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30 March, 2012

Trayvon Martin

All the talk these days, it seems, is still centered on the drama unfolding in the Trayvon Martin case. I must say, I think both sides of the political spectrum are handling the ensuing debate poorly, showing what out of touch fools they all are. The fools on the Right want to draw attention to the fact that he was actually older and physically larger and decidedly more "thugged-out" in appearance than is immediately evident in the photo being circulated by the mainstream media (it was several years old and he looks like a little boy angel in it); and the fact that he was suspended from school for smoking weed... as if that, and that alone, is the definitive mark of an arch-criminal. Ignorant. The fools on the Left, on the other hand, have things mostly correct in this case (it feels weird to have actually just said that), with the exception of everything that is swirling around with regards to the so-called "Stand Your Ground" laws. Castle doctrine laws do not, in any way, allow anybody to chase down an individual and shoot them dead, and then get away with it by simply claiming they felt threatened. If you believe that, turn off MSNBC immediately, because you are being brainwashed. Castle doctrine allows one to defend themselves with deadly force if in reasonable and immediate fear of bodily harm. If someone breaks into my house or attacks me on the street, I can shoot them without fear of going to prison and/or being sued for everything I own. If, however, I shoot and miss, or I wound them and they run off, I cannot -- under the "Stand Your Ground" statutes of any state -- legally chase them down and murder them. If anything, castle doctrine, if applied correctly, would have protected Trayvon if he had been armed and shot the whackjob who was harassing him. The problem is not the law itself, but, rather, that it is being misapplied and improperly enforced, not that there's anything wrong with the law itself. If retarded cops and judges screw up in the enforcement of drunk driving statutes, we don't strike those statutes from the law, because that would be patently absurd. All this talk of repealing "Stand Your Ground" laws is the result of a certain segment trying to piggy-back on this tragedy to win hearts and minds for their extreme anti- self-defense and anti-2nd Amendment political philosophies, and it is shameful... both that they are trying to weasel an advantage out of a senseless tragedy and that saner minds among their peers aren't calling them out and shouting them down over it. Don't be one of the fools who buys into such propaganda. A kid, thug or not, being murdered in the street by a deranged guy shouldn't be turned into a political pawn by either side. Period.

I would urge those who believe pre-2005 statutes were sufficient without laws like "Stand Your Ground" to research just exactly what so-called self-defense laws existed in some places prior to castle doctrine. I can tell you, in West Virginia, for instance, we had none whatsoever until 2008. Up until then, if someone broke into your home, it was your responsibility under the law to flee your own house. YOUR OWN HOUSE. Only if you couldn't get away were you able to shoot, and, even then, it wasn't technically legal -- you'd be arrested and booked, but after interviewing you, no DA would file charges because they know a jury would never convict you. "Stand Your Ground" didn't cause Trayvon Martin to be killed; he was killed by a wingnut who is now grasping at straws to justify his actions. Said wingnut was then allowed to go free by police who were either too stupid to understand the letter of the law as it is written, too lazy to discern the true facts of the case, or are themselves racists who just intended to conveniently sweep things under the rug.  For the nonce, I'm choosing to give them the benefit of the doubt and imagine it was some combination of the first two, rather than the latter... I hope.

If you read it, the law is very clear about you having to have a reasonable fear that you are in imminent danger before using force; if you have to follow after the dude, you are not in imminent danger. Even if you are attacked, you cannot chase the assailant after he/she has broken-off the attack, except perhaps to hold them until police arrive on the scene. You cannot just chase-down and shoot them in the street as they yell for help. That is the law. Zimmerman can claim self-defense all he wants, it'll never hold up in in front of the grand jury. He'll ultimately be charged by the grand jury; I would be willing to put $$$ on it. Even if they had arrested him that day (as they should have), however, he would, like as not, be free on bail right now anyway, awaiting the same grand jury hearing he's waiting for now. He would've only been held 48-72 hours before being arraigned either way, and his criminal background/financial resources are not such that most judges would have denied him bail.

In the end, I agree with those who are outraged at this travesty born of equal parts racism and rank wingnuterry, but the law is not at fault. All the rhetoric flying around about the need to repeal "Stand Your Ground" is just political propaganda from anti-2nd Amendment fanatics, trying to brainwash good people into getting rid of a law they never wanted on the books in the first place. I would, however, be okay with amending the law to remove it from the sole discretion of the police as to whether or not a shooter can just go free without even the most cursory of investigations.

Amending a law like this would allow changes and tweaks to be made without "throwing the baby out with the bath-water," so to say, and is probably warranted, just to keep things like this from happening. I can envision something like having a judge be required to look over the evidence, similar to how they now decide whether the police have enough to issue search warrants, etc. At least, that would add another set of eyes to the equation in order to make it less likely things like this will happen. Repealing the law outright, however, would be a gross overreaction, serving only to make it even more difficult for good people to defend themselves when attacked by two-legged predators.

Regardless, the debate over this issue has been and will continue to be ugly, because both the extreme Left and the extreme Right are all fools. They are, at this point, intellectually incapable of arguing the finer points among knowledgeable individuals; instead, everything becomes a nasty smear-fest. Political debate in this country tends to resemble WWE more often than the Founding Fathers, and I, for one, find that both sad and sickening.

29 March, 2012

10 Reasons Why Nothing You Do On The Internet Will EVER Be Private Again

10 Reasons Why Nothing You Do On The Internet Will EVER Be Private Again: "The Internet is rapidly being transformed into a Big Brother control grid where privacy rights are being systematically strangled to death. The control freaks that run things have become absolutely obsessed with watching, tracking, monitoring and recording virtually everything that you do on the Internet. One thing that you can count on is that nothing you do on the Internet will ever be private again. In fact, if you are obsessed with privacy then the last place you want to be is on the Internet. Most Americans have absolutely no idea how far Internet surveillance has advanced in the past few years. At this point, it would be hard to imagine any place less private than the Internet. Do not ever put anything on the Internet that you would not want the authorities or your employer to hold you accountable for. Basically, the Internet is creating a permanent dossier on each one of us, and we contribute to this process by freely posting gigantic volumes of information about ourselves on social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter. The Internet is the greatest tool for mass communication that the world has perhaps ever seen, and it gives average citizens the ability to communicate with each other like never before, but there is also a downside to using the Internet. Everything that we do on the Internet is being watched, monitored and recorded and there is no longer any such thing as Internet privacy. If you think that you still have any privacy on the Internet, then you are either ignorant of what is going on or you are being delusional..."

