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Friday, May 31, 2013

From SHTF Plan: 35 Excuses that will doom the Non-Prepper

Another excellent article from SHTF Plan.  Who gets my vote as the best SHTF related site on the web.

I think this article serves several purposes,..provides a platform to send to some one who is on the fence about prepping at any level and also kind of motivates you to keep moving forward. 

Incidentally, I'm reading a story about a family who was pretty well prepared for the collapse (caused by a pandemic) but nonetheless ended up collecting strap hangers who provided varying degrees of skills (and burdens) but had to rely on the prepper for food both stocked supplies and the ability to grow vegetables.   I have always said this will happen - be it relatives or friends, even neighbors.   One would have to evaluate each case on the merits of what they can provide the group and if that is not much, how do you go about actually not allowing those persons into your group?  A friend denied is most likely a new enemy.

As of today it is estimated that ONLY 1% of the population actually goes to much of any effort to prepare and store up enough of what they need to survive a true calamity. This means a huge majority of the population fails, yes fails, to have much of anything if and WHEN what they need each day to live evaporates quickly.

Most people have no clue what life will be like after the grocery stores close. They simply cannot grasp the horrors that will befall those people that have not put away for tomorrow or prepared contingencies for life threatening emergencies. Instead of taking some time, effort , and money to safeguard themselves and their families, they have a wide array of reasons (excuses) for why prepping is crazy and not at all necessary.

There exist a magnitude of what are called TRUE civilization altering or world-as-we-know-it ending events that could happen. Many have already occurred throughout history, as well as within just the last decade. The fact is , it's only a matter of time before these catastrophes happen again. People who choose not to prepare for their families will be faced with life and death situations that few have ever experienced before.

Without water people will die within a few days. Without food people will die within a few weeks. Without everyday necessities people will die in hordes from varying ailments and diseases. Without what they are accustomed to on a daily basis, people will suffer and most will die. This absolutely does not have to happen to such a high percentage of the population, but sadly it will unless more people understand there is no real excuse for NOT preparing.

The following are 35 of the most common excuses and causes cited by the 99% of the population who don't prepare.

1. Oh come on, it is never going to happen, my area is safe, I am safe.

2. I am convinced that everything is recoverable and my area will get back to normal quickly.

3. No matter how horrible it is, help will eventually come, I just have to wait it out.

4. Even if something happens, there are plenty of food and supplies for everyone in my city.

5. My state government, my community, my neighbors will not abandon me and let me starve.

6. I have a 3 day supply of food, the government and others tell me that this is plenty.

7. I have lots of credit cards, I will purchase anything I need in my city or nearby cities.

8. My water faucets will have water, even if it is temporarily shut off, they will not let us go thirsty.

9. There is no room to store supplies that will never be used anyway.

10. I can't rotate supplies, everything will get old and have to be thrown away.

11. I don't have extra money to store up anything for disasters.

12. It is too much work to bother with.

13. I have absolutely no idea what to store or how much.

14. I don't need any protection after a disaster, the police, National Guard, military will protect us.

15. The power grid will come back on, until then I have LED flashlights that last forever.

16. Again and again I hear these fear mongers exaggerate the threat level, another false alarm.

17. I have a good car and family in other areas, if anything happens I will just go stay with them.

18. I work all week long and I am going to spend my extra money on fun rather than fear.

19. Survival supplies taste bad, I can't live on this for long at all.

20. If a true catastrophe occurs we are going to die anyway, besides that I don't want to live through it anyway.

21. Survival and prepping for the worst is negative, as long as I stay positive, only the positive will happen.

22. Preppers / Survivalists are radical, paranoid, conspiracy driven out of touch with reality, I don't want anything to do with them.

23. I don't know why everyone is so worried, times are better and safer now than ever in human history.

24. There is so much to prepping, I'll take my chances that nothing will happen.

25. All my investments go right into what makes me money and gives me security for the future.

26. Why bother storing up that much food and supplies, mobs will just come in and take it.

27. I have a refrigerator and a cupboard full of food, 2 cases of water, a 12 pack of toilet paper, I am all set.

28. If something happens I will just run to the grocery store and stock up before it closes.

29. If we become sick after a disaster we have good medical treatment centers that will care for us.

30. Nothing is as bad as it ever seems, stop overblowing everything as doomsday.

31. If disaster strikes everybody will band together and save the day.

32. People have become way too civilized to wage a world war and take what you have and act like savages.

33. There are food banks and emergency preparedness places nearby to me, they will take care of us.

34. FEMA , the Red Cross, and other government agencies are huge and have the whole country backing them.

35. I can always wait until tomorrow to start prepping, there is always time.

Important. To read the Fact/Answer to each response, please click on the link to

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Just How Likely is Martial Law?

How likely is Martial Law?  Ten fold more likely than it was at the beginning of the century, that's how likely. Thanks to Long Island Press and Steve for forwarding this to us.

The manhunt for the Boston Marathon bombing suspects offered the nation a window into the stunning military-style capabilities of our local law enforcement agencies. For the past 30 years, police departments throughout the United States have benefitted from the government’s largesse in the form of military weaponry and training, incentives offered in the ongoing “War on Drugs.” For the average citizen watching events such as the intense pursuit of the Tsarnaev brothers on television, it would be difficult to discern between fully outfitted police SWAT teams and the military.

UrbanMan's Note: Didn't we see US Army HMMWV's with Military Police logos patrolling the Boston streets during the lock down? Likely they were from Fort Devens. I wonder what their authority was?

The lines blurred even further Monday as a new dynamic was introduced to the militarization of domestic law enforcement. By making a few subtle changes to a regulation in the U.S. Code titled “Defense Support of Civilian Law Enforcement Agencies” the military has quietly granted itself the ability to police the streets without obtaining prior local or state consent, upending a precedent that has been in place for more than two centuries.

The most objectionable aspect of the regulatory change is the inclusion of vague language that permits military intervention in the event of “civil disturbances.” According to the rule: Federal military commanders have the authority, in extraordinary emergency circumstances where prior authorization by the President is impossible and duly constituted local authorities are unable to control the situation, to engage temporarily in activities that are necessary to quell large-scale, unexpected civil disturbances.

Bruce Afran, a civil liberties attorney and constitutional law professor at Rutgers University, calls the rule, “a wanton power grab by the military,” and says, “It’s quite shocking actually because it violates the long-standing presumption that the military is under civilian control.”

A defense official who declined to be named takes a different view of the rule, claiming, “The authorization has been around over 100 years; it’s not a new authority. It’s been there but it hasn’t been exercised. This is a carryover of domestic policy.” Moreover, he insists the Pentagon doesn’t “want to get involved in civilian law enforcement. It’s one of those red lines that the military hasn’t signed up for.” Nevertheless, he says, “every person in the military swears an oath of allegiance to the Constitution of the United States to defend that Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic.”

One of the more disturbing aspects of the new procedures that govern military command on the ground in the event of a civil disturbance relates to authority. Not only does it fail to define what circumstances would be so severe that the president’s authorization is “impossible,” it grants full presidential authority to “Federal military commanders.” According to the defense official, a commander is defined as follows: “Somebody who’s in the position of command, has the title commander. And most of the time they are centrally selected by a board, they’ve gone through additional schooling to exercise command authority.”

As it is written, this “commander” has the same power to authorize military force as the president in the event the president is somehow unable to access a telephone. (The rule doesn’t address the statutory chain of authority that already exists in the event a sitting president is unavailable.) In doing so, this commander must exercise judgment in determining what constitutes, “wanton destruction of property,” “adequate protection for Federal property,” “domestic violence,” or “conspiracy that hinders the execution of State or Federal law,” as these are the circumstances that might be considered an “emergency.”

UrbanMan's Note: The title "commander", in my opinion would mean a Company Commander at the lowest level. That means a Captain, likely in is mid's 20's having the unilateral power to execute military operations in a civilian environment. This is very concerning.

“These phrases don’t have any legal meaning,” says Afran. “It’s no different than the emergency powers clause in the Weimar constitution [of the German Reich]. It’s a grant of emergency power to the military to rule over parts of the country at their own discretion.”

Afran also expresses apprehension over the government’s authority “to engage temporarily in activities necessary to quell large-scale disturbances.”

“Governments never like to give up power when they get it,” says Afran. “They still think after twelve years they can get intelligence out of people in Guantanamo. Temporary is in the eye of the beholder. That’s why in statutes we have definitions. All of these statutes have one thing in common and that is that they have no definitions. How long is temporary? There’s none here. The definitions are absurdly broad.”

