Monthly Archives: February 2013

Camouflage Your AR-15

By Partisan | From GuerrillaAmerica.com | On Monday, February 25th, 2013

” href=”http://guerrillamerica.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/FIN1.png”>Camouflage Your AR-15Let’s face it: your AR-15 (or other black rifle) has a very pronounced silhouette. You may have noticed that a big, black rifle sticks out like a pair of dog balls, especially when its owner is decked out in ACUs.  Silhouette, as a military concept, is any shape that’s discernible by its outline.  Paper targets with human-sized silhouettes are a perfect example.  Our eyes are trained spot these outlines; it’s part of our visual perception.  So the purpose of camouflage is to break up a silhouette by blending a shape’s edges with its surroundings.  One thing we can do to remedy the silhouette is to paint our battle rifles.  (I would even suggest this for hunters and their hunting rifles.)  Some may try to replicate digital or ATACS camouflage and that’s alright as long as you blend the outline of your weapon with natural colors of the environment.  Here’s how I painted mine without any high tech gadgetry or expensive stencils.

If your AR-15 is a luxury item, safe queen or collector’s item, then by all means leave it black.  If your AR-15 is a tool that you expect to utilize in defense of your home, community, state, or Constitution, then please consider following these simple steps to reduce your visual profile.  Before we begin, this project took me approximately 3 hours to complete, including drying time, for two AR-15s and seven PMAGs.  (As a side note, I haven’t camouflaged my optics yet.  Those will take more time and a higher attention to detail.)

Ingredients.

I started off at my local hardware store and purchased the following:

  1. Blue Nitrile Disposable Gloves (10 PK)… $2.48
  2. Scotch Blue 1.41″ Edgelock Painter’s Tape… $3.93
  3. Natural Sea Sponge… $8.97
  4. Rustoleum Spray Paint, Earth Brown… $4.98
  5. Rustoleum Spray Paint, Dark Forest Green… $4.98
  6. Rustoleum Spray Paint, Khaki… $4.98

Grand Total…$30.32 (before tax)

I also used two plastic containers and a handful of cotton balls from the house.  You’ll definitely need these.

Depending on your locale and the colors natural to your environment, consider using different shades.  I prefer the three color (khaki, green, brown) camouflage for where I live.  If I lived in the Florida swamps, I might consider using black instead of khaki.  Just observe your surroundings and make changes to this recipe as necessary.  Before we get to Step One, just remember safety first.  I won’t bore you with OSHA standards.

Magazines.

S1Start out by taping your magazines.  I inserted one to get a good idea of exactly where it sat, and, using painter’s tape, I covered everything that would fit inside the magazine well.  My magazines tend to fit pretty tightly as it is, so I didn’t want to create any problems when inserting them into the magazine well.  Any additional friction could cause even minute problems when inserting a full or dropping an empty magazine, and those are problems we just don’t want.  If you use PMAGS with windows, be sure to cover those windows up.  Just cut thin strips roughly the size of those windows and apply them.  Lastly, don’t forget to cover up the top of the magazine where the follower is visible.  If you can see it, it will get paint on it.  (As a side note, be sure to clean and dry your magazines if they are dirty, prior to painting.)  I recommend wearing gloves when painting so the paint doesn’t get on your hands.  Spray paint sticks to things, including your hands, and it’s huge pain to clean off.

S2Finally, we can begin to spray paint.  From 12-18 inches between the magazine and the spray can, begin spray painting a khaki base and ensure an even coating.  If you hold the can too close, you’ll start pooling paint and cause it to run.  Don’t forget to paint both the sides and bottoms of your magazines.

Drying times will vary based on temperature and humidity.  I waited approximately 15 minutes before I flipped them over to paint the other side.  However long you wait, just make sure the paint is dry.  Typically, if the paint is shiny, it’s still wet.  Once you’ve applied a base coat to both sides and allowed time to dry, break out the natural sea sponge.

I tore my sponge into two pieces.  The great thing about using sea sponge is that it’s naturally porous; and ripping it in half will cause parts to jut in and out which gives us a great texture for camouflage.  Using a plastic cup or container, I took out the green spray paint and started to fill the container.  The spray paint will pool inside the container, and you’ll use this wet paint to dip the sponge.

S3Once you have paint on the sponge, test it on some cardboard to make sure that the pattern is good.  I don’t recommend a solid coating, and little breaks in the design is best.  Remember, randomness and unpredictability in the pattern is what we’re going for.  Start by blotting the sponge from top to bottom, and dip the sponge into the paint again as needed.  Find a blotting pattern that you like (top to bottom, left to right, checkered, etc.) or experiment with something different.  Your best practices from camouflaging your magazines will come in handy when you paint your battle rifle.

S4Allow time to dry, then flip and repeat.  Once the green paint is applied, do the same for brown.  I used a smaller sponge area for the brown paint.  You should try to cover up the most open areas of khaki but also apply brown in some places over the green.  Remember to produce random patterns.  If you mess up or don’t like the pattern, you can start all over with another base coat of khaki.  Just be sure to get it right prior painting your rifle.

Rifle painting.

I can understand some hesitation in painting your prized AR-15 or other battle rifle.  I love my AR-15s like family because I understand their importance to my future safety and survival.  Each looks different, weighs different, and has a different feel in my hands.  S5Your rifles are no different; each is its own beautiful masterpiece.  The bottom line, however, is that you wear camouflage while hunting or training to break up your silhouette, and your rifle – a tool – deserves the same tactical advantage.  If you allow your rifle to remain black and expect to use it while wearing camouflage, you’re setting yourself up for potential failure.  Black simply stands out against camouflage.  Keep in mind that this isn’t an art contest.  As soon as I had finished painting these two ARs, I thought I had made a horrendous mistake.  But after letting them sit and dry overnight, I came back in the morning with a new appreciation.

S6I began by removing the bolt carrier.  To be on the safe side, and regardless of how tightly your upper and lower receivers fit against each other, I recommend putting cotton balls in the top of the magazine and chamber, all the way back to the grip.  Use those cotton balls to seal any gap between the receivers and prevent paint from getting inside the weapon.  Additionally, you’ll want to put part of a cotton ball where your flash suppressor and the end of the barrel meet.

You can leave your optics on, if you’d like. I removed mine because they are going to require a little more TLC. Either way, be sure to tape up any glass on them, even if you have plastic covers on your scope or CCO.  I taped up my MAGPUL MOE grips because I like the texture they have and because my hand will be covering them.  I taped up my trigger for the same reasons.  If your trigger is shiny metal, you could use a different kind of paint to black it out.  I also taped over my serial numbers.  Finally, I taped up the rear aperture on my flip sites.  Then the fun began.