What Is Causing The Strange Noises In The Sky That Are Being Heard All Over The World?

What Is Causing The Strange Noises In The Sky That Are Being Heard All Over The World?: "During the second half of 2011, a lot of people all over the planet started reporting hearing really strange noises coming from the sky. In some instances the noises produced a loud rumbling such as a train, a thunderstorm or the slamming of a heavy door would make. In other instances, the noises sounded more like 'groaning'. In yet other instances the noises sounded almost as if a trumpet was playing. Dozens of videos went up on YouTube purporting to document this phenomenon, but the truth is that you can fake almost anything on a YouTube video and many dismissed these strange 'strange sounds' as an Internet hoax. However, now entire towns in the northern part of the United States are hearing strange noises in the sky and the mainstream media is reporting on it. In fact, one U.S. town is planning to spend thousands of dollars to hire an engineering firm to investigate where these strange sounds are coming from. At this point a lot of theories about these strange noises are being floated, but so far scientists have not been able to give us a definitive explanation for the source of these strange noises. So exactly what in the world is going on?..."

10 Reasons Why The Reign Of The Dollar As The World Reserve Currency Is About To Come To An End

10 Reasons Why The Reign Of The Dollar As The World Reserve Currency Is About To Come To An End: "The U.S. dollar has probably been the closest thing to a true global currency that the world has ever seen. For decades, the use of the U.S. dollar has been absolutely dominant in international trade. This has had tremendous benefits for the U.S. financial system and for U.S. consumers, and it has given the U.S. government tremendous power and influence around the globe. Today, more than 60 percent of all foreign currency reserves in the world are in U.S. dollars. But there are big changes on the horizon. The mainstream media in the United States has been strangely silent about this, but some of the biggest economies on earth have been making agreements with each other to move away from using the U.S. dollar in international trade. There are also some oil producing nations which have begun selling oil in currencies other than the U.S. dollar, which is a major threat to the petrodollar system which has been in place for nearly four decades. And big international institutions such as the UN and the IMF have even been issuing official reports about the need to move away form the U.S. dollar and toward a new global reserve currency..."

20 Signs That We Are Witnessing The Complete Collapse Of Common Sense In America

20 Signs That We Are Witnessing The Complete Collapse Of Common Sense In America: "What do you do when an entire nation begins to lose the capacity to think rationally? Many Americans spend a great deal of time criticizing the government, and there is certainly a lot to complain about, but it is not just the government that is the problem. All over America, people appear to be going insane. It is almost as if we have been cursed with stupidity. Sadly, this applies from the very top of our society all the way down to the very bottom. A lot of us find ourselves asking the following question much more frequently these days: 'How could they be so stupid?' Unfortunately, we are witnessing a complete collapse of common sense all over America. Many people seem to believe that if we could just get Obama out of office or if we could just reform our economic system that our problems as a nation would be solved, but that is simply not true. Our problems run much deeper than that..."

23 March, 2012

Proposed UN Environmental Constitution For The World Would Establish An Incredibly Repressive System Of Global Governance

Proposed UN Environmental Constitution For The World Would Establish An Incredibly Repressive System Of Global Governance: "Most people have no idea that the United Nations has been drafting an environmental constitution for the world that is intended to supersede all existing national laws. This document has a working title of 'Draft International Covenant on Environment and Development" and you can read the entire thing right here. Work on this proposed world environmental constitution has been going on since 1995, and the fourth edition was issued to UN member states on September 22nd, 2010. This document is intended to become a permanent binding treaty and it would establish an incredibly repressive system of global governance. This 'covenant', as it is being called, claims authority over the entire global environment and everything that affects it. Considering the fact that everything that we do affects the environment in some way, that would mean that this document would become the highest form of law for all human activity. This proposed UN environmental constitution for the world is incredibly detailed. The U.S. Constitution only has 7 articles, but the UN document has 79 articles. If the U.S. eventually ratifies this treaty, any national, state or local laws that conflict with this covenant will be null and void. This is potentially one of the greatest threats to our national sovereignty that we have ever seen and we need to warn the American people about it..."

10 Signs That America Is On The Verge Of A Horrible Municipal Debt Crisis

10 Signs That America Is On The Verge Of A Horrible Municipal Debt Crisis: "Is America on the verge of a horrible municipal debt crisis? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. From coast to coast there are an increasing number of cities, towns and counties that are rapidly going broke. Financial analyst Meredith Whitney took a lot of heat when her prediction of a municipal bond crash in 2011 did not happen, but she was not fundamentally wrong in her analysis. A horrifying municipal debt crisis is starting to unfold right in front of our eyes. It just did not happen as soon as she thought that it would. When most Americans think of our 'debt problem', they think of the federal government. But the truth is that we have hundreds and hundreds of smaller 'debt problems' all across the country. In 2012, cities such as Stockton, California and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania have already defaulted and a whole bunch of other cities and towns are headed down the exact same path. Once we see the first major wave of municipal defaults, creditors will become much tighter with their money and that will cause even more municipalities to get into financial trouble. This crisis could start spinning out of control at any time.

The frightening thing is that all of this is happening at a time when we are supposed to be having an 'economic recovery'.

So what will things look like when the economy gets even worse than this?

If hundreds of cities, towns and counties are barely able to keep their heads above water financially right now, what is going to happen when the next recession hits?

That is frightening to think about..."