The U.S. military is prohibited from intervening in domestic affairs except where provided under Article IV of the Constitution in cases of domestic violence that threaten the government of a state or the application of federal law. This provision was further clarified both by the Insurrection Act of 1807 and a post-Reconstruction law known as the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 (PCA). The Insurrection Act specifies the circumstances under which the president may convene the armed forces to suppress an insurrection against any state or the federal government. Furthermore, where an individual state is concerned, consent of the governor must be obtained prior to the deployment of troops. The PCA—passed in response to federal troops that enforced local laws and oversaw elections during Reconstruction—made unauthorized employment of federal troops a punishable offense, thereby giving teeth to the Insurrection Act.

Together, these laws limit executive authority over domestic military action. Yet Monday’s official regulatory changes issued unilaterally by the Department of Defense is a game-changer. The stated purpose of the updated rule is “support in Accordance With the Posse Comitatus Act,” but in reality it undermines the Insurrection Act and PCA in significant and alarming ways. The most substantial change is the notion of “civil disturbance” as one of the few “domestic emergencies” that would allow for the deployment of military assets on American soil.

To wit, the relatively few instances that federal troops have been deployed for domestic support have produced a wide range of results. Situations have included responding to natural disasters and protecting demonstrators during the Civil Rights era to, disastrously, the Kent State student massacre and the 1973 occupation of Wounded Knee.

Michael German, senior policy counsel to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), noted in a 2009 Daily Kos article that, “there is no doubt that the military is very good at many things. But recent history shows that restraint in their new-found domestic role is not one of them.”

At the time German was referring to the military’s expanded surveillance techniques and hostile interventions related to border control and the War on Drugs. And in fact, many have argued that these actions have already upended the PCA in a significant way. Even before this most recent rule change, the ACLU was vocal in its opposition to the Department of Defense (DoD) request to expand domestic military authority “in the event of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or high yield explosive (CBRNE) incidents.” The ACLU’s position is that civilian agencies are more than equipped to handle such emergencies since 9/11. (ACLU spokespersons in Washington D.C. declined, however, to be interviewed for this story.)

But while outcomes of military interventions have varied, the protocol by which the president works cooperatively with state governments has remained the same. The president is only allowed to deploy troops to a state upon request of its governor. Even then, the military—specifically the National Guard—is there to provide support for local law enforcement and is prohibited from engaging in any activities that are outside of this scope, such as the power to arrest.

Eric Freedman, a constitutional law professor from Hofstra University, also calls the ruling “an unauthorized power grab.” According to Freedman, “The Department of Defense does not have the authority to grant itself by regulation any more authority than Congress has granted it by statute.” Yet that’s precisely what it did. This wasn’t, however, the Pentagon’s first attempt to expand its authority domestically in the last decade.

Déjà vu

During the Bush Administration, Congress passed the 2007 Defense Authorization Bill that included language similar in scope to the current regulatory change. It specifically amended the Insurrection Act to expand the president’s ability to deploy troops domestically under certain conditions including health epidemics, natural disasters and terrorist activities, though it stopped short of including civil disturbances. But the following year this language was repealed under the National Defense Authorization Act of 2008 via a bill authored by Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) who cited the “useful friction” between the Insurrection and Posse Comitatus Acts in limiting executive authority.

According to the DoD, the repeal of this language had more to do with procedure and that it was never supposed to amend the Insurrection Act. “When it was actually passed,” says the defense official, “Congress elected to amend the Insurrection Act and put things in the Insurrection Act that were not insurrection, like the support for disasters and emergencies and endemic influenza. Our intent,” he says, “was to give the president and the secretary access to the reserve components. It includes the National Guard and, rightfully so, the governors were pretty upset because they were not consulted.”

Senator Leahy’s office did not have a statement as of press time, but a spokesperson said the senator had made an inquiry with the DoD in response to our questions. The defense official confirmed that he was indeed being called in to discuss the senator’s concerns in a meeting scheduled for today. But he downplayed any concern, saying, “Congress at any time can say ‘we don’t like your interpretation of that law and how you’ve interpreted it in making policy’—and so they can call us to the Hill and ask us to justify why we’re doing something.”

Last year, Bruce Afran and another civil liberties attorney Carl Mayer filed a lawsuit against the Obama Administration on behalf of a group of journalists and activists lead by former New York Times journalist Chris Hedges. They filed suit over the inclusion of a bill in the NDAA 2012 that, according to the plaintiffs, expanded executive authority over domestic affairs by unilaterally granting the executive branch to indefinitely detain U.S. citizens without due process. The case has garnered international attention and invited vigorous defense from the Obama Administration. Even Afran goes so far as to say this current rule change is, “another NDAA. It’s even worse, to be honest.”

For Hedges and the other plaintiffs, including Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, the government’s ever-expanding authority over civilian affairs has a “chilling effect” on First Amendment activities such as free speech and the right to assemble. First District Court Judge Katherine Forrest agreed with the plaintiffs and handed Hedges et al a resounding victory prompting the Department of Justice to immediately file an injunction and an appeal. The appellate court is expected to rule on the matter within the next few months.

Another of the plaintiffs in the Hedges suit is Alexa O’Brien, a journalist and organizer who joined the lawsuit after she discovered a Wikileaks cable showing government officials attempting to link her efforts to terrorist activities. For activists such as O’Brien, the new DoD regulatory change is frightening because it creates, “an environment of fear when people cannot associate with one another.” Like Afran and Freedman, she too calls the move, “another grab for power under the rubric of the war on terror, to the detriment of citizens.”

“This is a complete erosion of the rule of law,” says O’Brien. Knowing these sweeping powers were granted under a rule change and not by Congress is even more harrowing to activists. “That anything can be made legal,” says O’Brien, “is fundamentally antithetical to good governance.” As far as what might qualify as a civil disturbance, Afran notes, “In the Sixties all of the Vietnam protests would meet this description. We saw Kent State. This would legalize Kent State.” But the focus on the DoD regulatory change obscures the creeping militarization that has already occurred in police departments across the nation. Even prior to the NDAA lawsuit, journalist Chris Hedges was critical of domestic law enforcement agencies saying, “The widening use of militarized police units effectively nullifies the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878.”

This de facto nullification isn’t lost on the DoD.

The DoD official even referred to the Boston bombing suspects manhunt saying, “Like most major police departments, if you didn’t know they were a police department you would think they were the military.” According to this official there has purposely been a “large transfer of technology so that the military doesn’t have to get involved.” Moreover, he says the military has learned from past events, such as the siege at Waco, where ATF officials mishandled military equipment. “We have transferred the technology so we don’t have to loan it,” he states.

But if the transfer of military training and technology has been so thorough, it boggles the imagination as to what kind of disturbance would be so overwhelming that it would require the suspension of centuries-old law and precedent to grant military complete authority on the ground. The DoD official admits not being able to “envision that happening,” adding, “but I’m not a Hollywood screenwriter.”

Afran, for one, isn’t buying the logic. For him, the distinction is simple.

“Remember, the police operate under civilian control,” he says. “They are used to thinking in a civilian way so the comparison that they may have some assault weapons doesn’t change this in any way. And they can be removed from power. You can’t remove the military from power.”

Despite protestations from figures such as Afran and O’Brien and past admonitions from groups like the ACLU, for the first time in our history the military has granted itself authority to quell a civil disturbance. Changing this rule now requires congressional or judicial intervention.

“This is where journalism comes in,” says Freedman. “Calling attention to an unauthorized power grab in the hope that it embarrasses the administration.” Afran is considering amending his NDAA complaint currently in front of the court to include this regulatory change. As we witnessed during the Boston bombing manhunt, it’s already difficult to discern between military and police. In the future it might be impossible, because there may be no difference.

UrbanMan's Note: There is a large potential for a confrontation between local National Guard and Reserve units and the Active duty military deployed to the communities that the NG and Reserve live in. More likely if the Active Duty military is perceived as being heavy handed or ends up killing a few civilians. The government's first recourse is to recognize ths potential and to activate then deployed National Guard and Reserve unit's far away from their home communities and states.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Ammunition Reloading a Necessary Survival Skill?

 Justin wrote to us to ask" "I have a nine millimeter handgun, a 38 special revolver and a 30-06 deer rifle with a scope as my SHTF weapons. I realize that this is not really adequate but I can't afford anything else right now. My questions are - How much ammunition for each would you consider a adequate ammo stockpile? I have a hard time finding ammunition and in the crunch I think it will be harder to find so should I learn to reload? Looking around it appears that I can start reloading my own ammunition for the guns I have for about a $100. Sincerely Justin."  

UrbanMan's reply: Justin, I know where you are coming from. I visited Wal-Mart a couple days ago and the only center fire ammunition they had on hand was 4 boxes of 6.8mm SPC and several boxes of .270. Knowing how to reload ammunition is a good skill. It requires tools, material and above all knowledge. I'll address these things first, then talk about where this skill fits in the survivalist's preparation for the collapse arsenal.

The basic reloading process is using a series of dies to re-move the spent primer and re-size the case; bell or expand the case mouth (to accept a bullet); seat a new primer; place a powder charge in the case; then seat and crimp a new bullet.

