Archive for December 18th, 2012

Dow Jones MarketWatch: ‘We May Already Be In A Recession’

If MarketWatch from Dow Jones is displaying the following headline in giant letters on their home page tonight, I suspect they know something most of Main Street doesn’t. From the sometimes Pollyannaish website:

Why a recession may be coming regardless of ‘cliff’

How will the fiscal-cliff talks end? Will leaders reach a last-minute deal, saving the economy from disaster, like a script of a TV drama? Spoiler alert: We may already be in a recession. Here’s why…

You mean, there’s a chance that the sustainable U.S. economic recovery Washington, the Fed, and the mainstream media have been peddling to Americans for quite some time now might just be a farce? You don’t say?

Here’s a link to the accompanying article. Following MarketWatch pretty much daily now for the last five years, a headline of this type seems rare to me. Perhaps this is their way of staking a claim to a correct recession call if the economy does indeed go south next year.

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Obama Backs New Gun Ban After Declaring ‘I’m Not Going To Take Away Your Guns’ In 2008

“A woman in the crowd told Obama she had ‘heard a rumor’ that he might be planning some sort of gun ban upon being elected president. Obama trotted out his standard policy stance, that he had a deep respect for the ‘traditions of gun ownership’ but favored measures in big cities to keep guns out of the hands of ‘gang bangers and drug dealers’ in big cities ‘who already have them and are shooting people.’

‘If you’ve got a gun in your house, I’m not taking it,’ Obama said. But the Illinois senator could still see skeptics in the crowd, particularly on the faces of several men at the back of the room.

So he tried again. ‘Even if I want to take them away, I don’t have the votes in Congress,’ he said. ‘This can’t be the reason not to vote for me. Can everyone hear me in the back? I see a couple of sportsmen back there. I’m not going to take away your guns.’”

-Mary Lu Carnevale and Christopher Cooper, Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire blog, September 5, 2008

David Jackson and Jackie Kucinich reported on the USA TODAY website tonight:

Obama backs new assault weapons ban

President Obama supports efforts to reinstate an assault weapons ban as part of a comprehensive plan to address gun violence, his spokesman said Tuesday.

Press Secretary Jay Carney added that Obama would back proposals to close the “gun show loophole,” which allows people to buy weapons without background checks…

Obama met with aides and others to develop a “comprehensive” plan that would include the education, social and mental health issues associated with gun violence. He is also “interested in looking at” possible restrictions on high-capacity ammunition clips, Carney said…

Obama “wants to move in the coming weeks,” Carney said.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

“I’m not going to take away your guns.”

Truth-loving Americans will hold the President to that statement.

Sources:

Mary Lu Carnevale and Christopher Cooper. “Obama: ‘I’m Not Going to Take Your Guns Away.’” Washington Wire. 5 Sep. 2008. (http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2008/09/05/obama-im-not-going-to-take-your-guns-away/). 18 Dec. 2012.

Jackson, David and Kucinich, Jackie. “Obama backs new assault weapons ban.” USA TODAY. 18 Dec. 2012. (http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2012/12/18/obama-carney-newtown-assault-weapons-ban/1777793/). 18 Dec. 2012.

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AP: Mass Shootings Not Growing In Frequency

“Why are mass shootings becoming more common?”

Washington Post’s WONKBLOG post title, December 14, 2012

With all the talk going on of gun bans and gun “control” in the wake of those horrific school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, I didn’t expect to come across the following. From an Associated Press piece that appeared on the New York Daily News website this past weekend:

Those who study mass shootings say they are not becoming more common.

“There is no pattern, there is no increase,” says criminologist James Allen Fox of Boston’s Northeastern University, who has been studying the subject since the 1980s, spurred by a rash of mass shootings in post offices.

The random mass shootings that get the most media attention are the rarest, Fox says. Most people who die of bullet wounds knew the identity of their killer.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

I get it. The AP is saying total mass shootings (targeted plus random) aren’t becoming more common. Despite popular perception.

Continuing on:

Grant Duwe, a criminologist with the Minnesota Department of Corrections who has written a history of mass murders in America, said that while mass shootings rose between the 1960s and the 1990s, they actually dropped in the 2000s. And mass killings actually reached their peak in 1929, according to his data. He estimates that there were 32 in the 1980s, 42 in the 1990s and 26 in the first decade of the century.

Chances of being killed in a mass shooting, he says, are probably no greater than being struck by lightning.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

I don’t know about you, but something tells me you won’t be seeing/hearing much of the above in the mainstream media anytime soon.

Source:

“Mass shootings are not growing in frequency, experts say.” Associated Press. 15 Dec. 2012. (http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/rise-mass-killings-impact-huge-article-1.1221062). 18 Dec. 2012.

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Top Illinois Democrats Push Hard For Gun Ban, More Gun ‘Control’

Can’t say I’m surprised to hear the following from top Illinois Democrats. Hal Dardick reported on the Chicago Tribune website last night:

Illinois’ leading Democrats on Monday pushed for more gun control in the wake of last week’s school shootings in Connecticut, but gun-owner rights groups criticized the move as politicizing a national tragedy and said they were prepared to fight in Washington and Springfield.

