Monthly Archives: August 2012

Alaska to Stockpile Mass Amounts of Food and Supplies…

By Mac Slavo | SHTFPlan.com | On Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

With its remote location and dependence on the uninterrupted flow of supplies from the lower 48 states, the Governor of Alaska has made disaster readiness a hallmark of his administration.

Gov. Sean Parnell worries a major earthquake or volcanic eruption could leave the state’s 720,000 residents stranded and cut off from food and supply lines. His answer: Build giant warehouses full of emergency food and supplies, just in case.

For some in the lower 48, it may seem like an extreme step. But Parnell says this is just Alaska.

“We have a different motivation to do this, because help is a long ways away,” said John Madden, Alaska’s emergency management director.

The state plans two food stockpiles in or near Fairbanks and Anchorage, two cities that also have military bases. Construction on the two storage facilities will begin this fall, and the first food deliveries are targeted for December. The goal is to have enough food to feed 40,000 people for up to a week, including three days of ready-to-eat meals and four days of bulk food that can be prepared and cooked for large groups. To put that number into perspective, Alaska’s largest city, Anchorage, has about 295,000 people, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and Juneau, its third largest, about 31,000.

It’s not unusual for states that routinely experience hurricanes or other large-scale disasters to have supplies like water, ready-to-eat meals, cots and blankets. But Alaska is interested in stocking food with at least a five-year shelf life that meets the nutrition, health and cultural requirements of the state’s unique demographics.

An estimated 90 percent of commodities entering Alaska are delivered through the Port of Anchorage. Air service is also a critical link to the outside world and generally the only way to reach many rural communities. A volcanic blast emitting a large amount of smoke and ash could disrupt supply lines by air and water for an extended period, Madden said, and an earthquake could knock out airport runways or ports. Those are just some of the disasters that might require emergency supplies.

State officials have been working to encourage individual responsibility, with talks at schools and public gatherings. Emergency management officials plan to have a booth at the Alaska State Fair. A statewide disaster drill is planned for October.

Over the past year, the state has acquired or purchased water purification units and generators designed to work in cold climates, including units that could power facilities like hospitals, Madden said. Officials also are determining what the state needs in terms of emergency medical supplies and shelter, he said.

Source: Business Week

Alaska will soon begin stockpiling food and supplies - the very thing the department of Homeland Security warns could be an indication of terrorist activity.

Alaska will soon begin stockpiling food and supplies - the very thing the Department of Homeland Security warns that if being done by an ordinary citizen, could be an indication of terrorist activity. -Ed.

Alaska’s Governor understands the fragility of modern just-in-time supply lines, and rather than leaving his state completely unprepared for a disaster as Louisiana did in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, he is taking steps to have at least the bare necessities on hand in the event of a worst-case scenario.

Of note is that the State will only be stockpiling about five days worth of food and critical supplies for its population. Definitely a good start, but certainly not enough for any prolonged disaster that may strike their ports or the Continental United States. That’s why they are urging individuals to take it upon themselves to prepare as well.

As we have seen with every major disaster in the world over the last century, when an emergency strikes the government will be overwhelmed. Help will not be on the way – police, medical personnel and local government could potentially disappear in a serious emergency as first responders would go home to be with their families, or simply be out of contact due to downed communication lines.

Like Alaska, every American should prepare for the absence of government assistance and create a well rounded preparedness plan to deal with the aftermath of a disaster, whether natural or man-made.

Hat tip Satori

This article was originally posted at http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/just-in-case-state-of-alaska-to-stockpile-mass-amounts-of-food-and-supplies-in-giant-warehouses_08292012

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About The Author: RSOP is the co-founder & Executive Editor of Radical Survivalism Webzine, as well as a Family Preparedness Consultant with nearly five years of personal experience in the self-reliance game. RSOP's many preparedness roles within his own group include team mechanic, head of security, electrician, and project designer/engineer.

Is “Doomsday Preppers” Doomed?

By Riverwalker | From StealthSurvival.Blogspot.com | On Saturday, April 28th, 2012

Doomsday Preppers airs on The National Geographic Channel

Doomsday Preppers airs on the National Geographic Channel

While the show has some good points, it’s still TV and needs to be entertaining in order for NATGeo to get viewers and advertising dollars.  The program has created additional awareness about prepping and the need to be prepared but they have also sensationalized prepping to the point where they may have difficulty finding preppers to participate in their program.

After visiting several serious preppers and a couple of beginners in my area, many of my prepper friends seem to be making a decision to avoid the possibility of subjecting themselves to being viewed as extremists on the fringe of society. Many stated they wouldn’t mind talking about their own level of expertise in certain areas. They also stated they wouldn’t mind giving advice and sharing ideas about prepping. They were also pretty clear that they weren’t about to reveal any specific information about their level of preps.  No way! No how!

Even a pretty serious prepper like me has picked up a few tips from the show but there have also been some things that didn’t quite make sense to me from a practical standpoint. The show’s producers may also have realized that the “average” prepper isn’t going to have the “shock” value for their audience. They may have also used their editorial control to the point where the preppers involved may have been seriously misrepresented in their prepping efforts for the sake of higher TV ratings. Not a good thing in my estimation.

There are plenty of gardening and other types of programs that are a more accurate portrayal of the types of basic activities preppers are regularly involved in on TV already. After all, how much entertainment value can you get out of a kitty litter bucket used as a nesting box for your chickens? This might be interesting to people raising chickens but probably not everyone.

Personally there is no problem for me when it comes to sharing ideas and advice with other like-minded individuals, just don’t ask for specific details about my level of preps, my address or my bug out locations. That’s private information and known to only a trusted few.

Perhaps the program will make a turnaround and show more of the “common sense” approach to prepping and focus more on the practical aspects. Including a few more basic prepping tips and the various things that can be done to be better prepared would be a good start. The value of being more self-reliant and better prepared is an important aspect of prepping and should probably be given more attention and focus. They might also want to treat persons involved in prepping with a little more respect and consideration. There are a lot more preppers out there than they may realize and they may be missing an opportunity for an even bigger audience.

In recent months, there has been a significant increase in the number of prepper blogs and websites. The prepper movement is growing and will continue to grow. A more accurate portrayal of prepping may make a more interesting program than they realize.

Even one of the most recent episodes was just a montage of previous shows and may be a sign that they are having difficulty finding preppers to profile. While the need to get others more involved in the prepping community is an admirable goal, going on national TV may not be the best way to do it. It appears that there may be an increasingly negative reaction from the prepper community as result.

Is “Doomsday Preppers” going to survive?

Staying above the water line!

Riverwalker

This article was originally posted at http://stealthsurvival.blogspot.com/2012/04/is-doomsday-preppers-doomed.html

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About The Author: RSOP is the co-founder & Executive Editor of Radical Survivalism Webzine, as well as a Family Preparedness Consultant with nearly five years of personal experience in the self-reliance game. RSOP's many preparedness roles within his own group include team mechanic, head of security, electrician, and project designer/engineer.

Argentine Leader’s Image Falls as Inflation Soars

By Hugh Bronstein | From Reuters.com | On Sunday, August 26th,2012

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez

(Reuters) – Argentine President Cristina Fernandez’s popularity sank to 30 percent in August, less than half of what it was a year earlier, according to a poll published on Sunday that portrayed a country worried about crime and high inflation.

The telephone survey of 2,259 voting-age Argentines by polling company Management & Fit showed dissatisfaction with the interventionist policies that won Fernandez a landslide re-election 10 months ago.

The popularity of the 59-year-old Peronist — who is part of a bloc of left-leaning South American leaders including Evo Morales of Bolivia and Rafael Correa of Ecuador — fell by 8.1 percentage points between August and July alone.

The international bond market has shunned Argentina since its 2002 sovereign debt default and subsequent embrace of policies that emphasize state intervention in the markets and heavy government spending meant to stoke economic growth.

As recently as September last year, a month before winning her second term, Fernandez had 64.1 popularity while campaigning on promises of deepening the interventionist policy model of her late husband and predecessor as president, Nestor Kirchner.

Since then the economy has slowed, and the poll suggests most people are not buying Fernandez’s argument that external factors, such as Europe’s financial mess, are mostly to blame.

Argentina’s economic activity was flat in June, according to the official EMAE index, which is a close proxy for gross domestic product.

