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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Under Attack: Depth of Federal Arms Race Should Surprise, Shock Citizenry

This is an article by Rob Nikolewski on published on 3 April 2014. There is no doubt that Federal, and even State and Local Law Enforcement agencies are getting better and more powerful armament, surveillance systems and training....this is often referred to "Militarization of the Police".   The threat, certainly in some cases, warrants an upgrade in equipment, tactics and overall capabilities, however, when coupled with an expansion of original powers or authorities, this can not only spell an out of control agency, but spins the population up as these examples of over reach of powers are highly publicized.   I just don't see the militarization of the police as a conspiratorial plan to implement population controls measures,...however the over reach of authority has me concerned.   


The number of law enforcement agents, such as these from the Environmental Protection Agency, have grown in recent years. In late February, four federal agents carrying side arms with a drug-sniffing dog descended on the Taos Ski Valley in what was called a “saturation patrol.” Authorities were working on tips of possible drug selling and impaired driving in the ski resort’s parking lot and surrounding area.

But the agents weren’t from the FBI, ATF or even the Drug Enforcement Administration. Rather, the agents represented the U.S. Forest Service.

“It’s one of the untold stories about government,” said former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, who lives in Taos, is an avid skier and has been a leading critic of the operation that turned up only a few minor infractions. “People don’t grasp the size and the scope of these entities and their law enforcement arms.”

It may come as a surprise to many U.S. taxpayers, but a slew of federal agencies — some whose responsibilities seem to have little to do with combating crime — carry active law enforcement operations.

Here’s a partial list:

•The U.S. Department of Education
•The Bureau of Land Management (200 uniformed law enforcement rangers and 70 special agents)
•The U.S. Department of the Interior
•The U.S. Postal Inspection Service (with an armed uniformed division of 1.000)
•The National Park Service (made up of NPS protection park rangers and U.S. Park Police officers that operate independently)
•The Environmental Protection Agency (200 special agents)
•The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (224 special agents)
•The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

That’s right, NOAA — the folks who forecast the weather, monitor the atmosphere and keep tabs on the oceans and waterways — has its own law enforcement division. It has a budget of $65 million and consists of 191 employees, including 96 special agents and 28 enforcement officers who carry weapons.

“There’s no question there’s been a proliferation of police units at the federal level,” said Tim Lynch, director of the Project On Criminal Justice for the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank based in Washington, D.C. “To me, it’s been a never-ending expansion, a natural progression, if you will, of these administrative agencies always asking for bigger budgets and a little bit more power.”

It’s been estimated the U.S. has some 25,000 sworn law enforcement officers in departments not traditionally associated with fighting crime. According to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, and in a tabulation compiled by the Wall Street Journal in 2011, 3,812 criminal investigators are working in areas other than the U.S. departments of Treasury, Justice, Defense and Homeland Security.

Lynch says it’s hard to tell how much money federal agencies spend on their respective law enforcement divisions.

“We need a fuller accounting of exactly how many police units have proliferated in the federal government and how much it’s costing taxpayers,” said Lynch, who said he would like to see members of Congress ask agency officials direct questions about budget and staffing.

The Wall Street Journal reported that, in 2008, agents armed with assault rifles from NOAA, along with officers from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, raided a businesswoman’s offices in Miami looking into charges that she was violating the Endangered Species Act by trading in coral.

“I felt like I was being busted for drugs, instead of coral,” Morgan Mok said afterward. “It was crazy.” Mok said she obtained the coral legally and eventually paid a $500 fine and served a year’s probation for failing to complete the proper paperwork.

Why is a law enforcement arm necessary at NOAA?

“NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement protects marine wildlife and habitat by enforcing domestic laws and international treaty requirements designed to ensure these global resources are available for future generations,” NOAA spokesman David Miller said in an email to New Mexico Watchdog, pointing out that the division has existed since 1970. “Our special agents and enforcement officers ensure compliance with the nation’s marine resource laws and take enforcement action when these laws are violated.”

As for the U.S. Forest Service, Special Agent Robin Poague defended the use of the agency’s law enforcement officers — called LEOs — in the Taos operation that resulted in harsh criticism from many residents.

“Rangers were armed when the Forest Service started 100 years ago,” Poague said. “We have a long history of law enforcement.”

Portions of the Taos Ski Valley sit on federal land. If there were suspicions of drug activity leading to the operation in February, why not use the DEA instead?

“U.S. Forest Service land is our primary responsibility, it’s not the DEA’s,” Poague told New Mexico Watchdog by telephone from his office in Albuquerque.

A Forest Service recruitment video says the agency employs about 700 law enforcement personnel. Poague said the service’s law enforcement division was created in 1994. But many other federal agencies established their own after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
In the aftermath of the attacks, the FBI shifted its attention to tackling terrorism, and Congress gave permanent powers to inspectors general in more than two dozen agencies. By last count, 25 agencies with law enforcement divisions fall under their respective offices of inspectors general. With their growth has come criticism that officers are becoming overly militarized. “The whole notion of police operations these days, that they’re dressed to kill, that they’re up against an enemy, is wrong,” Johnson said. “Citizens are not the enemy.”

In 2010, the Department of Education defended its purchase of 27 12-gauge shotguns to replace old firearms used by its Office of Inspector General, the law enforcement arm of the department. DoE said the guns were necessary to help combat “waste, fraud, abuse, and other criminal activity involving Federal education funds, programs and operations.”