Reloading tools: These range from Lyman 310 hand tools and dies (around $120) - think of a pair of pliers with a die that will do one of the reloading functions a single case at a time. Another hand tool would be the Lee Loader (around $50) - this is what I first learned on. You will need a plastic mallet for the Lee Loader.

Both of these hand tools are compact and very useable. There are many videos on You Tube showing the basic process. A handy tool to have with any of these hand tools is an auto-primer tool where you can prime around 20 empty cases a minute.  The picture at left is the Lyman 310 hand tool and a set of dies. 

Buffalo Arms has Lyman 310 tools, visit them here.

You can step up to a single stage press that also does one case at a time albeit faster for around $225 counting a set of dies. The Daddy of re-loading is the progressive press with a turret that moves around with each pull of the lever and does all the functions - you just insert an empty case, pull the lever, ensure you have powder, primers and bullets filled up in their respective hoppers.

I don't think anyone makes them better than Dillon Precision. I own two of their smaller presses. You can pay anywhere from $300 to $2,000 for their re-loading presses. The picture at right is the basic Dillon Press.  Agfain all good equipment and Dillon offers much more on their website, including a subscription to their monthly catalog/newsletter.

Visit their website here - Dillon Precision.

There are a host of "make life easier" accessories for reloading. You could spend several hundred dollars on these if you were so inclined - things like powder scales, case trimmers, primer pocket cleaners, tumblers to clean brass, lube pads, etc.

Reloading Material: You need primers, powder and bullets to reload ammunition. This makes you dependent upon some manufacturer, distribution network and vendor. I have not reloaded any ammunition for years now, but my friends that still do tell me that reloading supplies are hard to come by. Storage of re-loading components is a little bit stricter than manufactured ammunition. Reloading components will be much harder to come by after a collapse and then you may not be bartering for material that has been stored correctly. It make be rotten like the jar of mayo in your Grandma's frig.

Sure you can learn how to make your own primer mix, powder mix and cast your own bullets, but I'd rather sit on a pungi stick than do this. And the results, meaning the ammunition - not the pungi stick,.... are probably going to be less than adequate.

Knowledge. The reloading learning curve is straight up. The more you reload the more problems you'll be exposed to and the more you will learn.  I think it is easy to teach someone how to reload on a basic tool and make them safe about. One of the biggest risks is the wrong measurement of powder. This is where scales come in and you would need a reloading book that lists the caliber, bullet weight and powder you are going to be using. Again, YouTube publishes many re-loading videos for your understanding and training. I would begin here to see the process.  

How Much Ammunition to Stockpile? Short answer is as much as you need and as much as you can afford. Sorry I can't give you answer based on numbers, but I will say that for my "obsolete or non-main rifles", such as .30-40 Krag, .30-30's, .30 carbine, and several others, I have between 300 to 1,200 rounds put away.  If you can buy one box, 20 rounds, of .30-06 each paycheck, then you may minimize the pain and soon have a good stockpile.

For your main "battle rifle or carbine" I would start at well over a thousand rounds. However, your .30-06 deer rifle, while a great caliber is not a battle rifle. I would highly consider a magazine fed rifle or carbine,....AR-15/M-16/M-4 family, AK or SKS series - something like this. 

Bottom Line. Yes, I think reloading is worth learning and having some hand tools to do so. But it would be behind other priorities of having adequate SHTF firearms, stocked ammunition, food, water, necessary survival gear and a host of other things.

Thanks for your question Justin - it was a good one. Be safe and prepare well.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Threat of Prisons to Survivalists

There are about 2.4 million people in prison at any given time. This is 5 times the number in our standing Army or about 30 times the number of uniformed Federal Law Enforcement Officers. In the event of a large scale collapse does anyone think that the corrections officers, as good and dedicated as they may be, will stand their posts while the infrastructure collapses around them??

Without guards around to keep order and surveillance on prisoners, inmates left to their own devices and powered by the need to survive will, on a large scale, defeat mechanical locks and barriers and access the outside world.

With any collapse of the electrical grid, which powers most prison locks and access systems, obstacles to prisoners freedom will largely cease to work making it much, much easier for inamtes to escape.  

This threat of prisons suddenly dispersing their inmates and the supporting network of gangs is a discussion I recently had with friends of mine located about half way across the country. We discussed counter-measures include the following:

1. Know where the nearest prisons (and jails) are. Not just within a 20 miles radius but a much larger radius say 500 miles or even more depending upon the other factors. Know what type of prisoners these facilities hold,...white collar criminals, hard core felons, federal high value criminals, etc. This is important because understanding the potential threat helps prepare you.

2. Are there natural routes or lines of communication such as interstate highway, state highways, farm to market roads, and/or other natural channelization which would drive escaping inmates to your area? You should have already did a terrain analysis on potential refugee routes - this is same type of study.

3. Depending upon the stage of the collapse upon the prisoner release/escape and the amount of news they have received relating to the economic conditions, security situation and depth of the collapse, a percentage of the inmates may not be driven into the larger population centers. I wouldn't. Would you? Wouldn't you look for safer suburbs or rural areas where the ratio of law enforcement is much less and the potential rivalry for food and other material is less?

4. I have written before about the potential danger from organized gangs - because of their organized structure and greater chance,....... much greater chance of having absolutely no hesitation to kill. Some of these inmates will naturally bind together as well. Some are already organized in prison as gangs, be it the Mexican Mafia, White Supremists,Neo-Nazis or Black militants. They won't be so well equipped, weapons wise, but that would be overcome with a half day on the outside. Transportation as well would not be an issue - they wil simply kill those weaker than themselves for anything they want.

Again, you cannot talk about inmates in prisons without talking about street gangs.  Each state should be producing a yearly Gang report.  You may want to see if you can locate one on the web.  The stats will amaze you, and should probably scare you as well.

Perhaps California and Texas have the largest gang and prison populations.  I could not get California's data before I wanted to post this, but the statistics from Texas are that more than 50% of the prison population are serving a sentence for a violent crime:  including homicide - 14%; robbery - 25%; and, assault - 12%.

The four biggest violent gangs number almost 25,000 in Texas.  These are the scum bags counted as full time gang bangers, AND the number of gang bangers in the more than 2,000 gangs in this state number more than 100,000.

According to a organized crime investigator buddy of mine, each gang has some sort of association with the violent Mexican Drug Cartels.  The cartels partner with and utilize U.S. based street gangs because of their citizenship status and knowledge of local, state and federal law enforcement personnel and tactics. 

You can count on the street gangs with their level of organization, weaponry and odd familal type loyalty will certainly assist in breaking their members out of prison if/when the collapse drives the institutional security away.  Be prepared.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Can Preppers Trust the Government?

Note: I wrote the below from an article by Bernie Suarez before the news came out on the current administration's use of the IRS to target Tea Party and other conservative groups. It remains to be discovered just how high in the governmental chain of command that that the IRS targeting order came from.  Additionally, since I initially wrote the below there was a mass shooting in New Orleans, albeit of a suspected gang related type and not necessarily a terrorist, home grown or not.  Some remarked to me that they suspect some type of government engineered shooting or bombing in the near future which would give the government the popular support necessary to crack down on gun owners and that means preppers.  I hope to God this never happens but it seems my faith in government is declining on a daily basis.  I have had that faith in the scores of loyal government workers that work the machinery and not the politicians or the political appointed, but sometimes it seems like the politicians are winning.         

The article below, an amazingly good read published with the title "The Art of Catching Government False Flags in Real Time", by Bernie Suarez and posted on the International Forecaster is really all about Government trust to do the right thing. Just like individual people, high ranking government elected or appointed people can easily fall into the trap of doing unethical or illegal things justified by the end result.

I am not really into Government conspiracies, and it is not a conspiracy if it is an overt act by the Government like moving towards more gun control, however I have seen enough to know, to absolutely know, that innocent people can be caught up, either intentionally or unintentionally, by a government agency. 

What this means to preppers is a planned event by the government, or elements in the government, to effect an agenda that is based on control,...controlling the population, the wealth, and/or firearms. This is a good article, I hope everyone takes the time to read it.

The Art of Catching Government False Flags in Real Time

With the topic of government false-flag operations being discussed throughout the country with the recent slow but progressive mass awakening to such events occurring in America it seems like good timing to ruminate on the issue and discuss just how the average person can develop the skills required to skillfully predict and catch government false-flag attacks in real-time and awaken others around you to these events and the political motives behind them.

I use the word ‘art’ because I believe being right about such high-level events deserves attention for the cognitive and intellectual skills required and the ‘delivery of truth’ skills required to share these truths with receptive (intellectually honest) members of society. Truth is always vindicated and victory goes to the opponent that is willing to deal with ALL the facts openly and transparently, as truth seekers in the information war have done for a very long time in America. The establishment government, however, always plays the same hand with these events. Today these longstanding similarities that follow false-flag operations have naturally rendered some clear patterns to recognize for those of us seeking truth.

