Home       Why Prepare?        Contact Us       Prepper Films       Prepper Books       Advertise       Support/Donate       Survival Seeds

22 December, 2011

First Amendment Under Attack: 18 Examples Of How They Are Coming For Our Free Speech

First Amendment Under Attack: 18 Examples Of How They Are Coming For Our Free Speech: "In the United States today, the First Amendment is under attack like never before. Technological innovations such as the Internet have made it possible for average Americans to communicate directly with one another in ways that completely bypass the mainstream media, and this is making the elite very uncomfortable. They have decided that they better come after our free speech before it is too late. Right now, free speech in America is being chipped away at it in thousands of different ways. On the one hand, you have the disciples of 'political correctness' that want to make all forms of speech that are 'offensive' to anyone against the law. On the other hand, you have those that are obsessed with 'national security' that want to ban all speech that is critical of the U.S. government or the U.S. military. These twin forces are constantly seeking to push the First Amendment into a smaller and smaller box. If you say the wrong thing in America today, your website might be shut down, you could be suspended from school, you may find yourself out of a job and there is now even a possibility that you could be arrested and shipped off to Guantanamo Bay without a trial..."

21 December, 2011

U.S. Bio-Security Officials Sound Warning After Scientists Create Deadly New Strain of Bird Flu

U.S. Bio-Security Officials Sound Warning After Scientists Create Deadly New Strain of Bird Flu | Fox News: "The U.S. government is sounding the alarm after reports that Dutch scientists have created a highly-contagious and deadly airborne strain of bird flu that is potentially capable of killing millions, The Independent reported Tuesday.

The U.S. National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity is currently analyzing how much of the scientists' information should be allowed to be published—given the inherent risks of having the information fall into the hands of terrorists or rogue states.

'The fear is that if you create something this deadly and it goes into a global pandemic, the mortality and cost to the world could be massive,' a senior US government adviser told The Independent.

Scientists, too, are questioning whether the science should ever have been performed in the first place..."

20 December, 2011

North Korea: The Most Bizarre Country On Earth Is Now Even More Unstable

North Korea: The Most Bizarre Country On Earth Is Now Even More Unstable: "A new era has arrived for North Korea and nobody in the western world really knows exactly what is going to happen next. Kim Jong-Il is dead, and now control over the most bizarre country on earth has been handed over to 29-year-old Kim Jong-Un. Many believe that he is even younger than that. North Korea was already quite unstable while Kim Jong-Il was leading it, and now we have a young man that is going to be eager to 'prove himself' to the North Korean hierarchy. Unfortunately, a lot of young men under the age of 30 don't handle fame and fortune too well, and a lot of them tend to be hot-headed. Hopefully Kim Jong-Un will turn out to be a reformer that will open up the doors of North Korea, but he could also end up being worse than his father. We just do not know at this point. We know that Kim Jong-Un was educated in Switzerland as a boy, we know that he speaks French, English and German, and we know that he is reportedly a fan of the NBA. Other than that, we just don't know a whole lot about him. What we do know is that Kim Jong-Un is a product of a totalitarian society that is absolutely obsessed with destroying the United States, and that is a very frightening thing.

Today, North Korea has the fourth largest army in the entire world, and we know that Kim Jong-Un was named a four-star general in 2010. The United States has about 28,000 soldiers stationed in South Korea, but that number is absolutely dwarfed by the 1,000,000 soldiers in the North Korean army.

Most Americans do not realize this, but the Korean war never actually ended. A ceasefire brought the military conflict to a conclusion in 1953, but there was never a peace treaty. For nearly 60 years, the two sides have been staring each other down along the 38th parallel.

All during that time, North Korea has been arming itself to the teeth. North Korea is a nation that is absolutely obsessed with the military and that is absolutely obsessed with destroying the United States.

Most Americans don't spend much time thinking about North Korea, but most North Koreans are focused on the United States every single day. We are constantly held up as the great enemy, and North Koreans are taught that one day they will defeat us.

Today, North Korea has thousands of missile batteries and the largest artillery force in the world. If war with North Korea erupts, Seoul would be flattened within minutes.

Right now, there are approximately 24.5 million people living either in or around Seoul, and that makes it the second largest metropolitan area in the entire world. Even if North Korea did not nuke Seoul, the devastation caused by thousands of rockets and the largest artillery force on the planet would be unimaginable..."

Stocking Up for Doomsday: As Economists Predict Meltdown, Meet the Families Ready for the Worst

Stocking up for Doomsday: As economists predict meltdown, meet the families ready for the worst | Mail Online: "Picture the scene: It’s the end of January 2012 and already it is clear the year to come will make that which has just passed seem something of a picnic. The last strains of Auld Lang Syne had barely faded before Greece defaulted on its debts. Over the next few weeks, Italy and Spain will follow.

Across Britain and the Continent, bank after bank goes down, a domino effect exacerbated by panicking customers desperately withdrawing their savings. Where three years ago the giants of High Street banking were seen as too big too fail, now they are too big and too many for any Government to save.

Panic ensues. Within hours, the cashpoints are empty of money and the supermarket shelves stripped bare.

To make matters worse the country is hit by freezing weather. As temperatures plummet and snow falls, the road network stalls to a grinding halt, while large swathes of the country are hit by electricity blackouts.

The warning by economists that Britain is just ‘nine meals from anarchy’ is brutally borne out. Unlike last summer, the rioters on the streets aren’t looking for trainers and flat-screen TVs — just food.

An absurd fantasy? Perhaps so, but in an increasingly uncertain world, such a scenario can no longer be dismissed out of hand. And strange as it may seem, it’s one that many believe is worth preparing for..."

Countering An EMP Attack

Countering An EMP Attack - Ed Feulner - Townhall Conservative: "When Americans think about the threat from foreign missiles, it’s nearly always the catastrophic effect of a conventional nuclear blast that comes to mind. We think of the doomsday scenarios that have played out in so many movies and TV shows: a nuke explodes over a large city -- leveling buildings, crushing houses and creating a swath of destruction.

But that’s not the only threat that can come from a missile fired from a rogue nation, or one that has fallen into the hands of terrorists. We could also fall victim to the devastating effects of an electromagnetic pulse. With an EMP, almost everything powered by electricity would be effectively wiped out -- not physically, but practically. They would simply cease to work.

Imagine the havoc this could cause. Your cell phone? Useless. The same goes for your TV, radio and computer. Your car might still run, but good luck driving on roads with no working stoplights, accessing your GPS devices for directions, or buying gasoline from pumps that won’t pump. We’d be in the dark, literally -- plunged into the early 19th century in a matter of seconds..."

19 December, 2011

The Poor Man’s Guide To Survival Gear

The Poor Man’s Guide To Survival Gear: "A friend of mine took note recently that a large portion of activists involved in the Liberty Movement had hit extremely hard times, or had been struggling financially even before the general economic collapse began to take hold. He asked me my theory on why it was that so many of us are always so broke. I could only relate that it is almost always the working class poor in any society that first sees the effects of a corrupt government and a faulty economic system. Those who legitimately hold to the principles of self sustainment, and fair play, are usually the first to be stabbed in the back by the establishment, and so, they are the first to become politically active against it. That is to say, sometimes we have to lose almost everything before we are able to see the bigger picture.

While I consider this fact a source of solace in these extraordinarily hard times, it still does little to put food on the table, or survival gear in the bug-out-bag.

The overall consensus within the prepper community is that survival planning is expensive, and yes, it certainly can be. Another consensus is that you 'get what you pay for'; also true...to a point. My belief is that while no prepping model is free of expense or of quality concerns, perhaps there is a middle road that activists with thin wallets can take which will provide solid gear for less money, and that will serve most of the functions of high-end gear that is ten times as expensive. Let’s examine a foundation list of those items that can help get you started now..."

A Town Growing All Its Own Vegetables

Temperate Climate Permaculture: Todmorden. A town growing all its own vegetables...: "Admittedly, it sounds like the most foolhardy of criminal capers, and one of the cheekiest, too.

Outside the police station in the small Victorian mill town of Todmorden, West Yorkshire, there are three large raised flower beds.

If you’d visited a few months ago, you’d have found them overflowing with curly kale, carrot plants, lettuces, spring onions — all manner of vegetables and salad leaves.