A year later, DoE Office of Inspector General special agents raided a California home at 6 a.m. to apprehend a man the department said was involved in criminal activity. DoE officials did not say why the raid was conducted, releasing a statement that said, “the office conducts raids on issues such as bribery, fraud, and embezzlement of federal student aid funds.” “In these cases, it causes you to think, is this agency really necessary, is this unit really necessary,” Lynch said.

In an email to New Mexico Watchdog, a spokeswoman for the DoE Office of Inspector General — the department’s law enforcement arm — reported it has a staff of 260 members, 90 of which are criminal investigators. Its budget is $57.7 million for fiscal 2014.

Defenders of the agencies say armed law enforcement provides a deterrent and that agents need to be armed to protect themselves against potentially dangerous criminals. In fact, just last month a Forest Service ranger in North Carolina was shot and killed by a murder suspect, who also killed a police dog. On Jan. 1, 2012, a National Park ranger was shot and killed at Mount Rainier, in Washington state.

Reader Comments, posted on the original article:

I remember back when Paul Harvey said that we are going the way that the USSR used to be , and they are passing us going the way we used to be . The government is arming up to put down the citizenry when a major collapse comes about , I can't even know what it will be , but with what we see happening now has happen in other nations , and has had millions killed in the process our nation has been rather safe over the years and also no nation has lasted as long as ours , but there is coming a time when our own government will be against us , Nikita Khreschev beat his shoe on the podium at the UN in the 1950's and told us that the communists would take over our country from the inside , it appears that it is happening now , as Boobama was a registered communist in the 1990's , most of his Czars are communist in nature , most of the progressives in the Senate and House from both parties are communists , it is here and now and one day , the 3% or more will have to take up arms and fight the hoards of armed federal thugs that will kill us if we do not kill them first , it is not a question of if it will happen but when it will happen . Those of you who think I am full of crap just watch and stay out of the way , because when it starts you can count me in . Used to be a deputy have worked with Feds didn't like them then like them less now ., so I know where I am coming from . Be prepared and ready . Keep your powder dry .

The government is worried. They know military members and veterans and the American citizens are fed up with them. You can add up all these agencies members who carry weapons and it pales in comparison to the well armed American citizens who are now the largest heavily armed group in the world. Over 300 million private arms sales just since Obama took office that doesn't include the millions of firearms already in ownership prior to that time. Firearms and ammunition is still flying off the shelves. Manufacturers are working a backlog 24/7 trying to keep up with demand. The American public is sensing the approaching storm and are preparing in masse. This trend should be raising the hair on the necks of those who are without. America it seems, has become a volatile powder keg vulnerable to any spark.

You are right. we do have a very powerful military. However even after 12 years of B52 strikes, Spooky Gunships, millions of rounds of artillery and hundreds of millions rounds of small arms and tens of thousands of American soldiers wounded and killed, a handful of guys living in mud huts many with WWII era rifles are still giving them a run for their money. This is not an attack on our military, we have the best, the most honorable and dedicated and courageous guys in the world, it is a statement of commitment about the dedication of the guys fighting them. If only a handful, say one percent, of American firearm owners decided to fight for their rights under the constitution, that would be a standing force of one million defenders.

You can "haha" the thought of an armed confrontation in this country if you like, but I won't, because it would be a horrific event, a terrible ugly disaster for our nation. And for those not keeping up with this kind of constitutional discussion over the last few years regarding sending American troops against our own citizens, a large percentage of American soldiers, from privates to generals have already come out in saying they will not participate in attacks on American citizens.

I don't understand the big resistance many folks have to the idea of defending the constitution. The constitution does not just protect gun owners and constitutional patriots, it protects flag burners and radical left wing writers and all the folks who want to rip it up. You guys better think for a moment about how you would fare under a far right wing government, without the protection of the constitution.

Whether you can see it or not, the continuous militarization of federal agencies is not something you should want to see. Think of it in the terms from above. Would you be happy with federal forces SWAT busting your doors down under a right wing government after you attended a left wing book signing event? Because that is the position you would put yourself in with this kind of power wielded by whatever party the wind blows into power.

I believe this will all come to a head soon. The only reason these armed groups exist is the federal or feral government can afford them. Obama has spent us into a massive depression and when our economy collapses we will most likely lose our position as the worlds reserve currency. When that happens the Federal Reserve Bank loses it privilege to print currency. The feral government will be broke and cannot print money. Obama has spent everything he could and taxed businesses to the point of no recovery so business can't rescue the government. Any payments that are received will all go to interest on the national debt. All the black nylon and Kevlar want-to be soldiers will be without funding and disappear.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Protect Yourself Against Financial Collapse

In the last article I posted - the excellent article by Bob Rinear, titled "Disaster - Dealing With It, published on the International Forecaster, I hope the readers keyed on Bob's rhetorical question: "Lets suppose we do get some form of economic implosion that takes down the economic infrastructure. A few weeks of no banks, no credit cards working, no ATM’s, no way to buy anything…. And it’s nation wide. It isn’t localized. How well would you fare?

Well? How well would you fare? While food stocks, water sources, the ability to protect yourself - meaning firearms, a defensive plan and above all a PLAN are all important, I certainly think that holding cash on hand, plus silver and gold bullion is a vital component of any plan.

I have compiled two very good articles below. The first is a series of questions for, and answers from the Deviant Investor, concerning gold and silver. I have only posted the Q&A dealing outside of market forces and that Wall Street mumbo jumbo. The Deviant Investor article was posted on 8 April 2014 and available in it's full length here.