Of those surveyed by Management and Fit, 44.5 percent said government policy was the main cause of the stagnation. Only 8.0 percent blamed it on spillover from sluggish world growth.

The perception of an increase in street crime was first on the list of complaints voiced by participants in the poll, which had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.2 percentage points. No official crime statistics were available to back this up.

Annual inflation, clocked by private analysts at over 20 percent, was another worry voiced in the survey. The government fines economists who publish their inflation estimates, which tend to double or triple the official figures.

Participants in the poll also cited growing worries about unemployment. The country’s second quarter jobless rate edged up to 7.2 percent from 7.1 percent in the first three months of the year.

Fernandez’s image benefited from a fast-growing economy during most of her first four-year term.

Activity is now being slowed by fallout from the European debt crisis, softer demand from key trade partner Brazil and government-imposed currency and import curbs that have further hurt confidence in Latin America’s third biggest economy.

In the latest sign of malaise, Argentine industrial production fell 2.1 percent in July from a year earlier.

(Additional reporting by Karina Grazina; Editing by Vicki Allen and Cynthia Osterman)

This article was originally posted at http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/26/us-argentina-fernandez-poll-idUSBRE87P07620120826

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About The Author: RSOP is the co-founder & Executive Editor of Radical Survivalism Webzine, as well as a Family Preparedness Consultant with nearly five years of personal experience in the self-reliance game. RSOP's many preparedness roles within his own group include team mechanic, head of security, electrician, and project designer/engineer.

GOP Considers Return to Gold Standard

By Beckett Adams | From TheBlaze.com | On Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

For the first time in three decades, gold is making its way back into mainstream politics as the Republican Party prepares to adopt a “gold commission” as part of its official party policy, the Financial Times reports.

How did this supposedly “crazy” idea make its way back into mainstream politics? Two reasons: a) because of the unsuccessful monetary policies of the past five years and b) the tireless efforts of Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX).

As the GOP prepares for its National Convention in Tampa, Fla., next week, drafts of the party’s platform “call for an audit of Federal Reserve monetary policy and a commission to look at restoring the link between the dollar and gold,” according to the FT.

“These [issues] were adopted because they are things that Republicans agree on,” co-chair of the platform committee Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) told the Financial Times. “The House recently passed a bill on this, and this is something that we think needs to be done.”

She is, of course, referring to Rep. Paul’s “Audit the Fed” bill, which passed 327-98.

The FT report notes that the 2012 “gold commission” is similar to the one created during Ronald Reagan’s first term (it ended up deciding against reestablishing a link between U.S. currency and gold … obviously).

“There is a growing recognition within the Republican party and in America more generally that we’re not going to be able to print our way to prosperity,” chairman of the American Principles Project Sean Fieler told FT.

However, as Fieler is careful to note, outside of making recommendations, the commission (should it be adopted) would have no other power or authority.

“We’re not going to go from a standing start to the gold standard,” Fieler said, explaining that the commission is mainly about educating the American people and politicians on the importance of the precious metal.

As of this writing, it is unclear whether the GOP will formally adopt the “gold commission” at the convention. We’ll just have to wait and see.

This article was originally posted at http://www.theblaze.com/stories/gop-considers-return-to-gold-standard/

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About The Author: RSOP is the co-founder & Executive Editor of Radical Survivalism Webzine, as well as a Family Preparedness Consultant with nearly five years of personal experience in the self-reliance game. RSOP's many preparedness roles within his own group include team mechanic, head of security, electrician, and project designer/engineer.

Guns ‘R Us

By Jeanne Marie Laskas | Photographs by David Graham | From GQ.com | On September 2012

Fast and Furious. Conceal and carry. The Dark Knight theater shootings. In America these days, it seems like everyone is packing heat. In fact, we’re the most heavily armed populace on the planet. So where do most of us go when we need a shiny new Glock or a convenient AK-47? Increasingly to mega-shops like Sprague’s Sports in Yuma, Arizona. That’s where Jeanne Marie Laskas ventured recently, spending a few shifts behind the counter and seeing for herself how we shop, sell, justify, and even come to love the deadliest things among us…

Out-of-state residents can purchase firearms in Arizona read the sign behind the counter at Sprague’s Sports in Yuma. ASK US HOW. I asked a clerk named Ron for details. He was short, packed solid as a ham, with a crew cut and a genial demeanor. He pointed to the cavalcade of hunting rifles lined up on the long wall behind him. “Any of these you can get today—or these over here,” he said, leading me to a corner of the store where two young men in ball caps and a woman with a sparkly purse were admiring a selection of AK-47′s.

“You have to admit this is pretty badass,” the one man was saying. He had a carbine shorty perched on his hip, Stallone-style.

“I don’t know,” the woman said. “To me, it looks mean.”

“It’s supposed to look mean.”

“They should make it in pink,” she said. “Wouldn’t that be cute?”

“You’re shitting me.”

“They should make it in Hello Kitty!” she said. “I would totally buy it if it was Hello Kitty.”

Sweet holy crap,” the other man said. “That would be the worst possible death. Can you imagine? Shot dead by a Hello Kitty semiauto.”

It was difficult to tell if Ron was listening in on any of this; both of us had our lips pulled back in pretend smiles. “Now, what can I show you?” he asked me while the one guy went on faking his bad death and the woman continued her torture with something about rainbow-colored bullets.

I didn’t really want to buy an assault rifle, or even a handgun, but I was curious to know what buying one felt like, how the purchase worked, what-all was involved. Nobody in my circle back east had guns, nobody wanted them, and if anybody talked about them, it was in cartoon terms: Guns are bad things owned by bad people who want to do bad things. About the only time the people where I come from thought about guns was when something terrible happened. A lunatic sprays into a crowd and we have the same conversation we always have: those damn guns and those damn people who insist on having them.

I had come to Arizona, the most gun-friendly state, to listen to the conversation the rest of America was apparently having. One in three Americans owns a gun. About 59 million handguns, 46 million rifles, and 28 million shotguns—nearly 135 million new firearms for sale in the U.S. since 1986. We are the most heavily armed society in the world. If an armed citizenry is a piece of our national identity, how is it that I’d never even met it?

In Arizona, anyone over 18 can buy an assault rifle, at 21 you can get a pistol, and you can carry your gun, loaded or unloaded, concealed or openly, just about anywhere. The IHOP was said to be the only restaurant in Yuma that prohibited you from bringing your gun in. “Needless to say, most of us won’t eat there,” Ron said. On the rack behind him, assault rifles stood stupid as pool cues, black and blocky, with long magazines protruding erotically this way and that.

“I’m kind of surprised you carry assault rifles,” I said to Ron.

“There’s no such thing as an assault rifle,” he said. “These are ‘military-style rifles’ or ‘modern sporting rifles.’ ”

“But they’re assault rifles,” I noted. I knew that much from TV.

Assault is one of the worst things the media has ever done to us,” he said. “Have any of these rifles ever assaulted anyone?”

He went on to say I could buy as many of them as I wanted and walk out with my arsenal today. “These guns have helped our industry tremendously,” he said. “They’ve attracted a whole new generation…. Is there one you want to try?” He brought down a Colt AR15-A3 tactical carbine, slammed in an empty magazine, and handed it to me. It felt disappointingly fake, an awesome water pistol, perhaps, or a Halloween prop. I asked if I would need to tell him why I wanted to buy a gun like that or what I intended to do with it. He squinted and smiled and appeared politely speechless. “Would you have to do what, now?” he asked.

It was difficult for us to find a comfortable, common starting place, but the reach was certainly genuine.

Among the things I wanted to talk to Ron and the people at Sprague’s about were killing sprees. America has had a bad run of large-scale gun violence, including the theater shootings in Aurora, Colorado, and, closer to home, Arizona’s infamous 2011 Tucson massacre. I wondered when would be an appropriate time to bring up the subject; a massacre is, well, a massacre, and I feared it would dampen the mood.

