomes real if the Government decides to enact compliance with the teay by going after the Survival community because we are open, easy and law abdiing targets, "easy targets" to score some initial victories in removing the "excessive guns threats". And since Preppers are preparing to survive a sceanrio where there is not government, we could be seen as "anarchists planning for no government".

Very scary times my friends.

For more information, I suggest going to the excellent Town Hall article on the UN Arms Treaty

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

New Vehicles fit to Survive the Collapse

This article ran on Yahoo earlier this year. Chevrolet doesn't take modern-day Impalas and rework them into updated Bel Airs. There's not much in common between a Ford Fusion and any Ford family sedan from 1960 through 1980. So if Jeep wants to mine its past for a pair of concepts that revive not just the look of '60s -era Gladiators but Forward Control pickups, we welcome the rare trip down the nostalgia trail -- especially if powered by a 470-hp Hemi V8.Built by Jeep to mark its annual Easter party near Moab, Utah, the two concepts were built from everyday Jeep Wranglers to highlight pieces of the Mopar parts catalogue for Jeep owners. The most striking is the Jeep Mighty FC, which revives the cabover look of early '60s Jeep trucks with a custom front-end and drop-down bed from the Wrangler pickup conversion kit. If you're not a Chrysler designer, the only pieces you can buy are the two Portal Axles, designed for heavy-duty work and height, which run $11,000 to $12,000. Each.

A less radical transformation of the Wrangler pickup kit produces the J-12 Concept, which combines an upgraded suspension and eight-foot bed with a front end reminiscent of the first-generation Gladiator pickups. On the inside, Jeep has removed many of the Wrangler's comforts in favor of a dash and floorboard that can almost withstand a hose down, using truck-bed liner for flooring instead of carpets. It reminds everyone that once upon a time, Jeep made some of the most stylish small pickups in America. Why Jeep can't do that again remains one of Detroit's enduring mysteries.

Jeep also showed four other concepts for its parts business, including two Wranglers upgraded with a new Mopar kit that lets owners easily bolt in the 470-hp Hemi V8 in place of the standard Chrysler V-6 in models with a five-speed transmission; an update will let owners of the new 2012 model with a six-speed automatic in on the fun. Bully for them, but seems there could be room for combining all of these parts into something that could take all terrains and look fantastic doing so.

Now for the really dedicated, and well funded Survivor, we have the Survivor Truck, brought to our attention from a Yahoo autos article

The Survivor Truck, built to drive through the end of the world, by Justin Hyde of Motoramic

"Sometimes," author William S. Burroughs once said, "paranoia is just having all the facts." Given the
facts gathered from the past few natural and man-made disasters, it's not a surprise that many people
have begun to think of what they'd need to survive the next calamity. One California man has taken a
kitchen-sink approach and created the Survivor Truck -- a machine that could keep rolling through
any given Armageddon.

Jim DeLozier, who sells survival goods in Costa Mesa, Calif., says the idea of the Survivor Truck was
to build the ultimate rolling outpost, one that could withstand even a nuclear attack. Starting with a
Chevy C70 truck powered by 150-gallon tanks of gasoline or propane, DeRozier outfitted the chassis
with every conceivable piece of equipment needed to travel through a disaster. "My goal was to build
a vehicle that can go anywhere you want to go, stay as long as you want and drive back out,"
DeLozier says.

On the outside, the truck gets bulletproof shielding, a filtration system to keep chemical agents out of
the cabin and even a coating of pickup truck bedliner. Night vision helps keep watch on what's
happening when the lights go out, while a solar generator can provide power for the array of
communications gear during daylight hours. On the inside, there's enough water, food, toilets and
battery power to keep a group of people not just alive but comfortable for months amidst chaos. If
parked in the wilderness, the top platform includes a complete camping unit and inflatable raft, along
with a water purification system; if there's some need for an aggressive response, the truck has a
protected sniper's cage and a backup crossbow and arrows.