Q: “I see nothing but trouble in the financial and political world. I see potential war in the Middle-East, in the Ukraine, in the South China Sea, and maybe elsewhere. I see morons in high places doing silly things. I see bankers printing their currencies to excess, as in uncharted territory excess, and I can’t see how this will end well for anyone, even the upper 1% of the political and financial elite. I want to buy gold and hunker down, but I also know that gold prices are manipulated, controlled, and capped, so why should I buy gold?”

A: I think it is important to remember that the powers-that-be (PTB) have been mismanaging the world for a long time, we are still here, the sun still shines, and gold has retained its value for several millennia. If the manipulation were overwhelmingly powerful, why is gold selling for about $1,300 instead of $300 like it was 12 years ago? The answer is, in my opinion, that the PTB know the dollar is going down and gold is going up, probably a long way up, but the PTB want to manage the dollar’s devaluation, not let the devaluation get out of hand, and they need to keep the game of financial musical chairs playing while they “get theirs.” Buy gold and ignore the daily, weekly, and monthly shenanigans in the markets.

Q: “I think silver is a better value than gold. I think gold is going up and silver is going up even more. I’m selling my gold and buying silver. What do you think of that plan?”

A: I think, as of today, silver will appreciate much more than gold and so you are probably correct. But things change, and I like the safety and security of gold also. Balance is good.

Q: “I’m putting my trust in God and my money in 3 month Treasuries. I think you should also. Go ahead, admit it, you are a bit jealous.”

A: I’ll pass on the Treasuries. I’m not jealous. I put my faith and trust in God and Gold. It works for many people.

And another good (but long) article from Gold Silver Worlds titled: "Monetary Insurance: Protect With Physical Silver Against The Financial Winter."

UrbanMan's note: I would have replaced the words Financial Winter with Financial Collapse.

As part of our research to unveil the best tactics and strategies to protect against the upcoming tsunami in monetary and financial markets, we have reached out to Charles Savoie, author and researcher, with a tremendous knowledge of precious metals history. Our question was how individuals and small investors can best protect during the hard times that are coming, which will most likely be characterized as turmoil and collapses (of all sorts of assets, including currencies, around the world).

Charles Savoie wrote a very useful document for our readers. It is entitled “The Best Monetary Insurance”, counts 38 pages, and is a mix of practical tips embedded in an historical context. The key message of Mr. Savoie is to hold enough silver in physical form, ideally a mix of formats, but for sure silver dimes.

In this article, we highlight the most actionable tips and tactics. The full document is embedded at the bottom, it can also be downloaded.

Visit Mr. Savoie his two websites: and He offers all this information as a free service to the public.

Silver has historically played an important role. It has been money, but, more than anything else, a metal of the elites. Consider this:

U.S. Congress knew silver to be more valuable in regard to gold than the present bullion banking fiends. And Congress knew it nine generations ago! For details, see Senate document number 67 of the first session of the 73rd Congress, “Elementary Facts Bearing On The Silver Question” by Joel F. Vaile” (50 page document, 1896). Today the reality ratio of silver to gold may have fallen to 9, due to depletion of minable silver (The U.S. Geological Survey concurs) and even more so, the evanescence of above surface inventories. Ratios of silver to gold such as the approximate 64 to 1 of late March 2014 are illusory. But the real impact is that silver is a better buy than gold.

The best monetary insurance you can have is 90% silver dimes 1964 and earlier. Many gold bugs readily admit silver to be more depressed than gold. Ted Butler stated long ago that not even gold has a users association. The fact of the existence of this group is another of many proofs that synthetic money creators hate and fear silver even more than their loathing for gold. The Silver Users Association started out as the Silver Users Emergency Committee in World War II and in 1947 was renamed the Silver Users Association. Directors of SUA companies, especially the biggest silver users, are also since that time, directors of megabanks. 90% U.S. coins, historic money, facilitated many billions of transactions during their long history spanning many generations. Inasmuch as silver is so depressed relative to gold, personally, I advocate owning little or no gold; unless the investor cannot acquire silver. This is not disdain for gold, but more so, advocacy for acquiring the interest with higher potential. Silver can be swapped for gold at a later time if the ratio tilts to overvalue silver versus gold. Why buy 1 ounce of gold today versus 60+ silver ounces, when you may be able later on to swap those 60 + silver ounces for over 5 gold ounces?

UrbanMan's Comment: 90% silver coins are good to have but only part of the equation. I would also recommend silver bullion - once silver rounds as well as some smaller denomination gold coins such as 1/10th and 1/4th ounce gold bullion coins.

A silver dime at the mints started out with a content of .0723 oz silver (4 digits is enough!) Due to average circulated wear, the business typically uses the figure of .0715 ounce contained silver. You will be able to tell the difference from a dime with no wear and a dime with light wear and more so, a heavily worn dime. I feel that very worn dimes are better melted, except for collectors seeking an inexpensive “cull” or “filler” coin for a key date and mint mark. When you buy dimes, you’re unlikely to get any with 89.24% silver, which were minted from 1796 to 1837. The clear advantage of Mercury dimes over Roosevelt is guaranteed identification of purity with no check of the date nor glance at the rim to look for telltale copper insides. Silver coins have a surprisingly large variation in surface tone, and you can’t always rely on telling the surface tone of a cupronickel (sandwich dime, 1965 and later) from a silver dime. Of course, proof silver dimes (1992-2009) can be found in dates beyond the fabled 1964 date. These are good buys generally only if you chance to come by some in a batch of mixed date dimes, in which case, they won’t be proof anymore, but will very likely stand way out due to newness and absence of wear.