Today the beds are bare. Why? Because people have been wandering up to the police station forecourt in broad daylight and digging up the vegetables. And what are the cops doing about this brazen theft from right under their noses? Nothing.

Well, that’s not quite correct.

‘I watch ’em on camera as they come up and pick them,’ says desk officer Janet Scott, with a huge grin. It’s the smile that explains everything.

For the vegetable-swipers are not thieves. The police station carrots — and thousands of vegetables in 70 large beds around the town — are there for the taking. Locals are encouraged to help themselves. A few tomatoes here, a handful of broccoli there. If they’re in season, they’re yours. Free.

So there are (or were) raspberries, apricots and apples on the canal towpath; blackcurrants, redcurrants and strawberries beside the doctor’s surgery; beans and peas outside the college; cherries in the supermarket car park; and mint, rosemary, thyme and fennel by the health centre.

The vegetable plots are the most visible sign of an amazing plan: to make Todmorden the first town in the country that is self-sufficient in food...

16 December, 2011

Should You Leave the USA Before the Collapse? Words of Wisdom From Someone Who Tried

Should you leave the USA before the collapse? Words of wisdom from someone who tried: "One of the most common questions I'm asked today from people who are aware of what's really going on is, 'Should I leave the USA to get away from the coming police state?' Three years ago, I would have said YES, but today, after having experienced such an effort myself and now having a clear understanding of the ramifications of such an effort, I must urge people to reconsider. As you'll read here, you may ultimately be far safer and more successful living right where you are, in your 'home country,' even if that home country becomes a police state..."

15 December, 2011

Preppers Are Now Considered To Be Potential Terrorists?

Preppers Are Now Considered To Be Potential Terrorists?: "If you and your family store up lots of food, will you be identified as 'potential terrorists' by law enforcement authorities? That sounds like an insane question, but sadly it has gotten to the point where 'preparing for the worst' has become a 'suspicious activity'. Today, there are millions of preppers all across the United States, and the vast majority of them just want to be left alone and do not want the government to interfere in their lives. Storing up food is a completely peaceful activity, and preppers are generally some of the most patriotic and law-abiding people that you could ever hope to meet. Unfortunately, prepping has become associated with 'extremism' by many in the government, and lately we have seen some very disturbing signs that authorities are actively seeking to gather information on preppers. So are preppers now considered to be potential terrorists? Well, read the evidence posted in the rest of this article and decide for yourself..."

The Indefinite Detention Bill DOES Apply to American Citizens on U.S. Soil

The Indefinite Detention Bill DOES Apply to American Citizens on U.S. Soil - Washington's Blog: "Even at this 11th hour – when all of our liberties and freedom are about to go down the drain – many people still don’t understand that the indefinite detention bill passed by Congress allows indefinite detention of Americans on American soil..."

14 December, 2011

Baking Bread in a Wood Cookstove

Here is a link to an awesome piece on Baking Bread in a Wood Cookstove from over at the Paratus Familia Blog. Enjoy!

Startup Turns Your Cell-Phone Number into a Location Fix

'Cause privacy isn't important and stuff... [shakes head]

----------

Startup Turns Your Cell-Phone Number into a Location Fix - Technology Review: "Your phone number's area code gives other people a clue to where you live, or have lived in the past. Startup company Loc-Aid can use your full phone number to figure out exactly where you are right now..."

13 December, 2011

Alaska's Governor Proposes $4.9 Million For Emergency Food Caches

Parnell Proposes $4.9 Million For Emergency Food Caches | alaskapublic.org: "Gov. Sean Parnell is proposing $4.9 million for emergency food supplies to be stashed across the state.

Parnell says his administration is working to ensure every community is prepared with power generation, safe drinking water and food supplies in case of an emergency or natural disaster..."

Police To Test Laser That [Temporarily] 'Blinds Rioters'

Police to test laser that 'blinds rioters' - Telegraph: "A shoulder-mounted laser that emits a blinding wall of light capable of repelling rioters is to be trialled by police under preparations to prevent a repeat of this summer's looting and arson.

The technology, developed by a former Royal Marine commando, temporarily impairs the vision of anyone who looks towards the source.

It has impressed a division of the Home Office which is testing a new range of devices because of the growing number of violent situations facing the police.

The developer, British-based Photonic Security Systems, hopes to offer the device to shipping companies to deter pirates. Similar devices have been used by ISAF troops in Afghanistan to protect convoys from insurgents.

The laser, resembling a rifle and known as an SMU 100, can dazzle and incapacitate targets up to 500m away with a wall of light up to three metres squared..."

12 December, 2011

Frozen Beer Helped Man Trapped in Snow Drift Survive

Frozen beer helped man trapped in snow drift survive: Northwest Alaska | Alaska news at adn.com: "Clifton Vial, 52, climbed into the cab of his Toyota Tacoma Monday night in Nome to see how far a road winding to the north would take him.

More than 40 miles out of town, at about 9:30 that night, he found out. As Pink Floyd's "Echoes" played on the stereo and temperature dipped well below zero in the darkness, Vial's pickup plunged into a snowdrift.

'I made an attempt at digging myself out and realized how badly I was stuck,' said Vial. He was wearing tennis shoes, jeans and a $30 jacket from Sears. 'I would have been frostbit before I ever got the thing out of there.'

... Far beyond the reach of his cellphone, Vial slipped into a fleece sleeping bag liner and wrapped a bath towel around his feet. He occasionally started the truck to run the heater and listen to the radio...

... By the third day, Vial said, the truck was nearly out of gas...

... 'I felt really pissed at myself,' Vial said. 'I shouldn't have been out there by myself unprepared for what I knew was possible.'

Normally Vial carries a sleeping bag, extra gasoline and other survival gear in the 2000 Toyota, he said. But on this trip he had few supplies, no food and no water...


... For Vial, the cold was worse than the hunger, he said. Still he scoured the pickup in vain for food.

His only provisions: Snow, and a few cans of Coors Light that had frozen solid in the cab.

Vial ate the beers like cans of beans. 'I cut the lids off and dug it out with a knife,' he said..."

09 December, 2011

Society's Thin Veneer Crumbling: Mob of 50 Teen-Aged Girls Beats Down Two NYC Cops

Witness another example of our society's increasingly thin veneer of civility crumbling with rot...


----------

Mob of 50 Teen-Aged Girls Beats Down Two NYC Cops | TheBlaze.com: "New York City firefighters came to the rescue of two NYPD cops who were outnumbered and getting pummeled by 50 angry female teenagers on Tuesday.

The Firefighters from the FDNY opened up on the violent crowd with a 'deluge gun'– which is a high-powered, truck-mounted water cannon–finally causing the mob to disperse.

NYPD officers made nine arrests, but two officers were hospitalized in the attack. Police also recovered a starter pistol, which may have been intended to further terrify the original female target of the mob.

The scene unfolded in New York’s Staten Island borough when a mob of 50 young females gathered outside the home of a single young girl and threatened her. Apparently, the girl had been kept home from school for several days because of repeated and vicious bullying, so the bullies came to her doorstep..."

What Is The Best Country In The World For Americans To Relocate To In Order To Avoid The Coming Economic Collapse?

What Is The Best Country In The World For Americans To Relocate To In Order To Avoid The Coming Economic Collapse?: "Millions of American citizens have already left the United States in search of a better life. As the economy continues to crumble and as our society slowly falls apart, millions of others are thinking about it. But moving to another country is not something to be done lightly. The reality is that there are a vast array of social, cultural, economic and safety issues to be considered. If you have never traveled outside of North America, then you have no idea how incredibly different life in other parts of the world can be. For those that are unfamiliar with international travel, it can be quite a shock to suddenly be immersed in a foreign culture. In fact, no matter how experienced you are, choosing to relocate to a new country is never easy. But things have gone downhill so dramatically in the United States that picking up and moving to a foreign nation is being increasingly viewed as a viable alternative by millions of Americans. A lot of people have decided that they simply do not want to be in the United States when the excrement hits the fan. So what is the best country in the world for Americans to relocate to in order to avoid the coming economic collapse?..."

