Quote For The Week

“The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists.”

-Ernest Hemingway (American author and journalist. 1899-1961)

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Resource Of The Week: The Great Northern Prepper’s ‘Prepper Resources’ Page

I recently stumbled on a preparedness blog- The Great Northern Prepper, “Where Preparedness is a state of mind as well as a style of life”- by ex-Marine and security contractor Richard Morgan.

The Alaska native has amassed a large number of prepping resrouces (in .pdf format) on his aptly-named “Prepper Resouces” page.

“Over 570 and counting!” according to Morgan.

The resources fall under the following categories:

-General Preparedness
-Homesteading
-Wilderness Survival
-Food Preps
-Water
-First Aid/Medical
-NBC- (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical)
-EMP
-Military Field Manuals
-Prepper Tech
-Gardening (lots here)
-Building Plans (tons here)
-Work Magazine
-Natural Disaster Preparedness

I took a look at a few of these .pdf files, and most were teriffic.

Anyone looking to populate a flash drive or other storage device with freely-available prepper resources in an electronic format might want to start here on The Great Northern Prepper blog.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s note: Link added to “Resources” page)

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JM Bullion 2014 Silver Eagle Special: $2.45 Over Spot Any Quantity

Yesterday afternoon I recevied an e-mail from affliate advertising partner JM Bullion- reviewed here- regarding a limited time promotion they’re having on 2014 Silver Eagles:

2014 Silver Eagles Special – $2.45 Over Spot Any Quantity

Back by popular demand, today we launched a limited time promotion on 2014 American Silver Eagle coins. While supplies last, we are offering brand new Silver Eagle coins at $2.45 over spot price for any quantity and enjoy free shipping on all orders.

These coins ship in brand new, Brilliant Uncirculated condition, with tubes of 20 coins and Monster Boxes of 500 coins shipping in their sealed mint packaging.

We have limited quantities available for this special promotional pricing, so be sure to lock in your coins at this special pricing today.

Good luck investing, and we look forward to servicing all of your precious metals needs.

JM Bullion

Interested? Click on the banner ad below, where you’ll be taken to the JM Bullion website. Please note that by clicking on the ad and purchasing a product, I receive a commission from the sale.

JM Bullion

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Gallup Poll: U.S. Adults Think Real Estate, Followed By Gold And Stocks, Is Best Long-Term Investment

Gallup just conducted an Economy and Personal Finances telephone poll from April 3-6 where they asked 1,026 U.S. adults the following question:

Which of the following do you think is the best long-term investment — [ROTATED: bonds, real estate, savings accounts or CDs, stocks or mutual funds, (or) gold]?

Their findings?:

-30 percent said real estate
-24 percent said gold
-24 percent said stocks/mutual funds
-14 percent said savings accounts/CDs
-6 percent said bonds

Now here’s something interesting. Rebecca Rifkin reported on the Gallup website yesterday:

Lower-income Americans, those living in households with less than $30,000 in annual income, are the most likely of all income groups to say gold is the best long-term investment choice, at 31%. Upper-income Americans are the least likely to name gold, at 18%…

Upper-income Americans are much more likely to say real estate and stocks are the best investment, possibly because of their experience with these types of investments…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Last April, real estate (25 percent) edged out gold (24 percent) in the poll, with stocks/mutual funds coming in at 22 percent.

In April 2012 and 2011, gold (28 and 34 percent, respectively) beat out runner-up real estate (20 and 19 percent, respectively) by significant margins.

Anyone else starting to think that the overall selection of “best long-term investment” for any particular year may be correlated with recent performance?

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s note: I am not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented herein)

Sources:

Riffkin, Rebecca. “Americans Sold on Real Estate as Best Long-Term Investment.” Gallup.com. 17 Apr. 2014. (http://www.gallup.com/poll/168554/americans-sold-real-estate-best-long-term-investment.aspx). 18 Apr. 2014.

