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Notes for Tuesday – February 09, 2016

February 9th is the birthday of Major George Charles Nonte Jr. (born 1926, died June 30, 1978). JWR had the privilege of attending ROTC Basic Camp at Fort Knox in the same company with his daughter, Yvette, in 1981. Some of the stories that she told about her father were amazing. He was quite a guy. Cadet Yvette Nonte went on to a career in Army Intelligence, retiring as a Colonel.

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Building the Prepper Pyramid, by J.S.

Are you prepared to survive if an economic crisis arises? What about a massive devastation of any political or social event or a natural disaster? If your answer is “maybe” or you aren’t sure, think over it again. If you get to know that within the next few years, energy crisis and shortages, economic crisis, worldwide famine, and financial conditions will come over to cause dangerous disasters in the world, you probably will start thinking over it now.

Since we have relatively a safe time right now, addressing knowledge on how to prepare during these times is of a greater concern. In spite of a lot of awareness that has spread through the Internet and other sources, there is still weakness in this movement, and still some knowledge about it should be addressed. If it is not acceptable to us that we still need to learn and have a space, we are already defeated even before starting to prepare.

Unlike the usual tips provided on how to prepare for survival or how to prepare a basic kit of essentials that you can find almost anywhere on the Internet, here is a general phenomenon to explain the hierarchy about how a prepper can build his pyramid in order to understand the priority and relevancy.

Everyone in the world would have different levels and priorities on how to prepare for different situations, but generally considered here is how the hierarchy of pyramid should go:

Shelter

For some people, food and water would be the first priority, as no one can live without water for more than three days. But having no shelter at all and carrying your bug out bag along with yourself wouldn’t even be easy if you don’t have a shelter, be it a sleeping bag or a small tent. Of course, it is obvious that you do not get a permanent shelter during a situation where you can only look for your survival, but something is better than nothing. A shelter can keep you protected from rain, sun, wind, snow, and insects. Exposure to cold, for instance, for a longer period of time can increase the risk of getting sick and weakening the immune system, and at such times shelter would be the first priority for survivalists.

Food and Water

Moving up the pyramid are the items of life that you need for your survival support. Of course, at hard times like natural disasters or economic crisis where you have to run for your life or simply stay in a confined place for long, storage of food and water is necessary. If news arrives where you have to instantly prepare for emergency survival, you’ll need to run to get the food items, as there might be a shortage within the next few hours and then in the next two or three days, you never know if the wholesalers go out of stock as well. Therefore, it is recommended to store food and water according to the number of people you are with. At such times where cooking gets difficult, non-perishable eatables are the best options to keep. These include canned vegetables, fruits, milk, and other handy eatables. Clean water for drinking and sanitation is also recommended. Specifying the quantity is very easy, but make sure, think, and plan how much you can store and is easier to carry as well as fulfills the requirements.

Protection for Survival

Where it comes to survival, it does not only mean eating and drinking to stay alive. In situations where one gets caught up fighting for his survival, it also includes defense against attacks. It is recommended to be proactive rather than reactive. For that you must learn some defense techniques that can protect you so you will be able to prevent any bad situation from becoming worse.

Hygiene and Medical Care

During the times of crisis, floods, droughts, or any other disastrous situation for survival, caring for hygiene and taking proper medicines is not as easy as it is in everyday life. When planning for a survival situation now that you have researched enough and known about the importance of shelter, food, and water and survival protection, the next concern is hygiene. Everyone is aware about the fact that in a disastrous situation, medical and hygiene supplies are essential to keep in a kit. A small wound or infection if left untreated can lead to chronic infections and actually result in devastating death! The unavailability of tetanus injections and antibiotic medicines can make your life difficult, so keep the supplies as maximum as you can and learn the basics of medical practices.

Barter

After hygiene and medical care, barter is something you should think about. After progressing in the other categories, think if you have any valuables to trade. Wouldn’t it be a blessing when SHTF that you can trade something of less importance and get for yourselves what you need. Think about gold and silver, or any other metal.

When you are preparing to run for your life, keeping some precious metals you have could be of great use in the times of need. Not only that you would want to keep your precious pieces of gold, silver, or any other metals safe, but in times of need you can sell or exchange them to fulfill your basic needs.

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Letter Re: Digital Currency

Dear Readers,

This Digital Currency Nanny State issue has already affected me twice in the last several years. As a business owner in my state, I’m required to pay sales tax and quarterly business taxes via the state website. A few years ago I mistakenly clicked “savings” account instead of “checking” on their site while trying to pay the amount due. Later we received a threatening letter stating they would “seize” assets, property, or funds to get the amount they said we owed. A couple of days later the funds were seized from our account with penalty. I didn’t even get a say in the matter to explain what happened.