08 December, 2011

Greeks Using ‘Starvation Recipes’ Cookbook to Survive Economy

Greeks Using ‘Starvation Recipes’ Cookbook to Survive Economy | Video | TheBlaze.com: "It’s the ultimate belt-tightening handbook: No Meat? Push an eggplant through the grinder instead. Chew your food long enough for your stomach to feel full. And don’t forget to sweep crumbs off your table and into a jar.

These are some of the tips Greeks used to survive the World War II occupation that have been collected in 'Starvation Recipes' – a cookbook that has become a surprise hit as millions of Greeks struggle to make ends meet in a new era of hardship brought on by economic crisis..."

07 December, 2011

New Flu Strain, H3N2, Makes Health Experts Nervous

New Flu Strain, H3N2, Makes Health Experts Nervous: "A new variant of a flu virus that circulates in pigs has been jumping occasionally into people, providing a surprisingly early opportunity for public health officials to test out some of the lessons learned from the 2009 H1N1 pandemic.

Since the virus was first spotted in July, there have been 10 cases, all but one of which were children under the age of 10. (The exception was a 58 year old.) All the cases have been in the United States; there have been no reports of this virus in people or pigs anywhere else

The most recent infections, in three young children in Iowa, almost certainly involved person-to-person spread. The Iowa cluster is likely larger — no one in the first child’s family had exposure to pigs, suggesting an unidentified person was the source of virus.

The cases leave public health authorities in the U.S. and elsewhere wondering if a new swine-origin influenza virus is circulating at low levels among humans – and what needs to be done if that is indeed happening..."

Contagion Catastrophe

Contagion Catastrophe - Jim Tankersley - NationalJournal.com: "This is the worst-case scenario from Europe, and it just might come true: Italy defaults on its debts. Every major Italian bank collapses. Recession grips the eurozone. Sovereign defaults and bank failures ripple across the Continent. Saddled with bad loans to nations and lenders in Europe, American banks hemorrhage cash. Credit freezes in the United States. Multinational companies, unable to raise money, curb U.S. investment and hiring. Wall Street demands, but fails to get, new bailouts. The entire developed world plummets into recession and, quite possibly, depression.

This, in contrast, is the placid warning that President Obama gave Americans about the threat... There’s still a chance that Europeans, through some combination of fiscal and monetary action, can stop the crisis before it shatters the feeble U.S. recovery. But the worst case is so much worse than Obama’s description, and Washington has failed to prepare voters for the possibility. 'The [potential] shock we’re talking about is of very large magnitude,' says Viral Acharya, a New York University professor who studies financial risk extensively. 'If you’re just having an Armageddon coming your way, [America’s] buffers may not be adequate.'..."

06 December, 2011

Rand Paul Warns Preppers that the Government Considers You Terrorists.

Rand Paul warns preppers that the government considers you terrorists.: "In a warning from Rand Paul on the senate floor, where he speaks out against provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act, we learned today that the government considers having guns or storing more than 7 days of food a possible terrorist activity.

In the speech Rand Paul warns Americans that 'Someone who has guns, someone who has ammunition that is weather proofed, someone who has 7 days of food in their house' can be considered a potential terrorist by the federal government.

He warns that under a new provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act the federal government could lock you up indefinitely if you are suspected of activities that they consider terrorism related. That’s right the military will now have the power to lock up anyone, even American citizens without due process and without being convicted of a crime..."

CIA following Twitter, Facebook

CIA following Twitter, Facebook | DFPK - Insight With Integrity: "In an anonymous industrial park in Virginia, in an unassuming brick building, the CIA is following tweets – up to 5 million a day.

At the agency’s Open Source Center, a team known affectionately as the “vengeful librarians” also pores over Facebook, newspapers, TV news channels, local radio stations, Internet chat rooms – anything overseas that anyone can access and contribute to openly.

From Arabic to Mandarin Chinese, from an angry tweet to a thoughtful blog, the analysts gather the information, often in native tongue. They cross-reference it with the local newspaper or a clandestinely intercepted phone conversation. From there, they build a picture sought by the highest levels at the White House, giving a real-time peek, for example, at the mood of a region after the Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden or perhaps a prediction of which Mideast nation seems ripe for revolt...

... The center had started focusing on social media after watching the Twitter-sphere rock the Iranian regime during the Green Revolution of 2009, when thousands protested the results of the elections that put Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad back in power. “Farsi was the third largest presence in social media blogs at the time on the Web,” Naquin said.

The center’s analysis ends up in President Barack Obama’s daily intelligence briefing in one form or another, almost every day.

After bin Laden was killed in Pakistan in May, the CIA followed Twitter to give the White House a snapshot of world public opinion..."

Glenn Beck Interview RE: Scary Technology

05 December, 2011

Homemade Mead -- the Cheap, Easy and Effective Way

First off, let me say -- as you will quickly be able to tell in the reading of it -- this article is many months in the making.  In it I will document my first foray into home-brewing Mead, the oldest alcoholic beverage known to mankind and the father of both beer and wine, as carried-out beginning on the evening of 4.22.2011. Be advised: my amateur methods likely will not please purists/diehard home-brew hobbyist who insist on using lots of fancy equipment and accessories in their process.  The title of this article, you will soon find, is an apt one -- this is the cheap, easy and effective method.


The basic recipe I used can be found here.  After talking to some of the fine folks at the Homebrew Talk Forums, however, I learned that this is essentially a variation of an old, well-known recipe called "Joe's Ancient Orange Mead" or simply "J.A.O.M." for short.  You can Google it, if you like, to find many different variations.

 The recipe called for 2 bottles of honey, but I only used about 1-and-a-half to keep it from being too strong; I'll use the other half bottle to sweeten the Mead before drinking.
















 Finished mixture, before adding the balloon to let it breathe. -------------->












After adding the balloon to let it breathe. The balloon, by the way, has 2 tiny pinholes to allow the gases created by the fermentation process to escape, otherwise the jug would explode!
















A little over 3 hours later fermentation begins as you can see the gases partially inflating the balloon. The gases bleed out slowly through the tiny pinholes previously poked in the balloon.












As of 5.19.2011, I have notes that record the mixture as "quickly clearing to a light amber color"; and, having been siphoned twice to new containers, leaving behind the dead yeast and the fruit.  Then, on 7.15.2011 (the 12 week mark), I bottled the batch:





It was here that I made what I am told is a fairly common rookie mistake.  In adding the left-over honey as a "back sweetener" (because I'm a wuss who prefers my wines sweet, not dry), I inadvertently re-awakened the yeast and started the fermentation process all over again.  So, back online I went to order some Campden tablets.  Then, treated to kill the yeast for good; added more honey and some brown sugar, cinnamon and a little cloves to offset the extra alcohol my mistake created; and, re-bottled.

Now, fast-forward to the present.


The extra bottles you see above are from a 2nd, slightly smaller batch started on 5.13.2011.  Being that both batches are now past the 6 month mark called for in the initial recipe, I decided to try some.






And, I must say I am rather pleased.  As you can see, it has a nice honey-ish color and is not at all cloudy.















The rich, sweet flavor of the clover honey is very strong as is the scent.  I am told aging it a year or more will make it even better, but even at this young age I find it no worse than any other inexpensive sweet table wine.









All in all, I'm rather happy with my results as a beginner.  Let me know what you think.

03 December, 2011

Another Virginia Earthquake

Virginia Earthquake Today Felt in Kentucky: "A Virginia earthquake today was felt in neighboring Kentucky. The Virginia earthquake today Saturday, December 03, 2011 struck before sunrise. No reports of injuries have been detailed by local news.

Shortly after 6 am local time, Virginia experienced a 3.1 magnitude quake today. The quake, however, had virtually no depth, USGS reports to news. The quake struck roughly three miles below the earth’s surface. The quake was felt in Virginia and sections of Kentucky.

The quake was centered eight miles from Raven and Richlands, Virginia, USGS reports to news. The quake was also ten miles northwest of Cedar Bluff. Pikeville, Kentucky was only forty miles east of the quake, and Winston Salem, North Carolina was centered roughly one hundred north west, UGS indicates to news.

Today’s Virginia quake was centered west of Interstate 77 and east of highway 23. The quake was west of Bluefield, Princeton, Blacksburg, and Galax. It was south of Oceana and Harts, and east of Jenkins and Grundy, USGS reports. No damage has yet to be detailed by local news..."