I am not saying buy silver dimes, and no other silver. I have all types except the 1,000 ounce ingots, which you can anticipate having to have assayed if you have these and decide to sell. Unless you’re a larger investor and have intentions of using metal to buy land, stick with smaller units. Having smaller units wouldn’t preclude their use in buying land; smaller units are more “maneuverable” as to utility in purchases.

If dimes aren’t available, try for quarters. It mostly comes down to two considerations. One, the 90% coins haven’t been minted now for an entire half century—they get scarcer by the day, as some of these are always being smelted into bullion with silver scrap at refineries, and being melted in jewelers crucibles with some three-niner, in a proportion to yield .925 Sterling jewelry and Two, the silver dime is the most divisible, or the most fractionated, form of silver. You can go buy a 100 ounce silver bar. However, you can instead go for the same amount of silver, approximately, in 90% dimes. This equates to almost exactly 1,400 dimes (28 rolls of 50 coins) at the .0715 figure. In most cases, dealers have allowed me to cherry pick the dimes I wanted and the methodology I used was as follows.

Tip: Avoid damaged coins

Never buy coins with damage such as hole drilled, bent, clipped, etched (vandalized) or shaved rims. There’s the inevitable coin with red nail polish, best avoided. While date and mint mark checking is usually only practical in over the counter situations, and is unlikely to turn up anything of outstanding scarcity, it could help you in terms of being able to assemble some starter sets for sale to numismatic collectors. So while you aren’t paying numismatic prices, you will be getting some numismatic values, as long as people want to collect coin series as a hobby or business. It pays to print out a list of these mint issues and be familiar with them.

Tip: Avoid high premiums

You can buy .999 silver as half, quarter, and tenth of an ounce rounds. There is nothing wrong with these items. However, know two things—the collectible value will remain less, and when you buy 90% coin, you aren’t paying for any manufacturing or minting premium. You will pay such premiums with the smaller three-niners. Seven dimes in nearly all cases can be considered a touch more than a half ounce of silver; and 14 dimes a full ounce. In terms of how much silver is out there as separate items each weighing less than one ounce, definitely at this time, there is more 90% coin than these newer bullion items.

If your silver consists entirely of three and four-niner bullion—stop! Buy some dimes, or trade bullion for some dimes. These 90% coins—in all denominations—are increasingly hard to source. More investors have caught on that whereas these coins are a half century and older, and the supply is constantly shrinking; bullion silver will be produced as long as mining and scrap can supply silver. The 90% silver, though not industrially pure as is, is nonetheless the scarcer form of silver. If buying on E-Bay, do avoid dealers with less than very high positive feedback. Be fairly quiet about your holdings—no boasting to anyone. Keep these precious items in several scattered, and unpredictable—locations. If a thief finds one cache, hopefully the others will be missed.

Tip: Where and how to store your bullion

If you don’t have a vault or safe, and plan to obtain one, you may consider paying cash, for clear reasons you can imagine yourself. If it needs to be delivered and installed, arrange to have someone photograph the delivery personnel and the vehicle, from several views. When my vaults were delivered to an off-site location I have, I remarked as they were finishing, “Now if I only had something worthwhile to store in them;” I then indicated I expected to inherit an antique gun collection in several years. It never hurts to be careful. Read “The Art Of War” by Sun-Tzu. Many major military blunders, costing so many lives. As always, check ratings first, and buy from the source with the best ratings.

There’s always the steel vault and loaded gun approach—which are quite reasonable. I advise going on EBay and buying some cheap synthetic rubies. Then, you make up a phony gemological appraisal showing a stone is worth lots of money. Next, you place these in a jewelry box (unlocked) on top of a dresser. A thief would think he’s got a real haul, and maybe decide to stop searching. I suggest printing out articles making fun of silver as investment, and leaving these where you think it might mislead someone. If you use a keypad operated vault, consider acquiring a solar battery recharger and in case the power grid fails and the stores close. If you find your battery operated keypad fails due to battery exhaustion, this device will solve the problem of accessing your money metal. Be sure you’re using compatible batteries in the first place; they must be a size that matches the recharger, and must be rechargeable batteries. Keep backup batteries in a climate controlled environment where they’ll last longer. Cover any vault/safe with a tarp or other use of drapery, such as a decorative item—even a Mexican style multicolored serape or even plain canvas. Whenever possible, place any type of objects of low value on top, around and in front of the safe.

Tip: Check what you are buying

Never buy a bag, half bag, quarter bag or tenth of a bag in a shop without first having it opened up and spread out, unless you have a long trust relationship with the dealer. Paper rolls, more than plastic tube rolls, should be checked. You aren’t accusing the dealer of dishonesty, you are verifying contents, because errors can happen on anyone’s part. Eventually, due to real variations in silver weight in bags, these will have to be sold by actual weight rather than by face value times a factor! Check ratings of Internet sellers before buying. Many unfortunates out there are stressed out due to the Tulving fiasco. I consider the 40% Kennedy halves (1965-1970) a poor choice as long as 90% is available. The war nickel series, 1942-1945, contains even less silver, at 35% but is a better buy, weight for weight, if similar rates for contained silver are offered. Those nickels are more historic.

In closing, Charles Savoie says: “The suppression of the silver price is the most nagging and pestilential problem in world monetary history.”

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Disaster,.....Collapse,.......Dealing With It

An article by Bob Rinear, titled "Disaster - Dealing With It, published on the International Forecaster. Pretty good article from a financial analyst. The value in an article like this is for the survival-collapse preparation aspect to be coming from a financial guy as opposed to some guy in camouflage fatigues. In this way it is much more palatable to the average guy.