While DeLozier says he originally conceived the truck as the ultimate survivalist driving machine --
with a price that runs between $100,000 and $600,000 -- he's received more interest from military and
law enforcement agencies mulling a rolling command center. He says he's somewhat surprised by the
attention his concept has received, "whether it's the zombie apocalypse fad or whether people believe
they have a potential's designed to be a home away from home." Given how many people
have seen their homes washed away or destroyed in recent years, it's no wonder there's some demand
for something that could outrun trouble.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Chapter 26 Survival Chronicles of Jim – SHTF Consultant

I called urbanman the last Saturday although I’m not sure when he’ll edit this and post it. UrbanMan’s note: Jim sent this to me on 20 October and for the record I do not edit his content much.
I have been through three seasons since I last wrote about my journey becoming prepared. Since then I have re-planted and taken those vegetables – not really expanding my garden with the exception of a couple pots of herbs which did not amount to much. I continue to use Silver Saver as a means to purchase a little bit of Silver each much and once my monthly allotment to them reaches the required minimum amount (22 ounces), they send me the silver bullion.

I have not yet found a 1970’s truck or jeep type yet, but I am still looking.

Last year, I had befriended an older couple on my street with some vegetables (cucumber and squash) that I grew in back yard garden. The lady gave me a couple of jars of canned tomatoes and a suckatash (?), which I haven’t ate yet, even though I need to get the mason jars back to her. She promised to show me how to can vegetables. So my near term project is to try her canned vegetables, but a 12 piece canning set from Amazon, return her mason jars and ask her when she can teach me the “how to’s” of canning.

Her husband, the gentleman, is a Korean War vet, and has an M1 garand. After I gave him some .30-06 ammunition (still waiting on those clips Urbanman) he seemed to open up to me and showed me his other guns: a 12 gauge double barrel shotgun and a .45 cal pistol. We haven’t been out shooting again since the old guy has to be near or just past 80 years old, but he seems spry enough to use it when the time comes. Trying to see where his mind is on survival preparation as I think it took him some time to accept me in my goatee and occasional earring and I did not want to come across as a nut, so I asked him if he keeps his guns for memories or for a practical purpose. He said words to the effect that “you never know when you are going to need a gun”…..fair enough in my mind.

I did drop off a printed copy of a book called “Gone Before You Get There” highlighted 77 items that are in short supply during emergencies. I told the old man that I had bought this booklet so I can get an idea on how to be prepared in case of a natural disaster and was now finished with it. The old man just asked what kind of things I bought so I told him that stockpiled a little extra food, water and medical items. He just grunted and said something like “that’s sounds like a good idea, I’ll have a look at this”. Fair enough.

So the next thing that happens is that another neighbor, an older than me gent knocked on my door to ask about the old Ford Taurus with two flat tires parked in my car port. He was asking if I was looking to sell it. I had previous purchased it for $2,200 so my son could have a car to get back and forth to college, but my son never obtained the insurance on it before he left to college and ended up buying a different car. Anyway, to make a long story short, I asked the gent into my house so I could find and show him the title. In the living room he saw my shotgun laying on top of a short duffel I use as my range bag and my web belt with holster and asked if I was going out shooting. I told him I was until he stopped to talk about the Taurus. This neighbor, I’ll call him Bill, asked me about shooting and hunting. I told him, “I am not involved in any shooting sport nor do I hunt. I just like to go out and shoot my guns for practice because it makes me feel better prepared as an individual.”

Apparently Bill has a 7mm Magnum hunting rifle, but has been wanting to get a handgun for him defense. In short order I helped Bill pick out a S&W M&P 9mm handgun, a belt holster and mag pouches (this came in some type of kit offered by the factory) and 3 boxes of ammunition for $675 at a franchise sporting goods store. Since then, I saw him one morning and he told me he has bought a 12 gauge pump shotgun (I haven’t seen it yet) and he told me he wants to pickup a .22 rifle. Bill also told me he was kinda amazed that I was a single guy because I’m a neat freak and my house is pretty spotless, but saw that I had a water cooler with many 5 gallon jugs lined up next to it along the wall. I took that as an implied question so I told Bill “it’s just like why I own guns. In case there is an interruption of the water supply, I have enough to get by for a few weeks until things get restored.”