The next time occurred this past year. The same state claimed we did not file some paperwork correctly. Keep in mind I use a certified CPA, so I don’t have issues like this. However, for whatever reason, we continue to be the target of the state and the Fed. I just want to be clear, we have always filed and paid every requirement to the state and Federal governments. The paperwork they claimed we did not file, was actually filed. We had proof and dates. They claimed we did not “respond” in time. The interesting part of this is the fact that they were not saying we “owed” any money. It was simply that they claimed we did not file a certain form. Once again after corresponding for six months, they ruled against us. The sickening part is that they seized the $456 penalty at the very beginning of the ordeal. So the entire time we were appealing, they already had our money.

Three things I learned from these situations:

  1. We are no longer innocent until proven guilty. In both instances, the state withdrew our money, then we were expected to appeal to get it returned. (It never got returned.) We were definitely guilty until proven innocent, and our innocence was only determined by bias of the state.
  2. The other lesson I learned is to be very careful about who has access to our accounts. Unfortunately, my greatest fear is government access. No one else has ever stolen from me on that level.
  3. A cashless society is very dangerous. With the click of a mouse anyone’s account can be drained, manipulated, and tracked. The freedom to be anonymous will disappear, and our every purchase can and will be tracked. – AW From the North
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News From The American Redoubt:

I just heard about a company in Hayden, Idaho that makes great concealment holsters at affordable prices: Alien Gear. Made in Idaho!

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If you want the pinnacle of long range accuracy in a bolt action rifle that weighs less that 12 pounds, then check out Montana Rifle Company’s MMR. Their small factory is located in Kalispell, Montana.

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Radio Free Redoubt’s John Jacob Schmidt Smashes Liberal Columnist Maligning American Redoubt (Scroll forward in the audio stream to the 38:10 mark.)

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Idaho: ‘Constitutional carry’ bill to be introduced

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Okanogan County Washington Landowners Upset Over Land Use Rules

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Economics and Investing:

Feds unlikely to hike interest rates in the months ahead – P.S.

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Items from Mr. Econocobas:

Greek Tragedy: Pension Pandemonium Sparks Bank Crash, Stocks At 26 Year Lows – The first line sums it up. And you thought Greece was “fixed”, but now problems are manifesting themselves globally.

Greek Stock Market Falls Sharply on Banking Sector Meltdown – More evidence

Three Reasons To Be Worried About The Economy – Zero Hedge

Items from Professor Preponomics:

US News

JP Morgan Strategist: Central Banks Tried to Control the World…and Failed Miserably (Business Insider) Excerpt: “In Kelly’s ideal world, the Federal Reserve would return the funds rate to 1%, signaling a confidence in the market and a move away from the unprecedented crisis policy. But now, Kelly is concerned about the Fed eventually following in the BoJ’s footsteps and taking rates below 0%.”

The Making of the “Big Four” Banking Oligopoly in One Chart (Visual Capitalist) Excerpt: “Of particular importance to note is the frequency of consolidation during the 2008 Financial Crisis, when the Big Four were able to gobble up weaker competitors that were overexposed to subprime mortgages. Washington Mutual, Bear Stearns, Countrywide Financial, Merrill Lynch, and Wachovia were all acquired during this time under great duress.”

International News

Financial Sector Stress Delivers Fresh Jolt (Reuters) Excerpt: “You are seeing more and more people saying: is this 2008 again? Maybe not quite as severe, but do we need to be worrying about the banking sector and risk assets on a bigger level?”

Exclusive: Iran Wants Euro Payment for New and Outstanding Oil Sales (Reuters) Excerpt: “Iran wants to recover tens of billions of dollars it is owed by India and other buyers of its oil in euros and is billing new crude sales in euros, too, looking to reduce its dependence on the U.S. dollar following last month’s sanctions relief.”

China’s Forex Reserves Poised for Another Record Drop (Market Watch) Excerpt: “In a nutshell, we believe capital outflows will continue as long as markets expect the Chinese yuan to depreciate….”

Exclusive: Venezuela Central Bank in Talks with Deutsche Bank on Gold Swap (Reuters) Excerpt: “Gold swaps allow central banks to receive cash from financial institutions in exchange for lending gold during a specific period of time. They do not tend to affect gold prices because the gold is still owned by Venezuela and does not enter the market.”

