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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Urban Survival - NIA's 12 Warning Signs of Hyper-Inflation

Here are NIA's top 12 warning signs that hyperinflation is about to occur:

1) The Federal Reserve is Buying 70% of U.S. Treasuries. The Federal Reserve has been buying 70% of all new U.S. treasury debt. Up until this year, the U.S. has been successful at exporting most of its inflation to the rest of the world, which is hoarding huge amounts of U.S. dollar reserves due to the U.S. dollar's status as the world's reserve currency. In recent months, foreign central bank purchases of U.S. treasuries have declined from 50% down to 30%, and Federal Reserve purchases have increased from 10% up to 70%. This means U.S. government deficit spending is now directly leading to U.S. inflation that will destroy the standard of living for all Americans.
UrbanMan's comment: This is like using one credit card to pay the bill of another. Unsustainable and leads the country to the brink of the dollar collapse.

2) The Private Sector Has Stopped Purchasing U.S. Treasuries. The U.S. private sector was previously a buyer of 30% of U.S. government bonds sold. Today, the U.S. private sector has stopped buying U.S. treasuries and is dumping government debt. The Pimco Total Return Fund was recently the single largest private sector owner of U.S. government bonds, but has just reduced its U.S. treasury holdings down to zero. Although during the financial panic of 2008, investors purchased government bonds as a safe haven, during all future panics we believe precious metals will be the new safe haven.

3) China Moving Away from U.S. Dollar as Reserve Currency. The U.S. dollar became the world's reserve currency because it was backed by gold and the U.S. had the world's largest manufacturing base. Today, the U.S. dollar is no longer backed by gold and China has the world's largest manufacturing base. There is no reason for the world to continue to transact products and commodities in U.S. dollars, when most of everything the world consumes is now produced in China. China has been taking steps to position the yuan to be the world's new reserve currency.

4) Japan to Begin Dumping U.S. Treasuries. Japan is the second largest holder of U.S. treasury securities with $885.9 billion in U.S. dollar reserves. Although China has reduced their U.S. treasury holdings for three straight months, Japan has increased their U.S. treasury holdings seven months in a row. Japan is the country that has been the most consistent at buying our debt for the past year, but that is about the change. Japan is likely going to have to spend $300 billion over the next year to rebuild parts of their country that were destroyed by the recent earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster, and NIA believes their U.S. dollar reserves will be the most likely source of this funding. This will come at the worst possible time for the U.S., which needs Japan to increase their purchases of U.S. treasuries in order to fund our record budget deficits.

5) The Fed Funds Rate Remains Near Zero. The Federal Reserve has held the Fed Funds Rate at 0.00-0.25% since December 16th, 2008, a period of over 27 months. This is unprecedented and NIA believes the world is now flooded with excess liquidity of U.S. dollars.

NIA believes gold, and especially silver, are much better hedges against inflation than U.S. equities, which is why for the past couple of years we have been predicting large declines in both the Dow/Gold and Gold/Silver ratios. These two ratios have been in free fall exactly like NIA projected.
UrbanMan's comment: Yesterday's closing Gold and Silver prices are: $1459.10 for Gold and $39.51 for Silver.

6) Year-Over-Year CPI Growth Has Increased 92% in Three Months. In November of 2010, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS)'s consumer price index (CPI) grew by 1.1% over November of 2009. In February of 2011, the BLS's CPI grew by 2.11% over February of 2010, above the Fed's informal inflation target of 1.5% to 2%. An increase in year-over-year CPI growth from 1.1% in November of last year to 2.11% in February of this year means that the CPI's growth rate increased by approximately 92% over a period of just three months. Imagine if the year-over-year CPI growth rate continues to increase by 92% every three months. In 9 to 12 months from now we could be looking at a price inflation rate of over 15%. Even if the BLS manages to artificially hold the CPI down around 5% or 6%, NIA believes the real rate of price inflation will still rise into the double-digits within the next year.

7) Mainstream Media Denying Fed's Target Passed. You would think that year-over-year CPI growth rising from 1.1% to 2.11% over a period of three months for an increase of 92% would generate a lot of media attention, especially considering that it has now surpassed the Fed's informal inflation target of 1.5% to 2%. Instead of acknowledging that inflation is beginning to spiral out of control and encouraging Americans to prepare for hyperinflation like NIA has been doing for years, the media decided to conveniently change the way it defines the Fed's informal target.