02 December, 2011

Technology vs. Privacy

Assange: 'iPhone, Blackberry, Gmail users - you're all screwed' • The Register: "Surveillance companies can use your iPhone to take photos of you and your surroundings without your knowledge, said a representative from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism at a panel chaired by Julian Assange™ today.

Companies also sell products that will let them change the messages you write, track your location and nick your email contacts, claimed speakers on the panel that included representatives from Privacy International and the aforementioned bureau.

The privacy campaigners, speaking in London, pulled out some of the most sensational revelations in the 287 documents about the international surveillance industry published today by WikiLeaks. The documents cover a total of 160 companies in 25 countries..."

01 December, 2011

Senate Bill to OK Indefinite Detention of U.S. Citizens Without Charge, Trial

Senate Bill to OK Indefinite Detention of U.S. Citizens Without Charge, Trial: "In what may be a tale too bizarre to be believed by millions of Americans, the U.S. Senate appears ready to pass a bill that will designate the entire earth, including the United States and its territories, one all-encompassing 'battlefield' in the global 'war on terror' and authorize the detention of Americans suspected of terrorist ties indefinitely and without trial or even charges being filed that would necessitate a trial.

The bill could come to a vote as early as today, according to a bulletin issued by the American Civil Liberties Union. The legislation 'goes to the very heart of who we are as Americans,' the ACLU statement said, describing the bill as having moved toward passage while most Americans were celebrating Thanksgiving and a long holiday weekend for millions of U.S. workers. 'The Senate will be voting on a bill that will direct American military resources not at an enemy shooting at our military in a war zone, but at American citizens and other civilians far from any battlefield — even people in the United States itself,' the ACLU warned.

Labeled the National Defense Authorization Act, S. 1867 was drafted in secret by Senators Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) and approved in a closed-door committee meeting, according to the ACLU statement...

... If passed in its present form, the bill would give the President the power to order the military to pick up and imprison without charge or trial civilians anywhere in the world..."

Abrupt Permafrost Thaw Increases Climate Threat

Nano Patents and Innovations: Abrupt Permafrost Thaw Increases Climate Threat: "As the Arctic warms, greenhouse gases will be released from thawing permafrost faster and at significantly higher levels than previous estimates, according to survey results from 41 international scientists published in the Nov. 30 issue of the journal Nature.

Permafrost thaw will release approximately the same amount of carbon as deforestation, say the authors, but the effect on climate will be 2.5 times bigger because emissions include methane, which has a greater effect on warming than carbon dioxide..."

30 November, 2011

Paper Money Is Not Wealth

Paper Money Is Not Wealth : Personal Liberty Digest™: "Have you ever seen “old people” hold and fondle their paper money? They count it, hide it under the mattress and bury it for safekeeping.

Remember my example of the power of inflation? I said that you could bury your paper money 40 miles deep in a sealed concrete vault, and it still could be inflated or devalued to nothing. There is no way to preserve your paper money. It is up to the money creators to not overprint.

Here’s how we are fooled: People equate fiat paper money like U.S. dollars with wealth. Only if paper money held its purchasing power could it be a store of value. Only then could you bury it and forget it...

... The U.S. dollar does rally from time to time, but the long-term trend is down. We must understand this in order to protect our savings and investments.

The only thing that the U.S. government and the Federal Reserve can do under any pretense is to debase the currency. They do this by printing money or massive devaluation. It is not a solution, only a delay.

It’s a cruel hoax! Debasing the currency cannot and will not bring prosperity. It will bring ruin. It always has. It can come only to final default.

Printing money plus big devaluation means default — maybe not suddenly, but default is guaranteed..."

Family Lost in the Woods On Christmas Tree Hunt Forced to Call 911 for Rescue

Family Lost On Christmas Tree Hunt Calls 911 - Denver News Story - KMGH Denver: "A family of four hunting for that perfect Christmas tree got lost in Jefferson County Sunday afternoon, called 911 and were escorted to safety after dark by the Alpine Rescue team, authorities said.

The family, a couple and their two children, ages 9 and 13, became lost in the backcountry near Highway 126 and Forest Service Road 550 in the Buffalo Creek area, said Jefferson County sheriff's spokeswoman Jacki Kelley..."

29 November, 2011

Scientists Create Man-Made Flu Virus That Could Potentially Wipe Out Millions If It Ever Escapes Research Lab

Scientists create man-made flu virus that could potentially wipe out millions if it ever escapes research lab | Impact Lab: "A group of scientists is pushing to publish research about how they created a man-made flu virus that could potentially wipe out civilization.

The deadly virus is a genetically tweaked version of the H5N1 bird flu strain, but is far more infectious and could pass easily between millions of people at a time.

The research has caused a storm of controversy and divided scientists, with some saying it should never have been carried out.

The current strain of H5N1 has only killed 500 people and is not contagious enough to cause a global pandemic.

But their are fears the modified virus is so dangerous it could be used for bio-warfare, if it falls into the wrong hands.

Virologist Ron Fouchier of the Erasmus Medical Centre in the Netherlands lead a team of scientists who discovered that a mere five mutations to the avian virus was sufficient to make it spread far more easily..."

The 10 Most Shocking Videos from Black Friday 2011: Depicting America’s Greed

What has our civilization become?


----------

The 10 Most Shocking Videos from Black Friday 2011: Depicting America’s Greed: "Black Friday seems to grow further out of control every year, and 2011 was no exception. Millions of Americans waited overnight to storm retailers’ gates and battle for limited deals across the nation. We’ve sorted through every video released so far to bring you the 10 most chaotic. Prepare yourself!..."

The Threat of Electromagnetic Pulse

The threat of electromagnetic pulse! by John Silveira Issue #132: "I like 'doomsday' scenarios — even ridiculous ones, such as the supposed Mayan calendar prophecy for 2012 or what had been Y2K doom-and-gloom leading up to the year 2000. Of course, there are some genuine doomsday threats to worry about, such as the possibility of another flu pandemic like the one of 1918-1919 or other pandemics health officials worry could be caused by drug resistant "superbugs" that could kill tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions, worldwide.

There are also unlikely but plausible catastrophes I like to mull over, such as the eruption of one of the world's super volcanoes, the impacting of a large asteroid, or the onset of another glacial age, all of which are going to happen — eventually — and, if one of those happened now it could wipe out as much as 90 percent of humanity, and we're powerless to stop them.

But what if there was a well-documented, but preventable threat, that could bring this country to its knees and kill as many as a quarter of a billion Americans, yet we were doing nothing to prevent it. In fact there are fixes we could put in place now to lessen the consequences — but the media and our nation's leaders not only ignore it, Congress has even cut money from the budget that could provide the means to deal with it.

The threat is called electromagnetic pulse (EMP) and it could come about as the result of detonating one well-placed nuclear device high over the United States. In fact, it could happen even without a nuclear attack as a result of a naturally-occurring solar flare from our own sun..."

EPA Targets Families That Generate Heat Off The Grid Using Traditional Wood-Burning Stoves

EPA targets families that generate heat off the grid using traditional wood-burning stoves: "Traditional wood-burning stoves are still one of the most cost-efficient, sustainable, and renewable sources of energy production that families can use to heat their homes. But the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is not a huge fan of them, as was evidenced by its recent decision to push those who use traditional models to convert to EPA-approved -- and oftentimes much more expensive -- alternative models.

Throughout history, civilizations have relied on the burning of wood to cook food, warm water, and heat places of dwelling. After all, trees are an abundant and renewable source of wood, which means that the costs associated with obtaining energy and heat from burning wood are minimal. This, of course, is why many cash-strapped folks today are turning to wood-burning stoves rather than their local utilities.

But the EPA is now expressing concern about the 80 percent-or-so of wood stove users that still rely on non-EPA approved models. Most of the wood stoves manufactured before 1990 do not contain the EPA's certification stamp of approval which, in the eyes of the agency, means they are an unnecessary contributor of excess environmental pollution..."