Memo to EM Countries: Take Cover, IMF/Lagarde Coming to Help! (Contra Corner) Excerpt: “The IMF will be working in coming months to improve existing financing instruments, such as credit and liquidity lines, as well as new instruments to address their situations.”

Personal Economics and Household Finance

Beware of Unscrupulous Tax Preparers Who Want Obamacare Penalty in Cash (Clark Howard) Excerpt: “…the IRS reports some unsavory tax preparers are telling their clients that they owe the penalty and they have to pay it in cash or they can’t file their return to get their refund. That’s a big fat lie and those bad apples who try to pull this are pocketing the cash.”

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SurvivalBlog and its editors are not paid investment counselors or advisers. Please see our Provisos page for details.

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Odds ‘n Sods:

Mandatory Mental Illness Screening and the Drive to Confiscate Firearms – D.S.

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Some good commentary over at Commander Zero’s Notes from The Bunker blog: Article – U.S. eyes ways to toughen fight against domestic extremists

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SurvivalBlog reader A.L. sent in the link to this excellent article on the Knights Code of Honor. We need more men who will hold to just such a code. Old Fashioned Knights in the Modern World

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Reader T.A. sent in this link to Just Plain Living on 10 reasons to simplify your life. If you feel yourself overwhelmed by the life you live today, this may be the article for you. Simpler does not mean easier, but it certainly is more satisfying.

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License plate readers a double-edged sword for NY village This is the kind of information that is dangerous. It makes this program sound like it is a good idea. After all, it is catching criminals and increasing the coffers of the town in legal ways. The danger is on who has access to this information and what controls are in place to keep it from being misused. – G.P.

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Hugh’s Quote of the Day:

“Of liberty I would say that, in the whole plenitude of its extent, it is unobstructed action according to our will. But rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law,’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual.” – Thomas Jefferson (Letter to Isaac H. Tiffany, 1819)

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Notes for Monday – February 08, 2016

On February 8th, 1910, the Boy Scouts of America was incorporated. For 100 years, the BSA stood as a strong bulwark of conservative, libertarian, moral values. They successfully united boys from diverse backgrounds, different religions, and different ethnicities– uniting them based upon the principles required for a boy to become an upstanding man. The BSA was attacked from all sides for their righteous stance and even persevered and won their case (Boy Scouts v. Dale, 2000) in the Supreme Court. Sadly, they have in recent years caved from within. Their desire to fill the executive board with amoral, powerful industry executives, like Randall Stephenson (CEO of AT&T) and James Turley (CEO of Ernst & Young), have brought this once great institution to its knees, conceding the high ground on moral issues. Regardless, the first edition of the Boy Scouts handbook, 1911 is one of the prepper’s classic friends.

My Eagle Scout award still holds meaning to me, but its value is not because of what the BSA now represents; it holds value because of my hard work and what the institution once represented. – HJL

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Red List, Blue List, Black List, You List

There has been a lot of conjecture in the past 40 years in patriot circles about the existence of government “round up lists”. Large-scale disaster and war planning exercises, like REX-84 (Readiness Exercise-1984) and Jade Helm 2015, have stimulated endless discourse about whether or not the government maintains a so-called “red list” and “blue list” of people that they deem to be dissidents who they might target for harassment, travel restrictions, or even detention without due process of law. Because any such lists would presumably be developed and updated under the wraps of a security classification and the Need To Know rule, this topic is understandably rife with conjecture, speculation, and even downright fabrication. So, in this essay, I will do my best to restrain my inner John Bircher and just stick to the facts. I’ll simply state the facts and add a bit of well-reasoned extrapolation, based on known technological trends.

The Real Face of FEMA

The centerpiece of all the speculation is the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). In my estimation, most of the chit chat on the Internet about “secret FEMA camps” is highly sensationalized. Civil internment is probably the lowest priority of any of FEMA’s contingency missions, and some would describe it as an almost hypothetical contingency.

Most Americans don’t realize it, but FEMA’s key mission is not disaster relief to the general public. Instead, their highest priority mission is assuring Continuity of Government (COG) following an external attack or following a widespread disaster that disrupts command, control, communications, and intelligence (C3I) assets and processes. If FEMA’s budget were ever drastically slashed, then the very last of their missions to be de-funded would be COG. In FEMA-speak, the COG part of their mission is listed under “National Continuity Programs”. They prefer to use the term Continuity of Operations (COOP), and that same term is used by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). These taskings fall under the purview of FEMA’s National Continuity Programs Directorate and are organized per the National Continuity Policy Implementation Plan (NCPIP).

The COG/COOP mission was further clarified in 2007, under the National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive (National Security Presidential Directive NSPD 51/Homeland Security Presidential Directive HSPD-20. Therein, the term COG morphed into “Enduring Constitutional Government” (ECG).