8) Record U.S. Budget Deficit in February of $222.5 Billion. The U.S. government just reported a record budget deficit for the month of February of $222.5 billion. February's budget deficit was more than the entire fiscal year of 2007. In fact, February's deficit on an annualized basis was $2.67 trillion. NIA believes this is just a preview of future annual budget deficits, and we will see annual budget deficits surpass $2.67 trillion within the next several years.

9) High Budget Deficit as Percentage of Expenditures. The projected U.S. budget deficit for fiscal year 2011 of $1.645 trillion is 43% of total projected government expenditures in 2011 of $3.819 trillion. That is almost exactly the same level of Brazil's budget deficit as a percentage of expenditures right before they experienced hyperinflation in 1993 and it is higher than Bolivia's budget deficit as a percentage of expenditures right before they experienced hyperinflation in 1985. The only way a country can survive with such a large deficit as a percentage of expenditures and not have hyperinflation, is if foreigners are lending enough money to pay for the bulk of their deficit spending. Hyperinflation broke out in Brazil and Bolivia when foreigners stopped lending and central banks began monetizing the bulk of their deficit spending, and that is exactly what is taking place today in the U.S.

10) Obama Lies About Foreign Policy. President Obama campaigned as an anti-war President who would get our troops out of Iraq. NIA believes that many Libertarian voters actually voted for Obama in 2008 over John McCain because they felt Obama was more likely to end our wars that are adding greatly to our budget deficits and making the U.S. a lot less safe as a result. Obama may have reduced troop levels in Iraq, but he increased troops levels in Afghanistan, and is now sending troops into Libya for no reason.

11) Obama Changes Definition of Balanced Budget. In the White House's budget projections for the next 10 years, they don't project that the U.S. will ever come close to achieving a real balanced budget. In fact, after projecting declining budget deficits up until the year 2015 (NIA believes we are unlikely to see any major dip in our budget deficits due to rising interest payments on our national debt), the White House projects our budget deficits to begin increasing again up until the year 2021. Obama recently signed an executive order to create the "National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform", with a mission to "propose recommendations designed to balance the budget, excluding interest payments on the debt, by 2015". Obama is redefining a balanced budget to exclude interest payments on our national debt, because he knows interest payments are about to explode and it will be impossible to truly balance the budget.

12) U.S. Faces Largest Ever Interest Payment Increases. With U.S. inflation beginning to spiral out of control, NIA believes it is 100% guaranteed that we will soon see a large spike in long-term bond yields. Not only that, but within the next couple of years, NIA believes the Federal Reserve will be forced to raise the Fed Funds Rate in a last-ditch effort to prevent hyperinflation. When both short and long-term interest rates start to rise, so will the interest payments on our national debt. With the public portion of our national debt now exceeding $10 trillion, we could see interest payments on our debt reach $500 billion within the next year or two, and over $1 trillion somewhere around mid-decade. When interest payments reach $1 trillion, they will likely be around 30% to 40% of government tax receipts, up from interest payments being only 9% of tax receipts today. No country has ever seen interest payments on their debt reach 40% of tax receipts without hyperinflation occurring in the years to come.

UrbanMan's comment: Things are not looking good for us or the U.S. You add antedotal information from large amounts of people buying Gold and Silver; buying guns; stocking food and you begin to believe that the path is irreversible. I hope not. I would just as soon have my Survival Preparation, Silver, guns and ammunition all stay on the shelves and in the gun safes. But I fear this is not going to be the case.

Message from NIA: It is important to spread the word about NIA to as many people as possible, as quickly as possible, if you want America to survive hyperinflation. Please tell everybody you know to become members of NIA for free immediately at:

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Survival Bug In Water Purification System - Just Water Complete Bucket System

If you are like me you probably have all sorts of water purification devices, from Survival Water Purification Straws (I have Aqua-Mira Frontier Pros), to Water Purification canteens (Aqua Mira Water Bottle System) to larger water pumps with purification filters (I currently have two Katadyn filters). I even have a couple of the water purification pitchers with replaceable filters. Yup. Can't live without water.

