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31 May, 2011

Peter Schiff: "You are going to see riots in the streets"

YouTube - PETER SCHIFF: "You are going to see riots in the streets"


Currency Devaluation in Belarus Causes a Run on Toilet Paper

Get ready, folks. Especially nowadays, with all the recent talk of raising the debt ceiling, etc., hyperinflation here in the U.S. before much longer is a near certainty for the future, and it will likely be much like what they're experiencing in Belarus right now.

Currency Devaluation in Belarus Causes a Run on Toilet Paper - Truth is Treason: "The destruction of a currency is, without doubt, positively devastating for a society. History is generous with examples dating all the way back to 212 BC when Rome first devalued its denarius silver coin by 50%. Recent examples are also plentiful.

Zimbabwe’s hyperinflationary period is well documented; what most people don’t realize is that after inflating several trillion percent, the government simply discontinued the currency… literally devaluing the Zimbabwe dollar to zero. People holding Zimbabwe dollars lost their entire savings overnight.

Argentina’s devaluation in 2002 sent its peso from 1:1 vs. to roughly 4 pesos to the dollar. Banks closed, taking depositors’ savings with them. Those with any cash savings were paying four times as much for goods, practically overnight. Unemployment soared. Even now, over ten years later, the economy has yet to fully recover.

Belarus is the latest example. This is a country where the autocratic president Alexandr Lukashenko controls 80% of the economy through state-owned entities. He rules in the old Soviet style with KGB and secret police, demanding total servitude from his people.

Earlier this week, Lukashenko ordered his central bank to devalue the Belarusian ruble by 56%, immediately. The ruble’s official exchange rate is now 4,930 per US dollar and 6,914 per euro.

Unfortunately, dollars and euros are extremely hard to come by in Belarus… so the lack of supply and strong demand is pushing up street prices to several times the official rate.

News headlines picked up on this major leap; what you won’t see in the media is that local Belarusians knew this was coming… the warning signs were there.

Last month, most banks stopped trading foreign currencies. People rushed to the foreign banks to withdraw any dollars they had on deposit, many having to wait up to 7-days after making the request before the bank could actually provide cash.

While the official devaluation to 4,930 occurred on May 23rd, the banks were running out of foreign currency fast. Several of our local friends on the ground in Minsk confirm that by May 16th, a full week before the official devaluation, banks were charging between 10,000 to 12,000 rubles per dollar.

Grocery prices (in ruble terms) have tripled in this short period as most of the food is imported from companies who require dollar or euro payments. It now costs an entire year’s wages just to buy a simple refrigerator.

Our local contacts report that many store shelves are near empty as people are rushing to spend every ruble they have in anticipation of further rising prices. Some of my local friends have emailed saying that it’s getting difficult to even find toilet paper as people are buying up absolutely everything they can..."


45 Seconds: Memoirs of an ER Doctor from May 22, 2011

45 Seconds: Memoirs of an ER Doctor from May 22, 2011 | Mercy: "My name is Dr. Kevin Kikta, and I was one of two emergency room doctors who were on duty at St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Joplin, MO on Sunday, May 22, 2011.

You never know that it will be the most important day of your life until the day is over... As I drove to the hospital I mentally prepared for my shift as I always do, but nothing could ever have prepared me for what was going to happen on this shift. Things were normal for the first hour and half. At approximately 5:30 pm we received a warning that a tornado had been spotted. Although I work in Joplin and went to medical school in Oklahoma, I live in New Jersey, and I have never seen or been in a tornado. I learned that a “code gray” was being called. We were to start bringing patients to safer spots within the ED and hospital.

At 5:42 pm a security guard yelled to everyone, 'Take cover! We are about to get hit by a tornado!' I ran with a pregnant RN, Shilo Cook, while others scattered to various places, to the only place that I was familiar with in the hospital without windows, a small doctor’s office in the ED. Together, Shilo and I tremored and huddled under a desk. We heard a loud horrifying sound like a large locomotive ripping through the hospital. The whole hospital shook and vibrated as we heard glass shattering, light bulbs popping, walls collapsing, people screaming, the ceiling caving in above us, and water pipes breaking, showering water down on everything. We suffered this in complete darkness, unaware of anyone else’s status, worried, scared. We could feel a tight pressure in our heads as the tornado annihilated the hospital and the surrounding area. The whole process took about 45 seconds, but seemed like eternity. The hospital had just taken a direct hit from a category EF5 tornado.

Then it was over. Just 45 seconds. 45 long seconds. We looked at each other, terrified, and thanked God that we were alive..."


Gas Tanks Are Draining Family Budgets

Gas tanks are draining family budgets - Yahoo! Finance: "There's less money this summer for hotel rooms, surfboards and bathing suits. It's all going into the gas tank.

High prices at the pump are putting a squeeze on the family budget as the traditional summer driving season begins. For every $10 the typical household earns before taxes, almost a full dollar now goes toward gas, a 40 percent bigger bite than normal.

Households spent an average of $369 on gas last month. In April 2009, they spent just $201. Families now spend more filling up than they spend on cars, clothes or recreation. Last year, they spent less on gasoline than each of those things..."


30 May, 2011

10 Indications The United States Is A Dictatorship

Activist Post: 10 Indications The United States Is A Dictatorship: "For a people to be free, they must first be honest with themselves, their government, and the world at large. History is filled with stories of free nations that fell under the spell cast by their governments who exploited the threat of terror.

In fact, numerous presidents in American history already have used various specific threats to sidestep their Constitutional restraints. Today we are entering a nebulous world where our 'enemy' cannot be defined, has no particular allegiance to one country, and is able to adopt new leaders at will. Rather than encourage a sense of resilience and independence in its citizens, America has chosen to amplify the terror threat in order to concentrate power in the hands of the State. The very first signpost on this historically familiar road to tyranny is an atmosphere of hate, suspicion, and vindictiveness. It first begins as an outwardly directed aggression and then rather abruptly turns inward upon itself..."


