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Showing posts with label Collapse. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Collapse. Show all posts

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Are You Scared? I am!

This is an article by Bob Rinear and it hit a note with me as I can't help but have this feeling of dread. Other people that I talk to have it as well. Whether it's an investor thinking the stock market will collapse or it some parent who think there will be a great depression and he won't be able to feed his family, or it may be a parent who thinks there will be a total collapse and medicine for his diabetic son won't be available.

Whatever it is, I am heeding it as I have long ago learned to respect my gut instincts. It may be all that keeps you alive in the coming chaos.

Are you Scare? by Bob Rinear

When I talk to people that I consider to be “awake” they all tend to say the same things to me. Almost to a tee, they suggest that they feel something isn’t quite right, but they don’t know exactly what.

They feel like things are out of control, but can’t say why. They feel there’s some form of impending doom, but can’t explain what it is, or why they even feel that way. They just know things aren’t right,but for the life of them, they can’t elucidate just why they feel that way.

I understand that feeling and it is real. You know it in your mind, you almost feel it in your gut. It’s not just the rioting, it’s not just the crazy things like Jade Helm, it’s not just the soggy economy, it’s not just the loss of morals, it’s not just the mindless souls staring like zombies at their cell phones, it’s not just the insane Political Correctness, it’s not just the laws for the privileged versus the laws for the masses, it’s not just any one thing. It’s a combo platter of all of that and considerably more. In a word, many of you are “worried” and I think rightfully so. You just hide it well.

The old analogy is “whistling past the graveyard”. Popular in the 30’s, its definition is “To attempt to stay cheerful in a dire situation; to proceed with a task, ignoring an upcoming hazard, hoping for a good outcome.” I remember quite well using an example of whistling past the graveyard when I was a youngster. I was 12 years old and my neighbor Matt and I had walked to the movies to see a show. Slated to end at 9 pm, the theater was just half a mile from our house and back then kids could walk home safely in the dark.

After our movie was over, the theater announced that they were going to run a “sneak preview showing” of a brand new movie called “night of the living dead”. It was a Saturday evening and Matt and I phoned home quickly to see if we could stay and watch the “free” movie. We got the okay.

If you’re not familiar with the film, it’s about a group of folks that find refuge in a farm house after the population had been turned into flesh eating zombies. Well, it scared the Bejesus out of the both of us. On the way home, we had to take one short path through some woods, and we did our version of whistling past the graveyard by talking really loud to each other and making fun of the ghouls because they were so fake. Truth is we were scared witless and awful glad to get home.

I see a lot of whistling past the graveyard. You ask folks “hey, how are you doing” and they respond, “oh fine, thanks” but then later you find things aren’t so fine. They’re behind on their mortgage, the kids can’t find jobs, medical is eating them alive, etc etc. Every story is different, but similar. They aren’t fine in the classic sense that we all used to be. They’re whistling.

I wanted to write this to let you know, you’re not alone. If you have that feeling that things aren’t right, and you’re concerned about the future, you’re in fine company. You have every reason to feel that way because indeed there’s so many things going on that it becomes overwhelming. Let’s face it folks, the three biggest selling drugs in America are anti-depressants, anti-acids, and Erectile dysfunction medicine. That alone should give you a good insight into the stress of modern day living.

I think the key to remaining sane in this modern world is picking your battles. You can’t fight everything. If you’ve got one pet peeve chewing on you, then go after it with gusto. Maybe you can join forces with other folks bothered by the same topic, and get something done about it. But don’t try and take on all the ills, it will drive you crazy, exhaust you and make you miserable.

People often ask me why I don’t talk about such things as Ferguson or Baltimore. Why I usually don’t comment on the gay movement, or the lesser number of Christians in the past ten years. Well the fact is I have very strong opinions on such things, and many more to boot. When I see a child get expelled for chewing a pop tart into a “gun shape” don’t you think my head explodes? It most certainly does. I think the loss of common sense in America is one of the things that bothers me more than anything else. Where the hell did it go??? When I see the loss of Freedom’s we’ve experienced, it saddens me to the core.