UrbanMan’s note: The pistol Jim’s friend bought is probably the Smith and Wesson M&P 9mm Range and Carry Kit. Kind of a one stop shop if you are not too specific on what holsters you really like and a good choice.

Bill just said “that’s a good idea.” We made some vague pans to go to the range together, which we have yet to do. But Bill did send me an e-mail asking me if I had any recommendations for stocking some “survival type” (his words) food.

Urbanman is now teasing me that I am a survival consultant, but in a more serious way we talked about how I am getting to know the neighbors, build some credibility with them, and have a basis for what may turn-out to be a neighborhood survival group. I will take Bill out shooting. This will be a good time to feel him out and see where he is at mentally to absorb what I started two years ago. I have the last of this year’s cucumbers which I will deliver to the old lady with her mason jars and make a plan for her to teach me canning. I understand there is a new Rawles survival novel out which I’ll order when I make my Canning Set order through Amazon…and start looking for that old 1970 pickup truck or jeep.

I have come to terms with not living Survival Prepping every day like I did in the beginning. Life gets in the way. But I still need to get better, not just measure it on an hour by hour or day by day basis. Wishing everyone a fruitful week.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

SHTF Underground Shelters

Post-Apocalypse Survival Shelters From a Yahoo! Article titled Company Sells Post-Apocalypse Survival Shelters", by Melissa Knowles

The world may end at the end of this year, or at least that is what a number of people are fearing because of the ancient Mayan calendar that does not go beyond December 21, 2012. Some people even fear that the end of the world could come in the form of a zombie apocalypse. If you're a doomsayer or know someone who is, a California-based company has a new solution for you.

Atlas Survival Shelters, whose slogan is "Better prepared than scared," offers survival chambers made out of 32x10-foot metal tubes. The chambers are designed to be installed 20 feet underground, far away from the possible crumbling of the world above. The survival chambers would be accessible from a hatch in the backyard of the survivalist.

Atlas's website says you can stay safe in one of their shelters in the event of "pandemic outbreak, civil unrest, malicious mobs and biological, nuclear fallout or attacks from home grown terrorists or other nations." Not every survival shelter is the same, because they're each customizable. They come equipped with bunk beds, flat-screen televisions, kitchens, and even an electric toilet.

So how much will you have to shell out to own one of these bad boys? The survival shelters start at close to $50,000 and go up from there. The owners say they have not actually sold one yet, but there have been some very serious inquiries. And they've recently added an incentive to purchase: Get 10 acres of land free when you buy a shelter.

Actually, Atlas Survival Shelters offer much more than 32x10 foot metal tube listed in the Yahoo! article.

You need to visit their website, at the very least you may gain some ideas on future Bug Out or Hide ideas.

I have a friend who bought and installed two concrete septic tanks, which are concrete boxes, and used rail road ties and a steel plate hatch welded with hinges to create a side access. As he told me, his main purpose was to have a cellar basically for storage of his stored foods then he realized he could live in one if he had to.

I haven't talked to him lately to see if he had developed an air or filter system, but if you think about it, it wouldn't be that hard to do. And in fact, several of these easily installed tanks emplaced together could provide a compartmented house like structure.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Everyone's Predicting the Coming Collapse

The Coming Economic Collapse,.....there are many recent sources hitting the internet waves predicting an economic collapse precipitated by or accelerated by a stock market collapse. To be sure, many are selling something,....paper or physical gold and silver,.......some sort of economic survival or investments information packet or book,.....and sometimes just some sort of commentary based capture system to sell you something later on.

Sorting through the facts and determining the causes and effects have validity, after all if you are reading this site (and other survival sites) you have some sense of impending doom, be it a total economic collapse,.....a great depression,.......or just a non-specific scenario where life will be not only much different than we know it but very dangerous......that's why we are all prepping.

And to be sure, the people who think they can manage their financial assets by moving money around, changing investments, etc., and survive are missing the foundation of survival preparation. However, if you have noticed the same things I have, you see many more these "experts" not only talking financial protections, but preparations that include food storage and physical gold/silver holdings.

You still don't see too much on the mainstream economic collapse predictors about safe location selection and preparations nor the basic need for security and the foundation of security that firearms provide.