U.S. Sen Dick Durbin, the state’s senior senator and the No. 2 Democrat in the chamber, called for congressional hearings aimed at finding constitutional limits to Second Amendment rights while Gov. Pat Quinn and Mayor Rahm Emanuel re-emphasized their long-standing call to ban semi-automatic, assault-style weapons at the state and federal level.

According to the article, Governor Quinn is hoping Illinois legislators will take action on more gun “control”- including a gun ban- by early January.

Fran Spielman noted on the Chicago Sun-Times website yesterday afternoon:

Quinn… called for state lawmakers to ban assault weapons when they return to Springfield for a lame-duck legislative session, beginning on Jan. 2 and extending through Jan. 9. “The message of last Friday is it’s time for all of us in Illinois to begin to save lives by banning assault weapons [and] banning high-capacity ammunition magazines that are used to kill people,” he said.

Stay tuned…

Sources:

Dardick, Hal. “Governor, mayor want assault-weapons ban.” Chicago Tribune. 17 Dec. 2012. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-school-shooting-illinois-politicians-1218-20121218,0,5128691.story). 18 Dec. 2012.

Spielman, Fran. “Emanuel calls for ‘vote of conscience’ on assault weapons ban.” Chicago Sun-Times. 18 Dec. 2012. (http://www.suntimes.com/17072443-761/emanuel-calls-for-vote-of-conscience-on-assault-weapons-ban.html). 18 Dec. 2012.

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On TV: Doomsday Preppers ‘Escape From New York’ Preview

Season 2 of National Geographic Channel’s Doomsday Preppers TV series continues tonight with episode 6, “Escape from New York,” which airs at 9 PM ET. From the Nat Geo Channel webpage for the TV show:

With recent storms such as Sandy, New Yorkers now more than ever need to have escape plans in case they need to flee. NGC cameras follow three New Yorkers as they plot their routes out of the city, literally escaping the grid to reach safety.

Once again, the National Geographic Channel provided me with an advanced screening opportunity of the episode, and it didn’t disappoint. As a matter of fact, it really hit close to home as I too live in a large U.S. city (Chicago).

There were three preppers featured in “Escape from New York.” First up was Cameron Moore in Brooklyn, a college student studying for medical school. Cameron told viewers:

I’m preparing for a meltdown at the Indian Point Nuclear Facility.

Next up was Margaret Ling in Harlem, who told viewers:

I’m preparing for a catastrophic hurricane.

Finally, there’s Jay, a Wall Street bond trader, who explained:

I’m preparing for another terrorist attack.

All three preppers fear what might happen in New York City should TSHTF. From the show:

That’s why for these three New York preppers, at the first sign of trouble, survival comes down to one objective.

CAMERON: Get out of New York City.

JAY: Leaving Manhattan as soon as possible.

MARGARET: Grab my bag and just jet out.

They’ve also paired with a mentor to help them refine their plan. Krav Maga instructor Matan Gavish, preparedness expert Aton Edwards, and urban survivalist Shane Hobel. Now, over the course of one night, all three preppers will put their bug out plans into action for the first time and attempt to escape New York.

The first prepper introduced in the episode was Margaret Ling. In this segment, Margaret, who wears a backpack full of survival supplies every day, revealed that she was concerned about a major hurricane hitting the “Big Apple.” Ling told viewers:

I know I don’t want to be sent to a shelter. And I plan to get out of the city and make my way up to the mountains in upstate New York close to Canada. The last and worst case scenario is walking the entire distance to safety up in the mountains.

Margaret is paired with Krav Maga Academy founder and chief instructor Matan Gavish to help get her prepared.


“Doomsday Preppers: Lollipop Lolliprep”
Nat Geo Channel Video

The second prepper the show focused on was Cameron Moore. In this segment, Cameron shared his fears about an Indian Point Nuclear Facility meltdown and the potential for radiation escaping the facility. He informed viewers:

When TSHTF, I will bug out.

Cameron worked with International Preparedness Network executive director Aton Edwards to help him with his preps.

Finally, there’s Jay (no surname given). Jay was in Manhattan on September 11, 2001. And the Wall Street bond trader realizes New York City remains an attractive terrorist target. He told viewers:

I don’t think it’s going to end. I don’t think that we’re going to wake up all of a sudden one day and all of a sudden we’re not going to be a target to terrorists around the world. A dirty bomb is, without question, an option for terrorists out there.

From the show:

If terrorists detonate dirty bombs across Manhattan, as Jay fears, he’s instructed his wife Mindy and their 6-year-old daughter to get ready to flee the city.

Should TSHTF, Jay’s goal is to get out of the financial district and get back to his family as soon as possible. Jay paired up with Mountain Scout Survival School founder and instructor Shane Hobel to come up with a plan to make that happen.

With the three preppers coming from the same area of the country and attempting a simultaneous bug out, this particular episode was more like a TV special. A TV special for urban preppers. According to the U.S. Census earlier this year, more Americans are living in cities now than ever before. And perhaps it’s because I live in a major American city that I found “Escape from New York” particularly interesting. Although that bike “borrowing” bit was a little over the top. Still, good stuff overall.

And I applaud National Geographic Channel for not removing Doomsday Preppers from the air due to some in the press possibly trying to link preppers with last week’s school shooting.

Blamethrowers. Precisely what the world needs more of these days.

Enjoy tonight’s episode. For more information, please visit the Doomsday Preppers page on the National Geographic Channel website here.

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Survival And Prosperity
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