Think We've Got It Bad? Read About the British Expats Whose Lives Have Become a Nightmare in a Violent, Chaotic Greece

Think we've got it bad? Read about the British expats whose lives have become a nightmare in a violent, chaotic land | Mail Online: "Last month, I dropped off my two-year-old daughter Nicci Alise at her nursery during a downpour that lasted barely an hour. But this being Athens, that’s all it took for many of the shoddily maintained roads to flood. As I navigated the five-minute drive home, stinking bags of uncollected garbage sailed past in the torrents.

It could have been a scene from Slumdog Millionaire, except that I was driving past multi-million-euro mansions with gilded gates and cascading bougainvillea in one of Athens’s most affluent suburbs. The imagery was potent. Greece 2011: a country that has allowed itself to be capsized by its own accumulated waste.

It’s been barely a fortnight since new prime minister Lucas Papademos was parachuted in, and Greece’s so-called ‘national unity’ government has already devolved into a Mexican stand-off over the crucial signing of the eurozone rescue deal. But regardless of any new political scenario, Greece’s citizens still face years of brutal austerity when, even now, there are so many who haven’t been paid in months.

On that rainy day, the city’s refuse collectors were on strike, as they had been for the past fortnight, along with a good proportion of Greece’s labour force. We were in the grip of a 48-hour general strike. Airports, state schools and banks stopped working. They were joined by bakers, doctors, customs officials, taxi and bus drivers and even judges. Clothes shops and tax offices shut down, but the beggars who clog Athens’s road junctions cleaning windscreens were still hard at it.

Every night, my husband Dimitri and I log on with foreboding to the strike website that has the most reliable information on the next day’s industrial action. That’s right: we have chosen to live in a country where we must consult a website devoted solely to strikes. It is dawning on us that we must be crazy.

Six years ago we left London for Athens in a spirit of great optimism with our first child, Poppy Grace. It was a chance for Dimitri to reconnect with his Greek roots in the great Olive Belt.

Last month’s 48-hour paralysis was certainly the most severe I have witnessed. The day before, we all rushed out to stock up on milk, bread and petrol: siege preparations.

When rumours of another extended petrol station strike broke earlier that month, I queued for an hour to fill my tank. The last time it had happened, we had no petrol for more than a week.

Eighteen months ago, three people died – one of them a pregnant woman – when protesters torched the Marfin Egnatia bank in Syntagma Square, 300 yards from where my husband works for a small Greek investment bank. Like thousands that day, he had to fight his way home on foot through tear gas and flying rocks...

... A month ago, Dimitri once again braved the riots and tear gas, the piles of burning rubbish and Molotov cocktails to get home from the city’s beleaguered centre. But the mood of the people, he reported, had shifted and there was now an ugly undercurrent to these ritual protests that frightened him.

For the first time, protesters targeted one of the guard boxes outside Parliament House. Traditionally, these military sentinels have been revered by the Greeks as a symbol of the people. Last month, they burned a guard box too. Greece – her unemployment rate soaring at 16.5 per cent – now officially appears to be a country that is fragmenting..."

28 November, 2011

Black Friday Violence Worse Than Ever As American Consumers Fight Over Deals Like Crazed Animals

Black Friday Violence Worse Than Ever As American Consumers Fight Over Deals Like Crazed Animals: "We all knew that this was coming, didn't we? Each year Black Friday violence just seems to get worse and worse. What does it say about American consumers when they are willing to fight like crazed animals just to save a few bucks on cheap plastic crap made in China? Not that retailers are innocent in any of this. It certainly seems as though many of them purposely create wild situations on Black Friday where customers will rush like crazy people into their stores and nearly riot as they fight over discounted merchandise. The more Black Friday madness there is, the more of an "event" it becomes, and the higher the profits of the retailers go. This year there was more Black Friday hype than ever and there was also more Black Friday violence than ever. It is being projected that this year a record-setting 152 million Americans will go shopping between Thanksgiving and Sunday night. That may be good news for the big corporate retailers, but the shocking lack of character being displayed by American consumers all over the country this weekend is very bad news for the future of this nation..."

Gingrich Warns EMP Greatest Strategic Threat to U.S.

Gingrich warns EMP greatest strategic threat to U.S.: "... presidential candidate and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich announced a threat to U.S. national security that no other candidate has discussed and that commentators described as "out of the box" until they researched it for themselves.

The potential threat Gingrich referred to was an electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, attack that 'would literally destroy the country's capacity to function.' Gingrich pointed out that no one is talking about the potential for such an attack to cripple America's critical infrastructure.

Business Insider said that 'at first, we thought Gingrich had been playing too many video games, but after looking into it, it turns out EMP attacks are actually real and pretty damn scary'..."

Popular Mom-and-Pop Water Purification Business Shuttered by DEA's Meth-Hunting "Knotheads"

Popular Mom-and-pop water purification business shuttered by DEA's meth-hunting "knotheads" - Boing Boing: "... Bob Wallace, an 88-year-old chemist who started a very successful cottage business selling iodine crystals under the 'Polar Pure' brand new, used by hikers and disaster relief workers for water purification. Wallace has been put out of business by the Drug Enforcement Agency, who say they once busted a meth lab that was using Wallace's iodine in their process. The DEA says it's not their fault: 'If Mr. Wallace is no longer in business he has perhaps become part of that collateral damage, for it was not a result of DEA regulations, but rather the selfish actions of criminal opportunists. Individuals that readily sacrifice human lives for money'..."

23 November, 2011

8 Tips for Really Frugal Living

8 Tips for Really Frugal Living - SecondAct.com: "Jeff Yeager doesn't clip coupons -- surprising for a frugal living expert whose books on the subject have landed him on The Today Show.

Using coupons leads to unnecessary spending, and Yeager, author of The Ultimate Cheapskate's Road Map to True Riches and The Cheapskate Next Door, preaches spending a little and reusing a lot. Give him an orange rind and he'll use it to shine copper pots. Show him an empty toilet paper roll and some dryer lint, and he'll stuff one with the other for a homemade fire starter.

A pared-down lifestyle isn't solely about saving money. It's also about getting happy, he says. 'It's about choices. Every time you get your wallet out and decide what you're going to spend on, you're making a choice.'

To get into the frugal habit, Yeager suggests going a week without buying anything, what he calls a 'fiscal fast.' Pay bills that are due and buy prescription medication ahead of time. Otherwise, don't stockpile food or anything else. Fix meals from what's on hand. Stretch the gas in your tank by telecommuting, carpooling, biking, walking or taking public transportation. For fun, play board games or read a book. When the week's over, use any money you saved to pay down debts, or put it in savings, Yeager says..."

21 November, 2011

Building Your Own 20kW Hydroelectric Power Plant

Design News - News - Case Study: Building Your Own 20kW Hydroelectric Power Plant: "Microhydroelectric power is making a comeback in electricity generation for homes, farms, and small businesses. This trend is fueled by factors including favorable regulation, rising energy prices, and advances in automation. And do-it-yourselfers worldwide are diving in.

The only requirement to generate electricity is access to a stream with a two-foot drop in water level and two gallons of flow per minute. A hydroelectric system isn’t overly complicated, isn’t difficult to operate and maintain, has longevity, and is often more cost-effective than any other form of renewable power..."

Foreign Hackers Targeted U.S. Water Plant in Apparent Malicious Cyber Attack, Expert Says

"Foreign hackers targeted U.S. water plant in apparent malicious cyber attack, expert says - Checkpoint Washington - The Washington Post: Foreign hackers caused a pump at an Illinois water plant to fail last week, according to a preliminary state report. Experts said the cyber-attack, if confirmed, would be the first known to have damaged one of the systems that supply Americans with water, electricity and other essentials of modern life.

Companies and government agencies that rely on the Internet have for years been routine targets of hackers, but most incidents have resulted from attempts to steal information or interrupt the functioning of Web sites. The incident in Springfield, Ill., would mark a departure because it apparently caused physical destruction...

... News of the incident became public after Joe Weiss, an industry security expert, obtained a report dated Nov. 10 and collected by an Illinois state intelligence center that monitors security threats. The original source of the information was unknown and impossible to immediately verify.

The report, which Weiss read to The Washington Post, describes how a series of minor glitches with a water pump gradually escalated to the point where the pump motor was being turned on and off frequently. It soon burned out, according to the report..."