A few reported details from the Tucson incident always stuck with me. Before Jared Loughner shot Gabby Giffords, he ran some errands first. He stopped at the Circle K on Ina Road to get something to eat. He went down to the Walgreens to pick up some photos he’d gotten developed. Then he went to the Walmart Supercenter at the Foothills Mall to buy some ammo for his Glock. Something happened there. A snag in the plan. The clerk at the register, who was never identified and whom Walmart officials refused to talk about, said no. He, or she, denied the sale to Loughner, who left and went to a different Walmart six miles away, where he bought enough ammunition to fill two fifteen-round magazines and the thirty-three-round extended magazine he would unload a few hours later into the crowd over at Safeway, killing six and injuring another thirteen, including Giffords.

Why did the first Walmart clerk refuse the sale, and how? What did that person see in Loughner, and where does a private citizen get the authority, or the gumption, to refuse to sell ammo to someone? These questions were never answered, if they were even asked by media providing day and night coverage in the bloody aftermath. The mysterious clerk at the Foothills Mall Walmart dropped out of the headlines almost as soon as he, or she, appeared. What may have lingered then for some, or at least it did for me, was a nagging sense of unfinished business. So these are the people who stand at the front lines, guarding America against its lunatic mass murderers? Clerks at Walmart. Clerks at sporting-goods stores. Minimum-wage cashiers busily scanning soccer balls, fishing tackle, and boxes of Tide.

Ron grew up in Yuma and had worked at Sprague’s for twenty-seven years; several of his co-workers had put in at least twenty. All the clerks milling about the store were clean-cut, dressed in crisp button-down shirts with their names embroidered on the pockets, and the respect they showed the merchandise reminded me of department-store shoe salesmen in the old days who wore suits and used shoehorns. The store was brightly lit and impeccably clean—no dust or cobwebs on the hundreds of bobcat, coyote, elk, and other taxidermy mounted on high. Stray scraps of paper were instantly swept up, Disneyland-style. The merchandise was arranged in boutique fashion: colorful boxes of ammo stacked like candy by the register, a library of gun books and magazines near the restrooms. There was a holster department, a gun-safe department, and an optical-equipment department—OVER 75 MODELS of Binoculars in stock. OVER 100 MODELS of Rifle Scopes in stock. The guns were in the back of the store, and this is where most of the customers hung out.

Handguns like the Glock, top left, are best-sellers at Sprague's, and customers can try out almost any gun at the store's twenty-five-yard indoor range, bottom right.

“I have six handguns—bought five of them here,” an old man said to me. I was waiting for Ron, who’d gone to the back room to find a gun he thought I might like. “I have five rifles, got all of them here,” the man said. “I spend most of my time reloading shells. All my friends are dead.” He had thin white hair and a long, sagging face dotted with age spots. “Do you know what the biggest problem with divorce is? It’s the bedroom. And a lot of it’s the man’s fault. Like a damn rabbit, on and off.”

It felt like we should have had rocking chairs, perhaps a set of checkers between us. This was one of the things I liked most about Sprague’s: the general-store feel. Groups would form, strangers becoming neighbors, sharing stories. “I lost my wife in November,” the man said. “Sixty years. Now my kids keep trying to get me to go live with them in California. My doctor said, ‘What’s your lifestyle?’ I told him guns. He said, ‘Stay in Yuma.’ ”

Ron came back carrying two assault rifles. “Hey there,” he said, greeting the old man. “What brings you in today?”

“Same as yesterday.”

Gently, Ron placed the rifles on the counter. He told me one was a Smith & Wesson M&P15 and the other a Heckler & Koch 416. They looked every bit as formidable as the first one I held, but these were .22s, and Ron said they’d be easier to shoot.

“So more like beginner assault rifles?” I asked.

“There-is-no-such-thing-as-an-assault-rifle,” Ron said.

The Smith M&P15 sold for $425 and had a snazzy bright orange cardboard wrapper on its fat barrel that read “Kick Brass.” “I’ll go with this one,” I said.

“Okay, you’ll need to fill this out.” He handed me a six-page government-issued form, told me not to make any mistakes or else I’d have to start all over. “No cross-outs,” he said.

Anyone in America who wants to buy a gun has to fill out ATF Form 4473, with thirty-six questions in all, and hand it in to the dealer selling the gun. The clerk takes the form and contacts NICS, the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (open every day of the year except Christmas), where an examiner runs your answers through a series of databases to make sure you haven’t lied and, within minutes, tells the clerk what to do: proceed with the sale, deny it, or delay it for three days while NICS does some deeper digging and decides later.

PLEASE PRINT.

Are you a fugitive from justice?

Have you ever been adjudicated mentally defective?

Are you subject to a court order restraining you from harassing, stalking, or threatening your child or an intimate partner or child of such partner?

I stood there puzzling through the form when a guy walked up, replacing the old man beside me, and he, too, struck up a conversation. He was a man of some heft in a red T-shirt and sunglasses wrapped behind his neck, as was the fashion in Yuma. “You say you’re just starting out?” he said. “You picked a good one. With the HK, you would have just been paying for extra steel you don’t need.”

“That’s sort of what I thought,” I lied.

“I just got that same Smith for my kid,” he said.

I looked at him. He appeared far too young to have a grown son.

“Wait, how old is your kid?” I asked.

“Six,” he said.

···Richard Sprague, the owner of Sprague’s Sports, is a slender man in his fifties with a tapered face, coarse graying hair, and an easy smile. Other Arizona gun stores would not even entertain my request to visit and ask questions about selling guns and ammunition, but Richard without hesitation invited me to spend as much time as I wanted at Sprague’s—behind the counter, in the back room, at the shooting range, anywhere I wished. I thought it a somewhat courageous offer, especially given that a 2010 Washington Post investigation spectacularly put Sprague’s eleventh on a list of top U.S. stores that sold guns traced to crime scenes in Mexico. Attempts to stem the flow of arms south of the border began intensifying during the last Bush administration and have continued with the ATF’s infamous Fast and Furious operation.

In response to the hoopla about his store, Richard said that he and his employees were always on the lookout for straw purchasers: a person buying a gun for someone who hadn’t passed the background check. “Unfortunately,” he said, “some people do break the law once they leave our store.” The Mexican border was just eight miles away, and so proximity, rather than reckless selling, was the truer though far less titillating explanation of the ranking. And the number-crunching behind the headline was misleading: The actual number traced to Sprague’s was just fifty-five out of a spectacular 60,000 guns smuggled to Mexico.

Richard was a busy man, with quick eyes, and he spoke of “firearms” and “the industry” in the dry, responsible way a man might discuss flood insurance. Still, he talked more about his family than he did guns. He spoke proudly of the long line of Spragues (his father opened the store in 1956), and the raw weirdness of being the last of his generation left. He toured me around Yuma, a cozy town of 93,000 with parks stretching along the river where families picnicked under the ironwood trees. He took me to the Yuma county fair. He was proud of Yuma and wanted me to like it, and I told him I did. He was proud of the firearms industry and wanted me to like that, too, and I was working on it.

“What’s the most surprising thing about your trip so far?” Richard asked me one morning. We were driving back from a daybreak session at the outdoor range where he had given me some lessons on my new M&P15. Learning to shoot it wasn’t hard. Virtually no recoil, just as Ron had promised, and while in that way I was satisfied with my purchase, I found that I could not let go of a feeling of disappointment, of some kind of tangled shame that had nothing to do with shooting guns, or gun ownership, but that somehow I had wimped out and bought an assault rifle a 6-year-old could use.

“The most surprising thing?” I said to Richard. He was backlit against a morning sky exploding with red and pink and orange. “That’s going to be hard to summarize.”

Sprague's specializes in "politically incorrect black guns with extended magazines

“There must be something,” he said.

“I guess the most surprising thing is that everyone thinks guns are so normal,” I said. I told him it wasn’t like that where I come from, not like that at all.

He nodded in consideration, and I wondered if he understood. I offered him a piece of gum, and he took it, and for a while we just chewed and admired the passing mesquite. “Think of just the hunters,” he said. “Thirteen million in this country. That’s 13 million Americans trained with firearms—the equivalent of the largest army in the world.” He flipped his visor down to cut the sky. “Anyone thinking of invading this country has to take that into consideration.”

Well, wow. Hunters? Hunters rising up? It took me a moment to conjure the image. I wondered whom Richard imagined an army of guys dressed in orange rising up against. Al Qaeda? The Chinese?

I asked him who. Who?