Jacobe, Dennis. “Gold Loses Luster in U.S. as Investment; Real Estate Gains.” Gallup.com. 16 Apr. 2013. (http://www.gallup.com/poll/161909/gold-loses-luster-investment-real-estate-gains.aspx). 18 Apr. 2014.

Saad, Lydia. “Gold Still Americans’ Top Pick Among Long-Term Investments.” Gallup. 27 Apr. 2012. (http://www.gallup.com/poll/154232/gold-americans-top-pick-among-long-term-investments.aspx). 18 Apr. 2014.

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31 Percent Of Chicago-Area Homeowners With Mortgages ‘Seriously Underwater’

Memorial Day Weekend 2007. I had just launched my first blog, Boom2Bust.com, “The Most Hated Blog On Wall Street,” from my apartment on Chicago’s Northwest Side. I remember thinking to myself, “Well, I don’t want to just focus on turmoil in the financial markets as part of a coming financial crash. I also need to talk about the housing bubble and when that monstrosity bursts as well.”

All of it happened (except Washington and the Fed managed to postpone the crash I was- and have been- warning about, leaving us with the “Panic of ’08″ and the Great Recession instead), providing me tons of material to blog about over the last seven years.

Now, my girlfriend and I were lucky enought to spot and sit out the housing bubble, eventually picking up a place last year for $117,000 less than it was at the height of the madness (according to one valuation). Regrettably, a number of friends and acquaintances in the Chicagoland area bought homes during the market’s craziest years, when price levels were incredibly high (in my neighborhood, some barely inhabitable “shacks” were on the market for half-a-million dollars back then). I really hope they aren’t “underwater”- owing more on their mortgages than their properties are worth- but I suspect a number of them are. Mary Ellen Podmolik reported on the Chicago Tribune website this morning:

Despite improving home prices, 31 percent of Chicago-area homeowners with a mortgage were seriously underwater in March, owing at least 25 percent more on their home loans than the property’s value, a new report shows…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

31 percent? That’s bad news for the Chicagoland residential real estate market. The last time I talked about the “underwater people” on this blog was last fall, when I blogged:

This past Sunday, I spotted the following about underwater mortgages in my Chicago Tribune. Mary Ellen Podmolik wrote:

A lack of inventory is frustrating potential Chicago-area homebuyers, and a report last week from Zillow explains why some homeowners might like to sell their properties but can’t. Despite improving home values, 35.4 percent of Chicago-area homeowners with a mortgage were underwater at the end of June, meaning they owed more on their loan than the home was worth, Zillow said. That means those homeowners would have to sell their properties through a bank-approved short sale.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

So will that 31 percent “seriously underwater” rate improve anytime soon? Here’s hoping. But considering the economic headwinds still working against housing- I’m not going to hold my breath (no pun intended).

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Podmolik, Mary Ellen. “Almost 1/3 of Chicago-area homeowners still significantly underwater.” Chicago Tribune. 18 Apr. 2014. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/breaking/chi-homeowners-underwater-20140417,0,7135589.story). 18 Apr. 2014.

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On TV: 10 Ways To End The World

Last week, I mentioned that in lieu of “In Print” posts on Survival And Prosperity, I’d be substituting other material for the time being.

Tonight, I’ll be blogging about a documentary entitled 10 Ways to End the World. It originally aired on the National Geographic Channel back in 2012, but I saw it for the first time just the other week.

I found it riveting.

From the National Geographic Channel (United Kingdom) website:

More than 99.9% of all species that have inhabited the Earth are extinct – could mankind be next?

Black holes hurdling through space, deadly asteroids able to wipe out northern Europe in a single blow, hostile extra-terrestrials… science has introduced you to a host of galactic doomsday scenarios that could jeopardize your planet.

But, these cosmic catastrophes are second tier to the dangers that Mother Nature – and mankind itself – can inflict.