Step 1 – Clear your mind

The art of catching government false-flags in real time begins with altering your belief system to disconnect your mind from the influence the mainstream media has on it. This ‘connection’ is very real, and understanding how important it is to disconnect your mind from mainstream media lies cannot be understated. Many Hollywood movies and almost all TV shows play a huge roll in reinforcing the government narrative, as does the public school curriculum, so you will also have to be aware of the connection between these as well. However, since the mainstream media breaking news story of the next false-flag attack is the very thing you’ll be judging, it is paramount to distance oneself from this entity. This is the most important step that will make catching your first realtime false-flag very easy.

Armed with a clear mind and now thinking on your own, considering all logic and reason, you are now prepared to clearly see your first false-flag event. Your mind is prepared to see what is right in front of you now that you have removed the signal that was blurring your understanding. A free person with a clear mind free of government engineered propaganda and marketing is a powerful tool with potential that is unlimited. The magic of living in a world where a controlled media and government does not even play a role in your life and your thinking process is a magic you cannot imagine until you cross that bridge. With that said let’s explore the next step.

Step 2 - Understand the stakes at hand

Are you aware of the stakes at hand? Consider history and what the end result of too much government control really means. Consider what freedom for humanity really means and those who have given their lives for these beliefs in the past. Apply the process of critical thinking to these ideas and see what you discover. First, approach the process of thinking with the purpose of being the best. Exercise what I call Intellectual Karate. Realize that you are about to go into an arena where the battle is for reason, truth, justice, logic, wisdom and cognitive conquering. Think for a minute, if man-kind is truly the superior animal on the planet because of its cognitive abilities and its abilities to apply a form of higher brain intelligence that allows us to conquer all other animals, then shouldn’t we care which form of mankind-thinking (meaning which paradigm) will ultimately control the destiny of the species?

This I believe is the core meaning of the information war we fight; a competitive battle of cognitive expressions of truth versus lies, each side representing a specific agenda -- that being selfishness versus altruism, or personal greed and thirst for power versus selfless concern for the future experience of humans. I believe that this war is possibly spiritual and it (this battle of consciousness) defines who we are as a whole and will determine where humanity is headed.

Step 3 - Arm your mind with facts and reason

We owe it to ourselves to research history and see how governments have used false-flag operations for political gain in the past. The fact of the matter is that false-flag operations have been a commonly used tactic of past governments to justify an attack on an enemy. See and understand the logic that makes planned attacks on a selected enemy nearly impossible without an engineered and carefully timed false-flag attack. Become aware that false-flag operations and tactics that incite the enemy are officially part of military strategy. Realize that documented U.S. government plans for false-flags date back at least 50 years. Consider also that if governments have determined falseflag tactics to be an effective option 50 years ago then that is more than enough reason to suspect false-flags to be a reasonable explanation for any potentially engineered bombing or attack we see today.

Step 4 - Search, pin down, and recognize the beneficiaries

We can all see where false-flags of the past have worked very well for the perpetrators. This information is difficult to hide. Throughout history the beneficiaries of false-flag operations are not debatable. This is knowledge and power for truth seekers. Beneficiaries stand naked in the eyes of history; alone they stand hoping that humanity will look the other way, not notice, or chalk up their improbable luck to coincidence. When government stands alone as the prime beneficiary of a false-flag, that should bother your sense of truth, trigger your intellectual integrity and set off your truth meter.

Side with reason and common sense before you blindly believe that governments luckily accept the results of apparent false-flag events and conveniently and impulsively change legislation to increase their power and take away the power from the people.

Step 5 - Analyze the event and look for common trends

Government false-flags almost always have a patsy designed to take the blame. This patsy seems to always have a connection/relationship/history of interaction with the U.S. government (military, FBI, CIA). This relationship with government entities is always ignored or downplayed by the controlled government mouthpiece mainstream media.

They always act as though the relationship is not real or not relevant. Amazingly, the patsy’s history always leads back to government. The patsy always denies doing it or tells the world they are being set up. Patsies are always eventually murdered, silenced, tortured or all of the above. We all know that dead men tell no tales and tortured people will tell any tell you want them to. This is why torture and murder is and always will be illegal even when committed by a temporary criminal government.

Government agents and entities always stage a massive presence at the event or scene of the crime well in advance, and always just prior to the event. It never fails, yet many in America chalk this up to coincidence, where there is no such thing when it comes to politically motivated events. The mainstream media is key to understanding false-flags. Look for huge overplayed ‘Breaking News’. This type of news is extremely sensational and is ongoing. Stories are repeated and told by various mouthpieces in almost exactly the same way.

Early on, the controlled mainstream media finds itself in a battle for laying out the initial narrative. They (the media) find themselves making gross errors, but government steps in and declares the changing narratives within the first few days even if the story is contradictory to what was being said the first day. During this early period it is common to hear large segments of truth coming especially from local media networks struggling to figure out what is happening but having to depend on the highest level (government controlled) sources.

During the coverage of the event, look for media to sensationalize the emotional trauma portion of the event in a manner that engages the public and invokes a mass emotional response. Nowadays they specifically target the emotions of the masses to open them up to accepting a soon-to-be-delivered solution (Problem-Reaction-Solution) to the false-flag attack.

The media coverage of this specific event will supersede coverage of any other tragedy or event. No matter what else is happening, government does not allow other events to get in the way of their planned false-flags. Too much has been invested to get the reaction and subsequent politically motivated solution to come. This is an important observation to make in identifying government false-flags.

The controlled mainstream media will always ignore huge facts, testimonies, and figures surrounding the event. Look for the ‘ignore reality and facts’ mode the media goes into when working with a false-flag event. Questions are very vague and not too challenging to the official story. In this phase look for politicians, police chiefs, mayors and media running from the real questions.

Note that in some cases you’ll be able to observe other huge (9/11 size) coincidences, but not all false-flags will be as easy to diagnose as the September 11th global government terrorist attacks. Many will be smaller scale and the scene of the crime will be limited to one instead of three.

Step 6 - Convince yourself and look for the evidence

Challenge yourself by telling yourself that you are willing to believe the government-mainstream media version of the story. Tell yourself that as long as the media version of the story is provable you are willing to believe only their version of the story. Then set out to prove the government-media claims. Get focused and go to work. Pick up every claim and set out to actually prove their claims. You’ll quickly find out that media and government actually never submit or put out any proof for their claims. Stay focused and prove this to yourself. Notice how they run from truth, reason and actual proof. You will hopefully finally distinguish between a claim and actual factual proof.

Once you see this reality you’ll never go back. You are now ready to take on the establishment and become a ninja for truth.

Step 7 - Cementing the lies

Finally, after the false-flag is over and time begins to pass, the government media complex will settle on one story. Facts and figures detrimental to their version of the story are never raised again, and those who question their version of the story are demonized and ridiculed. After this initial phase, Hollywood picks up the baton and reinforces the government-media version of the story from this point on.

Step 8 - Get ready to catch your first real-time false-flag

Beware, handle with care, and proceed slowly. The experience of catching your first government false-flag in real-time can be very distressing yet very liberating at the same time. My first real-time false-flag was the Bin Laden death hoax of May 1st 2011 and it felt very troubling yet very liberating. It was like a mental jolt, an awakening years after already being awakened.

This topic deserves a lot of attention and in this article we’ve discussed a sequence of factors that come into play for identifying government false-flags. Realizing the magnitude of what is at stake, the power of the mainstream media, the improbability of government and media claims and coincidences including governments connection to their patsies are all part of the government false-flag blueprint.

Will you allow this pattern of deception to work on you again? Or will you be prepared to call out the government on the next bombing false-flag? Are you still connected to the mainstream media poison? Is all of this a challenge to your paradigm? These are the fundamental questions you have to resolve before you can stand tall and know that you’ve caught your first government false-flag. Good luck, and remember: the greatest mind altering drug is the truth.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Survival Group Leadership and Control Issues

Jerod, not his real name but he will recognize his question, wrote to UrbanSurvivalSkills asking about leadership and control of a survival group. Apparently he is in a group with too many Chiefs and not enough Indians. He said there are six full time "preppers in his neighborhood which Jerod considers the "group", plus a couple guys he calls gun freaks, plus a couple of friends and relatives, with most of them having sat around and discussed what a collapse may look like and how to be prepared.

While this group individually purchases equipment and material, Jerod says there are some issues with what types of food, equipment, material that some of the more vocal members "highly suggest" buying. Jerod said there are some disagreements with an outline on what they first steps should be following a collapse, mostly around providing security around their neighborhood. He said about 1/3 of the group wants to determine a military type chain of command.  One of the guys wants everyone to make a list of what and how much they have and Jerod keeps blowing that off, concerned about exposing everything to everyone.