Disaster.   It is a word used to describe a multitude of situations, such as an airplane crash, a mudslide, a hurricane, a mass shooting, biological hazards, Earthquakes, Volcano’s, drought, floods, Tidal waves, Industrial accidents… the list goes on and on. Interestingly if you scan the “response” web sites, you never see anything about a disaster as being economic in nature. Yet I assure you, the proper economic “implosion” will be a disaster just as threatening if not more so, then most of the other items listed.

I don’t know how many of you have come through a situation such as Hurricane Katrina or more recently “Super storm” Sandy. But if you did, you know what a physical disaster can do. When Sandy hit landfall in New Jersey, it just happened to “ground zero” in the Little Egg Harbor Inlet, which was just 3 miles straight across the bay from my house. Our little town was completely devastated. Dozens of homes simply gone, hundreds ruined beyond repair. The following two weeks were not easy to deal with. No power, no water, no cell phones, no gas stations…it was tough. It was the first week of November. It was cold. Thousands were homeless. It is something I shall never forget.

Yet we also knew that if you could just get inland a few miles, things were okay. There was food and water and “heat” and for the most part “normalcy”. The storm was a localized event. Help was just a little ways away. Now compare that to a nationwide situation and you come to an ugly conclusion. There’s no place to run. Every place is in the same boat as you. Help isn’t on the way.

Let suppose we do get some form of economic implosion that takes down the economic infrastructure. A few weeks of no banks, no credit cards working, no ATM’s, no way to buy anything…. And it’s nation wide. It isn’t localized. How well would you fare? In the past several issues we’ve discussed the idea of having cash on hand. We’ve discussed having some gold and silver on hand. But what about hard goods? What about protecting yourself? What about basic survival implements? Here’s my guess…..most of you don’t have any plan, and I understand that. We’ve all given up the idea of self sufficiency in this “reliant on others” economy. We rely on the gas company and electric company and banking company and grocery company, etc etc. Well, my Sandy experience taught me in real terms that when we rely on these things, and they aren’t functioning…things go to hell in a handbasket quickly.

The “good part” of an economically based disaster, if anything at that point could be considered good is that even if there’s no food, water or electric, you should still have a place of residence. It isn’t like a tsunami that knocked down your home or apartment.

So, a large part of the equation you don’t have to worry about because you still have shelter. But, here’s the question. How well can you live in that shelter? Will you have heat? Food? Water? Medicine? Then there’s a more disturbing question. If someone that doesn’t have food or water decides they want to come take yours… can you stop them?

You have to decide for yourself as to what level of prepared you’re willing to do based on the size and scope of an emergency. I personally think that every person that lives in a detached stand alone home should have some basics of survival, which includes some water storage, some fuel for a generator, something to cook on such as a propane grill, or a campstove, matches, flashlights, candles, first aid kit, LifeStraw water filter, Inverter, canned goods, dry goods, etc etc. These are just the bare necessities to get past say a storm outage or what have you. From there however, the options are quite limitless.

Let us imagine that we get a derivative cascade that ripples around the globe, so banks shut down to stop the hemmorage, and commerce ceases for a while. With “luck” the government will force electric and water companies to continue to provide, so for at least a time we could all have electric and water and the biggest concern would be food.

Do you at least have enough “in home” to get you past say 3 weeks of no grocery store, or no way to pay? Probably not. You’ll need to fix that and it’s easy. Between canned goods and dry goods, it is simple to stock up 3 weeks worth of enough edibles to get you by. Store it properly and resist the urge to use it in your weekly food preparation and you’re gold.

On the other hand, a true Mad Max scenario, where the grid is attacked, the banks shut down, and no relief in sight for months, is a whole different animal. Very few are prepared for anything even remotely close to that situation and that includes me. While I understand the chances that it could happen, I have consciously decided to avoid it in my mind. I don’t want to go there. That could end up being a very bad choice on my part, but again I simply wish not to allow a worst case scenario in my head. For right or wrong, it is where I stand. I want to be prepared for a bad scenario that lasts up to a few months. Not a whole new lifetime of trouble.

The one thing I do want to stress however is this: History shows us that the people who have not prepared, will seek out those who have prepared and try and take it. On any given day in any state in any city, there’s armed robberies, car thefts, purse snatches, murders, you name it. This is while everything is running, EBT cards are being charged up, the stores have food, the lights are on, etc etc. You can only imagine how much escalation there’d be concerning assault and robbery if things got ugly for a while.

You can look on line and find tons and tons of articles concerning how to prepare for an emergency. There’s tens of thousands of them discussing the things we just talked about such as stocking flashlights and water. But the field narrows considerably when you’re talking about personal protection, and home defense in a bad situation.

Main stream media doesn’t talk about such things, they aren’t allowed and besides the main stream medial doesn’t think you should have the ability to defend yourself in the first place.

I tend to think however that taking care of your immediate family is the most important thing you can do. If someone is going to try and harm me or my wife because we have prepared a bit for a bad situation and they didn’t and therefore they want to take ours, there’s going to be a problem. But trust me on this one folks, this opens a big can of worms, a can you probably never thought about.

Suppose something pretty big hits. Judging by the severity you figure that it could take a month or two before we get even close to barely back to normal. In the first week not too much goes on, people seem to be “okay” but have that panicked look. A few days later you “feel” that more folks are having problems. Then you get that first knock on the door. It’s a neighbor from 4 houses down. They want to know if you’ve got any food around because their 10 year old is getting hungry. First question is… how did they assume you had food? Right there is a MAJOR MISTAKE folks. You cannot allow anyone to know that you have prepared.