Will a supervolcanic eruption alter our planet’s atmosphere so completely that we stand little chance of survival? Could a pandemic on a scale larger than the 1918 Spanish influenza sweep the globe? Or, will mankind’s quest to push the bounds of scientific understanding ultimately lead to its demise?

10 Ways To End The World is a countdown of the top ten most chilling threats that could usher in the end of humanity as you know it.

You may recall that a number of these apocalyptic documentaries came out around this time. But this production by the Swedish Educational Broadcasting Company stands out. So much so it was nominated for a Scandinavian TV award in 2011…


YouTube Video

For more information about the documentary, you can visit the Nat Geo Channel UK site here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Thursday, April 17th, 2014 Man-Made Disasters, Natural Disasters, On TV No Comments

Peter Schiff Predicts Gold Going Higher Than $5,000 An Ounce

Peter Schiff, the CEO and Chief Strategist over at Euro Pacific Capital, appeared on the CNBC TV show Futures Now on April 15. Schiff, who correctly-called the U.S. housing bust and Great Recession, told viewers:

I’ve been buying gold for the same reason for the last decade, and it’s because central banks are creating too much money, there’s too much inflation, interest rates are too low, and so I want to store my purchasing power in something that central banks can’t print. Meanwhile, during that time period, gold has gone from under $300 an ounce to a high of $1,900. We’ve pulled back. I think we are headed much, much higher, because they are not going to stop these presses. They are going to run them in overdrive…

I don’t know the time period. They’re just going to trend higher. They’re going to go a lot higher. I’ve said $5,000. They’ll go higher than that.


“I’m Off Base, You’re Not Even in the Ballpark!”
YouTube Video

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; I am not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented herein.)

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Illinois Policy Institute: ‘Illinois Is Exporting Its Higher-Income Earners’

From time to time, I’ll talk about the Illinois Policy Institute, a Chicago-based non-partisan research organization that works “to make Illinois first in economic outlook and job creation.” The last time I blogged about the Institute, they had just released a report about Illinois having the most units of local government of any state in the country.

I happened to stop by their website the other day and something disturbing caught my eye. On March 27, Michael Lucci, the Institute’s Director of Jobs and Growth, talked about the state’s tax structure driving away businesses. He wrote:

There’s no telling how many businesses have left or expanded elsewhere over the years.

Caterpillar Inc. announced this week that it will expand in Georgia, AM manufacturing is leaving for Indiana and OfficeMax Inc. famously decided on Florida over Illinois.

That’s exactly what millions of people are doing. On net, 1.25 million more people have left Illinois than entered since 1985. Not only that: The average taxpayer who leaves Illinois earns $65,400. The average taxpayer who enters Illinois earns $56,700.

It’s clear what is happening. Illinois is exporting its higher-income earners, who are also job creators and investors…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity shouldn’t be too surprised at these findings.

Back on January 9, I talked about a press release associated with United Van Lines’ 37th Annual Migration Study, which found Illinois was the number two outbound state for a second year in a row in 2013.

And on February 27, I discussed a February 14 Crain’s Chicago Business piece that said Cook County lost about 13,000 residents with six-figure household incomes to other places during the Great Recession.

Regrettably, the politicians and their mouthpieces will keep peddling the spin about how individuals and businesses are tripping over themselves to move into the state. Meanwhile, the exodus from the “Land of Lincoln” will likely continue for the foreseeable future.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Lucci, Michael. “Illinois’ recipe for exodus: 7 different tax structures proposed for 2015.” Illinois Policy Institute. 27 Mar. 2014. (http://www.illinoispolicy.org/illinois-recipe-for-exodus-7-different-tax-structures-proposed-for-2015/?utm_source=outbrain). 17 Apr. 2014.

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Project Prepper, Part 26: The Everyday Carry (EDC) Bag

In last week’s “Project Prepper” post, I talked about security landscaping at the “new” house. I’ll be working on this project more over the next several days, and share with readers what I’ve come up with shortly.

