Government

State Department Issues Warning For Americans Traveling To Europe During Holiday Season

New readers of the blog may be wondering why I brought up the threat of terrorism in France yesterday. Not our circus, nor our monkeys, right? Wrong. As I wrote back on September 22, 2014:

Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity know that I’ve taken the threat of terrorism by Muslim extremists seriously for years now- whether Al-Qaeda, the Islamic State, their affiliates, or sympathizers. While it’s obvious to me a number of entities (particularly politicians) are taking advantage of the newly-minted caliphate’s boogeyman factor these days for their own gain, I do believe the Islamic State does pose a real danger to Americans here and abroad. As such, I plan on blogging about the group formerly known as ISIS/ISIL on a regular basis.

“I do believe the Islamic State does pose a real danger to Americans here and abroad”

From a “Europe Travel Alert” issued by the U.S. Department of State earlier today:

The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens to the heightened risk of terrorist attacks throughout Europe, particularly during the holiday season. U.S. citizens should exercise caution at holiday festivals and events. This Travel Alert expires on January 31, 2018…

Extremists continue to focus on tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities as viable targets. In addition, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, high-profile events, educational institutions, airports, and other soft targets remain priority locations for possible attacks. U.S. citizens should exercise additional vigilance in these and similar locations.

Terrorists persist in employing a variety of tactics, including firearms, explosives, using vehicles as ramming devices, and sharp-edged weapons that are difficult to detect prior to an attack.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

The official warning comes on the heels of a new threat directed against the Vatican by the Islamic State. Nicole Rojas reported on the International Business Times website yesterday:

Isis has made a terrifying threat against the Vatican in the weeks before thousands of faithful are set to descend on the Holy See for Christmas celebrations. A pro-Isis propaganda channel made the threat by releasing a poster showing a car attack.

The ominous poster, reading “Christmas blood” and “so wait…” depicts a masked jihadi driving towards St Peter’s Basilica in a BMW. An assault rifle, backpack and explosives ride along in the passenger seat.

The threatening poster was released by the pro-Isis Wafa Media Foundation, according to monitor Site Intelligence Group. The terror monitoring group MEMRI said the image first appeared on anonymous messaging app Telegram on Tuesday (14 November) night.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

I remind readers of a speech made by Islamic State spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani back on September 21, 2014. From “Indeed Your Lord Is Ever Watchful”:

O Americans, and O Europeans, the Islamic State did not initiate a war against you, as your governments and media try to make you believe. It is you who started the transgression against us, and thus you deserve blame and you will pay a great price. You will pay the price when your economies collapse. You will pay the price when your sons are sent to wage war against us and they return to you as disabled amputees, or inside coffins, or mentally ill. You will pay the price as you are afraid of travelling to any land. Rather you will pay the price as you walk on your streets, turning right and left, fearing the Muslims. You will not feel secure even in your bedrooms. You will pay the price when this crusade of yours collapses, and thereafter we will strike you in your homeland, and you will never be able to harm anyone afterwards. You will pay the price, and we have prepared for you what will pain you

If you can kill a disbelieving American or European- especially the spiteful and filthy French- or an Australian, or a Canadian, or any other disbeliever from the disbelievers waging war, including the citizens of the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State, then rely upon Allah, and kill him in any manner or way however it may be. Do not ask for anyone’s advice and do not seek anyone’s verdict. Kill the disbeliever whether he is civilian or military, for they have the same ruling. Both of them are disbelievers. Both of them are considered to be waging war [the civilian by belonging to a state waging war against the Muslims]. Both of their blood and wealth is legal for you to destroy, for blood does not become illegal or legal to spill by the clothes being worn. The civilian outfit does not make blood illegal to spill, and the military uniform does not make blood legal to spill. The only things that make blood illegal and legal to spill are Islam and a covenant (peace treaty, dhimma, etc.). Blood becomes legal to spill through disbelief. So whoever is a Muslim, his blood and wealth are sanctified. And whoever is a disbeliever, his wealth is legal for a Muslim to take and his blood is legal to spill. His blood is like the blood of a dog; there is no sin for him in spilling it nor is there any blood money to be paid for doing such…

If you are not able to find an IED or a bullet, then single out the disbelieving American, Frenchman, or any of their allies. Smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car, or throw him down from a high place, or choke him, or poison him. Do not lack. Do not be contemptible. Let your slogan be, “May I not be saved if the cross worshipper and taghūt (ruler ruling by manmade laws) patron survives.”