But again, you can’t fight everything. We try our best to tell you what’s happening in global finance, who the elites are, what their angling towards and how best we can profit or protect ourselves from them. That battle alone is all consuming as far as time and energy goes. Why? Because what happens at the upper end of elitist banking will trickle down and affect virtually every aspect of your life.

From taxes, to interest rates, to employment opportunity, to wars, to politicians, to you name it. I have enough battle on my hands, that’s for sure.

I’d love to tell you it’s all going to get better, but alas, I cannot. Each day gets more bizarre than the next. The worst part is that from where I sit, most of it stems from the financial side of the story. The struggle going on globally to deal with a quadrillion in derivatives, and dozens of completely broke nations, tends to toss normality out the window in a big way. Governments can ram all sorts of things
down your throat when you’re more worried about your paycheck than keeping an eye on their criminal activity.

Just consider the abject insanity of this…on Wednesday we had the worst retail sales report since 2009. On Thursday the WSJ reported that we have just come through the worst month of economic reports since the great recession. So what did the market do Thursday? It ran to a new alltime high on the S&P. Are markets supposed to soar to new highs on economic reports this bad? No.

But in 2015 they do, because the market is broken. It’s all about Central planners, central bakers, Wall Street wizards. It’s all about selling debt to buy back stock, it’s about the Swiss National bank owning billions upon billions of US stocks.
You’re right to be confused, concerned and at times mad. The world has been turned upside down.

College costs more than my first house. Race relations are at an all time low. Despite the war on drugs and the war on poverty, we have more of both in huge supply. Civility is gone. Road rage is the norm. The police are being militarized, and scary joint exercises are being played out in 20 states.

The price of protein is out of sight, and chicken, and burger has hit yet another all time high. Seafood has become completely out of the question for tens of millions. I could go on for ages.

My point isn’t to be an “angry white guy” as I was called recently. Hell I keep collecting nicknames all the time. I’ve been Negative Nancy, an angry white guy, and that conspiracy nut Bob just in the past month. My point is simply to say to you all, it’s real. What you’re feeling is legit. Something is coming and only your imagination will limit what it could be. How do I know something’s coming?

Because we cannot keep spinning ever more out of control for ever. Something’s got to give.

I don’t know how we fix inner cities, I really don’t. I don’t know how we get politicians that don’t lie to us. I don’t know how to fix a justice system that has one set of laws for the Hollywood and rich, and another set for us peon’s. I don’t know how to get common sense back. I don’t know how to defeat political correctness. I simply have a feeling that it all has to play itself out, burn itself out.

And I think the spark that lights the fire is some form of economic reset. Something pretty big that shakes us to the core for a while and we collectively wake up and decide we’ve been going down the wrong path for too long and it’s time to rebuild. Empires that begin to lose control don’t tend to fix themselves and return to what made them great, they tend to be faced with something major that forces them to change. War, bankruptcy, revolt, etc. I think we’re on that path. And yes it hurts to say that.

So no, you’re not crazy and things are indeed strange and getting stranger. Everyone’s whistling past the graveyard. Something’s coming and it’s my job to try my best to figure out what it is, and how we can get around it. So far the only thing that makes the most sense to me is a global economic reset, and the disruptions something like that will bring. Maybe I’m wrong and imagining all this…but I don’t think so.

If you’ve been with us for any length of time, you know that the thrust of most of my articles is “what can we do about it?” It’s one thing to rant and rave about all the lunacy we see each day, but it’s something else to try and lay out real plans to deal with it. Well I tend to think that it always starts at “home”. All you can do is make your family the best it can be. That’s financially, educationally, defensively, etc. You’re not going to alter the tides of societal change. All you can do is alter
yourselves. Once your situation at home is as good as you can make it, can you then reach out and try and “fix” other things.

Let me leave you with this thought. The President is working on his pet trade agreement. So secretive is the content of that agreement, that word is if you’re in Congress and want to see it, you have to meet one on one in a basement office. You cannot take in a cell phone. You are given the pages one section at a time and must be returned after reading while you’re watched. You are then sworn to not discuss what you’ve seen. This is what passes today for our “Government for and by the people”. It’s nothing of the sort. This is Government for and of the elitist corporations and one world thinkers. You simply get in the way.