He shrugged, said it could be anyone, another country, anyone. He said the whole point of guns was personal responsibility: taking care of yourself, your family, your neighborhood, your country. The more people there are with guns, the safer the society. “That’s part of what has made this country great,” he said. “That we have the freedom to make sure we’re safe, that we have the means to protect ourselves, to be ready for the occasional wackos out there.”

I hadn’t come here to discuss the Second Amendment, but it kept coming up, as pervasive as the constant hot sunshine. People wanted to talk about it, explain it.

“The largest army in the world,” Richard said again. “Bigger than China’s. And if you think Afghanistan and their populace is well armed, wait till they try to come into this country. It should give you some cause for comfort.”

He looked at me. I had my head jutted forward, my thumbnail between my teeth.

“That’s just how I look at it,” he said, and continued driving. The heat on the horizon was already visible in wobbles and waves.

···Nearly all the shoppers I met at Sprague’s came in asking for something for self-protection. They wanted guns for their nightstands, guns for their purses, guns for their pickups, guns for holsters on waistbands, ankles, and bras.

“The people I hang out with back east don’t talk about shooting bad guys as much as you folks do,” I said one day to a gathering of customers and clerks.

“You depend on the government to protect you,” said a middle-aged woman dry-firing a Ruger. She was admiring the smooth trigger action and regretting her clunkier Glock. “We depend on ourselves.”

“It’s an entirely different mind-set back east,” said Kevin, a slim clerk with thinning black hair who had sold me a ticket for the Yuma Catholic High School 125 Gun Raffle. “You can get a permit in New York City to own a gun,” he said. “That’s the thing. They’ll permit you. In Arizona we don’t care. Our government doesn’t allow us; our government stays out of our ability to protect ourselves.”

But—from what? I’d never been attacked by anyone; I hardly know anyone who has been attacked. I follow the news, of course, and I see violence enacted all the time on TV. But I didn’t walk around in fear of getting mugged or worse. Was this simply naive? The people shopping at Sprague’s were saying yes, yes, a thousand times yes. Anyone without a gun was inviting disaster.

Standing at the counter with Kevin, I asked him to show me something small, for my purse. It is difficult for me to say what exactly was prompting me, or what kind of corner I was turning. Perhaps buying an assault rifle—even as a joke or an experiment—puts you over some sort of threshold. Or it could be something about anyone’s capacity to get caught up in a shopping frenzy: Hang around people buying stuff long enough and pretty soon you want to buy the stuff, too. I do know the gadgetry of guns appealed to me. The clicking and the clacking, the feel of steel so expertly shaped to fit a human grip.

“Women always come in saying they want something small,” he said. “Then they find out how much harder a small gun is to shoot. Save yourself the time and get something big.”

He unfolded a felt pad and put it on top of the glass case, then brought out a Glock nine-millimeter semiauto. It felt solid and serious. I asked to see an alloy Smith & Wesson on the top shelf of the case. It was wearing a little tag about being featherlight. Kevin said it was too small for me and the caliber was worthless.

“You’re not going to stop anybody with a .22. It’s going to poke little holes in the guy.”

“He’ll run off after that,” I said. “Anybody would.”

He’s on meth,” Kevin said. “He’s got your kid by the throat. It’s the middle of the night, and he’s going to take your whole family out. He’s coming after you. He’s dragging your kid. He’s on meth! He’s not feeling your little .22s hitting him, I promise you. Those bullets are going right through him, and the ones that miss are going through the drywall right into the baby’s room—”

I put the Smith down on the counter and shifted my weight in consideration. If anything like that happened to me or my kid, I definitely would want something capable of blowing a guy’s face off.

I paid $450 for the Glock, a used one—a bargain. Normally a gun like that would go for $100 more. Kevin said he would ship it to a licensed dealer near my home in Pennsylvania, in accordance with federal law, and that I could pick it up there. I could then go to my local sheriff’s office, and in the time it would take to snap my picture, print it out, and laminate it, I would be able to get a license to carry my new Glock concealed.

All of it was so easy, and that really was the only confusing part about buying guns. So easy. And yet why should it be difficult? I wasn’t a criminal. I wasn’t going to commit a heinous act—not unless I had to defend myself or my family. Defending yourself and your family is what good people do. Getting a gun should be easy for good people and impossible for bad people. The only trick is telling the difference.

···Working in a gun store is hard on your feet and your back. There was a stool behind the counter at Sprague’s, and I was trying not to hog it. I sat and watched customer after customer feel and fondle and dry-fire guns, and I thought about the burden on the clerks whose job it was to dole out firepower.

Family night at Yuma's outdoor range.

I saw customers get turned down, most commonly teenagers getting carded when they tried to buy bullets. You have to be at least 18 to buy rifle or shotgun ammo, 21 to buy rounds for a handgun. “Sorry, man,” the cashier would say.

Sergio, one of the clerks, had some thoughts about what it felt like to work behind the counter and size up people like Jared Loughner. Sergio was quiet, small, with a broad swarthy face and a big, rugged nose. He’d been in the business for twenty-five years, and he often sat on the stool.

“You get suspicious,” he said. “A woman yesterday. She was with a guy holding a baby. She said she wanted three guns, but he did all the talking. He kept saying ‘me’ and ‘mine’ and ‘my money.’ They were just bad actors. I don’t mean bad people. I mean they couldn’t act. I said to the guy, ‘I think you’re trying to get her to buy guns for you,’ and he said, ‘Oh, er, ehhh,’ and he shoved the baby back at her and flew out the door.”

Looking out for Loughners and other lunatics was part of the job, he said, and he didn’t like that part of the job. “I remember years ago going to an ATF seminar. The agent was talking to us, the counter people, and he said, ‘I need you as a front line of defense. To watch out for criminals.’ And I remember thinking he was out of his mind. How can I tell who’s a criminal? And I don’t have any rights as far as enforcing anything, I don’t have a badge, you know, what can I do?”

He could refuse a sale. That’s what he’s supposed to do, according to the ATF agents I spoke to, and according to the YouTube “ATF Channel,” where you can watch informational skits featuring clerks doing the right thing. If a clerk feels iffy about selling a gun to someone, he or she should simply say, “No.”

The ATF has little else to say on the matter, because the ATF is busy. A network of twenty-five ATF field divisions, essentially one for every two states, oversees America’s 57,500 licensed dealers. About 650 inspectors monitor how the large-scale gun stores, like Sprague’s and Walmart, conduct business. Inspectors are supposed to go into each store once every three years but are lucky if they make the rounds in six or seven, given the paltry manpower (thanks at least in part to gun lobbyists, who have worked hard to keep the ATF small).

Meanwhile, NICS, the FBI’s background check, is designed to weed out the criminals and the wackos so the clerks don’t have to. In 2010, NICS did not flag Jared Loughner’s application to buy a gun: He’d never been legally declared mentally ill, and so there was no official record of his lunacy. Nor did NICS object to the paperwork submitted by Seung-Hui Cho, the Virginia Tech shooter. He had been ordered by a court to receive involuntary outpatient treatment in 2005, and yet there was not an official record of his lunacy, either. The Commonwealth of Virginia didn’t report it to NICS because, at the time, Virginia only flagged inpatient treatment, and anyway, nobody really has to report anything to anybody, because NICS is a voluntary system.

The system is only as good as its databases. And critics say the databases suck.

Beyond NICS, and discounting an impotent ATF, refusing a sale was typically an in-house matter, according to Richard: “It’s not unheard-of for a salesperson to come upstairs and talk to management. We’ll take a look at it, and we can refuse the sale—and we do. I don’t know if it happens more than a few times a year, but it does happen.”

I asked him if there was any specific training regimen for his clerks, teaching them how to spot people with bad intentions. What would the threatening person look like? Was there some manual or something somewhere with pictures?

“We deal with a lot of people who would scare you,” Richard said. “They’re tatted up, they wear their hair different than you do, they dress different than you. It’s quite a responsibility to see through that. Because you know, they could be good people.”

I spent the better part of the day with Sergio, offering him the stool, him giving it back, both of us sharing sore-feet stories. I saw a guy checking out an AK-47 who had a tattoo that said there is only one god and his name is death, and I wondered if I should say something.

Later, when I got up to stretch my legs, a guy walked up to me. He had a military haircut and a wrestler’s build, and he showed me the SIG Sauer P226 nine-millimeter, a tactical semiauto he was buying. “Finally,” he said. “Do you know how long I’ve been wanting a good practice gun?” He brought the gun up to one eye and aimed it at the wall behind me.