If you are unable to do so, then burn his home, car, or business. Or destroy his crops.

If you are unable to do so, then spit in his face. If your self refuses to do so, while your brothers are being bombarded and killed, and while their blood and wealth everywhere is deemed lawful by their enemies, then review your religion. You are in a dangerous condition because the religion cannot be established without walā’ and barā’…

And so we promise you by Allah’s permission that this campaign will be your final campaign. It will be broken and defeated, just as all your previous campaigns were broken and defeated, except that this time we will raid you thereafter, and you will never raid us. We will conquer your Rome, break your crosses, and enslave your women, by the permission of Allah, the Exalted. This is His promise to us; He is glorified and He does not fail in His promise. If we do not reach that time, then our children and grandchildren will reach it, and they will sell your sons as slaves at the slave market.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

You can read that entire travel advisory on the State Department website here.

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

Source:

Rojas, Nicole. “Pro-Isis propaganda channel vows “Christmas blood” in new threat against the Vatican.” International Business Times. 15 Nov. 2017. (http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/pro-isis-propaganda-channel-vows-christmas-blood-new-threat-against-vatican-1647517). 16 Nov. 2017.

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New ‘Responsible Body Armor Possession Act’ Legislation Coming?

At the end of last week I pointed out the new “Assault Weapons Ban of 2017” legislation that was introduced in the U.S. Senate on November 8.

Not really surprising considering the recent mass shootings in Nevada and Texas.

Another proposed ban that wouldn’t be shocking is a new “Responsible Body Armor Possession Act” bill, “justified” via initial reports of the Nevada and Texas shooters both possibly possessing ballistic protection at each crime scene. The Associated Press reported back on October 9:

Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo says the shooter at a Las Vegas concert who killed 58 people fired at fuel tanks near the Mandalay Bay Hotel from which he was shooting.

Lombardo also says Stephen Paddock had personal protection equipment in his room.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

And from Doug Poppa over on The Los Angeles Post-Examiner website on November 9:

Stephen Willeford was at home less than a block away from the First Baptist Church when his daughter ran in telling him that there was gunfire coming from the church.

Willeford immediately went to his gun safe, removed his AR-15 rifle, a box of ammunition and an unloaded magazine and ran out of the house barefooted, loading up the magazine with several rounds as he headed for the church.

When he approached the church, he said he saw Kelley, who was wearing a tactical helmet with a visor and ballistic armor, heading to his truck with a handgun in his hand.

Kelley opened fire on Willeford who was using a neighbor’s truck as cover.

Willeford, who is an NRA certified firearms instructor said he knew when he saw Kelley’s ballistic armor that he had to aim for Kelley’s side which was exposed between the Velcro straps that pulled the front and back of the ballistic armor together.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

While Paddock’s “personal protection equipment” may not turn out to be body armor (not sure if the American public will ever be privy to that information), taking into Stephen Willeford’s shooting background, it does sound like Devin Kelley could have been wearing a bullet-resistant vest/plate carrier (if what The Los Angeles Post-Examiner reported is true). Even if it turns out neither individual had body armor, the potential remains for a new ban being proposed. Consider the following from the Loadout Room website concerning the push for the original Responsible Body Armor Possession Act of 2014:

In support of this bill, it has been claimed the mass killers who carried out the shootings in Newtown and Aurora were wearing body armor during their crimes. Initial press reports falsely described the shooters wearing body armor. One was wearing a ‘fishing vest’ and the other a mall ninja type load bearing vest. Neither killer had any type of ballistic protection.

Should new legislation seeking to ban “enhanced” body armor be introduced, I can’t say for sure what kind of reception it will get in Congress. The same goes for the “Assault Weapons Ban of 2017” (especially after what just happened in California).

Survival And Prosperity will be watching, however.