If your elected officials have to create pacts and agreements in total secrecy and then we have to “pass it to find out what’s in it” the idea of a free Republic is no more.

So you’re right to whistle past the grave yard. You’re right to have that ugly feeling in your gut.

You’re right to think that as much as you hope for the best you fear for the worst lately. In all the years I’ve been writing this, which actually started in 1994, some 21 years ago, I’ve never been as “worried” about our future as I am today. That says a lot because I’ve come through some big things in my life, from Vietnam to 9/11 to the 2008 crash.

95% of all my articles are designed to enlighten you to what we really see going on, and provide some path to profit from it, or protect yourself from it. It’s all I know how to do. Stay tuned.

Urban Man

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.

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. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Possibility of World War III?

While most of us probably feel that a slow economic or even dyanmic economic collapse is a much more likely scenario for SHTF, nobody should discount conventional attack or attacks using Weapons of Mass Destruction/Effect by terrorists groups to either precipitate the collapse or to add speed and chaos to an already impending economic collapse. When you think about people on foot, or trucks or even ultra light aircraft bringing loads of narcotics across the U.S.-Mexican border each day, how hard would it be to bring in four pounds of a biological toxin?,.....or chemical weapons?,......or, God forbid, a small nuclear device? When you add the growing anger along socio-economic groups and what seems to be an agenda among many to divide us racially, we have a wide and immense catastophy sitting in front of us. The video below is long, but worth watching and it certainly gives us a lot to think about.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Food Prices Up, Shortage to Follow

Why Are Food Prices Rising So Fast?

If you do much grocery shopping, you have probably noticed that the cost of food has been rising at a very brisk pace over the past year. So why are food prices rising so fast? According to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, inflation is still very low and the economy is improving. So what is going on here? When I go to the grocery store these days, there are very few things that I will buy unless they are on sale. In fact, I have noticed that many of the new "sale prices" are the old regular prices. Other items have had their packages reduced in size in order to hide the price increases. But with millions of American families just barely scraping by as it is, what is going to happen if food prices keep rising this rapidly?

The food prices are especially painful if you are trying to eat healthy. Most of the low price stuff in the grocery stores is garbage. Eating the "typical American diet" is a highway to cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

But if you try to stick to food that is "healthy" or "organic" you can blow through hundreds of dollars in a heartbeat. In fact, the reality is that tens of millions of American families have now essentially been priced out of a healthy diet.

Soon there will be millions more American families that will not even be able to afford an unhealthy diet.

Some recent statistics compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics are absolutely staggering. According to a recent CNBC article, over the past year many of the most popular foods in America have absolutely soared in price....

Coffee, for instance, is up 40 percent. Celery is 28 percent higher while butter prices rose 26.4 percent. Rounding out the top five are bacon, at 23.5 percent, and cabbage, at 23.3 percent.

Unfortunately, it looks like the trend of rising food prices is accelerating. Just look at what the CNBC article says happened in the month of April alone....
Just in April—the most recent month for which data is available—grapes went up nearly 30 percent, cabbage jumped about 17 percent and orange juice surged more than 5 percent. Meat is becoming more expensive as well. Since March 2009, livestock prices have risen by 138%.

So when Ben Bernanke tells us that inflation is very low, that really is a lie. On the stuff that people spend money on every day (like food and gas), prices have gone up dramatically. Sadly, this is not just a phenomenon that is happening in the United States. The truth is that the entire planet is rapidly approaching a horrific global food crisis.

Over the past year, the global price of food has risen by 37 percent and this has pushed approximately 44 million more people around the world into poverty.

When food prices rise in the U.S. it may be painful for millions of American families, but around the world a rise in food prices can mean the difference between surviving and not surviving.

That is why it has been so alarming that the global price of wheat has approximately doubled over the past year.

But it is not just wheat that has been soaring. Check out what a recent Bloomberg article had to say about what has been happening to many key agricultural commodities over the past year....