In the meantime, I want to discuss the Everyday Carry bag, or EDC bag, this week.

What is an Everyday Carry bag?

The TEOTWAWKI Blog has a pretty good explanation of what an EDC bag is (Alexander Wolf usually does for variety of prepper/survivalist-related terms). From a March 31, 2010, post:

Your everyday carry (EDC) bag is one of your most important preparations. It is lightweight bag of gear to backup, support and compliment your on-person EDC. Pockets have limited space–this bag catches the overflow. It should be able to keep you going for a day or two in case you need to pick up and go, if you get stuck at work, or if disaster strikes and you need to bug out for home…

Now, I’ve had something along the lines of an EDC bag in my possession since the mid-nineties. During my winter break from college in 1994, I picked up a nylon messenger bag at the Eddie Bauer Outlet store in Kenosha, Wisconsin, to carry not only my books, but other items I’d use on a daily basis. The “murse” (short for “man purse”)- as my friends and sometimes even complete strangers who thought they were funny would call it- finally bit the dust around 2008 after a lifetime of regular abuse.

Replacing the Eddie Bauer bag was a canvas FOX Outdoor Courier bag I picked up through The Sportsman’s Guide. This has been a good bag. With plenty of compartments and pockets, I’ve not only been able to carry day-to-day items in it, but a few more things I thought might be handy in an emergency as well, such as a tactical light, a wind-up LED headlamp, an emergency blanket, a multi-tool, etcetera.

Funny how often these “emergency items” ended up being used for everyday tasks.

Even funnier is the color of the olive drab bag now- yellow-green- after it got left sitting in a sun-drenched area of my old apartment for a period of time.

While the Fox Outdoor bag has also served me well for six years, I decided in 2013 that I wanted to put together a real Everyday Carry bag- something that “should be able to keep you going for a day or two in case you need to pick up and go, if you get stuck at work, or if disaster strikes and you need to bug out for home.” I did my research and decided the EDC bag I wanted should be:

-Quality. I’m big on reading user reviews before I purchase a product. And if I can inspect the item in-person before buying it- even better.

-Inconspicuous. No military look wanted this time around to draw attention to myself, my bag, and its contents. Although that look is becoming more mainstream around these parts.

-Comfortable to carry. Ever had unpadded straps seriously dig into your shoulders from carrying an overloaded bag for a considerable distance and length of time? I’m sure many of you have, and it kind of sucks, right?

-Water-resistant. Weather in the Chicagoland area is notoriously unpredictable, and I’ve had bags and their contents soaked before.

-Large. Big enough to hold everything (day-to-day and EDC items) I’m planning to keep in it

On that last point, while I really would have preferred to research and obtain EDC items first before acquiring the bag, the opportunity to obtain the bag as a birthday present arose, and I seized it.

Enter the Patagonia Half Mass Bag in Classic Tan.

Patagonia Half Mass Front

Unfortunately, this particular bag has already been discontinued by Ventura, California-based Patagonia (there’s another one out there by the same name these days but it’s different- smaller too). However, I did manage to dig up this description of my new EDC bag out in cyberspace:

For every propelling tailwind, there’s a wicked downpour, a week of flats and a morning full of distracted drivers. We designed the Half Mass messenger bag to get you through the highs and lows of daily commuting. Perfectly sized for a day’s worth of gear, the Half Mass has padding on the back and along the contoured base to protect the contents and provide structure. Inside, a padded computer sleeve accommodates most 15-inch laptops. The main compartment features a drop pocket that secures with a hook-and-loop tab, a mesh pocket, a padded electronics pocket and pen sleeves. The cover flap overlaps the sides of the bag to block rain; its pocket closes with a water-resistant zipper. The external side pocket stows a cell phone, power cords or water bottle. The bag’s no-slip shoulder strap is fully adjustable, and the waist strap stows away. With a topside carrying handle, a reflective panel for visibility at night and a bike-light mount. Made of 8.4-oz 600-denier 100% recycled polyester with a polyurethane coating and a Deluge? DWR (durable water repellent) finish. Details: Main flap opens to largest compartment housing one drop pocket, one mesh pocket, one padded electronics pocket, and three slots for pens; exterior, zippered pocket on flap has moisture-shedding reverse coil zipper Interior padded computer sleeve raised off the ground cradles most 15? laptops and secures with a buckle and strap Front flap has reflective panel and a webbing bike-light mount Side-mounted water-bottle pocket Interior drop pocket secures with hook-and-loop tab for quick access to boarding passes, magazines or newspapers Fully adjustable shoulder strap with floating pad, three-point adjustable stability strap and top-side carrying handle Fabric: Body: 8.4-oz 600-denier 100% recycled polyester. Lining: 3.3-oz 200-denier polyester. Both with a polyurethane coating Weight: 822 g (1 lb 13 oz) Made in Vietnam.

Upon receiving the bag from Salt Lake City, Utah-based Backcountry.com at a cost (to my sister) of only $62.30 shipped, I went ahead and sprayed it with additional water repellant.

The Half Mass measures 19.6 x 13.8 x 3.2 inches with 28 L (1,709 cubic inches) of capacity, and has a lot of space. A great feature is a zipper that runs along the bottom of the bag. When unzipped, the bag expands, providing more storage space.

Some other terrific features of this Patagonia product include reflective material on the cover flap and padded area of the shoulder strap, a waist strap for when I need to haul ass, and last but not least, a neon yellow-green compartment interior.

I just can’t seem to get away from that odd color combination.

Truth be told, I think it will work out great with this messenger bag, as I suspect the light color and contrast formed between the interior and stored items will help me identify and acquire what I need faster than with the previous bag.

Patagonia Half Mass Interior

Tomorrow, I’m going to start transferring items from my old bag to the Patagonia Half Mass. In a future post I’ll blog about Everyday Carry items going into the bag.

Readers: Do any of you have EDC bags? Care to talk about why you picked the one your using? Has the bag and its contents gotten you out of a jam yet?

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Wolf, Alexander. “The EDC Bag.” TEOTWAWKI Blog. 31 Mar. 2014. (http://www.teotwawki-blog.com/2010/03/edc-bag.html). 15 Apr. 2014.

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Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 Emergencies, Gear, Preparedness, Project Prepper No Comments

Casting Call For FOX TV Show ‘UTOPIA’

Speaking of prepper/survivalist-themed reality televison, I was recently contacted by two casting producers about two new shows they’re casting for.

First up is the upcoming FOX TV show UTOPIA. From the casting notice:

A NEW WORLD IS COMING
WILL YOU BE CHOSEN TO HELP CREATE IT?
UTOPIA IS NOW CASTING! – FOX TV

THE CHANCE OF A LIFETIME TO CREATE YOUR OWN DESTINY!

Have you ever wanted to create a new society from scratch or participate in trying to form your ideal world?
FOX’s new unscripted social experiment series “UTOPIA” is searching for candidates to create a whole new world.
Nationwide casting is now underway and we’re seeking motivated “pioneer types” who have the ideas, skill sand determination to create and run an ideal society.

IF YOU’RE READY FOR AN EXCITING LIFE CHANGE, HERE IS YOUR CHANCE!

CALLING ALL TYPES!

Single, Married, Couples, Engineers, Entrepreneurs, Doctors, Contractors, Cooks, Veterans, Farmers, Law Enforcement, Welders, Construction Workers, Electricians, Plumbers, Eco Scientists, Mechanics, Architects, Inventors, Nurses, Veterinarians, Hairdressers, Tattoo Artists, Psychics, Bohemians, Vegans, Philanthropists, Salesmen or Unemployed!