Still, there are many noted and respected economic voices out there predicting some sort of economic hard times coming. Gerald Celente, Robert Kiyosaki, Congressman Ron Paul, Peter Schiff, and Jim Rogers just to name a few of the main stream analysts.

Newsmax After Shock Survival Summit, detailing how investors are planning to or or at least ready to dump stocks before or at the beginning of what many people think will be a 2013 market crash. The below video is a representation of a prediction of where the U.S. economy is headed. This is more of a middle of the road analysis and prediction, by economist Bob Wiedemer, who predicted the housing market crash, the grid-locking of the U.S. markets, the surge in national debt, the world wide financial crisis, and the downgrade of U.S. debt. He predicts the subsequent effects of the coming economic hard times will have on everyone. My posting of this video is not an endorsement, just a video that is a representative video of many analysts predicting the coming collapse.  He is also selling you information on how to protect yourselves. He (Wiedemer) says, about the upcoming tough times, "It's going to get worse, before it gets better". From my perspective, it's going to get worse all right, remains to be seen if it can get better after that.....after all, that's what we are preparing for.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Bugging In - Not the Answer?

This was a comment posted on the "7 Day Warning to SHTF" post: "I don't believe "hoarding and stockpiling" are advantageous. It gives you a fixed position, which you must defend. I believe the better path is get as far away from urban areas as possible. Go where you know there's water. Where there is water there are animals. Get a field guide of Edible Plants of North America. Learn to use a bow. Chainsaws, cooking fires, and gunfire will draw unwanted attention eventually. "

UrbanMan's reply:  I agree that being away from the heavily populated areas, have a year round natural water source AND have a heavily stocked survival inventory is obviously the hands down best survival plan for the collapse.

I also agree that wilderness survival skills knowing how to survvie with basically nothing; identifying edible plants in your area; purifying water; building expdeient shelters; building fires; food procurement such as hunting , trapping and fishing, etc., are are basic and necessary skills for short term survival periods,....but it sounds like you are proposing surviving out of pack in the woods. I think the whole idea of survival prepping is not only to live but to live with some type of quality of live as close to normal as you can. Tjat means having stocks of food and supplies,...some sort of infrastructure even if it is just a cabin and a year round stream, and utilemtly a survival group were you can leverage everyone else's skills, expertise and security in numbers.

Some people will decide to Bug In for many diverse reasons:

1. Some people actually live in the big city and do not own their own transportation putting them in a great deficit when trying to Bug Out.
2. Others, maybe hedging their bets, think that although a collapse is unlikely, they prepare in some form or fashion but still think the Government will make things right in short order, so there is only a need to Bug In for a couple weeks. These people may run through their supplies and be left high and dry placing themselves at great risk when planning an impromptu, read unplanned or last minute, Bug Out.
3. Financial reasons plays a large part in what people will do. How much resources (time and money) you can devote to prepping; the need to have a job and bring in income sometimes dictates the location you live. 4. There will undoubtably be people who do not have nor cannot or are unwilling to develop the skills sets necessary to Bug Out.
5. Some people will decide that some things are more important in the short term such as living snormal a life as possible, being close to friends and family, etc. It is simply way too much past their comfort zone to leave behind their lives even when staying in place puts them at great risk. You see this time and time again in natural disasters such like Hurricane Sandy. Maybe something akin to the German Jews who were rounded up for slaughter thinking this cannot be happening. This denial is a key stage for people when death is imminient as in last stage cancer patients.

Bottom line for me is that I'll continue to better my survival chances. I have a chain saw. I have several hand saws to include camping bows. I am no stranger to building fires and using an axe and a wedge. I have quite a bit of experience in wilderness survival. Quite a bite of resources in identifying edible and poisonous plants. I have used many different techniques in fishing - nets, straight poles, flies, trolling, bow and arrow - water source with fish? No problem, here comes dinner.

And I will continue to build my survival stocks. More long range food. Enough ammunition as well. While the straight up Urban areas are going to be death traps in most all cases, there will be suburban areas, off refugee routes, that have a chance of organizing and maintaining a viable chance for survival. I'm planning on Bugging In, but several plans for Bugging Out as well. Good luck to you my friend.