Sen. Paul Agrees to Vote on USA PATRIOT Act; Sen. Reid Refuses

YouTube - Sen. Paul Agrees to Vote on USA PATRIOT Act; Sen. Reid Refuses


Obama: We're Working on Gun Control 'Under the Radar'

Obama: We're Working on Gun Control 'Under the Radar' - Guns - Fox Nation: "On March 30, the 30th anniversary of the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan, Jim Brady, who sustained a debilitating head wound in the attack, and his wife, Sarah, came to Capitol Hill to push for a ban on the controversial 'large magazines.' Brady, for whom the law requiring background checks on handgun purchasers is named, then met with White House press secretary Jay Carney. During the meeting, President Obama dropped in and, according to Sarah Brady, brought up the issue of gun control, 'to fill us in that it was very much on his agenda,' she said.

'I just want you to know that we are working on it,' Brady recalled the president telling them. 'We have to go through a few processes, but under the radar.'..."


Another Economic Crisis Coming

Money Magazine: Another Economic Crisis Coming: "'We Will Have Another Crisis' headlines Money magazine in a feature article for its June edition just hitting newsstands.

Money quotes Robert Rodriguez, a highly-regarded mutual fund manager and CEO of FPA New Income Fund, as saying the U.S. economy, crippled with a mushrooming federal debt, will soon be slammed with another economic crisis — despite the federal government’s bailout and attempts at fiscal reform"...


27 May, 2011

10 Ways We Are Being Tracked, Traced, and Databased

Activist Post: 10 Ways We Are Being Tracked, Traced, and Databased: "The war on terror is a worldwide endeavor that has spurred massive investment into the global surveillance industry - which now seems to be becoming a war on 'liberty and privacy.' Given all of the new monitoring technology being implemented, the uproar over warrantless wiretaps now seems moot. High-tech, first-world countries are being tracked, traced, and databased, literally around every corner. Governments, aided by private companies, are gathering a mountain of information on average citizens who so far seem willing to trade liberty for supposed security. Here are just some of the ways the matrix of data is being collected..."


Belarus Currency Devaluation Spreads Panic

You can expect the exact same things to occur here if and when the dollar bites the dust.

Belarus devaluation spreads panic - seattlepi.com: "A sharp devaluation of the Belarusian ruble has spread panic across the country, with people rushing on Wednesday to buy dollars, euros, toasters and canned goods — anything that will not lose its value as quickly as the national currency.

Belarusians swept store shelves and queued for entire days at currency exchange offices in a desperate attempt to protect their savings from the country's sinking fortunes.

President Alexander Lukashenko promised that the national currency will remain stable following the devaluation ordered a day earlier, but experts warned it will continue its nosedive if Russia doesn't provide a quick bailout.

Confidence in the ruble, whose value is fixed in Belarus, has dropped for weeks amid fears over the country's finances and the country's lack of support from its neighbors, both the EU and Russia..."


Welcome To Hyperinflation Hell: Following Currency Devaluation, Belarus Economy Implodes, Sets Blueprint For Developed World Future

Welcome To Hyperinflation Hell: Following Currency Devaluation, Belarus Economy Implodes, Sets Blueprint For Developed World Future | zero hedge: "'A ‘91-style meltdown is almost inevitable.' So says Alexei Moiseev, chief economist at VTB Capital, the investment-banking arm of Russia’s second-largest lender, discussing the imminent economic catastrophe that is sure to engulf Belarus following the surprise devaluation of the country's currency by over 50%, which we announced on Monday. 'Unless Belarus heeds Russia’s call for mass privatization of state assets, it is headed for 'hyperinflation, massive un- and under-employment, and a shutdown of production'' Moiseev concludes. Ah: 'privatization' as Greece is about to learn, the lovely word that describes a fire sale of assets to one's creditors, courtesy of a 'globalized' new world order. Ironically, this is precisely the warning that will be lobbed at each country in the developed world, as the global race to devalue currencies, first against each other on a relative basis, and ultimately against hard currencies, or on an absolute basis, as the world realizes that there simply is not enough cash flow to cover the interest payments on a debt load, in both the public and private sectors, that continues to rise at an astronomic rate, even as the world prepares to exit from the latest transitory, centrally-planned bounce in the Great Financial Crisis-cum-Depression that started in earnest in 2007 and has been progressing ever since. Ultimately, Belarus will succumb to hyperinflation, as will each and every other government seeking to devalue its currency (hint: all of them)..."


Seniors Have Lost 32 Percent of Their Buying Power Since 2000

Seniors Have Lost 32 Percent of Their Buying Power Since 2000 -- PRNewswire/ --: "Seniors have lost almost one-third of their buying power since 2000, according to the Annual Survey of Senior Costs, released today by The Senior Citizens League (TSCL). TSCL is one of the nation's largest nonpartisan seniors advocacy groups.

In most years, seniors receive a small increase in their Social Security checks, intended to help them keep up with the costs of inflation. But since 2000, the Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) has increased just 31 percent, while typical senior expenses have jumped 73 percent, more than twice as fast.

In 2011, for the second consecutive year, seniors received no COLA. Prior to 2010, seniors had received a COLA every year since 1975, when the automatic COLA was introduced. Seniors are forecast to receive a very small COLA next year..."


26 May, 2011

How Many People Will Go Hungry When The U.S. Dollar Ponzi Scheme Collapses?