A wiki article on NSPD 51 notes: “Conservative activist Jerome Corsi and Marjorie Cohn of the National Lawyers Guild have said that [NSPD 51] is a violation of the Constitution of the United States in that the three branches of government are separate and equal, with no single branch coordinating the others.”

A 2009 document prepared for the transition of the executive branch of government to the incoming Obama administration used the following euphemistic vanilla wording to describe FEMA’s COG/COOP mission:

“FEMA provides continuity services, not only for FEMA, but also for the entire Federal government, across the Nation, for common and asymmetric threats alike. It is essential for FEMA to maintain high-performance continuity services in the form of exercises, planning, standards, training, communications, and resiliency measures.”

In the same briefing binder there are also some more concrete but still slightly obtuse descriptions of FEMA’s COG/COOP responsibilities:

The criticality of continuity programs can be traced to three foundations. First, continuity programs, led by NCP, directly reflect the first of eight National Essential Functions (NEFs), “Ensuring the continued functioning of our form of government under the Constitution….” Second, continuity programs form the foundation of the seven remaining NEFs by ensuring that the government structures are in place to govern and support the economic, defensive, and social well being of the Nation. Third, continuity programs form the foundation of the National Response Framework (NRF), ensuring government structures at each tier (local, State, and Federal) are in place under all circumstances to sustain their essential functions, deliver essential services, and accept the assistance provided under the NRF. When government departments and agencies are inoperable and their continuity programs fail, the NRF will also fail.

NCP is responsible for ensuring Federal, State, local, Tribal, and territorial governments are capable of performing their essential functions during any situations that may disrupt normal operations.

Continuity Planning

NCP develops, publishes and trains continuity capability through Federal Continuity Directives and Non-Federal Continuity Guidance circulars, planning templates, and instruction for Federal, State, and local governments.

In a subsection, there is also this description:

Mount Weather Emergency Operation Center (MWEOC):

The MWEOC, located in Berryville, Virginia, is a continuity of operations (d) relocation site for several aspects of DHS and FEMA. The facility provides operational space for FEMA and DHS Emergency Relocation Group members to perform Departmental and Agency mission essential functions.

“A Billion Here, and Billion There…”

In recent Federal budgets FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund has ballooned to around $7 billion per year, but that comes out of a more than $10 billion annual budget. So where is the other $3 billion spent? It’s spent on a whole lot of things, and many of them fall into categories like “administration, training, and interagency liaison”. Even though the big bunkers were built decades ago, still included in FEMA’s budget are many line items that relate to intelligence fusion, “national continuity”, and “continuity of operations”.

When FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate testified before the congressional Subcommittee on Disaster Preparedness about his agency’s 2015 $10.38 billion budget request, he pointed out that the FEMA is now working more closely with the DHS. Another key point that came up in the hearings was that 2015 was the first year that 25% of the agency’s budget was not formally set aside for law enforcement/terrorism prevention.

With its traditionally strong COG/COOP emphasis, FEMA long ago invested many billions of dollars to ensure continuity of the executive branch of the Federal government. The Mount Weather complex is reportedly just one of several redundant deep underground bunkers. Some of these facilities were developed by other government organizations, partly for the sake of redundancy. Although they have established deep hardened bunker facilities with accommodations for Federal legislators and some Federal judges, their main focus is directed toward sheltering the White House staff and the directors and key staff of all of the Federal law enforcement agencies. Meanwhile, the U.S. military organizations each have their own infrastructures in place for protecting both their C3I networks and safely housing their general staff and related personnel.

Because of security classifications, it is difficult to know exactly how FEMA’s budget is being spent and how much of that might be directed toward contingency plans for housing of “displaced persons”. A lot could be hidden under that guise. Essentially the only difference between building a temporary city to house natural disaster refugees and one that is built to house detainees is the presence or absence of concertina wire perimeter fences. Parenthetically, I’d be curious to know if FEMA has ever put out Requests for Quotation (RFQs) for the manufacturers of concertina wire or razor wire, as measured in miles. However, here, I’m straying into speculation. So let’s get back to the facts at hand.

The J. Edgar Days

In the late 1930s, the FBI developed lists of individuals on cardstock index cards. One of these was the Custodial Detention Index (CDI), also known as the Custodial Detention List. This list was compiled between 1939 and 1941 under the “Alien Enemy Control” program. According to one published report:

“The Custodial Detention Index was a list of suspects and potential subversives, classified as ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’; the ones classified as ‘A’ were destined to be immediately arrested and interned at the outbreak of war. Category A were leaders of Axis-related organizations, category B were members deemed ‘less dangerous’ and category C were ‘sympathizers’.”