“I don’t know if you ever heard of the term pressure cooker?” he asked. “I’m one of those people. I help everyone else. Never help myself. I don’t know why I do that, because then I get mad at everyone.” He put the gun down and went on to recall a time when he got handcuffed in a hospital after hurling a nurse who had tried to sedate him. “But the SIG is just for practice,” he said. “I have a .380 auto at home. That’s a sexy gun. I wanted a body stopper, so I got a Smith & Wesson 1911 .45-caliber. I’m a pretty good shot. I can empty an entire clip into six inches. Consecutively. Head, throat, heart, gut. If you’re within fifty feet of me, I’m going to take you out.”

He gave me a little salute, and then he went up to the front register to pay for his new SIG, and he was out the door.

···One day I got into a productive discussion with some clerks and customers about shooting sprees. We were gathered on a quiet Thursday, chatting beneath the $4,500 Barrett Model 99 “Big Shot” sniper rifle. It was the most powerful gun in the store, capable of firing .50-caliber armor-piercing rounds—gigantic bullets as long as a human hand. The gun was perched on a display stand so you could walk all the way around and admire it, like any work of art.

“So how about the Tucson shootings?” I asked our little group, two clerks and four shoppers, all male. “I imagine that was a difficult day around here.” I thought it an obvious statement that translated roughly to: Surely Loughner’s killing spree must have given you pause and forced you to face the dark side of an America that allows its citizens to own guns. But that’s not what anybody heard.

Zombie targets are a big hit at the store's range.

“The lines were out the door.”

“Well, not out the door, but I remember this place was packed.”

“Not as bad as the day after the election.”

“Oh God, no!”

“Ha, ha, ha!”

“Ha, ha, ha!”

In fact, one-day sales of handguns in Arizona jumped 60 percent on the day after the Tucson shootings. It was not a time to reevaluate a blithe attitude toward anything, but rather a time to hurry and stock up in case the government made its next move to take privately owned firearms away, leaving law-abiding citizens defenseless against the criminals and the lunatics.

“Mostly it was people wanting Glocks. The 19, like Loughner had, but really all the Glocks.”

“A story like that just gives the liberals more fuel.”

“The problem is, liberals are more feel than think. They don’t understand logic, and so what the hell can you even do with that?”

“It’s so ridiculous. It’s sad, really.”

“It’s so scary.”

Everyone in the group agreed on the stupid, scary liberals in the most casual and obvious way, like people at a grocery store railing about the rising price of beef. I asked them about a more recent event, right there in Yuma, when Carey Dyess, 73, drove his silver Mazda to the home of his ex-wife’s best friend and shot her in the face. Then he killed his ex-wife at her home. Then he drove over to some other houses and shot three more of her friends. Then he drove into downtown Yuma, where he walked into his ex-wife’s attorney’s office, shot him dead. Then he drove off to the desert and killed himself.

“Oh man, that guy was running around and I didn’t even have a gun in my shop!” someone said. “I got so scared I went home and got my Judge. A .410 pistol. It was all so unexpected. He didn’t announce himself. Walked in, shot people, walked out. He must have had tiny bullets—did you see her neck?”

“Had to be a .380.”

Nobody talked about the shooting victims, and the only mention of the neighbors shot by Dyess was the size of the bullet holes in a woman’s neck. If there were any victims at all to be singled out in the discussion, it was these people here, threatened by tighter gun laws and a government determined to impose them.

“Everywhere now, it’s all an anti-gun maneuver. These liberals think, ‘Well, if we get all the guns away, there will be no crime, no one will get shot, everybody will live in harmony.’ That’s how stupid they are.”

“It’s so scary.”

I was surprised to hear them use the word scary to describe those who, back home, tend to describe them as “scary.”

The conversation was interrupted when a young guy in Bermuda shorts walked up and said he was interested in the Barrett.

“The Barrett!” one of the clerks said, while the rest fell silent as if to take in the words, and we all looked up at the magnificent black sniper rifle.

···In the end, I went over to the indoor range to blow off some steam and to release my mind from the endless loop of stupid-scary.

The range was sort of like a bowling alley, only instead of renting shoes you rented a gun. You had to have a friend with you. This was a precaution against suicide, the thinking being a friend would talk you out of it. You could also bring your own gun, no friend required. Whole families came to shoot, Friday night was ladies’ night, and people had birthday parties here.

A young guy came out of the lanes, carrying the target he had just shot up. “Ahhh, that feels better,” he said, taking off his ear-and-eye protection. “Whew! Re-lax-ing!” He had sweat on his brow, and he grinned up at the zombie targets hanging on the wall that I was quietly admiring. You could buy one of those targets to shoot at instead of the same old boring concentric circles or classic bad-guy silhouettes.

“Oh God, aren’t those awesome?” the guy said. “Me and my boys came and shot the hell out of the Paris Hilton zombie.” Paris was wearing big pink sunglasses and a pink miniskirt and was carrying a zombie Chihuahua. “We just have fun with it. Shoot out her earrings. Take out her dog. Me and my boys having a good time.”

“Boys?” I said. “You have boys?” He did not look old enough to have any sons at all, and I was not prepared to handle the image of one more armed 6-year-old.

“My boys!” he said. “My friends.”

“Oh, okay,” I said.

I kept thinking about neighbors. You have this crazy family living next door. One day you go over with a pie, figuring if you just confronted the crazy, you’d understand it and find acceptance. Then you discover that all this time they think you’re the crazy family. The more you try to explain yourself, the crazier you sound, and if you stay long enough, you probably will be.

These were burdensome thoughts, and I wanted to get rid of them. I rented an Uzi, fully automatic. I chose the male zombie. I think he was supposed to be a lawyer. He had a briefcase. I aimed for his left eyeball and pulled the trigger. The patter of thirty-two bullets lasted maybe three seconds, and then the eyeball was gone. The release felt like one gorgeous, fantastic sneeze, and the satisfaction reminded me of cold beer.

This article was originally posted at http://www.gq.com/news-politics/big-issues/201209/gun-shopping-gq-september-2012

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About The Author: RSOP is the co-founder & Executive Editor of Radical Survivalism Webzine, as well as a Family Preparedness Consultant with nearly five years of personal experience in the self-reliance game. RSOP's many preparedness roles within his own group include team mechanic, head of security, electrician, and project designer/engineer.

Raising Chickens: A Serious Consideration For Any Prepper

From SHTF-TEOTWAWKI.com | On Thursday, July 12th, 2012

raising chickensWhen the SHTF, you had better be able to provide food for yourself as stores will be empty in no time. Options are available for just about anyone with a yard. Aside from learning to garden and having a supply of heirloom seeds on hand, you will need to have a source of protein.

Aside from meat, eggs are also a super source of protein. The chicken is fast becoming the most popular option for preppers and for good reason; they produce eggs and meat! Raising chickens is easy and fun. Anyone can do it.

A few other benefits to raising chickens is that they are great at keeping the insect population down and produce organic fertilizer for the garden.

It’s easy and inexpensive to get into raising chickens. All you need is a chicken coop and a back yard big enough for them to roam or a moveable run. Certain heritage breeds of chickens are very good at reproducing and the flock can replenish itself as you harvest older birds. Chicks are available through numerous chicken hatcheries around the country. Another great place to find chicks or full grown chickens is Craigslist.

A few dozen hens can produce a large amount of eggs, which if not used by you, can be sold or bartered. I believe that every prepper needs to have a flock of backyard chickens as an essential preparedness item.

This article was originally posted at http://www.shtf-teotwawki.com/shtf/894327-how-to-raise-chickens/

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About The Author: RSOP is the co-founder & Executive Editor of Radical Survivalism Webzine, as well as a Family Preparedness Consultant with nearly five years of personal experience in the self-reliance game. RSOP's many preparedness roles within his own group include team mechanic, head of security, electrician, and project designer/engineer.

Dogs for the Apocalypse

By Alexander Wolf | From TEOTWAWKIBlog.blogspot.com | On Monday, August 20th, 2012

The right kind of dog, trained right, can be a valuable asset after a collapse situation. They can help with guard duties, protection, hunting, hauling and other tasks, along with companionship. Dogs are a lot of work and a lifestyle changer, but if you’re so inclined, then they can be a worthwhile asset–and yes, beyond the One Second After-style meal of desperation.