Activist Post: How Many People Will Go Hungry When The U.S. Dollar Ponzi Scheme Collapses?: "The U.S. Dollar which is not really even a dollar but rather a 'Federal Reserve Note' is nothing more than a mirage in the desert. Federal Reserve Notes are just that, Notes. What is a Note? It is a formal piece of paper that says one person owes another money, in this case the Federal Reserve.

But what are they going to pay you back with? More Notes of course. And what makes these notes valuable? Nothing more than the belief of the people who use them.

And how are these notes created? Quite simply they are borrowed into existence. This means that Money is just debt. So if all of the debt were to be repaid tomorrow, there would be no more 'official Money'. FIAT PONZI CURRENCY NOT BACKED BY ANYTHING EXCEPT HOPE.

But one day, and probably sooner than anyone expects, the CONFIDENCE IN FIAT DEBT CRACKHEAD MONEY WILL COLLAPSE ALMOST OVERNIGHT!..."


Families Face Budget Squeeze for 'Some Time', Bank of England Chief Economist Says

Families face budget squeeze for 'some time', Bank of England chief economist says - Telegraph: "The central Bank’s chief economist, braced households of significant financial pressures “for some time”, bringing further pain for families.

In an interview on Saturday, Mr Dale admitted interest rates needed to rise from the current record levels to tackle the growing inflation threat, and the sharp spike in the cost of living, or risk damaging long-term economic prospects.

Last month a former senior BoE colleague, Andrew Sentance, predicted interest rates quadrupling within a year... in a bid to thwart the rising inflation..."


What Destroyed Rome was its Unfunded Government Employee Pensions

What Destroyed Rome


Bank of America to Give Away Houses

BofA to give away houses | Bankrate.com: "Have too many foreclosed properties?

Why not give them away?

That's what Bank of America plans to do with as many as 150 vacant and abandoned properties in and around Chicago through a new 'collaboration' with the city that's intended to address the problem of abandoned properties.

'Unfortunately,' BofA said in a statement, 'many homeowners faced with unemployment, underemployment and other economic hardships have transitioned to alternative housing situations, and in many cases, have walked away from their homes, leaving behind vacant and deteriorating properties that can cause neighborhood blight.'..."


25 May, 2011

Cruise Ship Crew Reportedly Faced Hostile Passengers After Engines, Electricity Fail

This situation shows us precisely how society reacts when things get tough and stay that way for too long with no clear indication of when they will be getting better. People are so accustomed to living in a state of ease fomented by our many, many modern conveniences that they have no clue how to act when hardships ensue. Now, multiply this reaction by millions and move it to the streets of one of our cities, and you'll understand why I prepare. Get ready, people!


Cruise Ship Crew Reportedly Faced Hostile Passengers After Engines, Electricity Fail - FoxNews.com: "A relaxing cruise ship dream vacation was headed toward becoming a nightmare for nearly 1,700 passengers.

The passengers onboard the MSC Opera, sailing in the Baltic Sea, nearly staged a mutiny when the luxury liner broke down, according to the Daily Mail.

The trouble began Saturday when the cruise ship's electricity went down, causing the engines to fail.

It went from bad to worse as the ship began running out of food and the toilets became backed up...

... The near-mutiny began Sunday night, after the cruise ship was on life support for 24 hours..."


After Altercation, Philadelphia Police Say They Won't Look the Other Way on Open-Carry Gun Owners

I'm all for police safety and I'm glad to see that the officer's abhorrent behavior is being investigated by internal affairs, but this is clearly a case of the Philly P.D. backpedaling and trying to save face by shining an unfavorable light on the real victim whose rights they violated.

After Altercation, Philadelphia Police Say They Won't Look the Other Way on Open-Carry Gun Owners - FoxNews.com: "With a shocking altercation between Philadelphia police and a 25-year-old IT worker putting the spotlight back on open-carry gun laws, local authorities are warning gun owners that they will be "inconvenienced" if they carry unconcealed handguns in the city. 

Lt. Raymond Evers, a spokesman for the city police, told FoxNews.com that gun owners who open carry, which is legal in the city, may be asked to lay on the ground until officers feel safe while they check permits...
... The warning comes after Mark Fiorino, a suburban Philadelphia IT worker, posted an audiotape to YouTube of his tense, 45-minute encounter with police in February over his exposed handgun. The video went viral and captured national attention.

After Fiorino released the audiotape, he was charged with disorderly conduct and reckless endangerment. He now faces up to two years in prison.

'The police department and assistant district attorney are coming after me, in my opinion, to make an example of me because I stood up to them and exposed them for their lack of knowledge,' Fiorino said, who called the trial 'absolutely inappropriate and a waste of taxpayer money.'

Fiorino said he did nothing reckless, nor did he endanger anyone's life.

'I had a gun pointed at my chest,' he said..."


USDA Fines Family Outrageous Amount for the Horrible Crime of Selling Bunny Rabbits

Activist Post: USDA fines family four million dollars for selling bunny rabbits: "When the Dollarhite family of Nixa, Mo., first started raising and selling bunnies as part of a lesson to teach their teenage son about responsibility and hard work, they had no idea they would eventually meet the heavy hand of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). According to a recent article covered in Breitbart's Big Government, the USDA recently ordered the Dollarhite family to pay more than $90,000 in fines because they sold more than $500 worth of rabbits in a year -- and if they fail to pay the fine by Monday, May 23, the fine will multiply to nearly $4 million.

It all started back in 2006 when John Dollarhite and his wife Judy rescued two rabbits that ended up breeding. The family cared for and raised the new rabbits, and eventually began to sell them to neighbors, friends, and others for $10 or $15 each. Having started by first selling the animals for meat, and later for show, the Dollarhites carefully and humanely raised the small creatures on their three-acre homestead, all while teaching their son honest values in a business environment similar to running a small lemonade stand...