As a survival skill we all should know how to purify water using common chemicals such as bleach or providine iodine; through boiling; and through field expedient cloth-sand-charcoal filters, although having water purification tablets or drops (Aqua Mira Water Purifier Tablets and Drops are also in my kit) are other necessary items.

I just became aware of another handy water purification item, called the "Just Water, Complete Bucket System".

The base complete kit costs $ 47.45 - $ 57.50, the higher price if you want the arsenic filter. Replacement filters are $21.25 to $32.80 note: the filters are manufactured by Winfield and Black Jack Industries

The Company says they invented this to provide clean, drinkable water to disaster devastated areas, the Texas Baptist Men initiated the development of a practical, inexpensive, but very effective, ceramic water filter. They call it the “Just Water, Ceramic Drip-Filter.”

This water filter kits is described, from the Company, as, "A ceramic, .2 micron water filter. The micron removes water-borne bacterium. The inside of the filter is loaded with different media or ingredients, such as man-made carbons, mother nature carbons and man-made resins. Those different resins and carbons remove the different contaminants in the water."

"Once you start using the filter, the activated carbon is only good for 6 to 8 months. The anti-bacterial ceramic wall will work indefinitely. The media inside (such as the activated carbon) will pack over time. The filter needs to be shaken to unpack the media. The shelf life of the unit itself is indefinite. The only question in the carbon. Current figures say the unused carbon should have a shelf life between at least 2 or 3 years, if not much more. The sock has an indefinite shelf life. Replacement during use will depend on filthiness of the water source."

The Just Water, Complete Bucket System is advertised as meeting several standards:

National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) Standard 42
National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) Standard 53
ISO 9002 Quality Standard
USA AEL Laboratories
USA Analytical Food Laboratories
USA Johns Hopkins University
British 5750 Quality Standard
England’s Water Research council (WRc) Performance Standards

The filtration efficiency is 0.5 micron and capable of removing many contaminants:

>99% Arsenic 5 and 99% Arsenic 3 (special order filter)
>99% Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S)
>95% Chlorine and Chloramines
>99% Taste
>99% Odor
>98% Aluminum
>96% Iron
>98% Lead
>90% Pesticides
>85% Herbicides
>85% Insecticides
>90% Rodenticides
>85% Phenols
>85% MTBE
>85% Perchlorate
>80% Trihalomethanes
>95% Poly Aromatic Hydrocarbons
>99.999% of particles larger than 0.5 micron (Staffordshire University Labs)(includes Anthrax)
>99.7% of particles larger than 0.3 micron (Staffordshire University Labs)
>98% of particles larger than 0.2 micron (Staffordshire University Labs)
>100% Giardia Lamblia
>100% Cyclospora
>100% removal of live Cryptosporidium (WRc Standard)
>100% removal of Cryptosporidium (NSF Standard 53 – A.C. fine dust – 4 log challenge)
>100% removal of E. Coli, Vibrio Cholerae ( Johns Hopkins University )
>99.999% removal of Salmonella Typhil, Shigella Dysenteria, Kiebsiella Terrigena (Hyder Labs)

Product is silver impregnated and will not permit bacteria growth-through (mitosis); provides a hostile environment for all microbiological organisms and will not support their growth; and the Ceramic elements may be cleaned 100 or more times with a soft brush or damp cloth.

Performance Features:
Easy installation
Good flow rate / 14 to 17 gallons a day (gravity flow)
Up to 60-70 gallons per day (pressure flow)
Filter will accept water from floods, lake, rain, well, tap, river or stream
Semi/Annual filter replacement Cleansable with clean damp cloth
Shelf life is extended by shaking filter every 3-4 months to loosen media inside and prevent packing
Once in use, filter will last 6-8 months.

A system like this would be a good idea for a Survival Base Camp, saving your more portable water purification systems for mobile appliciations such as Bug Outs or security patrols.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Urban Survival - Radioactive Threat from Japan,....Is It Real?

There is some discussion on several of the Survival Forums about radiation protection in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami damage to one of Japan's nuclear energy plants causing radiactive fallout here in the U.S.  I have received more than a couple e-mails asking for information on radiation detection, protection and human propholaxis (such as the postassium iodine tablets). For the people who asked about potassium iodine sources and required doses ,I posted some information earlier on this site,...see it here. But for the record, I am not taking potassium iodine nor do I feel particular threatened by radioactive fallout from the Japanese disasters.