UrbanMan replies: Jerod, I appreciate you giving me permission to use your e- mail, however I took your rather long e-mail and condensed it down. We agree that living and surviving by yourself or with just your family is worst case because of the lack of support, but this is a two edged sword as a larger group will create leadership and control you have found out. 

I understand your survival group (in my words) to be several individuals and in some cases families, living on different properties who are loosely prepping together and are prepared to provide support to each other, but who are not planning on moving or bugging out to a central location when the collapse hits.

If you are planning on joint support for all and from all, particularly in response to time sensitive events, I hope you are all located close enough and have a tested communications system or a general plan in order to access support from each other.

Leadership in a group, especially of Type A individuals, can be very difficult as many of these people may be thinking with their ego's and their feelings as opposed to applying critical thinking skills for the benefit of the group. This can be further made difficult due to these individuals being concerned about the safety of their love ones, therefore reluctant to accept a differing point of view or decision. And legitimately there can be a difference of opinion, among honest men, on how to proceed.

It's pretty simple if you own a house or a Bug Out retreat and a bunch of people show up to survive with you,'s your way or the highway. Much different if you are one of many households occupying a neighborhood street and know you must organize to survive but disagree on how to do so.

American para-military forces or militia, certainly during the French and Indian Wars, and the Revolutionary War used to elect their leaders. Now, while that sounds a valid like a way to go, it can also split the team based on personal loyalties. Think about this: If the leader made a decision that, you thought, placed your family at risk, would you not do something about it?

At some point a survival group will need to have a decision making process, especially facing dire circumstances like security, disease control, water and food procurement, refugee control or visitor vetting.  Be it a linear chain of command, a committee or whatever. This has to be a timely process as well.

I am of the mind that a small committee is generally the best method of decision making within a grouping of independents elements. Maybe your core individuals get together and everyone has a say to what they admire or desire in a leader. This will help each person mentally evaluate the others as potential leaders or decision makers. Then the group votes on establishing, say a three person committee to make necessary decisions. If this is succesful, then the group votes by ballot on those three people.

Another thing you may be able to do is to have each group member write one or two key issues (in a tactful way) as topics for discussion. Group members who are not respect nor reasonable in this process will expose themselves as the same. If the group cannot be reasonable as a group then it may be time for you to disassociate yourself from the group. This may bring hard feelings and it would best be resolved with you moving before a collapse every started.

I hope I gave you some things to think about. Good luck in any case.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Crying Wolf on the Coming Collapse?

We received the following comments from Phil: "I've been reading the archives on this site and since 2009 there have been dire warnings of imminent collapse and yet we still muddle on, better some days worse others. How do you (meaning all of us) justify constant preparations and increased vigilance when the threat level remains constant. Once conditions have remained the same for a period of time it becomes the "new normal" and as I am sure you are aware, once you train to a fine edge you either deploy or stand down and after a period of R&R, begin training once again for the next deployment. The military can do business that way but many "preppers" cannot. After all, life is what happens to you while you are making plans for the future. While I realize the need for being prepared,you can begin to sound like the boy who cried wolf and people around you begin to waiver and act as if the crisis has passed. What do you do to keep your family's motivation current? TTFN Phil"

UrbanMan's reply: Very good thought provoking question from Phil. And Phil is right - a razor sharp edge cannot be maintained. I think the answers in maintaining vigiliance are as different as is the different categories of preppers. For some people preparation for the collapse is a fulltime endeavor. For others it is a part time deal and yet others it is a spare time affair. The differences between part time and spare time in my book is the amount of committment (dedicating time and resources) to get measurably better in a given period.

The full time preppers probably don't need any outside motivation, which is usually in the form of dire warnings of the impending collapse.

The spare time and part time preppers are the ones who dedication wanes from time to time as the "new normal" as Phil calls it just becomes "normal".

I would consider myself a part time prepper. I suspect that for me and the vast majority of preppers, life just gets in the way. Add that to the basic human nature of having faith in things getting better or at least the possibility of things getting better and the likely trait of not dwelling on bad news all the time,......well, this all just provides a rationalization not to go into the full time prepper mode or otherwise dedicate a lot of resources towards this goal.

There will be some people out there who will argue that the collapse has already begun, albeit slowly. Others will argue that an economic collapse is only being postponed - the Fed's printing of fiat currency and floating that into the market is one of the factors keeping the collapse at bay - but that this postponement will only make the effects of the collapse stronger and just that much more difficult to rise out of.

But I don't think the threat has remained constant. I am of the mind that the collapse has begun, very slowly and the major effects or the tipping point, where the effects of the collapse pick up speed, are being postponed. Additionally, there are more threats streams we are facing, and to be sure some of them may not occur. As of these additional threats, I am thinking of the potential of a terrorist action such as a nuclear device detonated in the U.S. or a substantial attack on a nuclear or chemical plant that causing extensive contamination and undoubtably a severe US Government response with population controls and possible martial law; the possibility of natural disaster or the continuation of a historic drought being a catalyst or just perhaps adding to the economic burden and food shortage.

I think the whole essence of prepping is that we are preparing for a contingency. Just like when we carried long guns for a living, we also carried a handgun. Even though we may have never had a history of using that handgun and could rationalize not carrying it, but we realized that there were circumstances where it could save our lives. ..... remember the phrase: "I would rather have it and not need it, then need it and not have it"?

The bottom line on the way I maintain some focus on prepping, with really no credit to myself, is through the constant media barrage on indicators,...some mild and subtle, others big. Everything from the out of control spending of this government, to the drastic elimination of gun rights in many states and the bent of the Federal Government on gun control.....BTW President Obama was on television recently apologizing to the Mexicans that the U.S. is to blame for most of the violence in Mexico due the American export of guns across the border........and who can forget about inflation and taxation decreasing our standard of living. And then the facts of almost 50 million people on welfare with no end in sight and the possibility of concentrated small armies of hungry, pissed off people means civil chaos.....................Well, I have plenty of reasons to keep prepping.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Another Great Depression Coming to America

If you need any motivation for prepping then read this article by Michael Synder, "20 Signs That The Next Great Economic Depression Has Already Started In Europe", published on the International Forecaster, which is really an arguement stating that economic depression is already begining in Europe, and in this world economy whatever happens in Europe also will happen in America, especially since America now looks and acts like Europe.

By Michael Snyder

The next Great Depression is already happening - it just hasn't reached the United States yet. Things in Europe just continue to get worse and worse, and yet most people in the United States still don't get it. All the time I have people ask me when the "economic collapse" is going to happen. Well, for ages I have been warning that the next major wave of the ongoing economic collapse would begin in Europe, and that is exactly what is happening. In fact, both Greece and Spain already have levels of unemployment that are greater than anything the U.S. experienced during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Pay close attention to what is happening over there, because it is coming here too. You see, the truth is that Europe is a lot like the United States. We are both drowning in unprecedented levels of debt, and we both have overleveraged banking systems that resemble a house of cards. The reason why the U.S. does not look like Europe yet is because we have thrown all caution to the wind.

The Federal Reserve is printing money as if there is no tomorrow and the U.S. government is savagely destroying the future that our children and our grandchildren were supposed to have by stealing more than 100 million dollars from them every single hour of every single day. We have gone "all in" on kicking the can down the road even though it means destroying the future of America. But the alternative scares the living daylights out of our politicians. When nations such as Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy tried to slow down the rate at which their debts were rising, the results were absolutely devastating. A full-blown economic depression is raging across southern Europe and it is rapidly spreading into northern Europe. Eventually it will spread to the rest of the globe as well. The following are 20 signs that the next Great Depression has already started in Europe...

#1 The unemployment rate in France has surged to 10.6 percent, and the number of jobless claims in that country recently set a new all-time record.

#2 Unemployment in the eurozone as a whole is sitting at an all-time record of 12 percent.

#3 Two years ago, Portugal's unemployment rate was about 12 percent. Today, it is about 17

#4 The unemployment rate in Spain has set a new all-time record of 27 percent. Even during the Great Depression of the 1930s the United States never had unemployment that high.

#5 The unemployment rate among those under the age of 25 in Spain is an astounding 57.2 percent.

#6 The unemployment rate in Greece has set a new all-time record of 27.2 percent. Even during the Great Depression of the 1930s the United States never had unemployment that high.

#7 The unemployment rate among those under the age of 25 in Greece is a whopping 59.3 percent.

#8 French car sales in March were 16 percent lower than they were one year earlier.

#9 German car sales in March were 17 percent lower than they were one year earlier.

#10 In the Netherlands, consumer debt is now up to about 250 percent of available income.

#11 Industrial production in Italy has fallen by an astounding 25 percent over the past five ears.

#12 The number of Spanish firms filing for bankruptcy is 45 percent higher than it was a year ago.

#13 Since 2007, the value of non-performing loans in Europe has increased by 150 percent.

#14 Bank withdrawals in Cyprus during the month of March were double what they were in February even though the banks were closed for half the month.