NO MATTER WHO YOU ARE OR WHAT YOU DO, IF YOU ARE READY TO BE A PIONEER, UTOPIA MAY BE LOOKING FOR YOU!

“UTOPIA” follows 15 inhabitants as they leave their everyday lives to move to an isolated and undeveloped location and challenges them to create their own world. The series offers people from across America the chance to be part of a groundbreaking social experiment – the pioneers will make every decision about how they will live, work and what the rules and laws of “UTOPIA” will be.

CASTING is searching for candidates, “21 and over” who are passionate, great at what they do, and also have the problem solving skills needed for starting up a new society.
If you think you have what is takes to create Utopia, then email: CastingUtopia (AT) gmail (DOT) com
Include your name, age, contact info, where you live, city/state, occupation, interesting info about yourself, and why you would be great for the show!

ALSO VISIT UTOPIATV.COM to apply…

As soon as I receive a casting notice for that other project, I’ll put that up on the blog too.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 Housekeeping No Comments

‘Doomsday Preppers’ Season 4 In The Works

“i friggin LOVE “doomsday preppers”!”

-Milla Jovovich, American model and actress of Resident Evil-fame, Facebook post, November 24, 2012

Any fans of National Geographic Channel’s Doomsday Preppers out there?

You’ve probably noticed it’s been a while since a new episode aired (season 3, episode 11, “Americans not Ameri-cant’s,” January 7, 2014).

Well, I just dropped by the Facebook page for the TV series and read:

We are currently filming season 4. No premiere date has been announced yet.

That was posted just yesterday, but I’ve noticed the same message has been appearing for some time now. Hopefully filiming is well on its way.

Still, I wouldn’t be surprised if season 4 isn’t rolled out until late summer/early fall, at the earliest.

Stay tuned…

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Michael Bloomberg And Heavenly Hubris

The New York Times just published an article about former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg. In it, the gun “control” and so-called “Nanny State” proponent reportedly said:

I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close.

I once made the mistake of working for a guy who was supposedly a born-again Christian.

To date, he holds the distinction of being the biggest prick I’ve ever met- pardon my French.

And I’ve run into quite a few jerks during my four decades on this planet.

Getting back to Mr. Bloomberg though. I believe there is a God. And I also believe he doesn’t take to kindly to human beings who let hubris (excessive self-confidence) invade their hearts, minds, and particularly their souls.

“Blessed are the meek…”

I respect Michael Bloomberg for his accomplishments in business and public service (to a certain degree). I just hope he keeps an open mind on what truly merits being with God once we pass on, and practices it in his remaining years on this Earth.

I really do wish him the best of luck concerning this particular matter.

Now back to our regular programming…

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Peters, Jeremy W. “Bloomberg Plans a $50 Million Challenge to the N.R.A.” The New York Times. 15 Apr. 2014. (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/16/us/bloomberg-plans-a-50-million-challenge-to-the-nra.html?ref=nyregion&_r=1). 16 Apr. 2014.

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Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 Firearms, Government, Gun Rights, Religion No Comments

Shocking: Illinois ‘Pole Tax’ Fails To Bring In Projected Revenue

How many times have we seen politicians push some new controversial tax (often a “sin” tax), telling consitutents tons of new money will be coming in if its implemented.

And how many times has this turned out not to be the case, with actual revenue collected nowhere near what was “projected.”

Still, the dubious tax remains on the books as yet one more financial burden on the citizens.

Enter the Illinois “Pole Tax.”

From The State Journal-Register (Springfield, Illinois) website on August 18, 2012:

Strip clubs in Illinois will have to hand over a share of their revenues, starting in 2013, to help fund programs to prevent sexual assault and counsel victims under a law signed by Gov. Pat Quinn on Saturday.