... All seemed well until a USDA inspector showed up at the family's home in the fall of 2009, and asked to do a "spot inspection" of the rabbitry. The inspector made no indication that anything was amiss, but only that she wished to see the facility. After meandering the premises, the inspector claimed that a few very insignificant aspects of the raising facility were in violation of USDA standards, even though the Dollarhites were not USDA certified, nor were they required to be. She then asked if the Dollarhites wished to be part of the voluntary USDA certification system, upon which they told her they would look into it.

After the inspector left, the Dollarhites heard nothing more from the USDA until January 2010 when a Kansas City-based USDA inspector called the family and said he needed to have a meeting with them because they sold more than $500 worth of rabbits in a single year. When the Dollarhites asked why this was a problem and what law this violated, the man refused to offer an explanation over the phone.

Upon meeting in person, the inspector said he was only there to investigate the rabbitry and take notes for a report, upon which he instructed the family to contact another USDA office if they failed to hear anything further from the USDA after six weeks. As the eighth week arrived without any communication, John called the office and was redirected to the Washington, DC, office where a lady shockingly and bluntly explained to him that she had his report, and that the USDA planned to prosecute him and his family "to the maximum that we can" in order to "make an example" out of him.

Shortly thereafter, the Dollarhites received a letter from the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) ordering them to pay a fine of $90,643 for supposedly violating a mystery law that prohibits the selling of more then $500 in rabbits within a year, even though the Dollarhites were in full accordance with Missouri state law, did not sell their rabbits across state lines, and raised their rabbits humanely and in excess of minimum requirements. The letter outlined that the Dollarhites had until May 23 to pay the exorbitant fine, or else face additional fines totaling nearly $4 million -- all for selling about $4,600 worth of rabbits that netted the family a mere $200 in profits.

The whole scenario proves, once again, that the USDA is nothing more than a tag-team terrorist duo with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Both agencies' insatiable lust for power and control over private affairs is never satisfied, as they continue to prowl around like bloodthirsty predators seeking whoever and whatever they can devour. When will Americans finally stand up to their tyranny and say enough is enough?

To read the full account of the Dollarhite saga, visit:

To contact the APHIS division of the USDA responsible for this mess and express your thoughts on the matter, write, call, or email:
4700 River Road, Unit 84
Riverdale, MD 20737-1234
(301) 734-4978

You can also read a follow-up to the original story that includes a response from the USDA here:


You Might Be A Psychopath If…

You Might Be A Psychopath If… | Don't Tread On Me: "It did not take long after IMF Chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was arrested for sexual assault, did I hear people try to explain away his actions. Why would one of the world’s most powerful banker in the world sexually assault a 30 year housekeeper? It has to be a disease or something, right? He must be a sex addict, right? Nope, he is just a text book psychopath. Another Elitist that seeks to control others for his own power. If you think that this is another isolated event, think again these people are everywhere in power.

I have been preparing to write a huge article on this subject of the psychopath and how these social predators are a huge threat to us all. I strongly believe that recognizing these wolves in sheep’s clothing we can not only lead better personal lives, we can have a better society by not electing these predators to the power that they crave. This I feel is one of the most important subjects for people to understand, not only for their personal lives, but for our society as a whole. Once you are aware that these predators, you can prepare to keep your distance and shun them at all costs..."


24 May, 2011

How to Build Using Wattle and Daub

How to Build Using Wattle and Daub: "Wattle construction methods have a long history dating back at least for the past 6,000 years, and in many parts of the world is still used. This method of construction has made a comeback in recent times by those who are searching for a sustainable material for construction. This type of construction is called wattle and daub.

This method of construction started with a series of upright posts driven into the ground with interweaving twigs between them...

... Once the weaving was complete they were daubed with a mixture consisting of clay, earth, dung and some sort of vegetable fiber as reinforcement. This mixture was applied over the woven twig framework on both sides. It was usually pretty weather proof..."


How to Build a Wattle & Daub House | eHow.com: "Building a wattle and daub house recreates a historical method of building. Wattle and daub are a method of incorporating a basket-like wall (wattle) with an earthen layer (daub) that is plastered into and around the wattle. This method was combined with other methods to form a house. Though the wattle and daub did sometimes form the structure of small houses for the exceptionally poor, the method that was preferred for hundreds of years was to use this method to build walls around a timber-framed home (giving rise to 'Tudor' style architecture)..."


Build a wattle and daub house.: "Wattle and daub (also referred to as 'ruddle and dab' and 'wattle and dab') is sort of like papier mache for living in. It's something strong and serviceable built of something unlikely.

In Europe, the framework of wattle and daub begins with a timber-framed house. The large spaces between timbers is grooved - splines are inserted vertically in the grooves, parallel to each other. Then thin reeds or splits are woven back and forth between the splines. This provides a framework for mud (daub) which is pressed in from both sides against the woven wood. It all dries together into a solid mass and then is generally whitewashed with a lime solution..."


Surviving On As Little As Two Acres

First off, the following account is not my writing. I stumbled across it online during a Google search, and if you want to see the original for yourself it can be found here.

It is an account of an Italian immigrant who came to the U.S. in the early 1900s and was able to support a large family, even throughout the Great Depression, on only two acres in Bradford, Massachusetts and some bartering.

I have copied it here verbatim; no editing at all on my part.

"I had an Italian grandfather, he came to this country in 1907.
This is what he did.

He bought 2 acres of land and a rotten, bug infested home in Bradford Massachusetts.