80 Percent Of Americans Say That They Are Not Better Off Than They Were Four Years Ago

80 Percent Of Americans Say That They Are Not Better Off Than They Were Four Years Ago: "Are you better off today than you were four years ago? If not, then you are just like most other Americans. According to a CBS News/New York Times poll that was released a few days ago, 80 percent of Americans say that their financial situation is not "better today" than it was four years ago. But if you turn on the television and listen to what the 'pundits' are saying, you would be tempted to think that we were in the midst of a robust economic recovery. You would be tempted to think that the U.S. economy is in great shape and that we are heading for a really bright future. But the fact that the stock market is soaring does not mean much to most Americans. In fact, most Americans couldn't care less that the Dow is well above 13,000 and that the NASDAQ is above 3,000. What most Americans care about is having a job and being able to provide for their families. If you haven't paid the mortgage in three months or if you don't have enough money to take your daughter to go see the doctor it really is not going to matter to you how well the boys and girls over on Wall Street are doing. Right now most American families are doing worse than they were doing four years ago, and no amount of media hype is going to change that fact..."

Ben Bernanke Tries To Convince America That The Federal Reserve Is Good And The Gold Standard Is Bad

Ben Bernanke Tries To Convince America That The Federal Reserve Is Good And The Gold Standard Is Bad: "Ben Bernanke has decided that he needs to teach all of us why the Federal Reserve is good for America and about why the gold standard is bad. On Tuesday, Bernanke delivered the first of four planned lectures to a group of students at George Washington University. But that lecture was not just for the benefit of those students. Officials at the Fed have long planned for this lecture series to be an opportunity for Bernanke to 'educate' the American people about the Federal Reserve. The classroom was absolutely packed with reporters and just about every major news organization is running a story about this first lecture. So the Federal Reserve is definitely getting the publicity that it was hoping for.... It is pretty obvious that one of the primary goals of this first lecture was to attack those that have been critical of the Fed over the past few years. In doing so, Bernanke 'stretched' the truth on more than one occasion.

The entire event was staged to make Bernanke and the Federal Reserve look as good as possible. Prior to his arrival, the students gathered for the lecture were actually instructed to applaud Bernanke...."

22 March, 2012

The U.S. Economy: Soul Crushing Total System Failure

The U.S. Economy: Soul Crushing Total System Failure: "No matter how often the pretty people on television tell us that the U.S. economy is getting better, it isn't going to change the soul crushing agony that millions of American families are going through right now. The stock market may have gotten back to where it was in 2008, but the job market sure hasn't... the percentage of working age Americans that are actually employed has stayed very flat since late 2009, and the average duration of unemployment is hovering near an all-time high. Sadly, this is not just a temporary downturn. The U.S. economy has been slowly declining for several decades and is nearing total system failure. Right now, many poverty statistics are higher than they have ever been since the Great Depression. Many measurements of government dependence are the highest that we have ever seen in all of U.S. history. The emerging one world economic system (otherwise known as "free trade") has cost the U.S. economy tens of thousands of businesses, millions of jobs and hundreds of billions of dollars of our national wealth. The federal government is going into unprecedented amounts of debt in order to try to maintain our current standard of living, but there is no way that they will be able to sustain this kind of borrowing for too much longer..."

As Chuck E. Cheese Goes So Goes America

As Chuck E. Cheese Goes So Goes America: "Why are wild brawls breaking out at Chuck E. Cheese restaurants all over the United States? Sadly, the epidemic of Chuck E. Cheese fights that we have seen in recent months is just another symptom of what is happening to America on a larger scale. The truth is that the fabric of our society is slowly but surely coming apart, and the rest of the world is laughing at us. But it is really sad to see Chuck E. Cheese become known more for brawls than for entertainment. When I was a kid, I loved to go to Chuck E. Cheese. The combination of pizza, arcade games and animatronic music shows was irresistible. But if you go to Chuck E. Cheese today, there is a chance that you might get taken out of there in an ambulance. In Susquehanna, Pennsylvania police were called out to one particular Chuck E. Cheese restaurant 17 times in just one recent 18 month time period. Of course it is not just Chuck E. Cheese that is having these kinds of problems. All over the nation we are seeing brawls break out in public places, we are seeing thieves become incredibly bold, and we are seeing a general breakdown in civilized behavior. So where does America go from here?


That is a very good question..."

Feeding The Homeless BANNED In Major Cities All Over America

Feeding The Homeless BANNED In Major Cities All Over America: "What would you do if you came across someone on the street that had not had anything to eat for several days? Would you give that person some food? Well, the next time you get that impulse you might want to check if it is still legal to feed the homeless where you live. Sadly, feeding the homeless has been banned in major cities all over America. Other cities that have not banned it outright have put so many requirements on those that want to feed the homeless (acquiring expensive permits, taking food preparation courses, etc.) that feeding the homeless has become 'out of reach' for most average people. Some cities are doing these things because they are concerned about the "health risks" of the food being distributed by ordinary 'do-gooders'. Other cities are passing these laws because they do not want homeless people congregating in city centers where they know that they will be fed. But at a time when poverty and government dependence are soaring to unprecedented levels, is it really a good idea to ban people from helping those that are hurting?..."

16 March, 2012

Who Decided That It Would Be A Good Idea….

Who Decided That It Would Be A Good Idea….: "Do you have faith in the people running this nation? When answering that question, most people would bash either the Democrats or the Republicans, but my question goes much deeper than that. Power is constantly shifting back and forth between the two major political parties, and it seems like things don't really change no matter who is in power. What I am asking is if you have faith in the entire system. Do you have faith in the U.S. government, the Federal Reserve, the state governments, the local governments, our public schools and our financial system? Do you believe that the people that are running things in this country are doing a good job? When you look at the results, it is hard to argue that those in power are making good decisions. In fact, this country is caught in such a downward spiral that it would be easy to argue that most of our politicians should immediately resign in disgrace. Our leaders just keep coming up with one bad idea after another. Sometimes it almost seems as though it would be better for our leaders to do absolutely nothing at all because every time they try to do something they only make things worse..."