We don’t have a dog. In about a year, year and a half, we should be in a situation where we could add a dog to the family – big enough yard, no babies on the way and so on. Something I’m looking at. I’d like a companion for walks and hiking, and an added layer at the house to deter break ins and to help protect the family, especially if I’m traveling.

Of course, like all things, not all dogs are created equal, so breed comes into play. Based on my experience, I’m inclined towards a Shepherd of some variety – German Shepherd, Belgian Malinois. I had a friend who trained German Shepherds for Schutzhund and obedience competition, and his dogs were really, really impressively trained. Sport training is of course different from real protection training, but these dogs were eerily well trained. Like you’d tell ‘em to lie down and go to sleep, and they’ll lie down for hours and not move. I wish my boy was that well trained!

Yep, there are other breeds that might be better in a straight up fight – the Cane Corso, descended from Roman war dogs, for example. But for an all around mix of intelligence, companionship and capability, I think a well trained Shepherd variety (German Shepherd, Malinois, etc.) is hard to beat. There’s a reason police, the military and others use these dogs.

I don’t have a ton of confidence in my ability to train a dog to the level of training I want from scratch. Maintain training, keep the dog exercised and generally engaged – yes. But train from scratch? I’m not sure. Don’t have any experience in that area. So we would probably purchase an already trained dog from a professional trainer–or purchase as a pup and work with an experienced trainer as he ages. Yes, I know you pay an arm and a leg for it, but if I’m going to add a dog to the family – and all that comes with it – I want to do it right.

This article was originally posted at http://teotwawkiblog.blogspot.com/2012/08/dogs-for-apocalypse.html

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About The Author: RSOP is the co-founder & Executive Editor of Radical Survivalism Webzine, as well as a Family Preparedness Consultant with nearly five years of personal experience in the self-reliance game. RSOP's many preparedness roles within his own group include team mechanic, head of security, electrician, and project designer/engineer.

Arab Spring Run Amok: Muslim Brotherhood Starts Cucifixions

By Michael Carl | From WND.com | On Friday, August 17th, 2012

The Arab Spring takeover of Egypt by the Muslim Brotherhood has run amok, with reports from several different media agencies that the radical Muslims have begun crucifying opponents of newly installed President Mohammed Morsi.

Middle East media confirm that during a recent rampage, Muslim Brotherhood operatives “crucified those opposing Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi naked on trees in front of the presidential palace while abusing others.”

Raymond Ibrahim, a fellow with the Middle East Forum and the Investigative Project on Terrorism, said the crucifixions are the product of who the Middle Eastern media call “partisans.”

“Arabic media call them ‘supporters,’ ‘followers’ and ‘partisans’ of the Muslim Brotherhood,” Ibraham said.

Ibrahim also says the victims can be anyone, including Egyptian Christians.

“It’s anyone who is resisting the new government,” Ibrahim said. “In this particular case, the people attacked and crucified were secular protesters upset because of Morsi’s hostile campaign against the media, especially of Tawfik Okasha, who was constantly exposing him on his station, until Morsi shut him down.”

Ibrahim said extra brutality is reserved for Christians, but the crucifixions are because of Islamic doctrine and are required by the Quran. The time and other details about the crucifixions were not readily available.

Center for Security Policy Senior Fellow Clare Lopez cited chapter and verse from the Quran to explain that crucifixions are not simply normal for Islam, they’re demanded.

“Crucifixion is a hadd punishment, stipulated in the Quran, Sura 5:33, and therefore an obligatory part of Shariah,” Lopez said. “It’s been a traditional punishment within Islam since the beginning, even though it’s not exclusively Islamic. The Romans used it too.

“So, the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood haven’t the option to not include crucifixion within their legal code. It’s obligatory to comply with Shariah. And yes, it’s for shock value also to be sure,” Lopez said.

Lopez includes a warning for Egypt’s Christians and compares the coming treatment of the Christians to the Jews in Germany.

“The Copts must get out of Egypt as soon as possible – for the many millions who will not be able to get out, I expect things will continue to deteriorate – just as they did for Germany’s and Europe’s Jews from the 1930s onward,” Lopez said.

“The warnings were there long before the ghettos and round-ups and one-way train trips to the concentration camps began in the 1940s,” she said.

Author Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugs, an analyst of the Middle East and Islam, fully agrees and also cites the Quran.

“The Christians are in serious trouble, because the Quran in Sura 9:29 commands Muslims to wage war against them and subjugate them, and they’re also identified with the hated West and the U.S.,” Geller said.

Geller also turned to Sura 5:33.

Islamic hardliners

“These are Islamic hardliners who do everything by the Quran. The Quran says, ‘Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land,” Geller said.

International Christian Concern’s Middle East analyst Aidan Clay believes there is a relationship between the recent attacks on the regime’s enemies, a recent Sinai military skirmish and Morsi’s moves against the ranking generals.

The “Sinai skirmish” involved suspected Hamas guerrillas trying to cross into Gaza from Egypt. The Israeli Defense Force and intelligence learned of the attempted crossing in advance and stopped the incursion. Sixteen Egyptian border guards were killed in the attempted Rafah border crossing incident.

“It’s hard to believe that President Morsi could have dismissed Field Marshall Mohammed Tantawi without the help of lower-ranking military officers. The military’s sense of prestige, which millions of Egyptians still take great pride in, took a battering following the militant attack in Sinai that killed 16 soldiers,” Clay said.

“The military should have been prepared for the attack. Israel was. And the blame has largely been placed on Tantawi for his negligence and for embarrassing the military establishment,” he said.

Lopez agrees that Israel’s preparedness is a slap against the Egyptian army.

“That border skirmish that resulted in deaths of Egyptian border guards was known ahead of time by Israeli intelligence, which warned their Egyptian military counterparts,” Lopez said.

She notes that Israeli intelligence avoided contact with the Muslim Brotherhood in the incident because the attacks were a Hamas plot.

Lopez added that even after notification, the Egyptian army didn’t act.

“The Egyptian military did nothing, even as Israel expected. Thus the attack was carried out, Israel was totally prepared and responded and the result was Egyptian military deaths,” Lopez said.

Responding to ‘crisis’

She added that Morsi wasted no time in responding to the “crisis.”

“Morsi jumped on the incident as the perfect reason to purge the top ranks of the Egyptian military, install his own MB-sympathizers in positions across the top, chief of staff and intel chief,” she said. “Some call it an internal coup d’etat – and I agree. It put Morsi in sole control of the legislative branch (there is no parliament right now) and in control of the political power in Egypt. The new defense minister is a Muslim Brotherhood sympathizer. Things are moving very fast.”

Clay said there are mixed feelings among the military top brass in Egypt. He said some  still support Tantawi; some have called for change.

“While many senior military officers maintained their support for Tantawi, his reputation took a dive among many younger officers who saw the need for a replacement. It wasn’t just the attack in Sinai that led to this, but the military’s reputation has been on the decline since a few months following the country’s uprising early last year,” Clay said.

“For some, the Sinai attack was the final straw and Morsi may have viewed it as an opportune time to remove Tantawi and other high-ranking officers from key positions,” Clay said.

He noted that Morsi, not the military, took the lead in responding to the Sinai attacks.

“In doing so, while also forcing Tantawi out of his cabinet, Morsi has set a precedent that it is he who decides who runs the army,” Clay said.

“While the generals will still advise Morsi, he can decide whether or not to listen to them. It’s apparent that Morsi is quickly becoming Egypt’s sole leader which means control of the country will be in the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood,” he said.

However, Geller believes Morsi had a second motive for his action.

Reign of terror

“I suspect that Morsi’s action was timed in part to forestall any further military action against the jihadis,” Geller said, adding that the results will make Egypt’s government more monolithic than it already was.

“Morsi is instituting a reign of terror to consolidate his power,” Geller said.

American Enterprise Institute Middle East analyst Michael Rubin agreed: Morsi is after the power.

“Morsi certainly wants absolute control. The Egyptian army have never been saints, but Morsi will broker no checks to his power as the Muslim Brotherhood writes a constitution and imposes its dream of an Islamic state on Egypt,” Rubin said.