My grandfather, cleared the rocky land and built stone walls with the rocks.
He planted 3 kinds of grapes, He had chickens , pigs, and a pair of goats for milk.
. In that same acre, He had apples, pears, quince trees, some blueberries way down back.
On the other acre, Grampa had the vegetable garden, and a root cellar he dug for the cold veggies to store for the winter.
Corn, peanuts, potatoes,. cabbage, carrots, turnips, parsnips, peas, ALL kinds of BEANS, some for eating some for dried beans, some for next years seed.

My grandfather had a Wife, 10 children, children in law, grandchildren, and neighbors, during the great depression he kept fed on 2 acres of land.
This food was exchanged for cloth to make clothes, other fruit, tools sharpened. rides to town, COAL for the boiler.
He also grew dandelions for greens, the neighbor lady loved to make Dandy lion wine from the blossoms
And my Nana needed flour for bread, this ladies husband owned a grocery store that sold flour.

See it is not exactly the land or the people involved, it is ingenuity and bartering also.
There are a lot of things involved in survival..."


Give Squirrel a Whirl

Give squirrel a whirl – Eatocracy - CNN.com Blogs: "I have a squirrel guy. His name is Buddy and by trade he's a sound engineer, but in his heart of hearts, he's a hunter. Buddy doesn't hunt simply for sport; he, his girlfriend and his son cook only meat and fish that they have personally dispatched.

If Buddy's willing to share meat with me, I say, 'thank you' and take what he's offering. I know his kill was clean, quick and respectful, it'll be expertly cleaned and dressed, and no way am I going to find anything of its variety or caliber in my local butcher shop or supermarket.

That doesn't mean that when he offered me a brace of squirrels, I didn't initially have pause. I got over that pretty pretty quickly - and deliciously - and you should, too. Here's why..."


Some Gun Owners in Mexico Defy the Law to Defend Themselves

Some gun owners in Mexico defy the law to defend themselves | kvue.com Austin: "Despite strict gun-control laws in Mexico, crime scenes are riddled with bullet holes. Both drug cartels and common criminals have guns. Now more private citizens are arming themselves for protection, even if it means breaking the law.

'People are desperate,' said Rogelio 'Chief' Bravo, a private investigator in El Paso who has worked for clients just across the border in Ciudad Juarez too. 'They’re telling the government, if you can’t protect us, let us protect ourselves.'

Juarez is ground zero in the drug war with 8,000 killings since the city exploded in violence in 2008.
Mexican authorities regularly display the weapons they confiscate from powerful drug traffickers.

Earlier this month, federal police raided a home in an upscale neighborhood in Ciudad Juarez looking for kidnapping victims. Instead they found a well-stocked arsenal that included three anti-aircraft guns, a grenade launcher, dozens of grenades, AK47s and several machine guns.

The stash was hidden behind a mirrored wall in a gym that opened at the touch of a button on the floor. Inside with the weapons and ammunition there was a poster of the 1983 movie drug lord 'Scarface' played by Al Pacino.

Many ordinary residents in Mexico believe guns are banned.

'The Mexican constitution allows people to possess firearms,” explained John Hubert, a certified-concealed hand gun instructor in El Paso. “But over the years the government has passed so many requirements and laws and restrictions that it’s basically almost impossible.'


23 May, 2011

Update: 116 Killed by Missouri Tornado, Tying It for Deadliest on Record

116 killed by Missouri tornado, tying it for deadliest on record - CNN.com: "The toll in the tornado that ripped through Joplin soared to 116 on Monday, a city official said, tying it for the deadliest twister to ever hit American soil since the National Weather Service began keeping records 61 years ago.

City manager Mark Rohr told reporters that people from more than 40 agencies are on the ground in the southwest Missouri city, braving relentless rain and devastating wreckage looking for survivors. They found 7 people alive on Monday, he said, though the number of fatalities rose to a level unmatched since a tornado struck Flint, Michigan, on June 8, 1953.

The Sunday-night tornado chewed through a densely populated area of the city, causing hundreds of injuries as it tore apart homes and businesses, ripped into a high school and caused severe damage to one of the two hospitals in the city. Based on preliminary estimates, the twister ranked as an EF4 with winds between 190 and 198 mph, said National Weather Service director Jack Hayes..."


Home Alarm Monitoring: 10 Ways to Monitor the Perimeter of Your Home

Home Alarm Monitoring: 10 Ways to Monitor the Perimeter of Your Home: "Home security involves a lot of precautions, and there are numerous measures you can take to safeguard your family and property. One such measure is to equip your home for perimeter monitoring so that you can be alerted whenever you have company. Let’s take a look at 10 ways you can monitor your home’s perimeter..."


Mississippi River Flooding: Residents Build Homemade Dams to Saves Houses

Mississippi River flooding: Residents build homemade dams to saves houses | Mail Online: "We've all undertaken home improvements but these residents in flood-stricken Mississippi have had to embark on major construction projects just to protect their houses and livelihoods.

These homes in Vicksburg are all situated along the Yazoo River, a tributary of the overflowing Mississippi River, and their owners have surrounded themselves with tons of earth and sand.

With questions over whether the main levees that protect the area from floods would hold, these farmers took no chances and have so far saved their homes and crops from destruction..."

[Awesome photos at link.]


Drugs For Critically Ill In Short Supply

Drugs For Critically Ill In Short Supply - Nashville News Story - WSMV Nashville: "Michael O'Neal is a pharmacist. He purchases drugs for Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He often deals with drug shortages, but this one is bad. O'Neal is concerned about the availability of electrolytes. They are critical to a babies in neonatal intensive care and seriously ill adults.

Electrolytes are administered to a critically ill patient for nutritional support intravenously. They are given to patients who cannot get their nutrition any other way.

O'Neal said he's concerned that as supplies shrink, measures will have to be taken...

... even after production of electrolytes speeds up, it will take months before supplies return to normal..."