S7Just like we did with the magazines, begin by spraying a khaki base coat on your weapon.  Be sure to paint the top and bottom of the weapon as well, along with all those nooks and crannies.  I extended my butt stock all the way back so as to not leave a large black spot.  Be sure to leave a light coat over the buffer spring tube so you’ll be able to extend and collapse the butt stock as necessary and without trouble.  A light coat did not gunk up my fire selector switch, bolt lock release, or magazine drop; light being the operative word.  After that coat dries, flip it over and do the other side.

S9Just like we did with our magazines, use the sea sponge to start blotting green paint in random schemes across the weapon.  Don’t forget to blot parts on top and bottom as well, along with flip up sights or scope/CCO.  Once both sides are done and dry, add some brown in the same fashion.  I let them sit over night to dry.  I also didn’t add any heat source to cure the paint.  (The brown was a little dark when first applied but lightened in color once it dried.)

Range day.

I took them to the range the next day and was approached by a few people asking how I did the camouflage pattern.  (Welcome to the blog.)  One even thought that I had purchased it like that.  After the congratulations, I was a little concerned with the heat causing paint chipping, especially on the barrel.  After unloading a few magazines and warming things up, I inspected and found no chipping.  The only ‘issue’ I observed was a little blackening of paint on the flash suppressor, which really is a non-issue.  I’ll post a six month update or note when the paint starts to crack or chip, which ever comes first.

And there you have it:

FIN

Source: http://guerrillamerica.com/2013/02/camouflage-your-ar-15/

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.

7 Tips To Prepare For Hard Times

By Gaye Levy | From BackdoorSurvival.com | On Thursday, February 21st, 2013

Once you have been blogging for awhile, you begin to realize that bad news – and by bad news I mean the unthinkable – sells. Funny how that works but following a natural disaster or major world event, site visits go up – way up.  When my friend George at Urban Survival first told me this I was incredulous.  But sure enough, it is true.

On the other hand, there is no reason why we should not prepare for the unthinkable even during those times when things are status quo.  (And did you notice I did not say normal although the new normal is the status quo – as tough as it may be to stomach.)

Today I would like to share a list of tips for preparing for unthinkable hard times.  It is a quick and dirty list – things that come to mind here and now in the present moment.  I am sure there are others.

7 TIPS TO PREPARE FOR HARD TIMES

1.  Practice using less electricity – a lot less electricity

I just finished the audio book version of One Second After.  An EMP, coupled the the potential of a cyber attack, tell me that it is only prudent to get by with less reliance on the electrical grid.  For many, the problem of limited or non-existent electrical power can be mitigated by generators or solar power.  Generators are great as long as you have fuel and solar power will work if you have the money to set up a solar system plus, of course, an abundance of sun.

To me, the optimal solution is to try to get by with less electrical power.  That means less reliance on my two freezers full of food and more reliance on bulk foods and freeze-dried meals.  It also means lots of batteries and some wind-up devices.

Lots of Batteries

Plan on Having Lots of Spare Batteries in all Sizes

2.  Maintain a survival library and a survival notebook

The time may come when your online resources may no longer be available.  Perhaps, as mentioned above, the grid may be down.  Or perhaps the internet will be censored with survival and preparedness sites blocked.  It could happen, you know.

Accumulate some preparedness books in print form and maintain your own survival notebook in a three ring binder.  Don’t overlook free resources that may be available from your local county or state emergency management department.  Even FEMA has some good stuff in printed form (see Free for You: The “Are You Ready Guide to Preparedness”.

3.  Make learning a habit

Set aside a brief period each week to either learn a new skill or practice becoming more proficient at a skill you already possess.  Better yet, take some time – even a few minutes – each day to find a new trick or tip to add to your survival notebook.

Amazon frequently offers free e-books on a variety of topics.  These books are typically only available for one to five days and are a great way to learn something new.  Sure, they may not be available if the power is out but if the goal is to learn from them, take notes and put what you learn into action now rather than later.

One of the most important things you can do now to prepare for a crisis or disaster is to always be learning.

Side note: On most days I post a link of two to relevant free e-book over on my Facebook page.

Vertical Garden in Shoe Pockets

Try vertical gardening – you do not need a lot of space for herbs & greens

4.  Grow food

Growing your own food can be so rewarding that I just can not fathom even the smallest apartment dweller not growing at least a pot full of herbs on their window sill.  There is something magical about popping a few seeds in a pot and watching them sprout and grow into something that is actually edible.

Beyond the window sill garden, there is the container garden, bucket garden, square foot garden, vertical garden, raised bed garden and the mini-farm.  No matter how difficult it may seem, check out some videos on YouTube or books from your local library and start growing some food this spring.

5.  Acknowledge that there will be fear and panic

Those of you that have experienced a disaster, poor health, job loss, or civil disobedience and war will understand that fear and panic are inevitable.  Realize that in the case of a disaster, there is not a darn thing you can do other than recover.  Plan for the worst and hope for the best.  A cliché, I know. But that is the truth.

Other woes such as poor health, los of a job or a financial meltdown are a bit more difficult to deal with.  Questions such as how will you cope and how will you live will cross your mind as you stay up nights wondering what you could have done to mitigate the situation in the first place.

Acknowledge now that there will be fear and panic and realize this is WHY you prep.  Prepping is the insurance policy that will help see you through hard times.

6.  Embrace companionship and love

Not to get dopey, but life is more robust when you have someone to hug.  I like to say “hug the ones you love, and love the ones you hug.”

I would also like to suggest that you share a modest portion of your bounty with your less fortunate or elderly neighbors.  I would also like to suggest that you share your kindness when kindness is shared with you in turn. Life is precious and at the end of our time, it won’t be the fancy cars, the elaborate home, or the diamond rings that count. It is will the feeling of peace knowing that you have lived well with love in your soul and compassion in your heart.

7.  Maintain your faith

If you are a religious person, find comfort in your faith.  And if not, embrace your inner strength and have faith in yourself and in the miracle of your life.  Hold this faith near to your heart – when hard times come, it may be all that you have left.

THE FINAL WORD

Coping skills when the SHTF will be easier said than done.

Being realistic, it is difficult to predict what will happen and how we will react as individuals if and when we are faced with extremely hard times.  For whatever reason – a disaster or personal crisis – we will each have to deal with situations that are foreign and unpleasant.  Having the food, water, gear and the other tools of the prepping trade will help, but I can’t help but think that there are many other things that can be done now to prepare for the worst.

I encourage you to embrace the less tangible aspects of preparedness and consider events of the day a wake up call advising you to get on with life in the best and most human way possible.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

Gaye

Source: http://www.backdoorsurvival.com/7-tips-to-prepare-for-hard-times/

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.

Dust Mask, N95, or Respirator?