The second word gets out that you have food and/or water or what have you, people will flock to your house. At first it would be civil, asking for a hand out. But eventually “they’d come”. The people who left civility behind and will take what they can through any means they have. So, believe it or not, one of the single most important things I can say to you all is this. Don’t let anyone suspect you’ve got “stuff”. If your neighbors are already out of food because they didn’t stock up and their pantry’s empty, don’t make the mistake of cooking up a couple freeze dried steaks on the grill. They’re going to come. They’re going to beg. And what are you going to do? Even if you hand out a little because they’re “friends”, they’ll be back for more. They’ll tell their friends.

Then what?

You don’t want to fall into that mess. So while I can imagine that the first thing you thought of when I mentioned personal home defense was that I’d instantly jump on the gun situation and what to buy and what kind of ammo, and how to set a perimeter…’re wrong. The very first line of defense is to ACT LIKE EVERYONE ELSE. You want to look hungry. You want to complain, and act nervous. You want to act scared.

If you study real world survival, in the hell holes around the globe, one thing stands out, but no one seems to notice. The people that get robbed, beaten, broken into, ravaged, etc.. are the people that display that they are different from the starving masses. Mobs don’t’ attack themselves. They attack those they perceive to “have” things. It is the number one mistake and it ALWAYS leads to big problems.

So, here’s job one in protecting your home and your family in a serious multi week, or couple month long disaster situation. Keep the secret. Your food should be stored in the dark, never displayed. Prepare it indoors with shades closed. Every instance of eating or drinking should be done behind closed doors. You should interact with the neighbors as much as everyone else does, but make sure they understand that you’re in the same boat as them. You have no food, you have no water, you’re hungry and worried too.

The underground communications network is quite effective. Even if the people nearest you would “never” do anything wrong, they talk to people who talk to people who talk to people. Somewhere down the line, someone will learn that you’ve got stuff. The message you want sent down the line is that “no one on Smith Street has squat, they’re all looking too”.

As long as you appear to be in the same ugly boat as everyone else, you’ve cut your chances of being a target by well over 50%. That’s a great risk reduction in any investment, And it is one that you need to seriously focus on. Remember last week we were discussing having a few grand in cash “on hand”? Well don’t let it slip that you don’t care that the ATM’s are down, because you’ve got some money “stored up”. Big mistake.

Someone will come looking for it. Don’t show off your half a garage full of food stuffs to your neighbor Tom. Tom’s a great guy and all, but Tom told Joe at work about you and how well you’ve prepared for a rainy day. Tom was really impressed. But, Joe however is out on a work release program for theft. Joe now knows where you live. See my point?

This holds true for EVERYTHING folks. Guns, ammo, food, water, money, silver, gold, Medicine, prescription drugs, the whole gambit. Do NOT let people know about any of it. In the “good times” we like to share with people, we’re the social media generation.

We like to express our good fortune. Well, telling 10 people at the water cooler that you’ve got a “fine collection of weapons” because your proud of your collection, just insures that one day you’ll come home and they’re gone. Imagine how fast they’d be coming for them in a disaster period?

In the good times we all like to show off our homes. We make it nice and pretty, and keep the shrubs trimmed and lawn cut. But in dark times, the house that doesn’t get robbed or invaded is the one with an overgrown lawn, a knocked down bird fountain, and a hand painted sign in the yard that says “will work for food”. I’m sure you understand my point. Do not draw attention to yourself. Not your home, not your mannerisms. Blend in; look worse off than those with bad intentions.

That is the first step in surviving a bad time if indeed you have no place to “bug out” to and have to stay where you are. I’ll sprinkle in some more home defense/personal defense articles as we work our way through this crazy economy.

Friday, April 11, 2014

More Comments and Debate on the AK-47 versus the AR-15 as a SHTF Gun

I received a couple more comments/e-mails from readers expressing their opinions on the better of the two rifles/carbines for the gun to have for the collapse.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "AK-47 versus the AR-15 as a SHTF Gun": "Wow! Have been putting together AR variants for 3 yrs now and have a hybrid BCM/LMT carbine in 5.56. This after years of owning a Norinco MAK 90 and "reconfiguring" Saiga IZ132 back to true AK form. Either AK variant or my AR will do. The civilian AK variant is NOT all 100% reliable (WASRS have proven that) and good ARs rarely "jam"( 2,300 rds through my BCM M4 style upper with SOCOM barrel and M16 bolt carrier-no hiccup or malfunction). For home defense or bug out to a safer community/ area, either will suit your needs. A realistic SHTF is a fast pandemic or katrina style disaster, where the government is crippled for several weeks, and the usual opportunists come out of their dung heaps! I don't believe in mad max gum battles (the idea of prepping for a disaster is survival, not playing "last man standing"-anyone preaching that mindset is DEAD during a disaster). If you need a long gun until Rule of Law is re-established, buying either an AK or AR/M4 clone will do. Lets leave the 400m + kill zone views to our troops who have to do it. Engaging past 100 ft isn't "self defense" or fighting for survival post disaster. "

UrbanMan's comment: The above comment was very sound. My take away is that the man behind the gun and his planning is as or more important. I somewhat agree with your 400 meter - 100 meter analogy. However, there are circumstances where engaging out an extended distances would make sense such there being two of you and a large group is approaching your cabin or structure. If it was unavoidable that this group closes with your cabin, and undeniable that your lives are in danger, why wouldn't you engage at an effective range rather than wait until this group closes with you, spreads out and makes it much more difficult to engage?