America Is Being Transformed From A Wealthy Nation Into A Poor Nation At Breathtaking Speed

America Is Being Transformed From A Wealthy Nation Into A Poor Nation At Breathtaking Speed: "America is losing wealth far faster than any other nation on earth is. In fact, since the mid-1970s there has been a transfer of wealth of almost 8 trillion dollars from the United States to the rest of the world. Sadly, most Americans have no idea what is happening. Most of them are completely unaware that America is being transformed from a wealthy nation into a poor nation at breathtaking speed. Most Americans just assume that America will always have the largest economy on earth and will always be the wealthiest nation on the globe. Unfortunately, just because something was true in the past does not mean that it will be true in the future. Right now, the United States is bleeding wealth at a pace that is almost unimaginable. Every single month, tens of billions of dollars of wealth is permanently transferred from the American people to the rest of the world. That means that the overall economic pie is shrinking. While the rich and the poor are busy fighting over the distribution of wealth in this country, the size of the pie that they are dividing up is continually getting smaller. America is poorer than it was last month, and next month it will be even poorer. If this continues, it will result in a complete and total economic nightmare..."

Why Are Millions Of Americans Preparing For Doomsday?

Why Are Millions Of Americans Preparing For Doomsday?: "All over America, there are millions of Americans that are quietly preparing for doomsday. They are turning spare rooms into long-term food storage pantries, they are planting survival gardens, they are converting their homes over to alternative sources of energy, they are taking self-defense courses and they are stocking up on just about anything you can imagine. They are called 'preppers', and their numbers have absolutely exploded in recent years. In fact, you might be living next door to one and never even realize it. According to a recent Daily Mail article, there are approximately 3 million preppers in the United States today. Others believe that the true number is significantly higher than that. This movement has become so popular that there are now even television shows being done about preppers. The most popular is probably 'Doomsday Preppers' on the National Geographic Channel. This movement is still growing and is not going to go away any time soon. In fact, as the world continues to become even more unstable it is likely that a lot more Americans will find themselves becoming preppers in the years ahead..."

Why Are Authority Figures In America Increasingly Treating Women So Poorly?

Why Are Police In America Treating Women Like Dogs?: "When I was growing up, police in America generally treated women with gentleness and respect. It was generally understood that women were not to be thrown around or mistreated by police unless they were being openly violent. But in most areas of the United States those days are long gone. Sadly, many police officers seem to make it a point to be especially mean and degrading to women. All over the country women are being openly abused and humiliated by police. In America today, women are being yanked around by their hair by police, women are being pepper sprayed directly in the face by police, and women are being brutally strip-searched in front of leering male police officers. This is not how a civilized nation should be treating women and there is no excuse for treating women like dogs. The incidents that you are about to read about are absolutely shocking. They reveal just how far America has fallen. If police will treat non-violent women like dogs, then what will they do when the time comes to arrest you? That is something to think about..."

Broken Promises: Pensions All Over America Are Being Savagely Cut Or Are Vanishing Completely

Broken Promises: Pensions All Over America Are Being Savagely Cut Or Are Vanishing Completely: "How would you feel if you worked for a state or local government for 20 or 30 years only to have your pension slashed dramatically or taken away entirely? Well, this exact scenario is playing out from coast to coast and in the years ahead millions of elderly Americans are going to be affected by broken promises and vanishing pensions. In the old days, things were much different. You would get hired by a big company or a government institution and you knew that the retirement benefits that they were promising you would be there when you retired in a few decades. Unfortunately, we have now arrived at a time when government institutions and big companies have promised far more than they are able to deliver, and 'pension reform' has become one of the hot button issues all over the nation. Many Americans that have been basing their financial futures on their pensions are waking up one day and finding that their pensions are either gone or have been cut back dramatically..."

The Obama Flag: Who Decided That It Was Okay To Replace The Stars On The American Flag With The Face Of Barack Obama?

The Obama Flag: Who Decided That It Was Okay To Replace The Stars On The American Flag With The Face Of Barack Obama?: "Democrat Party headquarters in Lake County, Florida has been flying an American flag with a face of Barack Obama on it. Yes, you read that correctly. The 'Obama flag' features a huge picture of the face of Barack Obama in the area where the stars are usually located. To many Americans today, the American flag may be "just a piece of cloth", but when I was young I was taught that one must never desecrate the American flag. The American flag is our highest national symbol. Millions of Americans have fought and died defending freedom and liberty under that banner. To see a photo of Barack Obama plastered on it is an absolute disgrace. Sadly, there are lots of these flags floating around. In fact, you can buy them online for $12.95. Down in Florida, the chairwoman of the Lake County Democratic Party took down the "Obama flag" after a group of veterans protested, but she also said that she is not promising that she will not put it back up and that she is going to consult an attorney..."

12 March, 2012

Freedom

“Of liberty I would say that, in the whole plenitude of its extent, it is unobstructed action according to our will. But rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add “within the limits of the law,” because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual.” -- Thomas Jefferson

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The above quote from a man I consider to be one of our greatest statesmen represents an eloquent summation of my personal philosophy of individual freedom and liberty. The ideal he's trying to get across is that every individual ought to have the unrestricted (by law) freedom to do whatever they want, so long as they are not impeding the rights of another individual.

I couldn't possibly care less if gay people want to be gay. It doesn't interfere with my rights. If an adult person wants to smoke pot, they should have at it. As long as they aren't doing it while they're supposed to be taking care of a toddler or endangering everybody with their decreased reflexes by driving while under the influence. At that point, you have crossed the line and put others in danger; but, if you never cross that line, it is patently absurd for a consenting adult to go to jail simply because they have a baggy of ground-up herbs in their pocket.

This country was built on the philosophy of the supremacy of the individual; that we are, each of us, sovereign entities born already possessing what I call divine animal rights. These include the right to defend ourselves when under threat and to be allowed to live as happily as we can. The entire point all along has been to protect the individual from being subjugated by the mob, yet we have somehow forgotten that important lesson. To each his own, folks. The day we start to live by that is the day we'll all be happier.