By Ken (MSB) | From ModernSurvivalBlog.com | On February 20, 2013

What is the difference between an ordinary dust mask, N95 mask, and respirator? The answer is important to understand.

First, a dust mask is used where particles in the air such as ordinary dust, dust from wood, concrete, construction dirt, drywall, fiberglass and other materials are present. The dust mask helps to protect the person’s lungs from damage caused by inhaling these particulates.

A dust mask will have its limitations and will be effective only under specific use conditions.

The way it works is simple in that the filter action occurs when the wearer inhales. The paper or fabric filtering material is the mask itself, which can be folded or cup-shaped, with one or two straps holding it to the nose and mouth. Some may have an exhale valve that allows heat and humidity to escape between the face and the mask. A dust mask is designed to be disposable and should not be reused.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (or NIOSH), is an organization who recommends dust mask specifications.

A dust mask is described with a letter designation and a filtering efficiency.

The letters N, R and P indicate the mask’s resistance to oil degradation. The absence of oil particles in the environment allows use of N-, R-, or P-series dust masks. The presence of oil particles requires use of an R- or P-series filter.

Filtering efficiency is expressed as percentages of 95, 99, or 99.97. A mask with a 99.97 percent efficiency rating allows less particle leakage than one rated 95 percent. The amount of acceptable filter leakage determines face mask selection.

Dust masks (including the often mentioned ‘N95′) are a cheaper, lighter, and possibly more comfortable alternative to respirators, but may not provide as much protection, and may be more susceptible to misuse or poor fit.

A dust mask, and N95 type mask, will leak. They are not fit tightly to your face and WILL allow a certain amount of unfiltered air into your nose and mouth while you inhale. A common misconception is that since N95 surgical masks may be used by health care workers or doctors in an operating room, that it must be okay for protection. In fact, the wearing of the surgical mask by the health care provider, doctor or surgeon is protecting the patient from the doctor’s own breath (sneeze, cough, germs, etc.). While there is a level of protection for the wearer in a healthcare environment, to truly protect one’s self from virus or other airborne chemical contamination, you need a respirator mask that is fitted to your face for an air-tight seal with appropriate filtering.

Having said that, one might think that you are getting ‘some’ protection while wearing a N95-rated well fitting dust mask in a public environment, where it is suspected that people may be contaminated with a given contagious virus. This is likely true to an extent, and better than nothing for sure. However you should not make the mistake of believing that you are completely protected. Observe how the ordinary (and even the better fitting) dust masks will have gaps between the mask and skin. It is not air-tight and therefore not blocking 100% of the air that you inhale.

In summary, know your purpose and have the right mask for the right job. For casual protection, the ordinary dust mask may protect you from ordinary particles in the air. A N95 type mask will filter smaller particles and will provide a certain level of protection in some environments. A respirator will provide the ultimate protection due to its tight seal to your airways, while the filter being used in the respirator will determine the particulate protection. It seems that having all three would be useful to the prepper, and cover the range of circumstances that one might expect to encounter.

This article was originally posted at: http://modernsurvivalblog.com/health/dust-mask-n95-or-respirator/

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.

20 Signs That The U.S. Economy Is Heading For Big Trouble

By Michael Snyder | From BlacklistedNews.com | On Thursday, February 21st, 2013

Is the U.S. economy about to experience a major downturn? Unfortunately, there are a whole bunch of signs that economic activity in the United States is really slowing down right now. Freight volumes and freight expenditures are way down, consumer confidence has declined sharply, major retail chains all over America are closing hundreds of stores, and the “sequester” threatens to give the American people their first significant opportunity to experience what “austerity” tastes like. Gas prices are going up rapidly, corporate insiders are dumping massive amounts of stock and there are high profile corporate bankruptcies in the news almost every single day now. In many ways, what we are going through right now feels very similar to 2008 before the crash happened. Back then the warning signs of economic trouble were very obvious, but our politicians and the mainstream media insisted that everything was just fine, and the stock market was very much detached from reality. When the stock market did finally catch up with reality, it happened very, very rapidly. Sadly, most people do not appear to have learned any lessons from the crisis of 2008. Americans continue to rack up staggering amounts of debt, and Wall Street is more reckless than ever. As a society, we seem to have concluded that 2008 was just a temporary malfunction rather than an indication that our entire system was fundamentally flawed. In the end, we will pay a great price for our overconfidence and our recklessness.

So what will the rest of 2013 bring?

Hopefully the economy will remain stable for as long as possible, but right now things do not look particularly promising.

The following are 20 signs that the U.S. economy is heading for big trouble in the months ahead…

#1 Freight shipment volumes have hit their lowest level in two years, and freight expenditures have gone negative for the first time since the last recession.

#2 The average price of a gallon of gasoline has risen by more than 50 cents over the past two months. This is making things tougher on our economy, because nearly every form of economic activity involves moving people or goods around.

#3 Reader’s Digest, once one of the most popular magazines in the world, has filed for bankruptcy.

#4 Atlantic City’s newest casino, Revel, has just filed for bankruptcy. It had been hoped that Revel would help lead a turnaround for Atlantic City.

#5 A state-appointed review board has determined that there is “no satisfactory plan” to solve Detroit’s financial emergency, and many believe that bankruptcy is imminent. If Detroit does declare bankruptcy, it will be the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

#6 David Gallagher, the CEO of Town Sports International, recently said that his company is struggling right now because consumers simply do not have as much disposable income anymore…

“As we moved into January membership trends were tracking to expectations in the first half of the month, but fell off track and did not meet our expectations in the second half of the month. We believe the driver of this was the rapid decline in consumer sentiment that has been reported and is connected to the reduction in net pay consumers earn given the changes in tax rates that went into effect in January.”

#7 According to the Conference Board, consumer confidence in the U.S. has hit its lowest level in more than a year.

#8 Sales of the Apple iPhone have been slower than projected, and as a result Chinese manufacturing giant FoxConn has instituted a hiring freeze. The following is from a CNET report that was posted on Wednesday…

The Financial Times noted that it was the first time since a 2009 downturn that the company opted to halt hiring in all of its facilities across the country. The publication talked to multiple recruiters.

The actions taken by Foxconn fuel the concern over the perceived weakened demand for the iPhone 5 and slumping sentiment around Apple in general, with production activity a leading indicator of interest in the product.

#9 In 2012, global cell phone sales posted their first decline since the end of the last recession.

#10 We appear to be in the midst of a “retail apocalypse”. It is being projected that Sears, J.C. Penney, Best Buy and RadioShack will also close hundreds of stores by the end of 2013.

#11 An internal memo authored by a Wal-Mart executive that was recently leaked to the press said that February sales were a “total disaster” and that the beginning of February was the “worst start to a month I have seen in my ~7 years with the company.”