Postal Service Threatens Again to Not Pay Retiree Benefits

Postal Service threatens again to not pay retiree benefits - The Washington Post: "The U.S. Postal Service is once again threatening to not pay roughly $5.4 billion in retiree health benefits this fall because it says it cannot afford to do so.

'This year I don’t have the cash, and I can’t make the payment,' Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe said in an interview Tuesday. 'And if I did make the payment, I wouldn’t have cash to [pay] anything else.'

By law, the USPS must pay about $5.4 billion annually to prefund future retiree benefits. But Donahoe warned members of a Senate subcommittee on postal affairs Tuesday that he won’t be able to pay..."


22 May, 2011

Breaking News: Iceland's Grimsvotn Volcano Erupting

Scientists: Iceland's Grimsvotn volcano erupting - Yahoo! News: "Iceland's most active volcano has started erupting, scientists said Saturday — just over a year after another eruption on the North Atlantic island shut down European air traffic for days.

Iceland's Meteorological Office confirmed that an eruption had begun at the Grimsvotn volcano, accompanied by a series of small earthquakes. Smoke could be seen rising from the volcano, which lies under the uninhabited Vatnajokull glacier in southeast Iceland.

A no fly zone has been designated for 120 nautical miles (220 kilometers) in all directions from the eruption. Isavia, the company that operates and develops all airport facilities and air navigation services in Iceland, described this as standard procedure around eruptions..."


21 May, 2011

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U.S. Official: Growing Threat From Solar Storms

News from The Associated Press - U.S. Official: Growing Threat From Solar Storms: "A senior official at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says solar storms pose a growing threat to criticial infrastructure such as satellite communications, navigation systems and electrical transmission equipment.

NOAA Assistant Secretary Kathryn Sullivan says the intensity of solar storms is expected to peak in 2013 and countries should prepare for 'potentially devastating effects.'

Solar storms release particles that can temporarily disable or permanently destroy fragile computer circuits..."


The New Geopolitics of Food

The New Geopolitics of Food - By Lester R. Brown | Foreign Policy: "In the United States, when world wheat prices rise by 75 percent, as they have over the last year, it means the difference between a $2 loaf of bread and a loaf costing maybe $2.10. If, however, you live in New Delhi, those skyrocketing costs really matter: A doubling in the world price of wheat actually means that the wheat you carry home from the market to hand-grind into flour for chapatis costs twice as much. And the same is true with rice. If the world price of rice doubles, so does the price of rice in your neighborhood market in Jakarta. And so does the cost of the bowl of boiled rice on an Indonesian family's dinner table.

Welcome to the new food economics of 2011: Prices are climbing, but the impact is not at all being felt equally. For Americans, who spend less than one-tenth of their income in the supermarket, the soaring food prices we've seen so far this year are an annoyance, not a calamity. But for the planet's poorest 2 billion people, who spend 50 to 70 percent of their income on food, these soaring prices may mean going from two meals a day to one. Those who are barely hanging on to the lower rungs of the global economic ladder risk losing their grip entirely. This can contribute -- and it has -- to revolutions and upheaval..."


Hedge Farm! The Doomsday Food Price Scenario Turning Hedgies into Survivalists

Hedge Farm! The Doomsday Food Price Scenario Turning Hedgies into Survivalists | The New York Observer: "On the rare occasion that New Yorkers talk about farming, it's usually something along the lines of what sort of organic kale to plant in the vanity garden at the second house in the Adirondacks. But on a recent afternoon, The Observer had a conversation of a different sort about agricultural pursuits with a hedge fund manager he'd met at one of the many dark-paneled private clubs in midtown a few weeks prior. 'A friend of mine is actually the largest owner of agricultural land in Uruguay,' said the hedge fund manager. 'He's a year older than I am. We're somewhere [around] the 15th-largest farmers in America right now.'

'We,' as in, his hedge fund.

It may seem a little odd that in 2011 anyone's thinking of putting money into assets that would have seemed attractive in 1911, but there's something in the air-namely, fear. The hedge fund manager and others like him envision a doomsday scenario catalyzed by a weak dollar, higher-than-you-think inflation and an uncertain political climate here and abroad..."


Financial Repression Coming to America

US Economy: Financial Repression Coming to America: El-Erian - CNBC: "The co-CEO of the world’s largest bond fund has warned America that it faces a combination of higher inflation, austerity and financial repression over the coming years as policy makers grapple with the impact of the financial crisis and the subsequent policy response..."


20 May, 2011

Supreme Court OKs Warrantless Searches

Supreme Court OKs warrantless searches | Seattle Times Newspaper: "The Supreme Court on Monday gave police more leeway to break into homes or apartments in search of illegal drugs when they suspect the evidence might be destroyed.

The justices said officers who smell marijuana and loudly knock on the door may break in if they hear sounds that suggest the residents are scurrying to hide the drugs.

Residents who 'attempt to destroy evidence have only themselves to blame' when police burst in, Justice Samuel Alito said for an 8-1 majority.

In dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote that she feared the ruling in a Kentucky case had handed the police an important new tool.

'The court today arms the police with a way routinely to dishonor the Fourth Amendment's warrant requirement in drug cases,' Ginsburg wrote. 'In lieu of presenting their evidence to a neutral magistrate, police officers may now knock, listen, then break the door down, never mind that they had ample time to obtain a warrant.'

She said the Fourth Amendment's 'core requirement' is that officers have probable cause and a search warrant before they break into a house.

'How 'secure' do our homes remain if police, armed with no warrant, can pound on doors at will and ... forcibly enter?' Ginsburg asked..."