Corn futures advanced 77 percent in the past 12 months in Chicago trading, a global benchmark, rice gained 39 percent and sugar jumped 64 percent. There will be shortages in corn, wheat, soybeans, coffee and cocoa this year or next, according to Utrecht, Netherlands-based Rabobank Groep. Prices also rose after droughts and floods from Australia to Canada ruined crops last year. European farmers are now contending with their driest growing season in more than three decades.

Even before this recent spike in food prices the world was struggling to get enough food to everybody. It has been estimated that somewhere in the world someone starves to death every 3.6 seconds, and 75 percent of those are children under the age of five.

So what is going to happen if food prices keep on rising at the current pace? That is a very good question. We really are starting to move into unprecedented territory. Nobody is quite sure what is going to happen next.

So why is all of this happening?

Well, a lot of people are blaming the Federal Reserve. All of the "quantitative easing" that the Fed has done has flooded the financial markets with money. All of that money had to go somewhere. Much of it has pumped up the prices of hard assets such as oil, gold and agricultural commodities.

But it is not just the Fed that is to blame. The truth is that central banks all over the world have been recklessly printing money.

When the amount of money in an economy goes up, the purchasing value of all existing money goes down. In the United States , that means that your dollars will not go as far as they did before.

But it is not just monetary policy that is affecting food prices. In 2010 and 2011 we have seen an unprecedented wave of natural disasters and crazy weather. This has caused problems with crops all over the globe.

In addition, U.S. economic policies are also playing a role. At this point, almost a third of all corn grown in the United States is used for fuel. This is putting a lot of stress on the price of corn.

Also, there are some long-term trends that are not in our favor. For example, the systematic depletion of the Ogallala Aquifer could eventually turn " America 's Breadbasket" back into the "Dust Bowl". If you have not heard of this problem I would encourage you to do some research on it.

Things are going to get a lot worse, but already America is having a really hard time feeding itself. According to Feeding America's 2010 hunger study, more than 37 million Americans are now being served by food pantries and soup kitchens.

So is that number unusual?

Yes, it sure is. The number of Americans that are going to food pantries and soup kitchens has increased by 46% since 2006. That is not a good trend. Another stat that I talk a lot about in this column is the number of Americans on food stamps. Right now, there are 44 million Americans on food stamps. Nearly half of them are children.

How did we ever get to the point as a nation where more than 20 million children end up on food stamps? It is estimated that one out of every four American children is currently on food stamps, and it is being projected that approximately 50 percent of all U.S. children will be on food stamps at some point in their lives before they reach the age of 18.

So what is going to happen if the economy gets even worse?

What is going to happen if there really is a major food crisis in this country someday? Food prices have been going up for decades and they are going to continue to go up. But the frightening thing is how fast they are increasing now.

As the U.S. middle class continues to be destroyed, the number of Americans that can't afford to buy enough food is going to continue to rise. Food prices are rising much faster than wages are, and that is not likely to change any time soon.

Food is rapidly becoming one of the most important global economic issues of this decade. The farther one looks down the road, the bleaker things look for the global food situation.

I hope you are prepared for that. So what are you going to do? Watch for deals. Stock food when you can. Be prepared, and start now, to grow your own.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Urban Survival Planning - Financial Collapse: One Scenario

This is what the Complete and Total Economic Collapse of the United States and the World looks like on film. An older movie to be sure, but the principal catalysts remain the same,...hyper-inflation, total devaluation of the dollar, gold and silver prices skyrocket,......commodities in short supply.

The difference between this old movie and today is the incredible national debt the U.S. has incurred; the ability of the U.S. to feed itself has diminished something like 70% while the population has increased greatly; mass migration from the cities; housing crisis with foreclosures about to hit critical mass; the need for oil has greatly increased; and, not but least is that our enemies have grown much more sophisticated.

By the way, I ordered the movie which is available on

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Survival Planning - More on EMP Threat

Recently came across a November 28th report from World Net Daily (WND), written by Bob Unruh, entitled "Report Warns Obama about 'new' Dark Ages -Airplanes would fall from sky, cars would stop, networks fail".