#12 If Congress does not do anything and “sequestration” goes into effect on March 1st, the Pentagon says that approximately 800,000 civilian employees will be facing mandatory furloughs.

#13 Barack Obama is admitting that the “sequester” could have a crippling impact on the U.S. economy. The following is from a recent CNBC article…

Obama cautioned that if the $85 billion in immediate cuts — known as the sequester — occur, the full range of government would feel the effects. Among those he listed: furloughed FBI agents, reductions in spending for communities to pay police and fire personnel and teachers, and decreased ability to respond to threats around the world.

He said the consequences would be felt across the economy.

“People will lose their jobs,” he said. “The unemployment rate might tick up again.”

#14 If the “sequester” is allowed to go into effect, the CBO is projecting that it will cause U.S. GDP growth to go down by at least 0.6 percent and that it will “reduce job growth by 750,000 jobs”.

#15 According to a recent Gallup survey, 65 percent of all Americans believe that 2013 will be a year of “economic difficulty”, and 50 percent of all Americans believe that the “best days” of America are now in the past.

#16 U.S. GDP actually contracted at an annual rate of 0.1 percent during the fourth quarter of 2012. This was the first GDP contraction that the official numbers have shown in more than three years.

#17 For the entire year of 2012, U.S. GDP growth was only about 1.5 percent. According to Art Cashin, every time GDP growth has fallen this low for an entire year, the U.S. economy has always ended up going into a recession.

#18 The global economy overall is really starting to slow down…

The world’s richest countries saw their economies contract for the first time in almost four years during the final three months of 2012, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said.

The Paris-based thinktank said gross domestic product across its 34 member states fell by 0.2% – breaking a period of rising activity stretching back to a 2.3% slump in output in the first quarter of 2009.

All the major economies of the OECD – the US, Japan, Germany, France, Italy and the UK – have already reported falls in output at the end of 2012, with the thinktank noting that the steepest declines had been seen in the European Union, where GDP fell by 0.5%. Canada is the only member of the G7 currently on course to register an increase in national output.

#19 Corporate insiders are dumping enormous amounts of stock right now. Do they know something that we don’t?

#20 Even some of the biggest names on Wall Street are warning that we are heading for an economic collapse. For example, Seth Klarman, one of the most respected investors on Wall Street, said in his year-end letter that the collapse of the U.S. financial system could happen at any time…

“Investing today may well be harder than it has been at any time in our three decades of existence,” writes Seth Klarman in his year-end letter. The Fed’s “relentless interventions and manipulations” have left few purchase targets for Baupost, he laments. “(The) underpinnings of our economy and financial system are so precarious that the un-abating risks of collapse dwarf all other factors.”

So what do you think is going to happen to the U.S. economy in the months ahead?

Please feel free to express your opinion by leaving a comment below…

This article was originally posted at http://www.blacklistednews.com/20_Signs_That_The_U.S._Economy_Is_Heading_For_Big_Trouble_In_The_Months_Ahead/24357/0/0/0/Y/M.html

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.

Bugging In vs Bugging Out: Have You Planned For Both Options?

By Off Grid Survival | From OffGridSurvival.com | On Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

Guy Bugging Out

One of the most commonly asked questions that I receive has to do with the topic of Bugging Out. While some of our readers have managed to escape the trappings of the big city, most of our readers still live in highly populated urban areas. These are often the people who want to know how to Bug Out into the Wilderness once the SHTF.

Hold the crazy train, you want to do what?

While bugging out is a real possibility that you may some day face, I would never advice anyone just bug out into the wilderness. For even the most diehard outdoorsman, living in the wilderness full-time is something that most of us would never advise doing.  In my opinion, you’re setting yourself up for disaster, and it’s not a realistic survival plan that anyone should have in mind.

Wilderness

Bugging Out without a Place to go is Not a Plan, It’s a Death Sentence!

In the event you ever have to get the hell out of dodge, you must have a plan of action. I hear way too many people saying they are going to “head out into the wilderness” once the SHTF; sadly most of these people haven’t spent a single night outdoors, and likely won’t last longer than 24 hours in a wilderness survival situation.

Are you saying there’s never a good reason to Bug Out?

Not at all; in fact, I think the people who swear they will “shelter in place no matter what”, are just as foolish as those who think they are going to live out some sort of extended episode of Survivorman.

The Pros & Cons of Bugging In vs Bugging Out

All too often I see people get hung up on the notion of bugging out. Many people foolishly put themselves into one of two categories, those that believe bugging out is the only answer, and those that say sheltering in place is the only way to go.

In my opinion, you must be prepared for, and thoroughly understand the pros and cons of both options.

Bugging out considerations: When Getting Out of Dodge is your only option.

The moment you decide to bug out, you must realize that you put yourself at immediate risk.  Your safety and security, your ability to sustain yourself, and your ability to protect yourself from the elements are immediately compromised.

In my opinion, bugging out is almost always a worst case scenario situation. In order to do it right you must have:

  • A detailed evacuation plan and you must know it like the back of your hand. This means constantly reviewing your route, practicing your get away, and knowing what things need to happen before you make the decision to bug out.
  • A bug out location: Leaving without a place to go is not a plan. If you plan on bugging out, you need to have a predetermined bug out location or emergency shelter already in place. Planning on living in the wild, unless you are an extremely experienced outdoorsman, is a recipe for disaster. Wilderness living should only be considered if you have an adequate shelter already in place.
  • A bug out bag filled with everything you need to make it to your Bug Out Location.
  • You must know your routes, and you need to have a plan B, C, D, etc.. What if you’re route s blocked or impassable? Do you know how to find food and water along your route? These are all thing you need to consider and plan for now.

Bugging in considerations: Staying safe by sheltering in place:

If at all possible, sheltering in place is usually the safest option. First, most of your supplies are probably going to be at your primary residence. Second, in most cases you will have a higher level of security inside your home than you will traveling out on the street.

While sheltering in place is often the safest bet, there are some considerations that you need to keep in mind.

  • You must always be prepared to leave. No matter how bad you want to stay, there will be times and situations that make it impossible to stay. If a category 5 hurricane is barreling towards your location, the last thing you want to do is shelter in place.
  • Home security needs to be a top priority. The ability to defend your home, from those that wish to do you harm, is one of the most important considerations that you need to prepare for. From Realistic Self Defense Training, to fortifying your home, you must make home security a top priority.
  • Neighbors may come knocking. During a SHTF situation, your not so prepared neighbors are going to be in panic mode. While most of these people might not pose an immediate threat, if things get bad enough those once nice neighbors will quickly become unpredictable. You must have a plan to deal with those that failed to prepare.
  • If you live in a high density population center, you immediately put yourself in danger and make your chances of survival lower than if you lived in a rural area. While I’m not saying bugging in won’t work in an urban setting, it will become increasingly harder as the severity of the disaster increases. If you live in one of these urban areas, you need to seriously access your situation and understand the dangers associated with urban survival.