After the United States entered World War 2 in 1941, these card file lists were put into operation. Large numbers of German, Italian, and Japanese nationals were rounded up and questioned. However, a disproportionately large number of Japanese were actually put in long-term detention—including thousands who were U.S. citizens living in coastal areas, ostensibly because the government “didn’t want to break up families.” This was a gross violation of civil rights, but given wartime exigencies it was hardly even questioned by most Americans until after the war was over.

According to research by the Federation of American Scientists (FAS), the FBI’s habit of building card catalogs of people did not end with World War 2. In the 1950s they moved on to building lists of Communist agents, subversives, and their fellow travelers. After the shocking revelations about Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, Claus Fuchs, and other nuclear weapons technology spies, this recordkeeping seemed well-justified.

By the late 1960s, when anti-draft protesters were a big concern for the executive branch, the FBI moved on to develop yet another list (actually a group of lists) called the Administrative Index (ADEX). This was before the FBI computerized their operations, so this was still a paper list on index cards. (It was perhaps later supplemented by Hollerith computer punched cards.) Additions to the ADEX were reportedly suspended in early 1978. But before it was discontinued and moved to their inactive files storage, the ADEX cards had merged several sublists, including the “Agitator Index” and the “Reserve Index”.

Automating The Lists

In the 1980s, following the lead of the early-adopting NSA and Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), the FBI moved into the computing age. Other than a few revelations about REX-84, very little has been revealed about any enemies lists that were developed in the 1980s and 1990s. Even REX-84 itself would have been nothing more than a obscure codename, if it were not for the much publicized Iran-Contra hearings that captivated the American public through what would have otherwise been a boring summer.

The following appears in Wikipedia’s entry on REX-84:

Transcripts from the Iran-Contra Hearings in 1987 record the following dialogue between Congressman Jack Brooks, Oliver North‘s attorney Brendan Sullivan and Senator Daniel Inouye, the Democratic Chair of the joint Senate-House Committee:

[Congressman Jack] Brooks: Colonel North, in your work at the N.S.C. were you not assigned, at one time, to work on plans for the continuity of government in the event of a major disaster?

Brendan Sullivan [North’s counsel, agitatedly]: Mr. Chairman?

[Senator Daniel] Inouye: I believe that question touches upon a highly sensitive and classified area so may I request that you not touch upon that?

Brooks: I was particularly concerned, Mr. Chairman, because I read in Miami papers, and several others, that there had been a plan developed, by that same agency, a contingency plan in the event of emergency, that would suspend the American Constitution. And I was deeply concerned about it and wondered if that was an area in which he had worked. I believe that it was and I wanted to get his confirmation.

Inouye: May I most respectfully request that that matter not be touched upon at this stage. If we wish to get into this, I’m certain arrangements can be made for an executive session.

Closely associated with REX-84 was Inslaw’s Prosecutor’s Management Information System (PROMIS) people-tracking software. For the sake of brevity, I won’t delve into that. But suffice it to say, PROMIS was fairly simplistic old technology that has been supplanted by much more sophisticated database search software.

Main Core

According to an article written for Salon magazine by Tim Shorrock in 2008, the NSA was the lead agency in developing a comprehensive personalities database called Main Core. This is the code name of a database containing personal and financial data of millions of U.S. citizens who are believed to be “threats to national security”. The Main Core data is compiled from the NSA, FBI, CIA, and other agencies. It is believed that this database (or we can safely assume its successor, under a different name) is still active and growing.

The latest conjecture is that in recent years the Main Core successor program has moved into social media sites, such as Facebook, using them as veritable vacuum cleaners that sweep up personal information. By applying some sophisticated algorithms, the Main Core apparatus determines threat levels and builds extensive “contacts webs” of familial ties and social relationships in an attempt to piece together organizational structures—both formal and informal.

Through a PRISM, Darkly

When taken in the light of the public revelations about the PRISM surveillance system that correlates private communications on the Internet, the implications of Main Core now go well beyond just “list keeping”. The presumed fusion of intelligence data that is going on has undoubtedly resulted in the creation of nested and prioritized lists of individuals to be tracked, travel-restricted, questioned, or detained, under a variety of crises.

Given the well-documented flaws in the FAA’s No Fly List, the errors that can be assumed to exist in Main Core’s successor databases could very well lead to the false arrest of hundreds or even thousands of people. Furthermore, if these databases were misused and applied to political reasons rather than legitimate counter-terrorism investigations, then it would open Pandora’s Box for tyrannical abuse.