Minnesota girl alleges school privacy invasion - CNN.com

Craziness. A parent policing their minor child's online life, I can understand and totally support; but the school has no right to anything outside their purview. Public schools are becoming nothing more than willing outlets for government run amok.

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Minnesota girl alleges school privacy invasion - CNN.com: "A Minnesota middle school student, with the backing of the American Civil Liberties Union, is suing her school district over a search of her Facebook and e-mail accounts by school employees.


The 12-year-old sixth grade student, identified in court documents only as R.S., was on two occasions punished for statements she made on her Facebook account, and was also pressured to divulge her password to school officials, the complaint states..."

Not So Fast On That Whole Economic Recovery Thing

Not So Fast On That Whole Economic Recovery Thing: "Not so fast. Those that are publicly declaring that an economic recovery has arrived are ignoring a whole host of numbers that indicate that the U.S. economy is in absolutely horrendous shape. The truth is that the health of an economy should not be measured by how well the stock market is doing. Rather, the truth health of an economy should be evaluated by looking at numbers for things like jobs, housing, poverty and debt. Some of the latest economic statistics indicate that unemployment is getting a little bit worse, that the housing market continues to deteriorate, that poverty in America continues to soar and that our debt problem is worse than ever. If we were truly experiencing the kind of economic recovery that the United States has experienced after every other post-World War II recession we would see a sharp improvement across the board in most of our economic statistics. But that simply is not happening. Sadly, this is about as much of an 'economic recovery' as we are going to get because soon the economy will be getting much worse. So enjoy this period of relative stability while you can..."

09 March, 2012

15 Potentially Massive Threats To The U.S. Economy Over The Next 12 Months

15 Potentially Massive Threats To The U.S. Economy Over The Next 12 Months: "We live in a world that is becoming increasingly unstable, and the potential for an event that could cause 'sudden change' to the U.S. economy is greater than ever. There are dozens of potentially massive threats that could easily push the U.S. economy over the edge during the next 12 months. A war in the Middle East, a financial collapse in Europe, a major derivatives crisis or a horrific natural disaster could all change our economic situation very rapidly. Most of the time I write about the long-term economic trends that are slowly but surely ripping the U.S. economy to pieces, but the truth is that just a single really bad 'black swan event' over the next 12 months could accelerate our economic problems dramatically. If oil was cut off from the Middle East or a really bad natural disaster suddenly destroyed a major U.S. city, the U.S. economy would be thrown into a state of chaos. Considering how bad the U.S. economy is currently performing, it would be easy to see how a major 'shock to the system' could push us into the 'next Great Depression' very easily. Let us hope that none of these things actually happen over the next 12 months, but let us also understand that we live in a world that has become extremely chaotic and extremely unstable..."

35 Shocking Statistics That Prove That Things Have Gotten Worse In America

35 Shocking Statistics That Prove That Things Have Gotten Worse In America: "Most Americans know that things used to be much better in the United States, but they don't have the facts and the figures to back that belief up. Well, after reading the shocking statistics in this article nobody should be left with any doubt that things have gotten worse in America. There are less jobs, incomes are down, home values have plummeted, poverty is up, consumer debt is way up, dependence of the government has skyrocketed and government debt is totally out of control. Sadly, it hasn't really mattered which political party has had control over the White House. Things have gotten worse under Obama, they got worse under Bush, and they got worse under Clinton. We are in the midst of a horrific long-term economic decline and the American people desperately need to wake up.


The following are 35 shocking statistics that prove that things have gotten worse in America..."

[List at Link]

USA #1? 40 Embarrassing Things That America Is The Best In The World At

USA #1? 40 Embarrassing Things That America Is The Best In The World At: "Is the USA still #1? Well, there are many things that America is still the best in the world at, but unfortunately a lot of those categories are nothing to be proud of. Once upon a time the United States was the greatest nation on earth, but now we are a nation that is in a horrific state of decline. Just consider a few of the embarrassing things that America leads the world in: obesity, crime, divorce, teen pregnancy, child abuse deaths and government debt. The statistics that you are about to read below are incredibly disturbing. Most people that write these kinds of articles about the decline of America hate this country. But that is not the case with me. I was born and raised in America and I love this nation deeply. It is time to realize that we will never be able to start fixing our problems until we take a really good look in the mirror and realize just how far we have fallen. America is not the country that it once was. America is a complete and total mess and just "tweaking" a few things here and there is not going to return this nation to its former glory.  We have forgotten the things that once made us great, and if we do not return to them we will continue to fall apart as a nation. With that being said, the following are 40 embarrassing things that America is the best in the world at..."

[List at Link]

Now THAT Is Cold – 19 Signs That America Is Becoming A Very Heartless Place

Now THAT Is Cold – 19 Signs That America Is Becoming A Very Heartless Place: "The economy is not the only thing that is wrong with America. In order for a society to function smoothly, people need to be able to trust one another and be able to expect that most of their fellow citizens will behave in a somewhat civilized manner. Unfortunately, we are starting to see the very fabric of our society slowly unravel all over the nation. The truth is that America is becoming a very heartless place. People simply do not care about one another the way that they used to in this country. Of course there are many exceptions, but the reality is that millions of hearts are going cold from coast to coast. In America today, we are more self-absorbed than ever, more self-centered than ever, and we are more isolated from others than ever. Just think about the number of people that you personally interact with on a regular basis. Unless you are involved with a very large organization such as a school or a church, it is probably a very limited number.  Our addiction to entertainment gives us the illusion of being connected to society, but the truth is that Americans spend less time personally interacting with one another than ever before.  Meanwhile, Americans are seemingly becoming more arrogant, more prideful, more angry, more brutal, more greedy and more addicted to pleasure than ever before.  When you combine millions of very cold hearts with an economy that is rapidly crumbling, that adds up to a whole lot of trouble in the years ahead..."

08 March, 2012

More Hidden Inflation

Mars, Inc. recently announced that all of its candy bars will be reduced in size so that they will be under 250 collories. This includes: 3 Musketeers, Snickers, Dove, Kudos, Milky Way, M&Ms (possibly a smaller bag), and Twix. Say goodbye to king sized candy bars folks.