Source: http://offgridsurvival.com/bugging-in-vs-bugging-out-have-you-planned-for-both-options/

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.

Prominent U.S. Scientists Call For Eco-Dictatorship Under UN Rule

By Jurriaan Maessen | From BlackListedNews.com | On Thursday, February 21st, 2013

Upcoming Scientific Publication: “(…) governments can and even should move beyond existent levels of public permission in order to shift norms, allowing public sentiment to later catch up with the regulation.”

In a peer-reviewed paper by the American Institute of Biological Sciences titled “Social Norms and Global Environmental Challenges” (available ahead of print), to be published in the march 2013 edition of the Institute’s yearly journal BioScience, a group of well-known scientists calls on government and scientists to start with the planned social engineering of “norms” and “values” in regards to environmental policies. In addition, they propose putting into effect all sorts of environmental fines and regulations in the spirit of Agenda 21 to hasten the social acceptance of increased governmental control. Also, they propose that the scientific community as a whole should align itself with government “through a concerted effort to change personal and social norms”.

The group of scientists involved in the upcoming publication include two Nobel Prize winners, economist Kenneth Arrow and political scientist Elinor Ostrom, as well as behavioral scientists, mathematicians, biologists- not to mention population scientists, the most well-known of whom are Paul Ehrlich and Gretchen C. Daily- whose professional relationship dates back to the Ecoscience days. The authors start out by stating:

“Some have argued that progress on these (global environmental) problems can be made only through a concerted effort to change personal and social norms. They contend that we must, through education and persuasion, ensure that certain behaviors (…) become ingrained as a matter of personal ethics.” Stating that education and persuasion are insufficient to accomplish behavioral changes, they note:

“Substantial numbers of people will have to alter their existing behaviors to address this new class of global environmental problems. Alternative approaches are needed when education and persuasion alone are insufficient. Policy instruments such as penalties, regulations, and incentives may therefore be required to achieve significant behavior modification.”

Proposing that “effective policies (…) are ones that induce both short-term changes in behavior and longer-term changes in social norms”, the collection of prominent scientists assert that “government is uniquely obligated to locate the common good and formulate its policies accordingly.”

The upcoming report however stresses that scientists are given the tools to have a hand in “government policies intended to alter choices and behaviors” such as “active norm management, changing the conditions influencing behaviors, financial interventions, and regulatory measures.”

Each of these policy instruments potentially influences personal and social norms in different ways and through different mechanisms. Each also carries the danger of backfiring, which is often called a boomerang effect in the literature—eroding compliance and reducing the prevalence of the desired behaviors and the social norms that support those behaviors”.

“Eroding compliance”, it is called. Anticipating that an increase in regulatory interventions by government are sure to create resistance among the target population, the scientists express confidence that their recommendations “can be carried out in a way that abides by the principles of representative democracy, including transparency, fairness, and accountability.”

Despite these on-the-surface soothing words, the authors stress that government (and the scientific community) should ultimately “move beyond” public consent when it comes to top-down regulations imposed on the American people:

“Some have argued that regulations are inherently coercive and cannot or should not exceed implied levels of public permission for such regulations. An alternative viewpoint is that governments can and even should move beyond existent levels of public permission in order to shift norms, allowing public sentiment to later catch up with the regulation”.

By admitting they are willing to “move beyond existent levels of public permission” to push ahead with draconian environmental policies, these prominent scientists (among whom we find two Nobel laureates and one Paul Ehrlich) have proven their willingness to deceive the American population for their “environmental” control model. As Aaron Dykes put it while interviewing Lord Christopher Monckton,, the environmental “cause” is nothing more than “an absolute valued pretext for their absolute control model”.

The engineering of public “norms” serves not so much any environmental cause, but another one, namely that environmental policies, even draconian ones, will finally be perceived by the US population as being consistent with their own personal norms.

The way in which government may go about it shifting norms, the scientists argue, is by on the one hand “managing norms” through “such things as advertising campaigns, information blitzes, or appeals from respected figures”. The other aspect involved is the use of financial incentives and disincentives with the aim of conditioning the public to accept an increasing governmental control over personal behavior. The paper continues by saying that the best way to alter existing behaviors is through persuasive government regulations “such as penalties, regulations, and incentives” in order to “achieve significant behavior modification.”

“Fines can (…) be an effective way to alter behavior, in part because they (like social norm management) signal the seriousness with which society treats the issue.”

By extension, the authors express hope that behaviors and values will “coevolve” alongside increased government control in the form of state regulations and “fines”:

“A carbon tax might (…) prove effective even in the face of near-term opposition. What needs to be assessed is the possibility that behaviors and values would coevolve in such a way that a carbon tax—or other policy instrument that raises prices, such as a cap-and-trade system—ultimately comes to be seen as worthy, which would therefore allow for its long-term effectiveness”

In the context of this idea that shifting norms will “coevolve” alongside increased government regulations, the authors state:

“Each of the government interventions can influence both personal and social norms, although they do so through different mechanisms. Only social norm management directly targets norms. Choice architecture, financial instruments, and regulations can all alter social norms by causing people to first change their behaviors and then shift their beliefs to conform to those behaviors.”

In other words: the scientists propose arousing the concept of cognitive dissonance in the minds of people in order to guide the herd towards “proenvironmental” citizenship.

“When it comes to environmental issues”, the scientists write, “two different types of social norms are at play in these dynamics: social norms of conformity or cooperation and proenvironment social norms. Only the first type need be present to induce proenvironment behaviors (although proenvironment personal norms may emerge from this through, e.g., cognitive dissonance, experience, or associating the positive feeling from social approval for an act with the act itself).”

In the upcoming publication the concepts of peer-pressure and cognitive dissonance are being brought into the equation as effective norm-determining factors:

“(…) norms of conformity and cooperation are far more universal than are proenvironment norms and are therefore far more powerful in inducing proenvironment behaviors that do not conflict with preexisting values or preferences. In other words, proenvironment values are not a necessary prerequisite to proenvironment behaviors.”

While the authors express their hope that government expands control through all kinds of environmental regulations, they argue that scientists (especially life scientists) should align with big government, join forces in an unrelenting campaign to gradually create changes in behavior so environmental policies will be more easily accepted over the course of some time.

“Life scientists could make fundamental contributions to this agenda through targeted research on the emergence of social norms”, the group asserts.

“(…) many of the empirical studies cited in this article originate in law, psychology, economics, behavioral economics, anthropology, political science, and sociology. We know, for example, that the effective management of any commons requires sensitivity to local conditions, sound monitoring, graduated sanctions, and conflict-resolution mechanisms.”