Neal dropped me an e-mail with his observations: "I have no problem with people who want to own an AK or a clone, but the man who has an AR (I have two Rock River M4 clones) is much better prepared for all contingencies especially living in a big city with all the crazies going bonkers when they can't find any food. I think you are doing people a disservice by recommending anything but an AR, apologies to those of you who have 7.62 AR's but 5.56mm is much easier to find and easier to carry. Right now I live in the city and drive a truck on a city route making deliveries. I always carry my Glock without my supervisors knowing cause I'd get fired. My wife is finishing up a nursing program and we'll move to whether she can get a job. But right now our plan is immediately leave our apartments each carrying an M4 and Glock, with our battle rattle and bug out bags, then go down the stairs of our apartment to the parking basement to access our car. She is going to drive and I'll be in the back seat to I can shoot out both sides. We have about 16 blocks to go to get into a non residential area then into the country. We're not waiting around at all. All of you who own AK's would go much better with an M-4 like my city situation."

UrbanMan's comment: Neal, I don't think I have "recommended" AK's. My focus is on regular people just getting better prepared for the collapse whether it comes from the dollar tanking, an EMP attack, a great depression or even zombies! Most people are just not going to go out and buy what they think are Military Weapons. I think a family who has a bolt gun, a shotgun and maybe a .22 pistol or whatever they have, can get the rest of their preps up considering food, water, necessary survival gear, shelter and defenses, and above all, a plan that covers the Bug Out. I applaud you on the plan you have leaving your apartment and getting out of the city at first chance. Maybe you and your wife and did a couple weaponless rehearsals, clearing hallways, stairs and basement. And what happens if getting to your vehicle is not viable or that vehicle craps out? Consider a plan to move on foot to another location whether it is a defensible short term hole up and/or a place to procure another vehicle.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Government Martial Law Exercise Exposing Post Collapse Plans

I received two e-mails from individuals worried about a Homeland Security and Department of Defense exercise involving martial law and targeting "anti-government patriots". Nobody sent me a link so I actually had to do some research, ha ha, which only involved calling a government buddy of mine who sent me a link to on an article written by Paul Joseph Watson with the title: "Homeland Security Exercise Targets “Free Americans Against Socialist Tyranny”.

This is not spinning me up. The government can plan and theorize all they want,...martial law is going to fail, even in the "gun free" zones they have established in Detroit, Washington D.C., Chicago and Connecticut. But, just like Fox News, we'll post the info and let the reader sort it out and make their own determinations.

Homeland Security Exercise Targets “Free Americans Against Socialist Tyranny

Watson states that leaked Homeland Security documents obtained by Infowars reveal details of a joint DHS/FEMA national exercise set to take place this week (24-29 March 2014) and one of the components of (this exercise) revolves around an effort to counter online dissent by a group called “Free Americans Against Socialist Tyranny,” which is disgruntled at the imposition of martial law after an earthquake in Alaska.

UrbanMan's note: The title "Free Americans Against Socialist Tyranny" brings up mental images of cammie clad, rifle toting gents slinking about a government facility in order to effect some type of sabotage or ambush. However, the key pretend threat group for this exercise is a anti-authority, anti-government group who uses on-line ventures to conduct cyber type propaganda and may try to cyber attacking of the defense network including the NORAD grid.

Watson says that the (government exercise) document again underscores the federal government’s obsession with characterizing libertarians and conservatives as some kind of extremist radical threat.

The (exercise) document (PDF) was leaked by an individual affiliated with Stewart Rhodes’ Oathkeepers organization and passed on to Infowars. It is entitled National Exercise Program – Capstone Exercise 2014 – Scenario Ground Truth.

The document is intended for “U.S. Department of Homeland Security Trusted Agents Only” and is “disseminated only on a need-to-know basis.” Even the role players involved in the exercise itself are prohibited from seeing the files.

The exercise is designed to evaluate readiness in preparation for a catastrophic incident, natural disaster or major act of terrorism. Some of the scenarios which will be in play during the exercise include a series of earthquakes, tsunamis and a nuclear weapons accident.

On page 125 of the document, a scenario is outlined whereby a group calling itself “Free Americans against Socialist Tyranny” responds to “The U.S. Northern Command mission of Defense Support to Civil Authorities” (or the imposition of martial law) by launching a protest campaign on social media and potentially engaging in cyber attacks.

According to the scenario, the campaign is driven by suspicion that “the government is responsible for the Alaska earthquake and a “hacktivist” manifesto.”

And we they wonder why we view the government as the enemy. This only feeds the beast.

Another link: DHS-FEMA-National-Exercise-Program-Capstone-Exercise-2014-Scenario

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Domino Effect of EMP - Catalyst for Complete Collapse

This is an article by Bill White from The International Forecaster. I would have called the article "EMP is Forever". An EMP catalyst to the collapse is a viable threat, much easier executed by terrorist groups or enemy nations than people think. Nuclear devices coming into the sea ports could do it.

What are our counter measures or preparedness steps for EMP? Essentially the same as getting ready for any other collapse mechanism. Shelter, food, water and security and all the little drab, meticulous steps we need to take to ensure those vital and main areas are covered.

One neglected aspect to preparing for the collapse may be the initial steps we need to take, a checklist if you will, for those first couple of days when the collapse is beginning but it is not yet widely believed. Cash on hand and small denomination silver and gold are going to necessary to purchase or barter for last minute items when the banks and ATM's shut down.