In en effort to put this matter to rest, I am posting an article from Yahoo! News - The Lookout which is also available to read here. I agree with the threat assessment from this article. The only benefit this has caused is to get people thinking more on generally preparedness.

We are much more likely to face radioactive threats from terrorist or terrorist state sponsored introduction and detonation of devices in our ports or on the ground inside this country.

Should Americans worry about radiation from Japan?

The EPA is stepping up efforts to monitor radiation levels in the United States following reports of elevated levels across the country as a result of Japan's nuclear reactor meltdown. Two states—Washington and California—reported finding trace amounts of radiation in milk this week. However, federal officials and nuclear experts have repeatedly assured the public that individuals in the United States do not face increased risk of radiation poisoning.

After the jump, we explore some common questions about the risks of radiation exposure both in the day-to-day and during a nuclear disaster.

How did radiation from Japan make its way into milk produced on the West coast?

Radioactive particles traveled through the atmosphere to the United States, where they settled on grass and in water that was consumed by some cows. The radiation passed through the cows and into the milk.

Should I be worried about radiation exposure from dairy products?

According to both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration, no. The milk samples taken in Washington and California contained radioactive particles at concentrations 5,000 times lower than the limit that the FDA has deemed safe for human consumption. FDA senior scientist Patricia Hansen told CNN that the radiation levels found in recent milk samples are "miniscule" compared to the exposure that people face in their daily lives. What's more, the particles found in the samples come from an isotope known as radioactive iodine, or iodine-131, which has a relatively short lifespan.

Should I be worried about food imported from Japan?

The FDA has banned all imports of fruits, vegetables and dairy products from the area of Japan near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Food products from Japan make up less than 4 percent of all U.S. imports, and the FDA has said that the risks to human health are still low if radiation-tainted products are consumed in moderation. Americans only face risk, the agency says, if they consume excessive amounts of such products.

How much radiation am I exposed to in my daily life?

As Peter Caracappa, a radiation safety officer and professor of nuclear engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute pointed out on NPR recently, radiation is a part of nature. "Everything that's living has some amount of radiation coming from it," noted Caracappa. "Plus there's radiation in the ground and the air."

Where might I encounter radiation in the course of an ordinary day?

Well, bananas, as Caracappa points out, contain radioactive potassium. And as this handy, tongue-in-cheek infographic shows, even sharing a bed with someone for a night will expose you to some radiation (about half the amount found in a single banana).

Is there a type of radiation that's particularly harmful to humans?

Ionizing radiation—the type of radiation people get exposed to in small doses when they receive an X-ray and in much larger doses via a nuclear catastrophe like the one in Japan—is able to alter the chemical makeup of human cells. Cellphones and microwave ovens produce much less harmful forms of non-ionizing radiation (though there has been much discussion about the possibility that radiation from cell phones can affect the brain). Most people are exposed to ionizing radiation through radon gas in the air we breathe.

What is radon?

Radon is a radioactive gas that can cause cancer. According to the EPA, it causes many thousands of deaths each year. It is odorless, has no taste, and is found all over the U.S. It comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water.

Americans are most at risk of radon exposure at home, particularly in basements, where it can seep in through cracks and holes in a home's foundation. The EPA encourages everyone to test their home for radon, and says that inexpensive radon reduction systems can reduce radon levels in a home by up to 99 percent.

What could exposure to high doses of ionizing radiation do?

Despite conservative firebrand Ann Coulter's recent claims—that exposure to radiation is good for the body, meaning the Japanese will actually benefit from the nuclear meltdown—the biological effects of high levels of radiation exposure are quite severe. The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (USNRC) notes that just about every form of cancer imaginable has been linked to exposure to ionizing radiation.

Is there a level of exposure to ionizing radiation that is considered to be most deadly?