Who better to guide the sheep towards “good environmental citizenship” than those scientists specialized in social engineering:

“Life scientists have a role to play in this by extending their existing theoretical analyses. To be effective, scholars of all stripes will have to extend their capacity to collaborate with decision- and policymakers in order to ensure realism and relevance.”

The scientists would, in such an environmental dictatorship, also have a monitoring capacity:

“Scientists could (…) effectively examine how combinations of different policy interventions and of the relative timing of deployment play out.”

The paper is concluded with three distinct recommendations to both scientists and governmental agencies:

“(1) the greater inclusion of social and behavioral scientists in periodic environmental policy assessments; (2) the establishment of teams of scholars and policymakers that can assess, on policy-relevant timescales, the short- and long-term efficiency of policy interventions; and (3) the alteration of academic norms to allow more progress on these issues.”

This entire publication is a clear and unmistakable sign that a scientific dictatorship is emerging under the pretext of environmentalism. More government control through regulations and fines combined with a proactive scientific community, brainwashing people into accepting this increasing governmental control where they would otherwise reject it. And guess who should be the coordinating body of this scientific dictatorship, according to the report:

“Teams might be supported by permanent entities that maintain communication with policymakers; these will differ among nations but could be attached to the United Nations and its subsidiary bodies in the international context. One potential model is a national commitment of scientific talent in the service of United Nations agencies.”

The United Nations. Of course!

“These teams could also be charged with anticipating crises and evaluating potential policy responses in advance, since detailed evaluation in the midst of a crisis may be problematic; such emergency preparedness would probably focus on the immediate effects of policies on behaviors rather than on changing social norms, because this is likely to be of greatest relevance in a crisis.”

All this talk of putting the UN behind the steering wheel of American government and the American scientific community points to the coming of age of the dreaded scientific dictatorship, against which many observers have warned us.

Source: http://www.blacklistednews.com/Prominent_American_Scientists_Call_For_Eco-Dictatorship_Under_UN_Rule/24367/0/0/0/Y/M.html

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.

Now Available: Kids 72 Hour Survival Packs!

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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.

Company Designs Disturbing Targets For U.S. Law Enforcement

By Beckett Adams | From TheBlaze.com | On Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

What if I told you police in your town could desensitize themselves to the idea of shooting a (armed) child, pregnant woman, or young mother, for just a couple of bucks?” Reason’s Mike Riggs asks.

Sadly, Riggs isn’t simply being perverse. He’s being 100 percent serious:

Law Enforcement Targets, Inc. Markets Children, Pregnant Women Targets to Law Enforcement Community
(Law Enforcement Targets, INC.)

For less than 99 cents per target, police officers can now shoot at real-life images “designed to give [them] the experience of dealing with deadly force shooting scenarios with subjects that are not the norm during training,” according to Law Enforcement Targets, Inc.’s website.

The company calls it the “No More Hesitation” series:

Law Enforcement Targets, Inc. Markets Children, Pregnant Women Targets to Law Enforcement Community
Reason

“Law Enforcement Targets, Inc. provides training targets and supplies for military branches, government agencies, law enforcement agencies, training organizations, private ranges, gun clubs, and shooting enthusiasts in the United States,” a Bloomberg profile on the group reads.

Shortly after contacting the company to find out more about the series, the marketing team at Law Enforcement Targets, Inc. sent Riggs the following statement:

The subjects in NMH targets were chosen in order to give officers the experience of dealing with deadly force shooting scenarios with subjects that are not the norm during training.

I found while speaking with officers and trainers in the law enforcement community that there is a hesitation on the part of cops when deadly force is required on subjects with atypical age, frailty or condition (one officer explaining that he enlarged photos of his own kids to use as targets so that he would not be caught off guard with such a drastically new experience while on duty). This hesitation time may be only seconds but that is not acceptable when officers are losing their lives in these same situations.

The goal of NMH is to break that stereotype on the range, regardless of how slim the chances are of encountering a real life scenario that involves a child, pregnant woman, etc. If that initial hesitation time can be cut down due to range experience, the officer and community are better served.

There are seven targets in the series: Pregnant Woman, Older Man 1, Older Man 2, Older Woman, Young Mother, Young Girl, and Little Brother.

Law Enforcement Targets, Inc. Markets Children, Pregnant Women Targets to Law Enforcement Community
Law Enforcement Targets, INC. (cached).

“Considering that the company has landed $5.5 million worth of contracts with the federal government,” Riggs notes, “it might also be interesting to know if these targets are being used by federal law enforcement agents.”

Law Enforcement Targets, Inc. could not immediately be reached by phone for comment. Also, as of 8:30 p.m. ET, it appears that their website is down.

This article was originally posted at http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/02/19/company-with-ties-to-the-federal-govt-designs-unsettling-targets-for-law-enforcement-community/

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.

Heading Towards an Economic Collapse? Preparing for Financial Armageddon

By Off Grid Survival | From OffGridSurvival.com | On Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

Our county sits at over 16 trillion dollars in debt, with unfunded obligations that make the actual debt number about $120 trillion. The reality of the situation is there’s really no way out of the situation. Our government, thanks to both political parties, has spent us into a hole that we cannot dig ourselves out of. The facts, that nobody seems to want to talk about, indicate our country is still heading towards a complete meltdown of the financial system.

You can choose to believe the lies that are being spoon feed to you by the mainstream media, or you can look at the reality of the situation; our Economy is still facing some enormous challenges, and the prospects for a full economic recovery don’t look very good. The financial problems that lead to the housing / financial market crash of 2008 have not been fixed; in fact, many of these problems are even worse today than they were in 2008.

Preparing for an economic collapse

Twenty years ago, most people would have said you were crazy for thinking our system could collapse. Even today, most of our country is either unaware, or has forgotten how closely we came to a complete collapse of the financial system during the banking crisis of 2008.

Here we sit five years after our government spent $700+ billion to bailout a system they told us would never fail, and our system is still in just as much danger of collapse as it was in 2008, maybe more. If you’re not prepared, you need to start taking steps to protect yourself and your family from future troubles.

Keep an eye on the markets, and keep an eye on the banks.

Run on the Bank

Before depositing any kind of money in the bank, you need to research the financial soundness of that bank. Since the so called end of the financial crisis, when the government spent over $700 billion dollars to “fix the system”, over 440 banks have failed.

That means almost every week since 2008, the FDIC has had to shut down at least one troubled bank. It’s estimated that they have already had to pay out over $65 billion to cover these FDIC insured deposits.

With so many banks still going under, you really have to wonder how long the FDIC can continue to pay out on these insured deposits. With banking industry assets sitting at somewhere around $13.6 trillion, there is little reason to believe the FDIC can actually cover these insured deposits during a full scale collapse.