I don't think there is alot lot more you can do to prepare for EMP if you are board with a Survival Preparation plan already for contingencies such as socio-economic collapse. EMP would certainly cause a total collapse of the infrastructure, but nobody really has an idea on just how prolific the affected areas would be. I have bolded some of the more interesting parts of this article.

The WND Article:

Two national-security experts have issued a report through the Heritage Foundation that warns Obama administration officials to start working now to prevent – and mitigate the damage from – an electromagnetic pulse attack on the United States because of the potential for "unimaginable devastation."

"Not even a global humanitarian effort would be enough to keep hundreds of millions of Americans from death by starvation, exposure, or lack of medicine. Nor would the catastrophe stop at U.S. borders. Most of Canada would be devastated, too, as its infrastructure is integrated with the U.S. power grid. Much of the world's intellectual brain power (half of it is in the United States) would be lost as well. Earth would most likely recede into the 'new' Dark Ages," states the report by James J. Carafano, the deputy director of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies and director of the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies, and Richard Weitz, senior fellow and director of the Center for Politial-Military Analysis at the Hudson Institute.

The report, which is described by the Heritage Foundation as a "backgrounder," is titled "EMP Attacks – What the U.S. Must Do Now" and was released just days ago, says what is needed right now is for the government to "prevent the threat," by pursuing "an aggressive protect-and-defend strategy, including comprehensive missile defense; modernizing the U.S. nuclear deterrent; and adopting proactive nonproliferation and counterproliferation measures."

Further, measures are needed to add to the "resilience" of the electrical grid and telecommunications systems, including duplicating some essential functions, and "robust" pre-disaster planning should be going on now for "federal, state, local private-sector, non-government organizations and international support," the report said.

Especially, the nation needs to work to "protect the capacity to communicate," the report explains.

"An EMP strike can easily obliterate America 's electrical, telecommunications, transportation, financial, food,and water infrastructures, rendering the United States helpless to coordinate actions and deliver services essential for daily life," says the report.

"In the words of Arizona Sen. John Kyl, EMP 'is one of only a few ways that the United States could be defeated by its enemies.' The time to prepare is now!"

The new report echoes the warnings carried in a story first broken in WND five years ago about a blue-ribbon commission appointed by Congress to investigate the impact of an EMP attack on the U.S.

An EMP catastrophe, which scientists have warned also could come through a naturally occurring Coronal Mass Ejection from the sun, largely is feared to come from an act of war from an enemy. If there is a nuclear explosion high in the atmosphere over North America the resulting electromagnetic discharge can "permanently disable the electrical systems that run nearly all civilian and military infrastructures," the report said.

"A massive EMP attack on the United States would produce almost unimaginable devastation. Communications would collapse, transportation would halt, and electrical power would simply be non-existent," the report warns.

"All past calamities of the modern era would pale in comparison to the catastrophe caused by a successful high-altitude EMP strike," the report said. "The effects of EMP will immediately disable a portion of the 130 million cars and some 90 million trucks. Since millions of vehicles are on the road at any given time, there will be accidents and congestion that will impede movement…. The U.S. rail network depends directly on electricity. … America 's aviation industry will be destroyed…. The U.S. food infrastructure depends heavily on the transportation sector," it warns.

William R. Graham, chairman of the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse Attack and the former national science adviser to President Reagan, previously testified before Congress and issued an alarming report on "one of a small number of threats that can hold our society at risk of catastrophic consequences."

He identified vulnerabilities in the nation's critical infrastructures that "are essential to both our civilian and military capabilities."

Not taking the steps necessary to reduce the threat "can both invite and reward attack," Graham told the members of Congress at the time.

He described that the attack would come like a swift stroke of lightning, and would immediately disrupt and damage all electronic systems and America 's electrical infrastructure.

A detonation over the middle of the continental U.S. "has the capability to produce significant damage to critical infrastructures that support the fabric of U.S. society and the ability of the United States and Western nations to project influence and military power," said Graham.