Because everyone reacts to radiation in different ways, the USNRC says that it's "not possible to indicate what dose is needed to be fatal." The most extreme examples of mass exposure to ionizing radiation were the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan in 1945 and the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

Many of the victims in those incidents who were exposed to extremely high doses of ionizing radiation died within days, weeks, or months of radiation poisoning. Such poisoning essentially leads to the bodily organs shutting down one by one. The Mayo clinic chart shown at left illustrates what such radiation poisoning can do to the body.

Is there any chance of someone in the United States contracting radiation poisoning from Japan?

No. Every expert on the subject has unequivocally ruled out such a risk. Americans do face a possible risk of future cancers related to minimal exposure, but even that appears to be an extremely remote possibility at this point. The EPA is seeking to prevent such exposure via increased monitoring of radiation levels in potential sources such as milk, rain, and drinking-water supplies.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Urban Survival - Questions on Survival Priorities receives anywhere from 6 to 15 questions via e-mail each week. I try to, but usually don’t answer all of them. Some I will answer and some of them I turn into articles or posts. However I think it is telling that about 75% of the questions I receive are for Survival weapons or firearms and on the procurement of Silver (and sometimes Gold). I am going to answer the majority of the last few week’s of e-mails in this post.

Question:   Silver is very high now (UrbanMan’s note: currently at $37.81). I can’t afford very much at all. I know I should have bought some when it was around $20 a ounce (or lower), but given the high price and the fact that many analysts think it will not higher, should I spend my sparse survival preparation dollars on Silver?

UrbanMan’s Answer:  Having Silver and/or Gold is important. Not so important to substantially do into debt to procurement or to otherwise leave other categories of survival preparedness empty. Silver may not come back down, at all, so how would you feel three months from now if Silver is $50 an ounce, then you thought “wish I would have bought some Silver when it was $38 an ounce”? I bought the majority of my silver when it ws $4.50 an ounce. Even today I still buy Silver, even though my last purchase was at $35.35 an ounce or so. In another couple weeks, I’ll head down to the brick and mortar store and buy what else I can. It may be 4 ounces, may be eight or ten,…not sure yet, but I will still buy some one ounce rounds. Junk silver,..that is pre ’65 silver coins for silver melt value, may also be an option for you. I also have a collection of old U.S. silver coins,….just in case. Isn’t that why we are doing all this survival prep for anyway?,…just in case?

Question:  If I had $1000 to spend on Survival firearms what would be the better way to go? Buy several lower end weapons such as a handgun, shotgun and .22 LR rifle, or, buy a M-4 carbine or battle rifle?

UrbanMan’s Answer:  If I did not have any firearms at all, I would be much more inclined to procure several different firearms to fill the diverse survival needs or protection, hunting and training, and, be able to equip more people with at least one weapon, then I would be spending all of my money earmarked for Survival weapons on one gun. $1000 will certainly buy you an M-4, especially if you shop wisely, however does not leave a lot of money for a stock of ammunition and a decent amount of magazines or other accessories. With that same $1000, you could (again shopping wisely, buy a handgun in a decent caliber (9mm, .40 S&W and such), a 12 gauge shotgun (preferably a pump action) and a .22 LR rifle and have enough money to buy a couple handgun mags and a decent amount of ammunition for all three.

Question:  I am looking at buying a dehydrator. However, I would also like a vacuum packing machine (UrbanMan Notes: Food Saver type device) and a solar oven. How would you prioritize these purchases?

UrbanMan’s Answer:  Good question. My priorities if I did not have any of these items for my survival plan would be: 1 – vacuum packer, 2 – dehydrator, 3 – solar oven, in this order. You can make a field expedient dehydrator and a solar oven, but would be hard to make your own vacuum packer. I use my vacuum packer quite a bit. My vacuum packaged foods are one of many branches of stored food I have stocked for the bad times ahead (MRE's, bulk items, pantry canned goods, dehydrated food in vacuum packed #10 cans and Mainstay bars are others). I can easily make a solar oven, but even then propane and wood cooking will be my mainstay. In fact, put some rice and beans in a zip lock bag or glass jar, fill with water and let stand in the Sun for a few hours will produce a warm, edible meal, especially if you had the foresight to store spices as well. A field expedient dehydrator is easy to make as well. So my priorities would be first the vacuum packer, which I also use to vacuum pack spare clothes and other items for Bug Out Bags or my Survival Gear Kit Bags.