Again, I discount the claims that there are “FEMA Camps” that have already been specially constructed to keep teeming masses behind razor wire. To the best of my knowledge, all that FEMA has done thusfar is to study and designate existing Federal military reservations as potential detention facilities. But there are almost certainly some very lengthy “round-up” lists of immigrants with ties to terrorist organizations. That in itself is perfectly justifiable, given the nature of 21st Century transnational terrorism. However, I fear that the names of tens of thousands of outspoken native born American citizens with high profiles have been listed in one or more databases as “persons of interest” by various agencies.

The fairly safe presumption of well-established Bad Boy lists that include native born American citizens troubles me, on several levels. Perhaps my biggest concern is that any such lists represent the intent of Federal officials to impose prior restraint, or worse yet their intent to flag “pre-crime” tendencies of law-abiding American citizens. This sort of segregation and prioritization forms the basis of a future “shopping list” for tyrannical bully boys, in the event of a national crisis. This crisis could be triggered by any number of events, including a natural disaster, a foreign terrorist attack, a domestic terrorist attack, an unattributable or misattributed cyber attack, a banking/equities market panic, a rigged/contested election (or a suspension of elections) leading to a constitutional crisis, et cetera.

Black List

If anyone reading this is politically active and is an outspoken champion of personal liberty, then it is probably safe to assume that you are already on some sort of list, at least a “watch list”. You might also be on a cyber black list, targeting you for disinformation/discrediting campaigns or perhaps for DDOS ping attack hacking. (It is no coincidence that DDOS ping floods are more frequently directed at politically outspoken blogs and web sites.) The key question is: what is your priority on those lists? If someone is a high priority for travel restrictions or detention, then their passport would be immediately flagged and they might not have the opportunity to leave the country via conventional means– through normal passport controls.

The recent events at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Harney County, Oregon illustrated that quickly removing the leadership of any political organization through targeted arrests can render it impotent or at least mute it in the court of public opinion. Think that through: Leaderless groups with redundant secure means of communication are the wave of the future. Activist groups like the Black Panthers were the 20th Century norm. Groups like Anonymous will be the 21st Century norm. But be aware that the use of social media and non-secure communications can be used by governments to build dossiers or even indictments against political organizers. (Facebook was specifically mentioned several times in the recent Malheur indictments.) It is best to avoid social media entirely, but if you must use it, then choose your words wisely!

You List

As I have written before, it is important that all prepared families keep their passports updated. You should also have a Plan B and a Plan C. If you suspect that you are high on a priority list, then you might need a Von Trapp family (The Sound of Music) walk-out escape plan. If you live near a coastline, then making the acquaintance of a deep sea trawler operator or a blue water yachtsman might be something to put near the top of your “to do” list.

Stay Vocal

I must urge my readers to not feel buffaloed into silence. If we allow ourselves to be frightened into political inactivity and Gray Man obscurity, then the tyrannical statist opponents of liberty will have won. Silence is tacit consent.

An acquaintance of mine who recently retired from blogging is fond of saying: “Never get on the bus.” I consider that sage advice. Just consider the fact that there are as many unregistered firearms in this country as there are adult citizens. We vastly outnumber those who might someday seek to enslave us. No attempt to round up a large segment of society will be successful if enough people refuse to register their guns, they keep their guns loaded, and they have the willingness to use them. We also have to well in advance commit ourselves to living through the angst of hiding any fellow citizens who come under persecution.

Lastly, we must never lose our vigilance about the encroachment of tyrannical new laws and policies. Take a few minutes to consider the Jews in the Attic Test.

This has been a heavy topic to consider, but I felt strongly convicted that it must be raised. Our liberty depends on it! – JWR

Disclaimers: None of the foregoing is based on any of the briefings or files that I had access to, when I held my TS/SBI security clearance and access to SCI, back in the 1980s and 1990s. Everything contained in this article was compiled from published, open sources. Your mileage may vary. Just avoid any mileage on The Bus.

(Note: Permission is granted for re-posting of this entire article but only if done so in full, with proper attribution to James Wesley, Rawles and SurvivalBlog, and only if the included links are preserved.)

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Pat Cascio’s Product Review: Update on .300 Whisper Ammo, by Pat Cascio

I did two articles on Ruger firearms. One was on their Mini-14 in .300 Blackout, and the other was on the new Ruger SR-556 Take Down rifle that comes in .223/5/56. In the latter, you can swap out the barrel and convert it to fire .300 Blackout/.300 Whisper ammo, which is a neat idea.