They claim that the initiave is to curb "excessive snacking". Personally, I feel this is about money. Calculate the price per calorie today, and compare to what they're charging a few years from now. The bars will shrink more than the price will.

It's a hidden form of inflation. Almost all grocery packaging has shrunk over the past few years, while prices either rose, plateaued, or went down (but without being in proportion to the size). Sneaky wealth transfer.

Guest Post: The Use of Body Armor During WW2

Body armor has been around for thousands of years in one form or another. While there’s always war and weaponry advancements body armor will still remain a fighting soldier’s best defence. During World War 2 body armor was utilised by infantry men on every side and at a very early stage in the conflict it seems.

The main use of body armor in WW2 was for air forces. The military researched and developed a flak vest especially for aircraft crews. These vests were made from a type of nylon. The flak vest offered the wearer protection against shrapnel and flak but it couldn’t be used to stop a bullet. The Red army used steel plate body armor called the SN-42. It was made up of two steel plates, one for the front and one for the groin area. The plates used were only 2mm thick and weighed a great deal. This made this vest widely undesirable to the Russian infantry men. The problem was this was the only bullet proof vest Russia had to offer, as it was the only piece of armor being manufactured and made available to Russian soldiers at the time. The armor protected against 9mm round shot from an MP40 at 110 yards. The Japanese also tried to utilise body armor but it was rarely seen in action.

The U.S Army developed and produced a number of body armor models in 1944 in effort to protect ground troops from the growing threat of anti personnel mines. They developed a vest that was made up of a Doron plate (fibreglass) for the battle of Okinawa. Doron plate was originally founded in 1943 by Dow Company after the war stimulated research and advances in non metallic body armor alternatives. This vest only weighed a total of 8Ibs. It offered protection against slow moving shrapnel and flak. The Doron plate went on to be used in the Korean and Vietnam wars.

Most of the body armor produced in WW2 was not really effective at stopping bullets. They seem to be used to protect against slow moving shrapnel and flak. Even the bullet proof armor in action during WW2 was only effective at stopping 9mm rounds shot at a moderate distance.

By Anthony McGrath

30 Stupid Things The Government Is Spending Money On

30 Stupid Things The Government Is Spending Money On: "If you want to get paid for doing something stupid, just turn to the U.S. government. The U.S. government is paying researchers to play video games, it is paying researchers to study the effects of cocaine on Japanese quail and it has spent millions of dollars to train Chinese prostitutes to drink responsibly. The amount of money that the government wastes is absolutely horrifying. Do you remember all of that political wrangling over the debt ceiling deal last year? Do you remember how our politicians told us that there were cutting spending as much as they possibly could? Well, it was all a giant lie. As you will see below, the U.S. government is spending money on some of the most stupid things imaginable. What makes all of this even worse is that we are going into enormous amounts of debt in order to pay for all of this. We are borrowing billions of dollars a day in order to pay for stupid stuff that no government on earth should ever be paying for. Trust me, you are going to find it hard to believe some of the stuff in this list. It is almost inconceivable what our politicians are doing with our tax dollars..."

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10.7 Percent: Unemployment In Europe Is Worse Than It Was At The Peak Of The Last Recession

10.7 Percent: Unemployment In Europe Is Worse Than It Was At The Peak Of The Last Recession: "The unemployment rate in the eurozone is now 10.7 percent. That is the highest the unemployment rate has been since the introduction of the euro. The unemployment rate in the eurozone never got any higher than 10.2 percent during the last recession. This is very troubling news. It was just recently announced that the eurozone has entered another recession, and already the unemployment rate is hitting new record highs. So how bad are things going to get in the months to come? The truth is that the problems for Europe are just starting. The European sovereign debt crisis continues to get worse, and another major global financial crisis is going to be here way too soon. The EU as a whole has a larger population, a larger banking system and more Fortune 500 companies than the United States does. When the financial system of Europe crashes, the entire world is going to feel it..."

07 March, 2012

Guest Post: Building Your Own Bug Out Bag

The point of this article is to teach you how to build your very own bug-out bag for you and your family. A bug-out bag is a survival kit that supplies you with the resources to get by for at least 3 days, should you face an emergency and have to leave your home. The first 3 days are usually the most difficult after a disaster, as it can take a few days for help to arrive and for order to be restored. Taking the time to prepare a bug-out bag can go a long way in helping you and your family get through a disaster in relative ease and comfort.  $100 and an afternoon is often enough to prepare a bug-out bag, so there is really no excuse not to have one.

The first thing you’ll need is a weather resistant backpack to store your items in. Something that’s easy to carry, as comfort matters if you’re going to be carrying it for days at a time.

Here’s a list of items to consider adding to your kit. It’s your choice what to add and what not to, but remember that it’s always better to be over prepared than under prepared.

WATER & FOOD
First and foremost, you will need enough water and food to last you at least 3 days.

3L of water per person: you’ll need at least 1L of water/person/day. More is better, but the more water you have the more difficult your kit will be to carry. Find the balance that’s right for you.

3 days worth of non-perishable food: you’ll want food that can be stored for long periods, are easy to prepare, and are high calorie and high nutrient. Some ideas are protein bars, granola bars, peanut butter, beef jerky, fruit cups, raisins, crackers, ramen noodles, etc. If you want to go fancy you can go with MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) or freeze dried food.

A mess kit: disposable plates, cups, forks, knives and spoons to eat and drink with.

Garbage bags: for cleaning up. They can be used as ponchos as well.

Ziploc bags: to save leftovers with.

Water purification tablets: if you need any extra water.

3oz of gel fuel: for cooking if the power is out.

Optional:
A compact camping stove: they can be a bit expensive and heavy, but if you have some extra money and some extra hands it can be helpful. It can make cooking and boiling water easier.

TOOLS & EQUIPMENT
Next, you’ll need various tools and equipment.