The measure establishes a new tax on the clubs that will raise up to $1 million a year, helping to reverse several years of funding cuts for rape crisis centers. The legislation has also sparked debate over how strong of a link can be drawn between strip clubs and violent crime, and whether those businesses should pay out to fight the problems…

The law, which takes effect Jan. 1, will place an annual surcharge on strip clubs that have live nude dancing and permit alcohol. Businesses could pay $3 per customer or pay a graduated amount based on their sales. The money will go to a special fund devoted to preventing sexual violence and counseling its victims…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Fast forward to this morning on the same website, which now reads:

Illinois officials say a strip club tax has generated less than 40 percent of the money that was expected when the surcharge was approved.

The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers reports the “pole tax” raised about $380,000 in 2013. That’s far less than the $1 million predicted when the measure passed the General Assembly in 2012…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Like with other sin “taxes,” one might wonder if the Illinois “Pole Tax” is really about restoring funding for rape crisis centers in the state, or is actually meant to drive out the “nudie bars” from Illinois.


“Win $500 Bubble Boy Style”
(Not affiliated with Win500.info website- visit at own risk)
YouTube Video

Come to think of it, I wonder how much money Cook County raked in with its $25 per-gun tax on firearm purchases after a full year of being on the books. That “Violence Tax” went into effect on April 1, 2013.

Hal Dardick reported on the Chicago Tribune website back on October 31, 2012:

The gun tax would raise $600,000, Budget Director Andrea Gibson said…

We’ll see, as I suspect someone will be publicizing that actual number soon.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Sources:

“Illinois strip club tax will fund rape crisis centers.” The State-Journal Register. 18 Aug. 2012. (http://www.sj-r.com/x1167780465/Illinois-strip-club-tax-will-fund-rape-crisis-centers). 16 Apr. 2014.

“Strip club tax brings in much less than expected.” Associated Press. 16 Apr. 2014. (http://www.sj-r.com/article/20140416/NEWS/140419556). 16 Apr. 2014.

Dardick, Hal. “Preckwinkle drops bullet tax, keeps gun tax.” Chicago Tribune. 31 Oct. 2012. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-preckwinkle-drops-bullet-tax-keeps-gun-tax-20121031,0,3962662.story). 16 Apr. 2014.

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Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 Firearms, Fiscal Policy, Government, Taxes No Comments

Surviving A Nuclear Attack On Washington, D.C.

Personally, I think there’s a good possibility enemies of the United States will someday detonate nuclear devices in Washington, D.C. and New York City.

Why?

Because these political and cultural centers in America are just too juicy of targets for the bad guys to ignore.

Particularly that new Freedom Tower (One World Trade Center), which is expected to open to the public this year.

I’m not the only one who thinks nuclear terrorism could be in the cards for us. Read further down my “About” page and you’ll understand what I mean.

And don’t forget this from March 24. I blogged:

Earlier today, President Barack Obama spoke at a news conference while attending the Nuclear Security Summit 2014 in Holland. The U.S. President brought up the danger of a nuclear device being detonated in one of America’s major cities. From a transcript provided by the Federal News Service:

And so my response then continues to be what I believe today, which is Russia’s actions are a problem. They don’t pose the number-one national security threat to the United States. I continue to be much more concerned when it comes to our security with the prospect of a nuclear weapon going off in Manhattan

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Think POTUS knows something that we don’t?

Getting back to the nation’s capital, Marc Ambinder recently wrote an article on The Week website entitled, “If a nuclear bomb exploded in downtown Washington, what should you do?” Armbinder inquired in the April 14 piece:

I was wondering if the government had deigned to share with us citizens any tips for, you know, surviving something their own intelligence points to as the likeliest unlikely Black Swan event… it turns out that there is quite a lot that you or I can do if we get stuck in Washington when something like that happens. Choices we make could very well make the difference between our imminent death and a relatively full and happy life, assuming the bomb is a one-off.

The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory released a report in 2011 that spells all this out. It hasn’t gotten nearly the attention it deserves.