While many people believe they’re money is protected by the FDIC, the simple truth is, there’s not enough money to protect everyone. If the system collapses, your FDIC insured account is anything but certain.

Realize your dollars may become worthless.

Food Rationing

You must seriously look at the possibility of an all-out collapse of the system. If this were to happen, your dollars would quickly become worthless.

You must start to take a balanced approach to being financially prepared for the future. While investing in your financial future is important, the same can most definitely be said for investing in your ability to survive future disasters. If you haven’t started preparing for the possibility of economic troubles, now is the time to seriously consider stocking up to survive future problems, financial or otherwise.

To do this I recommend investing in long-term consumable goods.

Stockpiling Food

This means stocking up on items that you will need and use in the future, or stocking items that you can barter with in case the system fails.  By stocking up on food, water, survival gear & supplies, and bartering goods; you will have a nice stockpile of supplies that will help see you through almost any disaster situation.

Another upside to investing in consumable goods is these goods are completely secure from financial market volatility, and will continue to hold their value after the collapse. In fact, most consumables will probably skyrocket in value in a post collapse world.

Always have cash on hand.

paper currency

If you’re wondering why I recommend keeping cash, especially after telling you your dollars may become worthless, you need to realize that during the initial stages of a collapse, most people are going to be doing anything they can to get their hands on money.

People do what they know; during an economic collapse, 99% of the population will still perceive paper currency as something that has value. Most will be in denial, making your paper money useful for buying goods for at least a couple weeks after the collapse, maybe months. If you’re 100% certain the system has collapsed, you should immediately use this money to stock up on any last minute supplies or bartering items.

Remember, you can’t count on any of the money you have in the bank; most banks simply don’t have enough cash to deal with a run on the bank. During a collapse situation, your money is probably as good as gone. To prepare for the possibility of collapse, you need to have some cash on hand at all times.

It’s time to take action.

Taking Preparedness Action

While I would never advise anyone to completely give up on our financial system, I do advise preparing for a worst case scenario.

There are some very real problems that have yet to be addressed by our politicians in Washington. When it comes to protecting your wealth, and ensuring you will be able to live a comfortable life in the future, you are the only person that can guarantee your long term financial security. You must decide what that means for yourself and your family, and then take the necessary steps to ensure your future security.

This article was originally posted at http://offgridsurvival.com/economiccollapse-preparingfinancialarmageddon/

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.

Crumbling Global Economy Passes Point of No Return

By Lee Rogers | From BlacklistedNews.com | On Sunday, February 17th, 2013

As bad as the global economy is right now, it is unfortunately going to get far worse. Many central banks around the world are now racing to devalue their currencies through the implementation of debt monetization programs and low interest rates. Despite statements coming out of the G20 saying otherwise, many insiders and former insiders are fully admitting that there is an on-going global currency war and that this war is accelerating. The Bank of Japan’s recent announcement of a massive bond purchase program is the latest episode in an already sorry state of affairs. It is a historical fact that prosperity has never been obtained by devaluing a nation’s money which makes it all the more insane that the central planners are actually trying to sell the general public on these policies. In fact if monetary devaluation resulted in economic growth, Zimbabwe which recently experienced a period of rampant hyperinflation would easily be the wealthiest nation in the world instead of one of the poorest. Ancient Rome had a strong monetary unit when the nation rose to prominence but degenerated after the ruling powers decided to devalue its coinage. In more recent times both the British Empire and the United States reached great heights when they maintained a sound money system. With this said, you really don’t need to be an economics guru to figure out that the result of today’s monetary policies will eventually result in a complete disaster for the global economy.

Despite all of the absurd propaganda from the major news networks, there is no question that much of the world is in a depression. The only reason there has not been a total collapse of the system is because of the fact that central banks have maintained artificially low interest rates and propped up sovereign bond markets by purchasing bonds with money that they created out of nothing. Taxpayer bailouts, stimulus programs and other nonsense haven’t helped matters either. These policies which were implemented following the crash of 2008 have simply set the world up for a much larger collapse in the future. There would have at least been an outside chance to fix the system had the central planners not intervened but now the situation is becoming increasingly hopeless. Take for example what happened in Iceland immediately following the 2008 financial crisis. The Icelandic people voted against using taxpayer money to prop up failed Icelandic banks. Even though there was a great deal of short term economic pain with foreign depositors and foreign bond holders losing billions, the country is now on the road to recovery.

On the other hand, Ireland which decided to bailout its banking system with taxpayer money is still dealing with the after effects of the crisis. In 2010, Ireland actually had to accept a bailout from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund because the government could no longer afford the burden. Just weeks ago thousands of people rightfully filled the streets of Irish cities protesting against the bank bailouts. Before the bailouts, Ireland had one of the stronger economies in the European Union with one of the lowest debt-to-GDP ratios in Europe. After the bailouts, the Irish economy has struggled even being mentioned in the same breath as Spain and Greece.

Sadly even with all of these monetary stimulus programs, the United States economy is barely treading water. It was recently reported that the U.S. economy shrunk 0.1 percent in Q4 of 2012 according to official numbers from the U.S. Commerce Department. Considering economic statistics from the government are questionable at best, it is quite possible that the real numbers are far worse. If the U.S. economy is actually shrinking with these types of monetary policies in place, it is painfully obvious that the Federal Reserve has no exit strategy from the status quo. Any attempt to defend the value of the U.S. Dollar by suspending debt purchases and raising interest rates would send the economy into a tailspin. Ben Bernanke the Federal Reserve Chairman once famously said that he would throw money out of a helicopter to keep the economy going so we should fully expect him to continue these activities. In fact, we already know through the Federal Reserve’s own policy statements that they will be continuing near zero interest rate policies well into the future. At this point that’s really all they can do since it is politically infeasible for them to tighten the purse strings so they just continue to print more and more money out of nothing.

The Federal Reserve’s bond purchasing programs have effectively fueled a rally in bonds pushing yields of various U.S. government debt instruments towards historical lows. This has fooled people into believing that U.S. government debt is a safe haven play which is astounding on so many levels. The rate of return on these debt instruments is actually negative when factoring in the real rate of inflation. The government and establishment media love to tout the Consumer Price Index or CPI as the ultimate gauge of inflation. However, the CPI doesn’t even include food and energy in its calculation thus making it a completely worthless indicator of true inflation. Maybe if people didn’t eat, didn’t use oil to heat their homes and didn’t fill their automobiles with gasoline the CPI might have some relevance.