#15 Due to an absolutely crippling housing crash, there are approximately 3 million vacant homes in Spain today.

#16 Things have gotten so bad in Spain that entire apartment buildings are being overwhelmed by squatters......A 285-unit apartment complex in Parla, less than half an hour’s drive from Madrid, should be an ideal target for investors seeking cheap property in Spain. Unfortunately, two thirds of the building generates zero revenue because it’s overrun by squatters. “This is happening all over the country,” said Jose Maria Fraile, the town’s mayor, who estimates only 100 apartments in the block built for the council have rental contracts, and not all of those tenants are paying either. “People lost their jobs, they can’t pay mortgages or rent so they lost their homes and this has produced a tide of squatters.”

#17 As I wrote about the other day, child hunger has become so rampant in Greece that teachers are reporting that hungry children are begging their classmates for food.

#18 The debt to GDP ratio in Italy is now up to 136 percent.

#19 25 percent of all banking assets in the UK are in banks that are leveraged at least 40 to 1.

#20 German banking giant Deutsche Bank has more than 55 trillion euros (which is more than 72 trillion dollars) of exposure to derivatives. But the GDP of Germany for an entire year is only about 2.7 trillion euros.

Yes, U.S. stocks have been doing great so far this year, but the truth is that the stock market has become completely and totally divorced from economic reality. When it does catch up with the economic fundamentals, it will probably happen very rapidly like we saw back in 2008.

Our politicians can try to kick the can down the road for as long as they can, but at some point the consequences of our foolish decisions will hunt us down and overtake us. The following is what Peter Schiff had to say about this coming crisis the other day.....

"The crisis is imminent," Schiff said. "I don't think Obama is going to finish his second term without the bottom dropping out. And stock market investors are oblivious to the problems." "We're broke, Schiff added. "We owe trillions. Look at our budget deficit; look at the debt to GDP ratio, the unfunded liabilities. If we were in the Eurozone, they would kick us out."

Schiff points out that the market gains experienced recently, with the Dow first topping 14,000 on its way to setting record highs, are giving investors a false sense of security. "It's not that the stock market is gaining value... it's that our money is losing value. And so if you have a debased currency... a devalued currency, the price of everything goes up. Stocks are no exception," he said.

"The Fed knows that the U.S. economy is not recovering," he noted. "It simply is being kept from collapse by artificially low interest rates and quantitative easing. As that support goes, the economy will implode."

So please don't think that we are any different from Europe. If the United States government started only spending the money that it brings in, we would descend into an economic depression tomorrow. The only way that we can continue to live out the economic fantasy that we see all around us is by financially abusing our children and our grandchildren.

The U.S. economy has become a miserable junkie that is completely and totally addicted to reckless money printing and gigantic mountains of debt. If we stop printing money and going into unprecedented amounts of debt we are finished. If we continue printing money and going into unprecedented amounts of debt we are finished. Either way, this is all going to end very, very badly.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Institutionalized Spying on Americans

This is a good article by Stephen Lendman, as published on the International Forecaster, concerning the changing landscape across America relating to the Governmen'ts legal and technological ability to collect information on Americans using Electronic Intelligence means and methods.  I think it is important because of the bent of the Federal Government, at least in this Administration, to characterize Survivalists/Preppers as right wings threats and potential home grown terrorists. 

Here is the article:

Big Brother no longer is fiction. It hasn't been for some time. It's official US policy. According to ACLU's Technology and Liberty Program director Barry Steinhardt:

"Given the capabilities of today's technology, the only thing protecting us from a full-fledged surveillance society are the legal and political institutions we have inherited as Americans." "Unfortunately, the September 11 attacks have led some to embrace the fallacy that weakening the Constitution will strengthen America."

Manufactured national security threats matter more than fundamental freedoms. Domestic spying is institutionalized.

Anyone can be monitored for any reason or none at all. Privacy rights are lost. Patriot Act legislation authorized unchecked government surveillance powers. Financial, medical and other personal information can be accessed freely. So called "sneak and peak" searches may be conducted through "delayed notice" warrants, roving wiretaps, email tracking, and Internet and cell phone use.

The FBI, CIA, NSA, and Pentagon spy domestically. So do state and local agencies. Spies "R" us defines US policy. America is a total surveillance society. It's unsafe to live in. Everyone is suspect unless proved otherwise. The 2012 FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act renewed warrantless spying. It passed with little debate. On Sunday, December 30, 2012 Obama signed it into law. Doing so largely went unnoticed.

These type disturbing measures usually slip below the radar. Weekends and holiday period enactments conceal blows to freedom. Warrantless spying became law for another five years. Phone calls, emails, and other communications may be monitored secretly without court authorization. Probable cause isn't needed. So-called "foreign intelligence information" is sought. Virtually anything qualifies. Vague language is all-embracing.

Months after 9/11, Bush secretly authorized the NSA to eavesdrop on Americans lawlessly. Sweeping surveillance followed without court-approved warrants. Doing so violates core constitutional protections. Major US telecommunications companies are involved. They have been since 9/11. Things now are worse than then.

On April 29, Russia Today (RT) headlined "Spy, or pay up: FBI-backed bill would fine US firms for refusing wiretaps." A day earlier Washington Post article was cited. It headlined "Panel seeks to fine tech companies for noncompliance with wiretap orders," saying:

"A government task force is preparing legislation that would pressure companies such as Face- book and Google to enable law enforcement officials to intercept online communications as they occur, according to current and former US officials familiar with the effort." At issue is alleged FBI concerns about "Internet communications of terrorists and other criminals."

FBI spying is longstanding. So are other lawless practices. Throughout its history, the agency operated within and outside the law. J. Edgar Hoover ran it from 1924 - 1972. He waged war on communists, anti-war, human and civil rights activists, the American Indian Movement, Black Panther Party, and other groups challenging rogue state policies.

He ordered agents to infiltrate, disrupt, sabotage, and destroy them. Anyone advocating ethnic justice and racial emancipation, as well as economic, social, and political equality across gender and color lines became vulnerable.

Post-9/11, FBI abuses escalated. Intrusive surveillance tools now target ordinary Americans. Unchecked authority and other abusive practices are widespread. America's war on terror matters most.

Disturbing tactics include greater physical surveillance, commercial database data retrieval, paid informants infiltrating groups (or targeting individuals) on false pretenses, and letting covert unidentified agents conduct "pretext" interviews for information.

Muslims are America's target of choice. So are anti-war and social justice activists. A gloves off, no-holds barred approach is followed. Virtually anything is fair game. Innocent people are vulnerable.

The Patriot Act authorized so-called National Security Letters (NSLs). FBI agents take full advantage. They do so by demanding personal customer records from ISPs, financial institutions, credit companies, and other sources without prior court approval.

The FBI wants more. According to the Washington Post, it wants companies failing to heed wiretap orders penalized. In February 2011, then FBI general counsel Valerie Caproni told House Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security Subcommittee members about a "Going Dark" problem. She explained the agency's inability to access comprehensive "communications and related data." She claimed a "public safety" threat when critical information is missed.

In March 2013, current FBI general counsel Andrew Weissmann addressed an American Bar Association discussion. He did so on legal challenges new technologies pose, saying:

"We don’t have the ability to go to court and say, 'We need a court order to effectuate the intercept.' Other countries have that. Most people assume that's what you're getting when you go to a court." Under current law, Internet communications companies can refuse to comply with court-ordered wiretaps. They can claim no practical way to do so.

Proposed legislation would change things. It would force companies to rebuild their capability to allow government monitoring. Weissmann calls doing so a "top priority." Proposed legislation is being drafted. It's an extension of the 1994 Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA). It grants federal authorities sweeping surveillance powers. Doing so lets them spy on Americans more intrusively.

CALEA originally applied only to digital telephone networks. It forced telephone companies to redesign their network architectures to make wiretapping easier.

In 2005, online communications were added. Broadband providers had to rebuild their networks accordingly. At issue was permitting access to Internet "phone calls" through VOIP applications, as well as online "conversations" by instant messaging programs. Law enforcement wiretapping is longstanding. Existing laws permit tapping phone or online communications regardless of what programs or protocols are used. Industry largely cooperates. Digital age surveillance is easier than authorities claim. They want greater ease than currently permitted. Expanding CALEA is overkill. Doing so enhances police state powers.

The FBI cites its "tappability principle." It does so to justify its demands. It claims whatever is legally searchable sometimes should be physically searchable all times. Applied to phone and Internet communications, it would require designing phones and computers with built-in bugs.

Doing so would elevate surveillance powers.

Everyone could be spied on at all times. Private communications no longer would exist. Expanding CALEA is the tip of the iceberg. Perhaps software companies are next. Enhanced legislative authority may force them to create surveillance-ready programs. Doing so may compromise innovation.

Applying phone system rules to software development and online communications assures trouble. What's longstanding policy for one compromises innovation for the others. It also more greatly undermines freedom.