Growing Vegetables in a Container Garden

Container gardening vegetables indoor outdoor gardens: "Container gardening is an easy way to garden, especially when you lack yard space. Here are our recommendations on which vegetable varieties are container-friendly—and which container types are most suitable for each veggie.

For supplies, you only need a good container, the right soil mix, and appropriate seed (or transplant) varieties. In addition to providing 5 hours or more of full sun, watering is critical. You may need to water daily or twice daily; in hot weather the soil can dry out quickly. The good news: less weeding! Containers are generally low-maintenance..."


World On Course For Next Crisis, Warns Gordon Brown

World on course for next crisis, warns Gordon Brown - Telegraph: "The former prime minister said that unless leaders take more action, the recent credit crunch could prove just the 'trailer' to a string of crises.

'In 2008, when we were hours away from ATMs running out of money, small businesses being unable to pay their staffs, and schools and hospitals closing down through lack of cash flow, it felt as if the crisis of the century was upon us,' he wrote in US magazine Newsweek.

'But if the world continues on its current path, the historians of the future will say that the great financial collapse of three years ago was simply the trailer for a succession of avoidable crises...'"


The Tent That Turns Into Concrete in Less Than 24 Hours

BBC News - The tent that turns into concrete in less than 24 hours: "The past 12 months have seen a remarkable number of humanitarian crises with earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand and deadly tornadoes in the southern US being among the most recent.

Among new innovations which could help relief efforts is a fabric shelter that, when sprayed with water, turns to concrete within 24 hours.

Invented by two engineers while at university, Concrete Canvas allows aid teams to construct solid structures in emergency zones quickly and easily..."


19 May, 2011

Iran to Build Missile Base in Venezuela

Iran to Build Missile Base in Venezuela - Associated Content from Yahoo! - associatedcontent.com: "It appears that Iran is going to build a ballistic missile base in Hugo Chavez's Venezuela, armed with intermediate-range missiles that can strike at the United States. Eerie parallels
with the 1962 Cuban Missile Crises are being noted.

According to an article in Hudson New York:

'According to Die Welt, Venezuela has agreed to allow Iran to establish a military base manned by Iranian missile officers, soldiers of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and Venezuelan missile officers. In addition, Iran has given permission for the missiles to be used in case of an 'emergency.' In return, the agreement states that Venezuela can use these facilities for 'national needs' - radically increasing the threat to neighbors like Colombia. The German daily claims that according to the agreement, Iranian Shahab 3 (range 1300-1500 km), Scud-B (285-330 km) and Scud-C (300, 500 and 700 km) will be deployed in the proposed base. It says that Iran also pledged to help Venezuela in rocket technology expertise...'

... Both Iran and Venezuela are sworn enemies of the United States. So, if Iran were to deploy missiles in Venezuela that could hit American cities, it would prove to be a grave threat to the security of the United States. It would not be necessary for Iran to develop nuclear bombs; its bomb program is, in any case, stymied by the stuxmet computer worm. Chemical and/or biological weapons would suffice..."


Meltdowns. Floods. Tornadoes. Oil Spills. Grid Crashes. Why Disasters Are Becoming More Frequent, and What We Can Do About It

Meltdowns. Floods. Tornadoes. Oil spills. Grid crashes. Why disasters are becoming more frequent, and what we can do about it. - By Joel Achenbach - Slate Magazine: "This will be the century of disasters.

In the same way that the 20th century was the century of world wars, genocide, and grinding ideological conflict, the 21st will be the century of natural disasters and technological crises and unholy combinations of the two. It'll be the century when the things that we count on to go right will, for whatever reason, go wrong.

Late last month, as the Mississippi River rose in what is destined to be the worst flood in decades, and as the residents of Alabama and other states rummaged through the debris of a historic tornado outbreak, physicists at a meeting in Anaheim, Calif., had a discussion about the dangers posed by the sun.

Solar flares, scientists believe, are a disaster waiting to happen. Thus one of the sessions at the American Physical Society's annual meeting was devoted to discussing the hazard of electromagnetic pulses (EMPs) caused by solar flares or terrorist attacks. Such pulses could fry transformers and knock out the electrical grid over much of the nation. Last year the Oak Ridge National Laboratory released a study saying the damage might take years to fix and cost trillions of dollars.

But maybe even that's not the disaster people should be worrying about. Maybe they should worry instead about the ARkStorm. That's the name the U.S. Geological Survey's Multihazards Demonstration Project gave to a hypothetical storm that would essentially turn much of California's Central Valley into a bathtub. It has happened before, in 1861-62, when it rained for 45 straight days. The USGS explains: "The ARkStorm draws heat and moisture from the tropical Pacific, forming a series of Atmospheric Rivers (ARs) that approach the ferocity of hurricanes and then slam into the U.S. West Coast over several weeks." The result, the USGS determined, could be a flood that would cost $725 billion in direct property losses and economic impact.

While pondering this, don't forget the Cascadia subduction zone. That's the plate boundary off the coast of the Pacific Northwest, one that could generate a tsunami much like the one that devastated Japan in March. The Cascadia subduction zone runs from Vancouver Island to northern California, and last ruptured in a major tsunami-spawning earthquake on January 26, 1700. It could break at any moment, with catastrophic consequences..."


Double Digit Inflation has Arrived

Double Digit Inflation has Arrived | Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog: "New inflation figures were released by the government last week, and the news was not good. The headline inflation number was 3.2% in the 12 months that ended in April. That is more than a percent above the Federal Reserve’s 'target' rate of 2% and the first time it has been more than 3% in over 2.5 years. Of course, the accounting gimmicks used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) understate true inflation, so things look better than reality. Nonetheless, in the latest report from economist John Williams of Shadowstats.com, even the government’s own 'official' numbers will likely show double digit inflation in the next three months or so. The reason is continued money printing in the form of another round of Quantitative Easing (QE) by the Fed to prop up the struggling economy. Williams said, 'The underlying pace of official inflation is accelerating, and could move into double-digits in third-quarter 2011. Preceding or coincident with that likely will have been some move to QE3 by the Fed and intense—if not panicked—selling of the U.S. dollar and dollar-denominated assets. Such a circumstance could be a base from which a hyperinflation might begin to unfold with some rapidity.'