In reality, there’s little question that that the CPI is a purposely manipulated figure designed to mislead people into believing that inflation is lower than it actually is. The CPI also provides the basis for cost of living adjustments that directly affects how much money Social Security recipients receive. This allows the government to get away with paying far less than if real inflation was used as the benchmark to calculate these adjustments. The true measure of inflation calculated using the same statistical models used by the U.S. government during the 1970s has inflation closer to 10% on an annual basis. Even if we were to assume that inflation is half of that figure, U.S. Treasury bond holders would still be getting a negative rate of return on their investment.

Cleary, this is a dangerous game that is being played by the world’s central banks. Looking specifically at the Fed they announced late last year that they would be purchasing $85 billion worth of securities on a monthly basis for an indefinite period of time until unemployment is substantially reduced. This adds up to roughly $1 trillion worth of bond purchases per year which is approximately what the federal government’s annual budget deficit has been under the Obama regime. The Fed is essentially monetizing enough debt for the federal government to finance its $1 trillion annual budget deficit. In other words they are creating close to $1 trillion new dollars out of nothing and dumping it into the system. The end result is that you have a larger supply of dollars chasing the same goods and services which ultimately means there will be higher prices because each dollar will be worth less.

This policy is essentially an invisible tax on the average person because it robs them of their purchasing power. Combine this with the fact that the Obama regime actually raised taxes on poor and middle class Americans as part of the recent fiscal cliff deal and the additional burden Obama’s universal healthcare plan has placed on businesses and it is no wonder why the economy is sputtering. Not only is the currency being devalued but they are financially damaging the base from which they collect taxes. Evidence of this economic reality can be seen from a leaked internal e-mail from a Wal-Mart Vice President who stated that sales were a total disaster and that February 2013 sales were off to its slowest start in the 7 years he’s been with the company. Since average people now have less purchasing power to buy things with, it shouldn’t be any surprise that we see reports like this.

One would think sanity would prevail and the Obama regime would at least end the costly foreign wars and make a few domestic spending cuts. Since we live in a world where insanity seems to be the prevailing thought process, we are not going to see this happen. At the recent State of the Union speech Obama actually proposed more spending programs including a ridiculous multi-billion dollar universal preschool initiative. With a debt over $16 trillion, unfunded liabilities that some have argued approach $100 trillion or higher and $1 trillion annual budget deficits where do they think they’ll get the money to pay for these new programs? Either this is pure stupidity of the most epic magnitude or they are intentionally trying to destroy what’s left of the economy. Regardless of what you believe, these policies are leading us towards disaster.

As a result of these crazy policies, huge bubbles are being created in the U.S. Treasury bond market, the U.S. stock market and most importantly in the U.S. Dollar itself. Since the Fed is buying an increasing amount of bonds it has artificially propped up the market causing investors to venture into the stock market for greater returns on investment which has resulted in the Dow Jones Industrial Average hitting the 14,000 level. Contrary to what the talking head clowns on CNBC say, this is not the sign of a healthy economy but instead an indicator of gross manipulations by the Fed which has forced investors to take on more risk to achieve any real rate of return. At some point the market is going to reject these policies when fewer and fewer market participants are willing to purchase U.S. Treasury bonds at historically low yields while the U.S. Dollar is simultaneously devalued. This alone will cause the bond bubble to burst, yields to skyrocket and force the U.S. government to pay even more money to service the interest on the debt. Considering that the U.S. government is already having a difficult time making payments to service the debt with historically low yields, any reversal would be extremely problematic.

It is comical that there are still ratings agencies that rate U.S. sovereign debt with a Triple-A status considering the train wreck we are witnessing. S&P which was the one ratings agency that actually downgraded U.S. sovereign debt is now being sued by the U.S. government over inaccurate securities ratings leading up to the 2008 financial crisis. This is not an attempt to defend S&P by any means, but there are a number of questions as to why they are the only ratings agency being sued. All of the big ratings agencies were guilty of grossly exaggerating the quality of different types of securities in the years leading up to the 2008 financial crash. The only thing that differentiates S&P from the other ratings agencies is that they had the nerve to downgrade U.S. sovereign debt. This lawsuit appears to be retaliation against them for that downgrade and nothing else. If this isn’t the case, than why haven’t lawsuits been filed against all of the major ratings agencies? Clearly, each one of them was involved in some sort of chicanery leading up to the crash. With this said, there is no reason to trust what any of these major ratings firms are saying about U.S. sovereign debt. It is highly probable that their ratings of U.S. sovereign debt are being affected by the possibility that the U.S. government would threaten legal action against them if they fail to provide a favorable analysis.

It is also becoming more apparent that the central planners have been suppressing the gold and silver price as part of an effort to maintain the illusion that these debt based currencies still have value. The German Bundesbank recently announced its intention to take delivery of over half of its gold reserves by 2020 from the Fed and other central banks. The main question here is why would it take 7 years to complete this process? China has been buying huge sums of physical gold on the open market and so far have had no logistical problems receiving prompt delivery of their gold. This gives additional credence to the accusations that central banks have been leasing out physical gold as part of a scam to suppress the price. In other words, the gold that Germany is requesting delivery of is no longer available which is why the gold cannot be immediately delivered. In all likelihood, this is why an agreement was struck to deliver the gold over 7 years so the central banks could save face without having to transparently expose the gold manipulation fraud they are engaged in.

Either way, it is quite obvious that the gold and silver markets have both been manipulated for some time now. If you study the daily charts of gold and silver there are often huge price disruptions to the down side that have no fundamental explanation. If other countries follow suit and request physical delivery of their gold, this could put an end to these suppression schemes resulting in a massive upswing in the price of gold.

It is often said that gold goes where wealth is being generated. If we use that as a measuring stick it is clear that wealth is being transferred from the west over to Asia. Specifically of interest is the fact that gold is being purchased in large sums by both the Chinese and Russian governments. There is even speculation that the Chinese are preparing to officially back the Yuan with gold. We also see huge gold demand from India whose gold imports surged 23% this past January. In fact gold demand has been so strong that India just raised taxes on gold imports to try to reduce demand. Unfortunately for the west, these countries that are net buyers of gold are going to be in a very good financial position once the full effect of these debt monetization and low interest policies are felt. Gold is real money and stores value unlike the debt based garbage that these central banks are creating by typing digits into a computer.

There is very little question that the global financial system is at a point where it cannot be repaired. The policies of unlimited money creation that are currently being implemented by the Fed and other central banks are unfortunately going to continue until the entire system collapses. It is now inevitable that there will be a huge crash in the U.S. stock market, the U.S. bond market and eventually the U.S. Dollar. Gold, silver and other precious metals should perform very well as this scenario unfolds so there are safe havens available for people wishing to preserve their wealth. It is unfortunate that the only question remaining now is not if this collapse is going to happen but when this collapse is going to happen.

This article was originally posted at http://www.blacklistednews.com/Crumbling_Global_Economy_Passes_Point_of_No_Return/24285/0/38/38/Y/M.html

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.