Lopez says this all means that Morsi is shedding his “moderate” veneer.

“The point I would make is that Morsi is not bothering to play ‘moderate’ anymore. He’s moving very aggressively to consolidate power for the Muslim Brotherhood,” Lopez said.

She added that Morsi is now free to act without any concern for public opinion.

“He doesn’t seem to care who thinks what anymore. He knows he’s got the USG and president in his corner no matter what he does. He doesn’t have to pretend, no need for ‘plausible deniability.’ He also knows he’s got the majority of the Egyptian people behind him,” Lopez said.

Rubin believes, however, that Morsi will still try to play the “moderate” to continue to gain U.S. support.

Playing the moderate?

“Morsi is going to play the moderate and the mediator for the world media, all the while complaining that he can’t take more forceful action against the extremists because the radical fringe won’t allow him to do more,” Rubin said.

“It’s nonsense, of course, but still an explanation that will satisfy American diplomats, safe behind the walls of their compound,” Rubin said.

Lopez added to Rubin’s explanation, but points to the White House as the main cheerleader for Morsi and the Brotherhood.

“This is exactly what many of us expected him to do (consolidate power) and I think the White House knew, too, and not only expected but wanted Morsi and the Brotherhood to take over Egypt,” Lopez said.

“As far as I know, the White House invitation for Morsi in September still stands – nor have I heard the slightest hint of criticism from any top U.S. government leadership figure about Morsi’s coup. He knows he’s on solid ground with this administration,” Lopez said.

This article was originally posted at http://www.wnd.com/2012/08/arab-spring-run-amok-brotherhood-starts-crucifixions/

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About The Author: RSOP is the co-founder & Executive Editor of Radical Survivalism Webzine, as well as a Family Preparedness Consultant with nearly five years of personal experience in the self-reliance game. RSOP's many preparedness roles within his own group include team mechanic, head of security, electrician, and project designer/engineer.

Report: Soros Unloads All Investments in Major Financial Stocks; Invests Over $130 Million In Gold

By Marc Slavo | From SHTFPlan.com | On August 16th, 2012

George Soros

George Soros

In a harbinger of what may be coming our way in the Fall of 2012, billionaire financier George Soros has sold all of his equity positions in major financial stocks according to a 13-F report filed with the SEC for the quarter ending June 30, 2012.

Soros, who manages funds through various accounts in the US and the Cayman Islands, has reportedly unloaded over one million shares of stock in financial companies and banks that include Citigroup (420,000 shares), JP Morgan (701,400 shares) and Goldman Sachs (120,000 shares). The total value of the stock sales amounts to nearly $50 million.

What’s equally as interesting as his sale of major financials is where Soros has shifted his money. At the same time he was selling bank stocks, he was acquiring some 884,000 shares (approx. $130 million) of Gold via the SPDR Gold Trust.

When a major global player with direct ties to the White House, Wall Street, and the banking system starts off-loading stocks and starts stacking gold, it suggests a very serious market move is set to happen.

While often lambasted for his calls to centralize global banking, increase government intervention in the economy and his support of what he has called an “emergence of the new world order,” if there’s anyone with an inside track of where things are headed next it’s Soros.

Soros, who has written extensively of a coming global paradigm shift  in his book The Crash of 2008 and What It Means, calling the current economic and political model ”an end of an era,” has recently suggested that the financial and economic situation across the world is so serious that Europe could soon descend into chaos and conflict. He also notes that the world is entering “one of the most dangerous periods in modern history”, and foresees violent riots in America and a brutal clamp-down by the government that will dramatically curtail civil liberties.

This is an individual who not only predicted the collapse of 2008 and took action to insulate himself, he also proposed the various fixes that governments in Europe and the US would eventually implement in order to stave off a deflationary depression. In his aforementioned book he suggested that central banks infuse the system with massive amounts of monetary expansion, but also warned that not injecting enough money would simply extend the onset of deflation and printing too much could lead to hyperinflationary currency collapse.

Based on recent activity in Soros’ US held accounts, it seems that governments and central banks have failed at those efforts to stabilize the system. As such, Soros is getting out of those companies which are most at risk should the financial system buckle like it did in 2008 and he’s shifting his assets into what may be the only asset class left standing when it’s all said and done.

This article was originally posted at http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/report-soros-unloads-all-investments-in-major-financial-stocks-invests-over-100-million-in-gold_08162012

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About The Author: RSOP is the co-founder & Executive Editor of Radical Survivalism Webzine, as well as a Family Preparedness Consultant with nearly five years of personal experience in the self-reliance game. RSOP's many preparedness roles within his own group include team mechanic, head of security, electrician, and project designer/engineer.

Fact or Fiction: The Planned Re-election of Obama, Revolutionary Style

By Douglas J. Hagmann | From HomelandSecurityUS.com

The Obama administration, including his czars and along with his closest Progressive supporters, are planning a manufactured insurgency against America.

The Contact

7 May 2012: It was not the proverbial 3:00 a.m. phone call, but close enough. And it was not made to the White House, but to my house, which is not white nor is it in DC. It was about 2:30 a.m. on 25 April 2012, and the call itself was somewhat unexpected. I had anticipated the telephone call from my DHS insider much earlier the previous day, but our schedules didn’t synch up. I was traveling on an investigative assignment, while my source was in meetings all day. I had just fallen asleep, and was slumbering no more than 20 minutes when the phone rang.

In most households, a ringing phone at that time of night causes concern for everyone who hears it. In my household, it seems to surprise only my surly, 140 pound light-sleeping German Shepherd. He let out an objective grunt as I stepped over him to take the call in another room. It was “Rosebud,” the code name given of my insider source.

About Rosebud

Just a little bit here about my source and his “super-secret code name.” I’ve known this government insider since 1979, when he first became a municipal patrol officer. He took a job in a bigger city and had a very successful run as a cop. Before retirement and after the events of 9/11, he was tapped by the feds, where he worked in various capacities under the umbrella of DHS. He worked his way up, and suddenly found himself in what he terms the inner sanctum of the “TEC” building. TEC, he explains, is an acronym for what he calls “The Estrogen Challenged,” which houses the upper echelon of the Department of Homeland Security. I’ll leave it at that.

As far as his code name, it originates from an incident that occurred at the end of the disco era. It is something that we both privately laugh about, but rarely ever talk about. His “code name” is known to him, me, and at the time, a young woman who has since vanished amid the glitter of a disco balls and constant replays of the Bee Gees in a dark nightclub some 32 years ago and has no “cloak and dagger” origins.

But he is real, his position serious, and his knowledge vast. Unfortunately, that’s what makes the whole situation frightening and deadly serious.

The information

It began on Wednesday, 2 May 2012 with a 45-minute interview on TruNews with Rick Wiles when I first disclosed the information I received the previous week from my source. The information I relayed “went viral,” as they say, across the internet.

According to my source, there is talk among the highest levels of the uppermost echelon of the Department of Homeland Security, which he describes as effectively under the control of Barack Hussein Obama. During this call, he said that the DHS is actively preparing for massive social unrest inside the United States. He then corrected himself, stating that “a civil war” is the more appropriate term. Certain elements of the government are not only expecting and preparing for it, they are actually facilitating it,” stated my source.

“The DHS takes their marching orders from the Obama administration, from Obama himself, but mostly from his un-appointed czars. And Jarrett, especially Valerie Jarrett. Don’t think for a minute that the administration is doing anything to stabilize events in the U.S. They are revolutionaries, and revolutionaries thrive on chaos,” he added.

My source stated that he has not seen things this bad since he began working within DHS. “It’s like they [DHS agency heads] don’t care about what the American people see or feel about what the DHS agencies are doing. They figure that if the average American will put up with being “sexually groped and nuked” just to fly, they’ll accept almost anything. “That’s why their actions are becoming more overt. ”It’s in your face and the brass actually chuckle about it” said my source.

New Information

Astounded by the information my source provided “going viral,” I spoke to him again early Sunday morning. This was a scheduled telephone call (as noted on page 2 of my notes) based on a high level meeting of DHS personnel that was scheduled for and took place in Chantilly, Virginia on Saturday, 5 May 2012. He hoped to provide me with more information to supplement that which he already given. Although he was not personally present, his source was. While he would not say who was at the meeting on Saturday or give its precise location, he said that the many of the names would be recognizable. He spoke to his source late Saturday night.