A battery powered radio: have a backup set of batteries. It may be your only way to find out what’s going on during an emergency.

An LED flashlight: brighter and more efficient than regular flashlights. Go with yellow or white, the brightest colors. Have an extra set of batteries as well.

Swiss army knife: many potential uses.

Strike anywhere matches: place in a waterproof case, with a piece of emery board for striker.

Pencil and notebook: for taking notes, writing down information.

Sewing kit: to fix clothing and gear.

Compass: for navigation if you’re on the move.

Candles: for light if the power goes out.

Mirror: for grooming and treating wounds that are difficult to see.

Whistle: for scaring off animals and signaling to others.

Plastic sheeting and duct tape: many purposes, such as sealing broken windows.

A map of your area: if you need to move.

Optional:
Camping Gear: can be helpful if you live near a lot of wilderness or open spaces.

Gas mask: if you live in an area that could be a potential terrorist target, or could potentially face a chemical disaster, you might consider getting a gas mask.

PERSONAL
Some personal and miscellaneous items to consider adding:

First aid kit: for treating minor wounds and injuries.

Copies of important documents: your passport, driver’s license, contact phone numbers, etc.

Medication: extra supplies of any medication you and your family might need.

Extra glasses/contact lenses: for anyone in your family that need them.

Personal hygiene: shampoo, soap, toothbrush and paste, disinfectant, tissues, etc.

Extra clothes

A warm blanket

A poncho: to stay warm in the rain and snow.

Emergency cash: have some extra cash on hand, for food, lodging, etc.

Place the items in your bag, and store somewhere that’s out of reach, but can be grabbed easily in an emergency.

If you’re interested, check out my site for more specific kits, such as wilderness survival kits and pocket-sized survival kits.

Good luck and Stay prepared!

Cheers,
RamboMoe

Inflation Is A Tax And The Federal Reserve Is Taxing The Living Daylights Out Of Us

Inflation Is A Tax And The Federal Reserve Is Taxing The Living Daylights Out Of Us: "Ronald Reagan once famously declared that inflation is a tax, but sadly most Americans did not really grasp what he was talking about. If the American people truly understood what inflation was doing to them, they would be screaming bloody murder about monetary policy. Inflation is an especially insidious tax because it is not just a tax on your income for one year. It is a continual tax on every single dollar that you own. As your money sits in the bank, it is constantly losing value. Over time, the effects of inflation can be absolutely devastating. For example, if you put 100 dollars in the bank in 1970, those same dollars today would only have about 17 percent of the purchasing power that they did back then. In essence, you were hit by an 83 percent 'inflation tax' and all you did was leave your money in the bank. So who is responsible for this? Well, the Federal Reserve controls monetary policy in the United States, and the inflationary monetary policy that the Fed has gotten all of us accustomed to is taxing the living daylights out of us. This is madness, and it needs to stop..."

20 Economic Statistics To Use To Wake Sheeple Up From Their Entertainment-Induced Comas

20 Economic Statistics To Use To Wake Sheeple Up From Their Entertainment-Induced Comas: "The Dow has closed above 13,000 for the first time since 2008, and the mainstream media is declaring that a strong economic recovery is underway. Barack Obama is telling anyone who will listen that his economic policies are a huge success, and U.S. consumers are piling up astounding amounts of new debt. Unfortunately, this euphoria about the economy will be short-lived. None of the long-term problems that are destroying the U.S. economy have been solved. In fact, there are dozens of statistics that can be quoted that prove that the U.S. economy is in far worse shape than it was when the recession supposedly ended. If dramatic changes are not made very rapidly, our nation is going to smash directly into an economic brick wall. Sadly, most Americans are so addicted to entertainment that they have no idea what is about to happen. Most of them are 'sheeple' that are content to trust that the 'experts' know exactly how to fix our problems as they continue to enjoy their entertainment-induced comas. After all, it is much easier to turn on 'American Idol' or 'Dancing With The Stars' than it is to think about debt ratios and monetary policy..."

01 March, 2012

20 Signs That Dust Bowl Conditions Will Soon Return To The Heartland Of America

20 Signs That Dust Bowl Conditions Will Soon Return To The Heartland Of America: "For decades, the heartland of America has been the breadbasket of the world. Unfortunately, those days will shortly come to an end. The central United States is rapidly drying up and dust bowl conditions will soon return. There are a couple of major reasons for this. Number one, the Ogallala Aquifer is being depleted at an astounding pace. The Ogallala Aquifer is one of the largest bodies of fresh water in the entire world, and water from it currently irrigates more than 15 million acres of crops. When that water is gone we will be in a world of hurt. Secondly, drought conditions have become the 'new normal' in many areas of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and other states in the middle part of the country. Scientists tell us that the wet conditions that we enjoyed for several decades after World War II were actually the exception to the rule and that most of time time the interior west is incredibly dry. They also tell us that when dust bowl conditions return to the area, they might stay with us a lot longer than a decade like they did during the 1930s. Unfortunately, without water you cannot grow food, and with global food supplies as tight as they are right now we cannot afford to have a significant decrease in agricultural production. But it is not just the central United States that is experiencing the early stages of a major water crisis. Already many other areas around the nation are rapidly developing their own water problems. As supplies of fresh water get tighter and tighter, some really tough decisions are going to have to be made. Fresh water is absolutely essential to life, and it is going to become increasingly precious in the years ahead.

Most Americans have never even heard of the Ogallala Aquifer, but the truth is that it is one of the most important bodies of water on the globe. It covers well over 100,000 square miles and it sits underneath the states of Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming and South Dakota.

Water drawn from the Ogallala Aquifer is used to water more than 15 million acres of crops. Without this source of water, the United States would not be the breadbasket of the world.

That is why what is happening right now is so alarming.

The following are 20 signs that dust bowl conditions will soon return to the heartland of America..."


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Guest Post: Can I Keep Chickens in My Backyard?

If you have made the decision that you would like to try your hand at keeping some chickens in your backyard, there are a few considerations that you might want to make first, and although you have probably thought of some of these, there just might be a few that might come as a surprise.