Police state powers are enhanced. Companies are forced to comply. Under draft legislation, courts could levy fines. Judicial inquiries could impose additional ones. After 90 days, unpaid amounts would double daily. According to Center for Democracy and Technology senior counsel Greg Nojeim:

"This proposal is a non-starter that would drive innovators overseas and cost American jobs. They might as well call it the Cyber Insecurity and Anti-Employment Act."

Former federal prosecutor Michael Sussman added:

"Today, if you’re a tech company that’s created a new and popular way to communicate, it’s only a matter of time before the FBI shows up with a court order to read or hear some conversation." "If the data can help solve crimes, the government will be interested."

In 2010, after its networks were hacked, Google began emails and text messages end-to-end encryption. Facebook followed suit. Doing so compromises FBI monitoring. Agency officials want enhanced CALEA authorization permitting it. They claim doing so only extends current law to new technologies. It requires phone and online companies to allow wiretapping. It's much more than that. It elevates mass surveillance to a dangerously higher level. It's another step toward full- blown tyranny.

On April 29, the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) headlined "Feds Push for Backdoor Wiretap Capabilities." According to CDT Senior Staff Technologist Joe Hall:

"A wiretapping mandate is a vulnerability mandate. The unintended consequences of this proposal are profound." "At the very time when the nation is concerned about cybersecurity, the FBI proposal has the potential to make our communications less secure." "Once you build a wiretap capability into products and services, the bad guys will find a way to use it."

CDT President Leslie Harris added:

"What the FBI is proposing sounds benign, but it comes with such onerous penalties that it would force developers to seek pre-approval from the FBI." "No one is going to want to face fines that double every day, so they will go to the FBI and work it out in advance, diverting resources, slowing innovation, and resulting in less secure products."

"The sad irony," said Hall, "is that this is likely to be ineffective. Building a communications tool today is a homework project for undergraduates." "So much is based on open source and can be readily customized. Criminals and other bad actors will simply use homemade communication services based offshore, making them even harder to monitor."

Media scholar/critic/activist Robert McChesney told Progressive Radio News Hour listeners how Internet freedom has been compromised. His important new book "Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism is Turning the Internet Against Democracy" explains what should concern everyone. "The corporate media sector (did) everything in its immense power to limit (its) openness and egalitarianism…., he said." "….corporate and state surreptitious monitoring of Internet users" compromises fundamental freedoms. Doing so is "inimical to much of the democratic potential of digital communication." Internet freedom depends on "arrest(ing) the forces that promote inequality, monopoly, hypercommercialism, corruption, depoliticization, and stagnation." It requires ending mass surveillance powers. It's about restoring lost democratic principles.

I thought this video from Rand Paul warning on the Surveillance Nation is apprpriate. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Armed Revolution in the Next Few Years?

This guy write about what some of us fear. I can understand what drives the thought process on the possibility of armed revolution with:  the Federal Government openly talking about registration and confiscation on guns; reports of across the board monitoring and collection of all forms of communications; and some states pasing draconian gun laws while other states openly challenge the federal government on future gun laws.  Again, while I can understand the thinking, this would be a self induced wound.  I don't know if we would be a nation coming out of something so unthinkable as this.   

Poll: 29% of Registered Voters Believe Armed Revolution Might Be Necessary in Next Few Years by Gregory Gwyn-Williams, Jr. of

Twenty-nine percent of registered voters think that an armed revolution might be necessary in the next few years in order to protect liberties, according to a Public Mind poll by Fairleigh Dickinson University.

The poll, which surveyed 863 registered voters and had a margin of error of +/-3.4, focused on both gun control and the possibility of a need for an armed revolution in the United States to protect liberty.

The survey asked whether respondents agreed, disagreed, neither agreed nor disagreed or did not know or refused to respond to the statement: "In the next few years, an armed revolution might be necessary in order to protect our liberties"

Twenty-nine percent said they agreed, 47 percent said they disagreed, 18 percent said they neither agreed nor disagreed, 5 percent said they were unsure, and 1 percent refused to respond.

Results of the poll show that those who believe a revolution might be necessary differ greatly along party lines:

18 percent of Democrats
27 percent of Independents
44 percent of Republicans

The poll found that 38 percent of Americans who believe a revolution might be necessary support additional gun control legislation compared to 62 percent of those who don't think an armed revolt will be needed.

Dan Cassino, a professor of political science at Fairleigh Dickinson and analyst for the poll, says: "The differences in views of gun legislation are really a function of differences in what people believe guns are for. If you truly believe an armed revolution is possible in the near future, you need weapons and you're going to be wary about government efforts to take them away."

The poll was conducted nationally between April 22 and April 28, 2013.

This subject becomes a valid topic when there are reports that the Department of Justice (DOJ) is telling the States that they (DOJ) is not going to recognize State Laws protecting second amendment rights.

Eric Holder says Feds Will Ignore State Laws and Enforce Gun Grab

by Joe Wolverton on SpreadLibertyNews: Attorney General Eric Holder has written to Kansas Governor Sam Brownback (shown), informing him that the Obama administration considers state attempts to protect the Second Amendment “unconstitutional” and that federal agents will “continue to execute their duties,” regardless of state statutes to the contrary.

The letter, dated April 26, specifically references a Kansas statute recently signed into law by Brownback that criminalizes any attempt by federal officers or agents to infringe upon the Second Amendment rights of citizens of the Sunflower State. Section 7 of the new law declares:

It is unlawful for any official, agent or employee of the government of the United States, or employee of a corporation providing services to the government of the United States to enforce or attempt to enforce any act, law, treaty, order, rule or regulation of the government of the United States regarding a firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition that is manufactured commercially or privately and owned in the state of Kansas and that remains within the borders of Kansas. Violation of this section is a severity level 10 nonperson

The right of states to refuse to enforce unconstitutional federal acts is known as nullification.

Nullification is a concept of constitutional law recognizing the right of each state to nullify, or invalidate, any federal measure that exceeds the few and defined powers allowed the federal government as enumerated in the Constitution.

Nullification exists as a right of the states because the sovereign states formed the union, and as creators of the compact, they hold ultimate authority as to the limits of the power of the central government to enact laws that are applicable to the states and the citizens thereof.

As President Obama and the United Nations accelerate their plan to disarm Americans, the need for nullification is urgent, and liberty-minded citizens are encouraged at the sight of state legislators boldly asserting their right to restrain the federal government through application of that very powerful and very constitutional principle.

Both Attorney General Holder and President Obama are trained lawyers, so one would expect that they have read the Federalist Papers. In fairness, they probably have, but perhaps they overlooked Federalist, No. 33, where Alexander Hamilton explained the legal validity of federal acts that exceed the powers granted to it by the Constitution. Hamilton wrote:

If a number of political societies enter into a larger political society, the laws which the latter may enact, pursuant to the powers intrusted [sic] to it by its constitution, must necessarily be supreme over those societies and the individuals of whom they are composed…. But it will not follow from this doctrine that acts of the larger society which are not pursuant to its constitutional powers, but which are invasions of the residuary authorities of the smaller societies, will become the supreme law of the land. These will be merely acts of usurpation, and will deserve to be treated as such. [Emphasis in original.]

Holder denies that states have the right to withstand federal tyranny and argues that the Constitution declares federal acts to be the “supreme law of the land.”

His comments echo a common misreading and misunderstanding of Article VI of the Constitution, the so-called Supremacy Clause.

The Supremacy Clause (as some wrongly call it) of Article VI does not declare that federal laws are the supreme law of the land without qualification. What it says is that the Constitution “and laws of the United States made in pursuance thereof” are the supreme law of the land.

Read that clause again: “In pursuance thereof,” not in violation thereof. If an act of Congress is not permissible under any enumerated power given to it in the Constitution, it was not made in pursuance of the Constitution and therefore not only is not the supreme law of the land, it is not the law at all.

Constitutionally speaking, then, whenever the federal government passes any measure not provided for in the limited roster of its enumerated powers, those acts are not awarded any sort of supremacy. Instead, they are “merely acts of usurpations” and do not qualify as the supreme law of the land. In fact, acts of Congress are the supreme law of the land only if they are made in pursuance of its constitutional powers, not in defiance thereof.

Alexander Hamilton put an even finer point on the issue when he wrote in Federalist, No. 78, “There is no position which depends on clearer principles, than that every act of a delegated authority contrary to the tenor of the commission under which it is exercised, is void. No legislative act, therefore, contrary to the constitution, can be valid.”

Once more legislators, governors, citizens, and law professors realize this fact, they will more readily and fearlessly accept that the states are uniquely situated to perform the function described by Madison above and reiterated in a speech to Congress delivered by him in 1789. “The state legislatures will jealously and closely watch the operation of this government, and be able to resist with more effect every assumption of power than any other power on earth can do; and the greatest opponents to a federal government admit the state legislatures to be sure guardians of the people’s liberty,” Madison declared.