18 November, 2011

Tough Times: Life Inside the Hardest Hit County in the U.S.

Tough times: Life inside the hardest hit county in the U.S. - The Globe and Mail: "... Rowan County [North Carolina] is not the poorest in America, but it is among those that have experienced the most stunning loss during Barack Obama’s first term. Once a blue-collar county, Rowan has morphed into an unemployed one, where everything from federal stimulus money to state home loans to government retraining programs have failed to impede a deeper slide into poverty..."

17 November, 2011

Guess How Many Americans Don't Have Enough Saved To Cover A $1000 Emergency

Guess How Many Americans Don't Have Enough Saved To Cover A $1000 Emergency: "According to a recent study from The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), 33 percent of Americans do not have a savings account of at least $1,000 or more to cover emergency expenses.

The NFCC study surveyed 1,010 Americans to determine how much money they had set aside in the event of a financial emergency that could cost around $1,000.

Of the respondents surveyed, 64 percent claimed to possess emergency funds..."

15 November, 2011

22 Signs That The Thin Veneer Of Civilization That We All Take For Granted Is Starting To Disappear

22 Signs That The Thin Veneer Of Civilization That We All Take For Granted Is Starting To Disappear: "In order for a society to function, there has to be a certain level of trust. Each day when we leave our homes, we take for granted that most people are not going to attack us for no reason, that there will only be isolated incidents of theft in our community and that rioting and violence are not going to erupt in the streets. Whether we realize it or not, we depend on the fact that the vast majority of the people around us are going to act in a civilized manner. Unfortunately, the thin veneer of civilization that we all take for granted is starting to disappear. When I was growing up, I was taught that challenging times reveal our true character. There are many that believe that the declining economy is causing a lot of the chaos that we are now witnessing, but perhaps what is going on is that these challenging economic times are simply revealing the character that has been there all along. For decades, a "false prosperity" that was fueled by unprecedented amounts of debt has masked a lot of the internal rot that has taken hold in America. But now that our prosperity is crumbling, our lack of values is becoming startlingly clear.

Greed, corruption and extreme self-centeredness have deeply infected our society. We see this on Wall Street and in Congress, and we see this among those that are trying to survive on the mean streets of our largest cities.

Our nation is breaking down on every level. If by some miracle we were able to fix our economy, that would mask our problems for a while, but it would not solve them.

Unfortunately, as I write about nearly every day, there are a whole host of indications that our economy is about to get even worse. When it does, millions of Americans will become even more desperate, and as we are now seeing all over this country, desperate people do desperate things..."


[Be sure to follow the link above to read the list. This article lays out the concepts I've been hoping to help people understand with this blog.]

14 November, 2011

The Truth about Violence : 3 Principles of Self-Defense

The Blog : The Truth about Violence : Sam Harris: "As a teenager, I once had an opportunity to fly in a police helicopter over a major American city. Naively, I thought the experience might be uneventful. Perhaps there would be no crime between 8:00 and 10:00 p.m. on a Saturday night. However, from the moment we were airborne, there was a fresh emergency every fifteen seconds: Shots fired… rape in progress… victim stabbed…It was a deluge. Of course, the impression this left on me was, in part, the result of a sampling bias: I was hearing nothing but incident reports from a city of 4 million people, most of whom would never encounter violence directly. (No one calls the police to say “Everything is still okay!”) Yet it was uncanny to discover the chaos that lurked at the margins of my daily routine. A few minutes from where I might otherwise have been eating dinner, rapes, robberies, and murders were in progress...

... In my experience, most people do not want to think about the reality of human violence. I have friends who sleep with their front doors unlocked and who would never consider receiving instruction in self-defense. For them, gun ownership seems like an ugly and uncivilized flirtation with paranoia. Happily, most of these people will never encounter violence in any form. And good luck will make their unconcern seem perfectly justified.

But here are the numbers: In 2010, there were 403.6 violent crimes per 100,000 persons in the United States. (The good news: This is an overall decrease of 13.4 percent from the level in 2001.) Thus, the average American has a 1 in 250 chance of being robbed, assaulted, raped, or murdered each year. Actually, the chance is probably greater than this, because we know that certain crimes, such as assault and rape, are underreported.

Of course, your risks vary depending on who you are and where you live. In Compton, one of the more dangerous parts of Los Angeles, your chances of experiencing violent crime in 2010 were 1 in 71; if you lived in Beverly Hills they were 1 in 458. Still, even in good neighborhoods, the likelihood of being attacked is hardly remote. In the comparative safety of Beverly Hills, assuming the crime rate stays constant, the probability that you will be robbed, assaulted, raped or murdered at some point over the next 30 years is 1 in 16. (The average risk in the U.S. is 1 in 9; in Compton it’s better than 1 in 3.) Again, these statistics surely paint too rosy a picture, because many crimes go unreported.

It may seem onerous to prepare yourself and your family to respond to violence, but not doing so is also a form of preparation. Failing to prepare is, generally speaking, preparing very well to do the wrong thing. Although most of us are good at recognizing danger, our instincts often lead us to behave in ways that increase our chances of being injured or killed once a threat emerges.

Why can’t civilized people like ourselves simply rely on the police? Well, look around you: Do you see a cop? Unless you happen to be a police officer yourself, or are married to one, you are very unlikely to be attacked in the presence of law enforcement. The role of the police is to respond in the aftermath of a crime and, with a little luck, to catch the person who committed it. If you are ever targeted by a violent predator, whether you and your family are injured or killed will depend on what you do in the first moments of the encounter.⁠ When it comes to survival, therefore, you are entirely on your own. Once you escape and are in a safe place, by all means call the police. But dialing 911 when an intruder has broken into your home is not a strategy for self-defense..."

11 November, 2011

U.S. Researchers and Pharmaceutical Companies Conducting Human Experimentation in Africa

People's Blog for the Constitution - US researchers and pharmaceutical companies conducting human experimentation in Africa: "A new policy brief faults prominent institutions and drug companies like Pfizer, Columbia University, Johns Hopkins University, and Population Council, for their involvement in unethical and illegal human experimentation in Africa.

The report is titled “Non-Consensual Research in Africa: The Outsourcing of Tuskegee” in reference to the illegal human experiment conducted in Tuskegee, Alabama, between 1932 and 1972 by the US Public Health Service. In that experiment, some 600 impoverished African-American men were observed in a study on the progression of untreated syphilis. Some of the men were intentionally infected with the disease and all of them were denied the cure. Regrettably, the report notes, no one was held accountable for this crime against humanity.

The new report details human experiments led by US researchers and drug companies on Africans who are typically undereducated, poor, and lack full understanding of their rights. The human subjects often are led to believe that they are receiving medical treatment from governmental health services or health ministries..."

Eugenics Past And Present, Driven By Race, Class, Economics Says Researcher

Nano Patents and Innovations: Eugenics Past And Present, Driven By Race, Class, Economics Says Researcher: "University of Cincinnati (UC) historian Wendy Kline will present her case study research on coercive birth control used as a form of eugenics. She will present that research at an international conference in Europe on Nov. 11.

Eugenics – the science of improving the human population via selective breeding or reproduction – is not a concept confined to past centuries and decades, nor to locales outside the United States.

That’s the finding of recent research by University of Cincinnati historian Wendy Kline, who will present a case study on the topic – a case study that examines the use of the controversial contraceptive injection, Depo-Provera, as a eugenic tool...

... It’s research that is particularly timely given that recent national news coverage has featured North Carolina’s current plans to compensate surviving victims of forced sterilizations that took place there from the 1920s to the 1970s..."

10 November, 2011

12 Mistakes That Welcome a Home Invasion

Activist Post: 12 Mistakes That Welcome a Home Invasion: "... If someone breaks in to your home -- be it a ranch in Eastern Texas, a cottage in Washington State, an apartment in the city, or a garden home in a planned community -- a break-in is a break-in and is therefore a violation of your most sacred space: your home.

With the shorter days of winter, as well as the holidays that are coming up, burglars and thieves are going to be on the lookout for homes that are easy targets.

The [authors] want to share 12 things people do to roll out the welcome mat and invite the bad guys to pay them a visit.

We also want to offer some suggestions of things you can do now to make your home less attractive to these uninvited visitors..."