I didn’t shoot any heavy, sub-sonic .300 Whisper ammo that Black Hills Ammunition produces, because this ammo is meant for use in guns with a suppressor on them. This isn’t the first time that Jeff Hoffman, at Black Hills Ammunition, asked me to do some testing for him on some ammo. Jeff sent me some of his .300 Whisper ammo to test in both of these rifles. Included was his heavy 220-gr OTM sub-sonic ammo, to see if it would function in either of the above guns.

The Ruger Mini-14 in .300 Blackout did actually function with the Black Hills 220-gr sub-sonic ammo Jeff sent me. However, the empty brass was just barely getting out of the chamber, and the empties only fell a few feet from the gun. Still, the Mini functioned 100% of the time for me with the heavier sub-sonic ammo. This isn’t to say that another batch of the same ammo will function with it; ammo varies from batch-to-batch, so keep this in mind!

Next up was the Ruger SR-556 Take Down, with the .300 Blackout barrel installed, again using the .300 Whisper 220-gr sub-sonic ammo provided to me by Black Hills. I adjusted the gas piston up and down from fully open to fully closed during my testing, and the heavier ammo would sometimes function with the gas piston fully opened. However, the empty brass was just barely dribbling out of the ejection port. Most of the time, the gun wouldn’t function with the sub-sonic ammo from Black Hills. The empty brass would either just stay in the chamber, or those that were pulled from the chamber wouldn’t eject, tying the gun up.

Now, keep in mind that this was very limited testing with the two guns I had on hand. I wasn’t totally surprised that the Mini-14 in .300 Blackout functioned. They allow a lot of gases to push that fixed piston back, but the gun did function. However, it may not function with another brand of sub-sonic .300 Blackout/.300 Whisper ammo. I was hoping that the SR-566 Take Down would function, but it just didn’t most of the time. Again, this is only one gun sample. Others might do better or even worse. For the most part, the SR-556 in .300 Blackout was a jam-a-matic. Of course, this was no surprise. The gun is designed to operate with the heavier .300 Blackout/.300 Whisper ammo with a suppressor installed on it. The failures were not the fault of the gun and/or the ammo. It was just a test to see if the gun/ammo combination would work.

So, if you have a Ruger Mini-14 in .300 Blackout or a Ruger SR-556 in .300 Blackout and you’ve tried to fire them with the heavier sub-sonic ammo from Black Hills Ammunition and your guns didn’t function, don’t blame the gun and the ammo. They are meant to work in suppressed rifles. If you have another brand of AR-15 that is chambered in .300 Blackout, you might want to try some of the heavier Black Hills .300 Whisper ammo to see if it will function in your rifle, without a suppressor attached. Ya’ never know.

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Recipe of the Week: Quick Chile, by Sawyer

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb ground chuck
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 green onion stems, chopped
  • 1 (4 oz) can of mushroom stems and pieces, drained
  • 1 (15.5 oz) can of (Spartan) chile beans
  • 1 (15 oz) can of (Meijer Naturals) tomato sauce
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can of (Spartan) petite diced tomatoes
  • Chopped jalapenos, chili powders, and salt and pepper, to taste (optional)

Directions:

  1. Saute diced onions, drained mushrooms, green pepper, and ground chuck in coconut oil.
  2. In a crock pot on low to medium heat, add canned beans, tomatoes, and tomato sauce.
  3. Drain grease off of sauteed meat/vegetables, and add to pot. Stir and leave on heat until you are ready to dine.
  4. You may wish to add jalapenos, chili powders, or salt and pepper to taste.

NOTE: It is recommended that this tomato-based food NOT be cooked in a cast iron cookware.

o o o

Do you have a favorite recipe that would be of interest to SurvivalBlog readers? Please send it via e-mail. Thanks!

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Letter Re: Bug Out Boats

Hugh,

I want to address the specifics of Catamarans and their abilities. My experience exceeds most others. I grew up on powerboats, both large and small. Eventually, when it was my own money, I graduated to sail. I have owned and cruised on plastic classics, steel hull, and ferro-cement monohulls, as well as plywood/e-glass catamarans. The sailing rigs on those boats were simple modern sloop, ketch, cutter, wingsail, and lug (junk) schooner. Cockpit designs ranged from open, pilot house, center cockpit, and flush open. As a marine technician service manager, I have worked on more types of cruising boats, charter boats, sports fisherman, and mega yachts than you can shake a stick at. As a professional ships mate, I have been paid crew on both power and sail catamarans ranging in size from 32′ all the way up to 91′, including modern wave piercing power cats, safely taking tens of thousands of paying customers on various types of trips into the open ocean. These commercial charter boats were constructed of plywood/e-glass, fiberglass composite, foam/e-glass, and aluminum, with rigs of rotating wing masts, sloop, schooner, and cutter. As delivery crew, I have been on many more types of boats, commercial and private, power and sail. Over the years, I have built several successful offshore cruising catamarans.