Legality of Raising Backyard Chickens

Probably the very first question you should ask yourself about raising chickens is, ‘can I raise chickens in my backyard?’ You know, legally. I know, I know. If you are slightly stubborn like I tend to be you are probably saying to yourself, ‘this is my property, so surely I can do whatever I want on it’! Am I right? If that thought crossed your mind, or anything at all along those lines, trust me, I know where you’re coming from. Here’s the deal.

If you live within the boundaries of a city as most (but not all) of us do, you will want to start out by getting info on whether or not you can even keep chickens in your backyard while staying within the confines of the law. The last thing you want to do is to build or buy a chicken coop, purchase a few starter hens, buy some food, get the entire family excited about the adventure that lies ahead, only to have a bureaucrat pay you a visit and let you know (kindly or otherwise), that what you are doing against a city ordinance and that not only will you have to get rid of your new chicks, you will also have to pony up for a fine they’ve decided to hand you. What a slap in the face!

Basic Types of Zoning and Chickens

There are a few different types of zoning that exist, each one having different laws and regulations on what you will and what you will not be able to do. If your property happens to be zoned as agricultural, then you probably won’t have any problem raising chickens or constructing any type of chicken coop you might want to have. Most people reading this article will not fit that description however, and will live on property that is probably zoned as residential. Don’t let that discourage you in regards to chicken-raising, as many, many residential areas will allow people to raise a few chickens on their property. The best thing that you can do to make sure is to contact your city offices and simply ask them if there are any ordinances on raising chickens in your backyard, and what they are. You will find typically that there are two different areas of laws that will affect what you are able to do. First, there are often laws specific to the actual birds. How many birds you are able to have on your property (it might depend on the size of your property), what sex they can be (roosters, anyone?), and in some cases, although not extremely common, you might even have to get written permission from your neighbors! I know, that last one sounds a bit strange. You haven’t burned any bridges there, have you? The second set of laws have to do with the type of housing you use for your chickens. How large can your chicken coop be? Do you have to get a permit to build or even own a chicken coop in your backyard? Will this chicken coop need to be inspected?

I hope I haven’t scared you away from the idea of even wanting to start raising chickens in your backyard, and honestly I believe I have found some of the more extreme laws that you might want to, as your own city ordinance might include anything from having nearly no regulations at all, to maybe just one or two of these issues, which might not seem like much of a problem at all. Remember, as you are going into this and inquiring about the local laws of your city just remember that joy of fresh eggs, chickens and the family experience is all very much worth it in the end!

A Personal Example on Chicken Keeping Laws

It has been a number years now that raising chickens in your backyard has been allowed here in my city. In regards to how many chickens can be kept here, a person can keep up to 12 chickens, depending on the size of your property. Anywhere from house lots as small as 5,000 square feet keeping just two chickens, up to larger lots being allowed 12. There was a small public hearing where people were able to voice their opinions on the matter. For the most part it was thought that people being able to raise chickens in their backyard was fine, and that there wasn’t really any detriment at all.

Even public officials mentioned that when it came to complaints about chickens from neighbors (which were extremely rare as it is), the complaints were never about noise, and never about a smell (neither of those things seemed to be any problem at all). The only complaints on file were for the occasional chicken getting loose, which was always promptly gathered and put back in its place. I’m sure we can all point to that neighbor of ours that would be the first to complain about the slightest inconvenience, or really anything at all.

Whatever the case may be where you live, make sure you have it on good authority that you are able to keep chickens before going out and finding chicks and a chicken coop. Don’t take the advice of a friend or a neighbor or a real estate agent even someone near you that might be raising chickens. Sometimes when laws are passed that ban certain things, those who were practicing before the law came into effect are exempt from the new law; they are grandfathered in.

What if My City Does Not Allow Backyard Chickens?

If you find that your municipality does not allow raising chickens, don’t panic just yet. All might not be lost. The process of getting a simple law like this changed is often times much more simple than you might think. You might be asked to attend a city council meeting to state your case, and often times that will be enough for the city to take a vote on the issue, and I think often times you will find that no one wants to be the lone councilman putting their foot down on people wanting to become more self-sustaining. Be patient on the matter as this process doesn’t usually happen overnight. It can takes months for the ball to get rolling, but you can be a part of making great changes in your area if you stick with it. If you can find others in your area that back you on this issue and will be willing to work with you, even better.


The author of this article is the owner of backyardhenhouse.com and chickensaloon.com..

An Education In Uban Survival

There is many literature about what might happen or how SHTF could unfold. But there are also real examples we can learn from. One of the most interesting recent events that can be compared to TEOTWAWKI was the Balkan war.

Selco of SHTF School, who survived the war in the Balkan region during the 1990′s, recounts how everything changed once the enemy army surrounded his city and he and his family survived for one year cut off from the outside world. His account gives you an idea of the brutal nature of urban survival.



In his online course ( http://shtfschool.com/community/selco-one-year-in-hell/ -- see screenshot above) he shares the lessons he has learned and describes step by step how life changed beginning with all services shutting down, to seeing the first corpses on the streets and gangs roaming the city looking for resources.

You can learn the lessons Selco had to learn the hard way and besides listening to 8 hours of audio interviews with him, watch hands on videos of his supplies, check is current supply lists, read his survival guide and watch videos in which he describes his defense setup.

The cost for this course is $ 29.95 for regular subscribers and $ 19.95 if you subscribe to the newsletter (they send you a signup link in the first email). It is a bargain for the wealth of information they offer and highly recommended.

10 Terrifying Films About Home Invasion

10 Terrifying Films About Home Invasion: "No one wants to think about their home getting burgled. And no one wants to think about being locked in a rickety house with a killer. It's not easy tackling the realities of home invasion; it's much more difficult to have to deal with a real break-in than watch a film about one. You may not be insured, things get wrecked, and you have to call the cops. Though they probably won't prepare you for a real home invasion, try locking your doors, stay in tonight, and check out these 10 terrifying films about home invasion..."

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