I contacted him on his cellular phone early Sunday morning to get the promised update.

“Geez, nice job on getting the word out about what’s really going on at DHS and in this administration,” were the first words out of his mouth, followed by “thanks a lot.” I asked him why he would be thanking me. “I just wanna tell you that I’m going to have to hire someone to start my car, and I’m surely not going for any rides in small planes in the immediate future,” he said with a bit of nervous laughter. “I hope no one finds out who I am or it’s going to be more than my pension I’ll have to worry about.”

“I can tell you word is getting out that people are starting to wake up, which is causing a lot of ‘pissed off brass.’ I can’t tell if they are more desperate or upset about the exposure, but the tone is starting to become a lot more tense. I hope that we’re having something to do with that,” he added.

With that, he provided me with additional information to supplement that which he already given me on 25 April. For clarity purposes, I have combined the information together from both contacts. The following information includes the updated information provided to me Sunday morning.

Obama the revolutionary

Metaphorically speaking, there’s a revolution going on in the U.S., propped up by three legs. Economic chaos, chaos through racial division, and chaos through class division, all joined by one core element: Barack Hussein Obama and his stable of unelected czars. Obama is using the lessons learned in 1968 as the template for 2012, and many of those who were active in the late 1960′s are now calling the shots for 2012.

“The Obama administration and many of the un-appointed ‘czars,’, either directly or indirectly, are engaged in covert activities with the occupy movement, various labor protests, and other subversive activities inside the U.S.,” stated my source. Using untracked campaign funds, they are paying people to infiltrate the various movements to cause physical destruction of property and disrupt commerce. That began last year, but has increased ten-fold already this year,” stated this source. He added that they are using some lower level DHS agents to make the payments under the context of tracking subversives, but they are the unwitting subversives. “It’s like Fast & Furious” but in the social realm,” he added.

“Obama is using some high profile people as pawns to foment the revolution. I heard several times through very credible sources that [Louis] Farrakhan is on the CIA payroll. Other have been named as well, but I’m not prepared to identify them yet. Farrakhan is to coordinate the Blacks and the Muslims to prepare for riots this summer, using any means necessary.”

“Mentioned at the meeting Saturday were methods to use pawns to simulate the rioting in the Arab Spring countries, but to the benefit of this administration. A controlled chaos thing,” stated my source. They envision rioting starting in the urban areas first, such as New York and other major cities, followed by a disruption of business and commerce. This will allow the DHS to mobilize their various teams into the streets of America without objection of the people,” stated my source.

“They want to restrict travel, if not through high energy prices, then by checkpoints and curfews mandated by rioting and unrest. They understand we are the most well-armed nation in the world, yet they are aware of our vulnerabilities and intend to fully exploit them,” he added. The whole purpose is to keep Obama in office for another term, no matter how unpopular he is, as he is not finished changing our country from a Constitutional Republic. This is the run-up to the 2012 elections, or perhaps causing enough chaos to delay them – indefinitely.”

One statement that rattled me more than anything was that a great number of those already in power, whether in appointed or elected positions, actually want to see Obama stay in power, according to this source. “This is what we’ve been working toward and we’re closer now than we’ve ever been. If we lose now, we might not have another chance.”

This chilling common goal also explains the lack of interest in the Constitutional legitimacy of Obama. It is common knowledge that Obama is not an American, and neither is his agenda. Of course, criticism of his bona-fides feeds into the cries of racism, despite the massive fraud perpetrated on the American people. Party lines are meaningless when the common objective is the revolutionary overtaking of America.

Obama, the professor of Keynesian economics

“The Obama administration is working closely with Bernanke, Geithner and others not to save our economy, but to outright destroy it. He is not the first or only one to try this, but the most effective and most vetted for that purpose. Do you actually think that the fact that Timothy Geithner’s father worked with Obama’s mother in Indonesia was coincidental,” stated my source rhetorically. “What we’re seeing now is the fourth quarter of a game that started long ago, which also currently involves the Clintons. Obama would not be where he is if it were not for the Clintons, and to a lesser extent, Bush, but that’s for other reasons. Don’t be fooled, the Clintons never left or lost power,” he added.

“There are file drawers full of papers, heavily guarded papers at the ‘TEC building’ so I can only imagine what’s in them, about international financial dealings going back decades. I do know, or at least I was told, that they involve organizations that are the so-called conspiracy fringe groups, such as the Bilderberg group, the Trilateral Commission, and people including George Soros, Henry Kissinger, and current leaders of big industry. Some are fossils. They’ve been around a long time. Others are up-and-coming. They’ve got one thing in common though, and that is to put in place a global system of governance, including a common currency. Economics is a huge part of this revolution, and they want to replace the dollar, to see it collapse. They expect, that is, they are working toward this very goal, and when this happens, it will cause chaos like never seen before in the history of this country.”

“Why do you think Jon Corzine is not only walking around, but heavily involved in Obama fundraising? They know it’s just a matter of time that Europe will implode economically, and when it does, start counting the days before we see massive hyperinflation and the ultimate collapse of the U.S. dollar,” stated this insider. ”What will it look like in the streets of America when the general population realizes that there is no money? That’s right, chaos.”

Obama & the planned racial divide

According to this insider, the Trayvon Martin case is just the tip of the iceberg. “You certainly don’t have to be a genius to understand how Obama and his team played the public on this issue, and it’s far from over. But that’s not the sole element of what we’ll see this summer.”

“Remember the shots fired at the White House not too long ago,” asked my source. There was an element of outrage that was squandered, according to ‘team Obama.’ In fact, Obama and some of his closest advisors, especially [Valerie] Jarrett were incredibly angered that the outrage was seemingly tempered. It should have been an opportunity to use our force against the Tea Parties, the gun clingers, the Constitutionalists, and everyone who has complained about Obama. DHS should have stepped in right then, and used that event to start the clampdown,” this source stated about White House comments.

This source stated that from that point on, the DHS must become more responsive and aggressive.

Watch for a false flag event against Obama or his family, something that will outrage ‘black America.’ It will be carefully choreographed, but executed in a manner that will evoke the ugliest of reactions and create racial chaos in this country that will make the Watts riots, 1968 and the Rodney King riots pale in comparison. That’s the third leg in this.”

The planned end-game

Does Obama look worried about the upcoming elections? Look at his lavish vacations, his limited work schedule, and those with whom he is working. This is a very dangerous man who has, as his closest advisors, people who have orchestrated the revolutions of the 1960′s. They know the “trigger points” in America.

The Obama administration, including his czars and along with his closest Progressive supporters, are planning a manufactured insurgency against America. He is using the media to his advantage to garner both sympathy and support for his unfinished goals. He is desperately seeking a way to remain in office, even if it means the surreal prospect of an indefinite postponement of elections – if it can be pulled off. So far, he’s got the support of the majority of the DHS “brass” behind him, according to my source.

“They’re power hungry, and they want to remain in charge,” stated this source.

The “surreal” aspect of suspended elections won’t look so surreal when you see any or all of the “trigger points” take place in the not-so-distant future.

“The end-game plan for America is its destruction as a Constitutional Republic, with the assistance of the agencies under the umbrella of the DHS.”

My source stated one more thing that seemed to tie things together. He urged me to recall the quote by made by Henry Kissinger who was speaking at a Bilderberg meeting at Evian, France, on 21 May 1992:

Today Americans would be outraged if U.N. troops entered Los Angeles to restore order; tomorrow they will be grateful. This is especially true if they were told there was an outside threat from beyond, whether real or promulgated, that threatened our very existence. It is then that all peoples of the world will plead with world leaders to deliver them from this evil. The one thing every man fears is the unknown. When presented with this scenario, individual rights will be willingly relinquished for the guarantee of their well being granted to them by their world government.

That threat need not be from beyond. All it might take is a world of starving, broke and desperate people.

Note: My source promised more information at a later time.

This article was originally posted at http://homelandsecurityus.com/archives/5923

PG
About The Author: RSOP is the co-founder & Executive Editor of Radical Survivalism Webzine, as well as a Family Preparedness Consultant with nearly five years of personal experience in the self-reliance game. RSOP's many preparedness roles within his own group include team mechanic, head of security, electrician, and project designer/engineer.