Having some type of power generation, and not solely relying on fuel generators, is a good and really necessary idea. This means solar panels and wind mills for the most part. Having the ability to recharge batteries, store power in deep cycle batteries is going to be huge in a collapse, especially a long term collapse.

The long term side of things has to be focused on how are we going to feed ourselves once our stocked food is gone? We simply have to have the skills and material to grow our own food. That means skills, tools and seeds. Anyway, enough from me, read this excellent article from Bill White.

The Domino Effect of EMP, by Bill White

Of all the myriad of different disasters that could strike the United States, an EMP would be one of the most devastating. Our modern society depends so much upon electronics, as well as the computers that run just about anything.

Very little of this is protected from the effects of EMP, including the power grid that we need to run it all. It is even questionable whether our nuclear power plants could survive an EMP, without the possibility of catastrophe.

The United States has many enemies around the world, some of whom have blatantly declared their desire to destroy us. While not all of these countries have the capability of shooting a nuclear device into the stratosphere, in order to create an EMP over the United States, some do. What technology our enemies don’t have could easily be bought on the world market.

How It Starts

In the first few moments, the effects of an EMP will be just like a power outage. Actually, most people won’t be able to tell the difference between an EMP and any other power outage. There is no obvious sign that an EMP has occurred, other than the loss of power. In fact, most of the power generating stations and other services won’t even recognize what had happened, instead thinking that the problems they were experiencing were localized.

The first hours to a day of any EMP will look to everyone just as if they were having a regional blackout. People will be surprised to see that their whole city is blacked out, rather than just their neighborhood. They’ll probably speculate about what has happened, but few will think of suggesting an EMP.

With the power out, a number of things we all depend upon will stop working immediately. Most stores won’t be able to sell their merchandise, as their computerized cash registers won’t work. Gas stations won’t be able to pump gas and traffic lights will go out. City water will probably still flow for that first day, as most cities have water towers to store water for high usage times and maintain water pressure.

Nobody is going to realize that anything more major than a localized power outage is going on, because communications will break down. At the beginning everyone from individuals to state governments will deal with the problem as if it is a localized problem.

It will probably take the better part of a day for the government to verify that an EMP had occurred and several days for them to get the word out, as all means of communications will be down.

Many hospitals and other critical operations will be able to continue functioning for at least a week, as they almost always have backup diesel generators with enough fuel storage to keep them operating for at least a week. Although the electronic controls to automatically switch on the generators won’t be functional, the manual controls will be. Of course, the electronic equipment in the hospital, which doctors depend on so much, won’t be working.

When the Panic Attacks

The panic probably won’t start until the second or third day. The first sign of that panic will be a run on the stores. Actually, we’ll probably see a two wave run on the stores.

The first wave will happen within a couple of hours of losing power, as people run to the store for flashlights, batteries and candles. The second wave will happen once they realize that things aren’t going to get better quickly and try to buy all the food, water and survival supplies they can.

As most people won’t have cash to use in the stores, being used to using credit and debit cards, they will steak what they want, causing riots and violence in the stores.

Stores will attempt to lock their doors to keep people out, but looters will break the glass in the doors and windows, stealing what they want.

This will start with food stores and quickly spread to liquor stores, pharmacies, hardware stores and sporting goods stores. Within a few days, widespread looting will become commonplace, with no stores being safe.

By the end of the first week the news will have spread throughout the country that we have been the victim of an EMP. This will cause fear, as people misunderstand what has happened and wonder what will happen next. Companies will be shut down “temporarily” as it will be impossible for most people to work. This will begin to create concern as well, as people won’t be earning money.

Without the ability to pump gas our distribution networks will break down. This will cause widespread shortages, most especially of food. About the only food that will be available will be what people have on hand and what is produced locally. Even local produce will be limited, as there won’t be fuel available to get it to market.

When people’s food stocks start running out, we’ll see the next wave of violence. This one will start as public protests, but turn into mob violence. People will want someone to blame for their problems and will seek out those that they can accuse. Anyone could end up a victim, but the most likely are politicians, business owners and the wealthy; people who would normally be in a position to do something about the problem.

The fact that they are impotent to do anything won’t make a difference. By this point, we’ll see a general breakdown of society.

The End of the Society As We Know It

Most people will be unable to work and earn a living. Even if they could, they won’t be able to buy the things they need. People will have to turn to survival mode, seeking out what they can do to survive.

Those who are prepared will hunker down, trying to make the best of the situation and avoid drawing attention to themselves. Some others will turn to violence, seeking to steal what they need. The vast majority of people will sink into a quiet desperation, trying to find out a living in any way possible.

The EMP will not only cause a collapse of society, but a financial collapse as well. A huge portion of the population will be out of work. Everyone’s money will be frozen, as there won’t be any way to get to it. The small amount of currency that is available in the open market will quickly fall away to bartering, as people try to get what they need. Many will die, either of starvation or freezing to death when they can’t heat their homes.

Recovering from the effects of an EMP will be a long, drawn out affair, lasting years. It won’t be possible to rebuild the electrical grid quickly, as the suppliers for the equipment will be unable to work without power. Rebuilding will require replacing and reconstructing an enormous amount of equipment. In the time that the electrical grid is being rebuilt, people will gradually find other ways of doing things which don’t require electrical power or electrical energy.

Although repairs to the electrical grid will probably be completed in three to four years, the country as a whole will be set back by decades. People won’t be able to just pick their lives up where they left off, as much of what they did before will no longer exist. New companies will have to be started and people will have to find new ways to live their lives. The effects of an EMP would be with us for the rest of our lives.