From my own personal experience, multihulls are one of the safest platforms for ocean work. They are form stable, which is to say that by design they want to stay upright without assistance from internal or external ballast. But unlike form stable monohulls (think cargo ships and barges), when a typical cruising multihull might get inverted, which is almost exclusively the fault of the captain pushing the boat beyond the limits of the design, it still remains form stable and itself is the life raft. What most of the non-multihull sailors fail to realize is the significant amount of force it takes to invert modern cruising multihulls. Their fears are irrational and based on erroneous data. There are effectively only two ways to invert a sailing multihull: carrying too much sail for the conditions, and running at high speed in large seas which can lead to a pitchpole; both conditions are quite preventable. A multihull loaded with provisions becomes even more difficult to invert, as the lever arm force required has increased. As far as the comment about “everyone dying,” I would like to see the evidence that supports the claim. Though the author is correct about monohulls being a favorite for over a thousand years, multihulls have existed for over 3500 years, plying the oceans of the South Pacific, then and today.

The letter is also incorrect about the loading capacity of modern catamarans. They can easily carry more weight per foot of length than a monohull. Even a light weight performance catamaran can take a huge load of provisions, with the only detriment being its reduced performance in speed. The catamarans I build in the 40′ range weigh three tons dry and can easily carry three tons of provisions with minimal performance loss. Modern cruising catamarans, like those the author speaks of in charter, have even more capacity. A typical 40′ charter catamaran will weigh 10 tons empty and could easily carry 10 tons of provisions, but it would perform significantly better with five tons or less. FIVE TONS! Ten thousand pounds of food, water, and spares is quite a lot. Even though some 40′ monohulls could carry five tons or more, a typical catamaran of the same length can ALWAYS carry more than a monohull, with performance being the sacrifice. When I moved up from my 30′ full keel plastic classic cruiser to a light weight 34′ catamaran, I had to transfer all of the provisions from one to the other. The empty thirty-footer came up six inches on her waterline, while the catamaran barely sank an inch with the same load, and the loaded catamaran still out performed the empty monohull.

As for the capability and safety of catamarans on the open ocean, again the author is incorrect in his assessment of them being only suitable for coastal cruising. Using his own example of those charter catamarans in the Caribbean, how does he think those catamarans, built in South Africa and France came to berth in the Caribbean? They were not loaded on a ship, that is for sure. They were delivered over the open ocean on their own bottoms and under their own power, fresh from the factories. The delivery crews who move these boats do not have the luxury of waiting for perfect weather windows like cruisers might. They have a schedule and leave port in anything less than a hurricane. I have also delivered catamarans, both power and sail, over open oceans to their owners in the Florida Keys, and I would never hesitate to take a properly equipped catamaran into the open ocean for extended periods.

As for using a boat for bugging out or for permanent relocation, any properly designed, built, and equipped monohull or multihull can be utilized, provided the captain is competent in its operation and navigation.

For anyone who might like more visual representation. The following video links can provide some great references.

SV Delos (one of the best cruising video series on youtube): Provisioning a 53′ Amel monohull for the seven crew to cross the Indian Ocean (6-7 months): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-E8upMiLA7E

Catamaran vs Monohull series (because they are considering switching to a catamaran and are speaking with experienced ocean sailors who have circumnavigated with their catamarans):

A young couple, both experienced captains delivering their own cruising catamaran from France to Florida for commissioning, then continuing to sail offshore to northern latitudes of Nova Scotia and back to the tropics via Bermuda. First video of 12 part series: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REohRp_5X6k

Crew of three on a Leopard 39 (one of the exact catamarans used by the charter industry Captain Cather speaks of) spending 64 days non-stop at sea. The video shows the catamaran running in a storm with 65 knot winds and huge seas in the southern ocean. They hit a top boat speed of 34 knots, nearly five times the boat’s normal speed. Epic stuff that some people still think catamarans cannot do. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQ-svmgOxqw

For reference, a boat such as the Leopard 39 above doing 7 knots average per day for 64 days would get you nearly 11,000 miles away from the danger zone you are running from. And when you arrive, you will have been well fed, well rested, and ready to make a new beginning in a new land. It’s something to think about. – Budget Boater