State lawmakers in Kansas and several other states are catching on, and nullification bills stopping federal overstepping of constitutional boundaries are being considered. These measures nullify not only the impending federal gun grab, but the mandates of ObamaCare and the indefinite detention provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), as well.

In light of Holder’s letter, it appears that we have arrived at a time in the history of our Republic when the author of the Declaration of Independence (Thomas Jefferson) and the “Father of the Constitution” (James Madison) are considered enemies of liberty.

In the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions, Jefferson and Madison declared their allegiance to the union, but insisted that states have the right — the duty — to interpose themselves between citizens and federal despotism.

What Holder fails to appreciate is that the consent of the states created the Constitution and thus created the federal government. This act of collective consenting is called a compact. In this compact (or contract), the states selected delegates who met in Philadelphia in 1787 and conferred some of the powers of the states to a federal government. These powers were enumerated in the Constitution drafted at that convention and the Constitution became the written record of the compact.

This element of the creation of the union is precisely where the states derive their power to nullify acts of the federal government that exceed its constitutional authority. It is a trait woven inextricably within every strand of sovereignty, and it was the sovereign states that ceded the territory of authority that the federal government occupies.

In his letter to Governor Brownback, Attorney General Holder demonstrates that he is as ignorant as his boss as to the proper, constitutional relationship between state governments and the federal government. Accordingly, when Holder threatens to use “all appropriate action” to “prevent the State of Kansas from interfering with the activities of federal officials enforcing federal law,” what he is saying is that he will use any means necessary to prevent the sovereign state of Kansas (and any other state brave enough to take a stand against the federal government) from exercising its right to protect its citizens from federal disarmament.

And, more importantly, by disregarding a legally enacted Kansas statute preserving the right of its citizens to keep and bear arms, the Obama administration is not only ignoring the Second Amendment, but it is also ignoring the 10th Amendment and its restrictions on federal power.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Survival Firearms Skill Sets

I received this through e-mail from a reader: "Dear Urban Survival Skills I have been reading your site, other prepper sites and as I am into the prepping movement hook, line and sinker as much as I can be with a wife and two kids, both under 8 years old. I have a AR -15 rifle with the straight military butt stock. A buddy who works with me who was in the Air Force tells me it is a duplicate of the M-16A2 but mine only shoots one bullet at a time. He thinks I should either buy another shorter barrelled one with a telescoping stock or modify my AR-15. My friend and I were both talking about some professional training. He was a airplane refueler and I have never served in the military. Although I could probably never afford it, what do you think about the firearms schools? My friend has read about Gunsight(?) Do they have classes for civilians? Any ideas about getting my skills built up? I can shoot pretty good, but I do not have the gun skills like I see on T.V. Sincerely, Chet."

UrbanMan replies:: It is a credit to you Chet that you recognize the need for training. If what you mean by television is the action movies, then you are seeing rehearsed and much edited scenes which are make believe. Although Hollywood does do a good job sometimes about hiring professionals to teach the actors how to be professional looking in their weapons handling. Enough about that - it just isn't real.

I can tell a lot about a person's ability by the way they handle a gun,..where his hands and fingers are, muzzle direction, how comfortable he appears with it, etc. This comes from many, many hours handling firearms. And of course without the ability to put bullets on the intended target, you just look like you are competent.

I am not convinced that a collapsible stock, short barreled M-4 clone is much better than a fixed stock AR-15. If you buy a second AR for your wife than a M-4 type would give you more versatility like carrying it in your car, truck or any situation where the shorter barrel and overall length makes it easier to handle.

And your friend is right about the possibility of modifying your current AR-15 with a collapse stock, but I would put the money into other preps.

If I did not have a suitable handgun or shotgun, before I would buy a second AR, I would think very soberly on a defensive handgun and/or a shotgun. In fact with today's AR prices you could probably pickup up two decent handguns AND a good quality 12 gauge pump shotgun for the same price or less than an AR.

Since you mentioned Gunsight Academy, a five day carbine course would cost you around $1,500 tuition not counting the cost of over 1,000 rounds of ammunition. Then you have travel, lodging and meals. If you wife lets you go, then she's one in million. If you could latch onto someone at a local gun range, such as a well versed instructor (some of which are teaching concealed carry classes now) or get involved with IPSC or IPDA shooting, you may be able to build your skills albeit slower, but saving some money. If you did go to professional training after that, you would get more out of it most likely.

In the meantime why don't you go to Youtube and check out the Viking Tactics Channel for weapons drills ands such. Good luck to you. You are on the right track. But remember while firearms are a key component to surviving the collapse, so is stocking food, having a water source, prepaing in all other survival equipment and material areas,...and above all, have a plan.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Is the Chance of a Collapse Decreasing?

Are you one of the preppers who has started to slow preparation for, or even days go by when you are not thinking of a potential collapse? I have several friends of mine who either say or do things to indicate a general belief that the chance of a major SHTF is decreasing. One of my friends bought a very expensive dining room set and the other a small sports car. Me? It was like "Dude's, are you kidding me? Now is not the time to incur more debt especially with items that will have no intrinsic value if the economy tanks.

This prompted me to ask some more people I know who are prepping if they thought there is better possibility that an economic collapse is being delayed and/or potentially could be staved off.

One guy told me that fuel prices, food and other commodities costs are all holding steady. Interest rates still at historic lows, so he is optimistic that a collapse can be avoided. I reminded him that I, too, hope for the best, but still prepare for the worst.

Another person says it looks like the federal government is solving the funding problem, finding ways around sequestration and it is more likely some problems will be resolved even given the vast diferences between the two parties in power. I didn't even reply to this but I sure as hell thought "What planet are you living on?"

Here's my short list just on recent events that tell me different, that point to ignored problems and an increased likelyhood of a coming collapse,....and in fact the longer it is put off my sleight of hand programs, policies or artificial money coming into play, the bigger and deeper the collapse will be.

CNN Money is reporting that England's economy is falling back. The United Kingdom's debt has rating has been downgraded to 'AA+' from 'AAA', due to the lack of growth, annual deficit and growing debt - and no prognosis to get better. In fact, the prognosis for England is dim, with recesson appearing on the horizon.

Lack of Food. Here in the states we see several large cities with food banks for the truly needy about empty. I am not talking about the "welfare cheats" but the absolute desperate who rely on community food banks to eat.

Severe Environmental conditions in the U.S. with overall Exceptional Drought conditions and some places experiencing the worst drought in the last 100 years. The heartland is producing less and less food while the demand is greater and this of course is a recipe for increased prices. We have over 47 million Americans on food stamps with another estimated 12 to 15 million that are eligible. There is a huge government effort to get these people signed up. Regardless of how you see this program, the simple fact is that we can't afford it. To be sure there are some people who think we can afford it, and a host of other spending as well.

U.S Cities falling. Large and medium U.S. cities, such as Detroit MI, Dayton OH, Las Vegas NV, Fresno CA, Chicago IL, El Paso TX, Sanford FL, Newark NJ, Philadelphia PA and I am sure others are all facing one or more problems relating to deficit spending, increased local taxes, abandoned buildings, shrinking population (tax base), growing debt usual associated with decreased revenue and increased pension outlays, increased crime and violence which will increase yet because of por economic conditions and reduced law enforcement budgets.

Even after gun control legislation failed, all over the United States there is an ammunition shortage that is really unprecedented. From a couple of my geographically diverse friends, common calibers such as .22LR, 9mm, .38 Spl, .40 cal, .223, and .308 are practically impossible to buy. Other calibers like .300 Win Mag, 7mm, and .243 are available. There has been a reported shortage of 12 gauge buckshot, but slugs are still routinely available. BTW, keep your eyes and ears tuned for another round of anti-second amendment laws to be proposed.

On the precious metals market there has been panic buying of physical gold and silver, as China, Russia, India and others started increasing their physical gold purchase. Preppers are telling me that their local shops don't have Silver bullion. The main reliable precious metals has been silver coins for melt value. Prices will go up before the supply gets stabilized, if it does get stabilized. Buy it while you can.

The Possible Collapse scenario of terrorist strikes of a very significant nature or smaller terrorist strikes which would prompt widespread martial law are higher today than they were three weeks ago with the much publicized terr bombing at the Boston Marathon and the lesser publicized event at the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Watts Bar Nuclear Plant where a security guard had a chance contact with, and interdicted an armed trespasser who inserted by boat onto the property. Shots were fired, no casualties. Trespasser withdrew. All we all know that Islamic terrorists would like nothing more than to target U.S. Nuclear, conventional power and chemical plants with the emphasis being on chemical and nuclear due to their serious contamination issues.

All in all, I'd say that the collapse is much more likely now, and in fact, we just may be heading unimpeded to towards SHTF.  Don't be the ostrich who has it's head in the ground.