08 November, 2011

Society's Thin Veneer - Tempers Flare Over Protracted Conn. Power Outages

News from The Associated Press: "Tempers are snapping as fast as the snow-laden branches that brought down power wires across the Northeast last weekend, with close to 300,000 Connecticut customers still in the dark and the state's biggest utility warning them not to threaten or harass repair crews.

Angry residents left without heat as temperatures drop to near freezing overnight have been lashing out at Connecticut Light & Power: accosting repair crews, making profane criticisms online and suing. In Simsbury, a hard-hit suburban town of about 25,000 residents, National Guard troops deployed to clear debris have been providing security outside a utility office building..."

07 November, 2011

More Earth Changes

We have talked here previously about the strange things that seem to be going on with the weather, climate, et cetera these days.  Among these seem to be a confluence of "unusual" earthquake activity.  Now, one can add Oklahoma to the list that includes Colorado and Virginia from just a few months ago.

We must understand, of course, that earthquakes in these areas are not unheard of, but what is unusual is that they suddenly seem to be occurring with a strange frequency unseen in recent times. Broadening our focus, one can also find a correlation with unusual quakes outside the U.S.: a Magnitude 6.6 quake hit in Indonesia not long ago uncomfortably close to the Lake Toba Super-Volcano; and, of course, who could ever forget the disastrous and tragic quake that struck Haiti in 2010, described as the strongest in 200 Years?

I could be crazy, but my instincts tell me something odd is happening, perhaps eventually culminating in an almost unthinkably horrendous future disaster.

I also find it interesting that this past weekend's quake in Oklahoma might have been predicted months ago.

World Population Hits 7 Billion

World population hits 7 billion – USATODAY.com: "This historic milestone is rekindling age-old debates over birth control, protecting natural resources and reducing consumption. It also has many wondering whether the Earth can support so many people.

About half were added just in the past 40 years, and 3 billion more are expected by 2100.

Global population has swelled in record time since 1987, when it hit 5 billion.

'Currently, world population is growing at the most rapid pace in history,' says Carl Haub, a demographer at the Population Reference Bureau. 'In 1900, we were at 1.6 billion. In 99 years, we flipped the numbers to 6.1 billion.'..."

Native American Wisdom RE: Daylight Savings Time

In honor of the nonsense of this past weekend...

04 November, 2011

Hyperinflation

ol remus and the woodpile report: "Credible analysts say we've already taken the on-ramp to hyperinflation, that there's no real chance of escape, and all talk otherwise is but noise and fog. They point to facts which appear to be a good fit to past catastrophes. In a commonly cited example, the German mark of 1914 traded at 4.2 to the US dollar, but after the war there was an induced inflation, intended to be strictly back-office and therapeutic, which it was for a while.


'Prices in Germany temporarily stabilized and remained rock-steady during fifteen months in 1920 and 1921, and there was therefore no surface inflation at all, but at the same time the government began again to pump out deficit expenditure, business credit, and money at a renewed rate. Germany's money supply doubled again during this period of stable prices. It was this time, when Germany was sublimely unconscious of the fiscal monsters in its closet, which was undoubtedly the turning of the tide toward the inflationary smash.' -- Jens Parsson, Dying of Money, 1974, von Mises Institute


Eerily similar, aye? With huge deficits and uncollateralized credit, misallocation followed and inflation was set in motion, which then went off the rails and barreled sideways through the neighborhood. By November 1923, one US dollar would buy 4.2 trillion German marks. Prices doubled every two days. That's how it works when the money supply is increased irresponsibly. Inflation seems almost normal at first, although confidence in the currency takes a little hit. Then events cause confidence to slip noticeably, then alarmingly, then exponentially. The day comes when confidence drops to zero, when everybody wants what the currency may buy, but not the currency itself. When inflation takes a right-angle turn it earns a new name: hyperinflation. Said another way, hyperinflation is a matter of blundering into a critical mass, i.e., it's a non-obvious explosive with a nearly instantaneous ramp-up. In 1923 Germany it happened in mere weeks.

With our electronic banking and money exchanges, what took weeks in 1923 may now take days, perhaps hours, perhaps the second 64-bit computer architecture can't handle the numbers. When the currency becomes worthless and obviously so, when truckers and firemen and power plant operators understand they're working for nothing, the real economy collapses. Only then is the fullness of the debacle in plain sight, when there's nothing for sale at any amount of fiat, when only silver or gold or food is likely to be acceptable. It's just here deflation and inflation achieve identity, currency ceases to function, or as techno-economists would put it, the velocity of money approaches zero.* Thievery and barter take over. The benighted are understandably outraged and there's blood in the streets. Only future historians can say what follows..."

When Government Knows No Limitation: New DOJ Rules Allow More Intrusive Searches

When Government Knows No Limitation: New DOJ Rules Allow More Intrusive Searches - Big Government: "I was once told by someone involved in a federal investigation not to let any identified federal law enforcement officer into your house without: a) a warrant and b) your lawyer present. At the time, this notion seemed a bit less than cooperative. Shouldn’t law-abiding citizens be able to live their lives free from the fear that our own government would underhandedly manipulate our rights in their pursuit of an investigation? After all, the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution enumerates a limitation on the federal government, one that prevents “unreasonable search and seizure.” Today, this enumerated protection is being ignored by – of all institutions – the U.S. Justice Department, under the darkened shadow of Attorney General Eric Holder..."

In Central Park, Learning to Survive in the Wild

In Central Park, Learning to Survive in the Wild - NYTimes.com: "TWENTY feet away from the dogs and children playing on the grass, deep inside a Central Park thicket, the city almost disappears. A street lamp shines through the leafy canopy, and runners and cyclists race past, oblivious to a lean man huddled beneath the trees holding fire in his hands — a fire he created using a wooden bow drill.

Since childhood the man, Shane Hobel, 43, has been passionate about, and studying, wilderness survival with a variety of teachers, some of them American Indians. A former stuntman, he now teaches these skills through his Mountain Scout Survival School, in Central Park and in the Hudson Valley, in Garrison, N.Y.

Some of his students are those newly spooked by the swell of local hurricanes and floods, ill equipped for life without batteries and electricity. Some are outdoors enthusiasts and hikers. All are eager to learn the basics of how to find and filter water, how to build a fire, how to track wild animals and even trap them for food...

... Mr. Hobel’s students seek the specific, practical outdoors skills that some children learn in the scouts or at summer camp but are more difficult to acquire firsthand as adults outside military training..."

03 November, 2011

The Scary Side of Technology

The View From North Central Idaho - Hanging them with their own rope: "A biometric login for your computer is useful and very cool. A biometric database of 9 million Jews with pictures, fingerprints, name, date of birth, national identification number, and family members is a target.

From 1933 through the early 1940’s IBM made a lot of money helping the Germans collect, sort, and distribute that sort of data.

That target was hit and is now available for free download.

Think about the implications before you advocate for a National ID card or the mandating of ID in order to be functioning member of society. Giving up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety has known consequences..."


----------

View From The Porch: Okay, that's an easy one...: "Nothing more clearly fails Joe Huffman's 'Jews In The Attic Test' [article quoted and linked above] than a comprehensive, mandatory list of Jews (or Presbyterians, or blacks, or gun owners, or left-handers, or...) who might potentially be found in attics.

Which is all a national biometric ID database is when you think about it.

'Oh,' comes the reply, 'We just have to keep it from falling into the wrong hands! After all, this is about national security, and the government only has the best intentions...'


*BANG!*


I'm sorry, did I break your concentration? I didn't mean to do that. Please, continue, you were saying something about best intentions. What's the matter? Oh, you were finished! Well, allow me to retort:

1. If we can't keep h4x0rZ out of Predator drones and Chicoms out of our satellites, how are we going to keep $RANDOM_FUTURE_VILLAIN out of our comprehensive National Identity Theft Clearinghouse/Pogrom Database?

2. 'Keep it from falling into the wrong hands'? It's a government database! It's starting out in the wrong hands! I don't know if you were keeping track in the 20th Century, dude, but Governments out-pointed Nigerian 419 Scammers by several hundred million to zero on the big International Dead Guy Scoreboard.