It’s called the “National Capital Region Key Response Planning Factors for the Aftermath of Nuclear Terrorism” and it makes for fascinating reading…

It really does, and if I lived or worked in the nation’s capital, I’d read that November 2011 U.S. Department of Homeland Security-funded publication as if my life depended on it.

Because it very well might one day.

You can find the 120-page publication here (.pdf format) on the Homeland Security Digital Library website.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Ambinder, Marc. “If a nuclear bomb exploded in downtown Washington, what should you do?” The Week. 14 Apr. 2014. (http://theweek.com/article/index/259829/if-a-nuclear-bomb-exploded-in-downtown-washington-what-should-you-do). 15 Apr. 2014.

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Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 Government, Man-Made Disasters, Terrorism No Comments

While Ebola Grabs The Headlines, Coronavirus Makes A Comeback In The Middle East

While I’ve been blogging about the Ebola outbreak in West Africa (121 dead last last I heard), I’ve noticed a different virus that I’ve talked about before is making a comeback further east. Deema Almashabi and Oliver Staley reported earlier today on Bloomberg.com:

The government of Saudi Arabia is trying to reassure its citizens that the most recent outbreak of a respiratory virus isn’t a cause for alarm following 16 new cases, including two deaths, reported in the last nine days.

The Saudi health ministry sent text messages through local carriers yesterday asking the country’s 30 million residents to check its website, call a free hotline and check its official Twitter account for updates on the coronavirus, which causes Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome or MERS…

Almost 230 people are known to have been infected since the virus emerged in Saudi Arabia two years ago, and 92 of them have died, according to the World Health Organization. Much about the disease and how it’s transmitted is still unknown…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

The first time I discussed the coronavirus on Survival And Prosperity, the attention hadn’t yet focused on the Middle East. Rather, it was on Europe. I blogged on February 18, 2013:

Novel coronavirus (NCoV). A SARS-like virus I’ve been hearing more of recently. And of particular concern to the World Health Organization (WHO). From a February 16 posting on the “Disease Outbreak News” section of their website:

The United Kingdom (UK) has informed WHO of another confirmed case of infection with the novel coronavirus (NCoV). This is the third case confirmed in the country this month and is in the same family cluster as the two recently confirmed cases.

The latest confirmed case does not have recent travel history outside the UK. The case is recovering from mild respiratory illness and is currently well.

The confirmation with NCoV in this case with no recent travel history indicates that infection was acquired in the UK. Although this new case offers further indications of person-to-person transmission, no sustained person-to-person transmission has been identified

As of 16 February 2013, WHO has been informed of a total of 12 confirmed cases of human infection with NCoV, including five deaths…

WHO does not advise special screening at points of entry with regard to this event nor does it recommend that any travel or trade restrictions be applied.

WHO continues to closely monitor the situation.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

12 confirmed cases of this new coronavirus. 5 deaths.

The vibe I’m getting from public health circles is that human-to-human transmission of NCoV is pretty difficult, so there’s not much worry of a pandemic at this point in time.

Still, like the WHO suggested in their bulletin, it’s something worth keeping an eye on. People infected with the novel coronavirus have developed acute respiratory illness with symptoms of shortness of breath, cough, and pneumonia. There are no specific treatments for the illnesses caused by the virus.

By last summer, the coronavirus that now had a foothold in the Middle East was being called MERS, or MERS-CoV on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Coronavirus/Novel coronavirus/MERS/MERS-CoV- something to keep an eye out for in addition to Ebola.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Almashabi, Deema and Staley, Oliver. “Saudi Arabia Seeks to Ease Concerns After New MERS Cases.” Bloomberg.com. 15 Apr. 2014. (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-15/saudi-arabia-seeks-to-ease-concerns-after-new-mers-cases.html). 15 Apr. 2014.

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Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 Africa, Europe, Health, Middle East No Comments


Christopher E. Hill, Editor
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