"Several potential adversaries have the capability to attack the United States with a high-altitude nuclear-weapon-generated electromagnetic pulse, and others appear to be pursuing efforts to obtain that capability," said Graham.

"A determined adversary can achieve an EMP attack capability without having a high level of sophistication. For example, an adversary would not have to have long-range ballistic missiles to conduct an EMP attack against the United States. Such an attack could be launched from a freighter off the U.S. coast using a short- or medium-range missile to loft a nuclear warhead to high altitude. Terrorists sponsored by a rogue state could attempt to execute such an attack without revealing the identity of the perpetrators. Iran, the world's leading sponsor of international terrorism, has practiced launching a mobile ballistic missile from a vessel in the Caspian Sea. Iran has also tested high-altitude explosions of the Shahab-III, a test mode consistent with EMP attack, and described the tests as successful. Iranian military writings explicitly discuss a nuclear EMP attack that would gravely harm the United States . While the commission does not know the intention of Iran in conducting these activities, we are disturbed by the capability that emerges when we connect the dots."

The new Heritage Foundation report echoed those concerns.

"Even with farsighted mitigation measures there is little question that a nationwide EMP attack would be crippling," it warned. "Thus, while pursuing mitigation, the U.S. should take all possible measures to protect and defend the nation against a ballistic-missile attack that could be used to deliver an EMP strike, as well as pursue aggressive counter-proliferation measures against rogue states developing nuclear weapons."

The report warns such an attack would turn science fiction into reality.

"Airplanes would literally fall from the sky, cars and trucks would stop working, and water, sewer, and electrical networks would fail. Food would rot, medical services would collapse, and transportation would become almost nonexistent," it explains.

The report warned that one criticality is to develop domestic sources for replacement equipment for the electric equipment, transformers and substations that would be damaged.

"The equipment used in the transmission grid is costly, specially produced, and has to be ordered from overseas … Those with the expertise to replace transformers and capacitors are likely to be overwhelmed…"

What would happen already has been documented, the report noted, in the 1977 New York City blackout, although on a much smaller scale.

"Two lightning strikes caused overloading in the electrical power substations of the Con Edison power company. These lighting strikes, the equivalent of a minuscule fraction of [EMP], caused the Indian Point power plant north of the city to fail, as well as the subsequent failure of the Long Island interconnection. … Failure of the Linden-Goethals 230,000-volt interconnection with New Jersey resulted in the protective devices removing overloaded lines, transformers, and cables from service. As a result, a power failure spread throughout the New York area. This blackout lasted only one day, yet resulted in widespread looting and the breakdown of the rule of law throughout many New York neighborhoods. The estimated cost of the blackout was approximately $246 million, and nearly 3,000 people were arrested through the 26-hour period," the report said.

"The blackout in New York City resulted in an immediate breakdown of the social order. The police were outmatched and had no chance of stopping such massive theft, largely having no choice but to stand by watching the looters from a distance. In North Brooklyn , a community of more than a million residents, only 189 police officers were on duty…."

In 2003, a blackout in Ohio , New York , Maryland , Pennsylvania , Michigan and Canada saw "massive traffic jams and gridlock when people tried to get home without traffic lights. … Railways, airlines, gas stations, and oil refineries halted operations. Telephone lines were overwhelmed due to the high volume of calls. Overall, the blackout's economic impact was between $7 billion and $10 billion due to food spoilage, lost production, overtime wages…"

A true EMP attack, the report said, "could prove even more severe."

Further, major disruptions will happen in communications, financial and other computer-dependent parts of society.

Peter Vincent Pry, chief of EMPact America , said the world this past summer dodged a bullet – in the form of a massive solar flare.

The results of that naturally occurring even could be very similar to a nuclear-caused EMP attack, he said.

"The last 'great' geomagnetic storm was in 1859, called the Carrington event. Modern civilization, so dependent upon electronic systems, has not yet experienced a 'great' geomagnetic storm. Many scientists think we are overdue," he wrote. "Some scientists believe that, as we approach the solar maximum over the next two years, since the solar maximum brings increased solar flare activity, the possibility of a "great" geomagnetic storm will also increase."