I'd sooner trust Joseph M'bekebeke in a Lagos internet cafe with this information than I would a bunch of guys with snappy uniforms and lots of guns. At least if Joseph decides to use the information to find me and rough me up, he's got to come up with the scratch for airfare first."

How Hyperinflation Could Start in America

How Hyperinflation Could Start in America: "... the runaway inflation of Germany in the early 1920s is one of the worst cases in history, where, at its nadir, the monthly inflation rate reached 29,500 percent in October 1923. In post-World War II Greece, inflation peaked at 20.9 percent a month in October 1944, while in July 1946, inflation in Hungary hit 207 percent daily. In China, following the Second World War, inflation reached 2,178 percent in May 1949, equivalent to a daily rate of 11 percent.

In the mid-1970s, Chile suffered from an inflation rate of 746 percent annually, while Argentina’s inflation rate in 1989 hit 12,000 percent. Bolivia’s inflation between May and August 1985 hit 60,000 percent on an annual basis. Nicaragua’s inflation rate in 1987 exceeded 30,000 percent; Yugoslavia’s daily rate of inflation reached 64.6 percent between 1989 and 1994; and in perhaps the most famous hyperinflation of all time, the purchasing power of Zimbabwean dollars was virtually obliterated, with inflation reaching 416 quintillion percent annually.

German citizens related their stories of how they were impacted. Walter Levy, a German-born oil consultant in New York, commented,


'My father was a lawyer and he had taken out an insurance policy in 1903, and every month he had made the payments faithfully. It was a 20-year policy, and when it came due, he cashed it in and bought a single loaf of bread.'


A student at Freiburg University ordered a cup of coffee at a café. The price on the menu was 5,000 marks. He had two cups. When the bill came, it was for 14,000 marks. When he complained, he was told, 'If you want to save money, and you want two cups of coffee, you should order them both at the same time.'

A German factory worker described payday, which was every day:

'At 11:00 in the morning a siren sounded, and everybody gathered in the factory forecourt, where a five-ton lorry was drawn up loaded brimful with paper money. The chief cashier and his assistants climbed up on top. They read out our names and just threw out bundles of notes. As soon as you had caught one you made a dash for the nearest shop and bought just anything that was going.'...


... as explained by Charles Scaliger in The New American, for nearly 100 years prior to the Constitutional Convention in 1787, the infant [American] society suffered repeatedly from the disasters and aftereffects of government printing of paper money without commodity backing to pay its bills. Such printing, Scaliger noted, 'has the potential to damage severely the body politic. Hyperinflation in particular is usually accompanied by civil unrest, regime change, and dictatorship. Wherever it rears its ugly head, confidence in banks, money, and the economy as a whole is lost. Savings are wiped out as currencies lose value, and pauperized citizens revert to a barter economy.' Scaliger noted that all it takes is a 'trigger' to start the hyperinflationary process sufficient to cause 'not merely a currency correction but a calamitous collapse of the entire economy on a scale that would dwarf even the hyperinflation of the Revolutionary War.'...

... In a plausible scenario, Gonzalo Lira, writing for the Business Insider, proposed how a 'trigger' event could begin the unraveling in the United States. He suggested that

'one day — when nothing much is going on in the markets, but general nervousness is running like a low-grade fever — there will be a commodities burp. A slight but sudden rise in the price of a necessary commodity, such as oil.

This will jiggle [raise] Treasury yields as asset managers reduce their Treasury [holdings] and go into [oil] in order to catch a profit.

So Bernanke and the Fed will buy Treasuries in an effort to counteract the sell-off and maintain low yields.

The Fed’s buying will … encourage asset managers to dump even more Treasuries into the Fed’s waiting arms. Most likely … the selloff in Treasuries will be orderly …

However, the Fed will interpret this as a run on Treasuries … and buy up every Treasury in sight.

The TBTF (Too Big To Fail) banks, on seeing this run on Treasuries, will add to the panic by acting in their own best interests: They will be among the first to step off [sell their] Treasuries.

Here the panic phase of the event begins: asset managers — on seeing the massive Fed buy of Treasuries — will dump their own Treasuries en masse.

It will be a flash panic — much like the flash-crash of last May. The events I describe above will happen in a very short span of time — less than an hour, probably. But unlike the event in May, there will be no rebound.'


He concludes his plausible scenario:

'By the end of that terrible day, commodities of all stripes — precious and industrial metals, oil, foodstuffs — will shoot the moon. But it will not be because ordinary citizens have lost faith in the dollar (that will happen in the days and weeks ahead) — it will happen because once Treasuries are [no longer] the sure store of value, where are all those money managers supposed to stick all those dollars?

By the end of the day of this panic, commodities will have risen between 50% and 100%. By week’s end, we’re talking 150% to 250%. Of course, once commodities start to balloon, that’s when the ordinary citizens will get their first taste of hyperinflation. They’ll see it at the gas pumps.'


From there the scenario plays out as it has elsewhere: panic, food shortages, riots, martial law..."

How Close is Your Home to a Nuclear Plant?

"How close is your home to a nuclear plant?: "If a crisis at a nuclear reactor happened in the U.S., could you be living in a danger zone? In a 10-mile radius, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission says the air could be unsafe to breathe in the event of a major catastrophe. In 50 miles, food and water supplies may be unsafe..."

[Searches By Zipcode]

NOTE: Without revealing my exact location, I can tell you that the 3 closest plants to my homestead are 140, 165 and 183 miles away, respectively.  Of course, there is still wind-borne fallout to consider.

02 November, 2011

Rural Rebellion Brewing

Steven Greenhut: Rural rebellion brewing | county, rural, state - Opinion - The Orange County Register: "The nearly five-hour drive from the Sacramento area to Yreka, in Siskiyou County by the Oregon border, was a reminder not just of the immense size and beauty of California, but of the vast regional and cultural differences one finds within our 37-million-population state.

Sacramento is Government Central, a land of overly pensioned bureaucrats and restaurant discounts for state workers. But way up in the North State, one finds a small but hard-edged rural populace that views state and federal officials as the main obstacles to their quality of life.

Their latest battle is to stop destruction of four hydroelectric dams along the Klamath River – an action driven by environmentalists and the Obama administration. Most locals say the dam-busting will undermine their property rights and ruin the local farming and ranch economy, which is all that's left since environmental regulators destroyed the logging and mining industries...

... These rural folks, living in the shadow of the majestic Mount Shasta, believe that they are being driven away so that their communities can essentially go back to the wild, to conform to a modern environmentalist ethos that puts wildlands above humanity. As the locals told it during the Defend Rural America conference Oct. 22 at the Siskiyou Golden Fairgrounds, environmental officials are treading on their liberties, traipsing unannounced on their properties, confronting ranchers with guns drawn to enforce arcane regulatory rules and destroying their livelihoods in the process.

The evening's main event: a panel featuring eight county sheriffs (seven from California, one from Oregon) who billed themselves as 'Constitution sheriffs.' They vowed to stand up for the residents of their communities against what they say is an unconstitutional onslaught from regulators in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. In particular, they took issue with the federal government's misnamed Travel Management Plan, which actually is designed to shut down public travel in the forests.

Plumas County Sheriff Greg Hagwood related the stir he caused when he said he 'will not criminalize citizens for just accessing public lands.' Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey reminded the crowd that county sheriffs are sworn to uphold the Constitution 'against all enemies, foreign and domestic.' These are fighting words.

Sheriff Dean Wilson of Del Norte County said he was 'ignorant and naïve about the terrible condition our state was in.' He came to believe that people were being assaulted by their own government. 'I spent a good part of my life enforcing the penal code but not understanding my oath.' Wilson and other sheriffs said it is their role to defend the liberties of the people against any encroachments – even if those encroachments come from other branches of government.

As someone who has covered law-enforcement issues in urban Southern California, it's refreshing to hear peace officers enunciate the proper relationship between themselves and the people. Increasingly, law enforcement is based on an authoritarian model, whereby police have nearly unlimited power, and citizens must obey, period. It's rare to hear peace officers who are willing to stand up against more powerful arms of the government in service to their oath to their state and county and who affirm that their job is to protect their citizens' inherent rights. It's even rarer to hear sheriffs complain about the excessive use of force by fellow officers, which was a theme on the panel when referencing federal agents..."