And get this, inflation is already in double digits, according to Williams, if it was calculated the way BLS did it more than 30 years ago..."


IN Sheriff: If We Need to Conduct RANDOM HOUSE to HOUSE Searches We Will

IN Sheriff: If We Need to Conduct RANDOM HOUSE to HOUSE Searches We Will | Today's Lead Story: "According to Newton County Sheriff, Don Hartman Sr., random house to house searches are now possible and could be helpful following the Barnes v. STATE of INDIANA Supreme Court ruling issued on May 12th, 2011. When asked three separate times due to the astounding callousness as it relates to trampling the inherent natural rights of Americans, he emphatically indicated that he would use random house to house checks, adding he felt people will welcome random searches if it means capturing a criminal..."


18 May, 2011

Philly Police Harass, Threaten to Shoot Man Legally Carrying Gun

Philly Police Harass, Threaten to Shoot Man Legally Carrying Gun - Stossel's Take Blog - FOXBusiness.com: "A story in today's Philadelphia Daily News shows why it's so important that citizens be allowed to videotape cops - it can be citizens' only way to fight back against police abuse of power.

This incident happened several weeks ago in Philadelphia to Mark Fiorino, a 25-year-old IT worker who carries a gun on his hip at all times for self defense. He got the gun after several friends were mugged.

But he didn't count on attacks by police:

On a mild February afternoon, Fiorino, 25, decided to walk to an AutoZone on Frankford Avenue in Northeast Philly with the .40-caliber Glock he legally owns holstered in plain view on his left hip. His stroll ended when someone called out from behind: 'Yo, Junior, what are you doing?'

Fiorino wheeled and saw Sgt. Michael Dougherty aiming a handgun at him.

What happened next would be hard to believe, except that Fiorino audio-recorded all of it: a tense, profanity-laced, 40-minute encounter with cops who told him that what he was doing - openly carrying a gun on the city's streets - was against the law.

'Do you know you can't openly carry here in Philadelphia?' Dougherty asked, according to the YouTube clip.

'Yes, you can, if you have a license to carry firearms,' Fiorino said. 'It's Directive 137. It's your own internal directive.'

Fiorino was right. It was perfectly legal to carry the gun. But that didn't matter to the cop:

Fiorino offered to show Dougherty his driver's and firearms licenses. The cop told him to get on his knees.

'Excuse me?' Fiorino said.

'Get down on your knees. Just obey what I'm saying,' Dougherty said.

'Sir,' Fiorino replied, 'I'm more than happy to stand here -'

'If you make a move, I'm going to f------ shoot you,' Dougherty snapped. 'I'm telling you right now, you make a move, and you're going down!'

'Is this necessary?' Fiorino said.

It went on like that for a little while, until other officers responded to Dougherty's calls for backup.

Fiorino was forced to the ground and shouted at as he tried to explain that he had a firearms license and was legally allowed to openly carry his weapon.

'You f------ come here looking for f------ problems? Where do you live?' yelled one officer.

'I'm sorry, gentlemen,' Fiorino said. 'If I'm under arrest, I have nothing left to say.'

'F------ a------, shut the f--- up!' the cop hollered.

The cops discovered his recorder as they searched his pockets, and unleashed another string of expletives.

Fiorino said he sat handcuffed in a police wagon while the officers made numerous phone calls to supervisors, trying to find out if they could lock him up.

When they learned that they were in the wrong, they let him go.

But only temporarily. Fiorino posted the audio recordings on youtube, and now they are harassing him again:

A new investigation was launched, and last month the District Attorney's Office decided to charge Fiorino with reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct because, a spokeswoman said, he refused to cooperate with police... He's scheduled for trial in July.

If one listens to the audiotapes, it's hard to imagine how a reasonable person could charge Fiorino (and not the cops) for disorderly conduct."


Treasury to Tap Pensions to Help Fund Government

Treasury to tap pensions to help fund government - The Washington Post: "The Obama administration will begin to tap federal retiree programs to help fund operations after the government lost its ability Monday to borrow more money from the public, adding urgency to efforts in Washington to fashion a compromise over the debt.

Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner has warned for months that the government would soon hit the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling — a legal limit on how much it can borrow. With that limit reached Monday, Geithner is undertaking special measures in an effort to postpone the day when he will no longer have enough funds to pay all of the government’s bills.

Geithner, who has already suspended a program that helps state and local government manage their finances, will begin to borrow from retirement funds for federal workers..."


South Carolina Makes Moves Toward Gold and Silver Being Considered Legal Tender Currency

What do you think about gold and silver coins being proposed as SC tender? : Politics : News : MidlandsConnect.com: "South Carolina lawmakers are proposing a bill that would give the state another form of legal tender.

Sen. David Thomas, a Republican from Greenville, wants to make gold and silver coins another option in the Palmetto State. Lawmakers are calling it the Sound Money Legislation.

'I'm no financial expert but am I smart enough to know that you can't keep printing money when it has no backing,' says SC Republican Representative Mac Toole...

... 'Sound money is fundamental money that has maintained its purchasing power over a very long time. Why does it do that? Because it has intrinsic inherent value. The piece of paper doesn't have intrinsic value,' says Dr. Steve Isom, South Carolina Sound Money..."