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

Sources:

“Las Vegas sheriff: Shooter fired at nearby fuel tanks.” Associated Press. 9 Oct. 2017. (http://www.kolotv.com/content/news/Las-Vegas-sheriff-Shooter-filed-at-nearby-fuel-tanks-450144573.html). 14 Nov. 2017

Poppa, Doug. “Three heroes emerge amidst the tragedy in Texas.” The Los Angeles Post-Examiner. 9 Nov. 2017. (http://lapostexaminer.com/three-heroes-emerge-amidst-tragedy-texas/2017/11/09). 14 Nov. 2017.

Miller, Mark. “My Body Armor, My Choice: Member of Congress Introduces a Bill to Ban Body Armor for Civilians.” Loadout Room. 9 Sep. 2017. (https://loadoutroom.com/thearmsguide/body-armor-choice-california-congressman-introduces-bill-ban-body-armor-civilians/). 15 Nov. 2017.

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‘Assault Weapons Ban Of 2017’ Legislation Introduced In U.S. Senate

You knew it was coming after the Nevada and Texas mass shootings. From the website of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislation Action (NRA-ILA) Thursday:

Dianne Feinstein Wants to Ban Commonly Owned Semi-Autos, Again!

On Wednesday, Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced S. 2095, which she is calling the Assault Weapons Ban of 2017. The 125-page firearm prohibition fever dream is perhaps the most far-reaching gun ban ever introduced in Congress.

Subject to an exception for “grandfathered” firearms, the bill would prohibit AR-15s and dozens of other semi-automatic rifles by name (as well as their “variants” or “altered facsimiles”), and any semi-automatic rifle that could accept a detachable magazine and be equipped with a pistol grip, an adjustable or detachable stock, or a barrel shroud. And that’s just a partial list. “Pistol grip” would be defined as “a grip, a thumbhole stock, or any other characteristic that can function as a grip,” meaning the ban could implicate even traditional stocks or grips specifically designed to comply with existing state “assault weapon” laws.

Needless to say, semi-automatic shotguns and handguns would get similar treatment.

Also banned would be any magazine with a capacity of greater than 10 rounds or even any magazine that could be “readily restored, changed, or converted to accept” more than 10 rounds.

While Feinstein’s bill would graciously allow those who lawfully owned the newly-banned guns at the time of the law’s enactment to keep them, it would impose strict storage requirements any time the firearm was not actually in the owner’s hands or within arm’s reach. Violations would be punishable (of course) by imprisonment.

Owners of grandfathered “assault weapons” could also go to prison for allowing someone else to borrow or buy the firearm, unless the transfer was processed through a licensed firearms dealer. The dealer would be required to document the transaction and run a background check on the recipient.

Should lawful owners of the newly-banned firearms and magazines decide that the legal hazards of keeping them were too much, the bill would authorize the use of taxpayer dollars in the form of federal grants to establish programs to provide “compensation” for their surrender to the government.

This bill is nothing more than a rehash of Feinstein’s failed experiment in banning “assault weapons” and magazines over 10 rounds. Except this time, Feinstein would like to go even further in restricting law-abiding Americans’ access to firearms and magazines that are commonly owned for lawful self-defense.

The congressionally-mandated study of the federal “assault weapon ban” of 1994-2004 found that the ban had little, if any, impact on crime, in part because “the banned guns were never used in more than a modest fraction” of firearm related crime.

Don’t let Dianne Feinstein infringe on our Second Amendment rights with a policy that’s been proven to do nothing to stop crime. Please contact your U.S. Senators and encourage them to oppose S. 2095. You can contact your U.S. Senators by phone at (202) 224-3121, or click here to Take Action.


“Diane Feinstein on Gun ban in 1995 -Mr. and Mrs. America, turn your guns in!”
YouTube Video

Permission granted by the NRA-ILA to reproduce the material above.

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

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DHS Provides Resources, Training To Combat Church Active Shooters

In the wake of the Texas church shooting, houses of worship may be wondering how their congregation might prepare for and respond to an “active shooter.” One resource worth exploring is the U.S. Department of Homeland Security website, specifically “Active Shooter Preparedness.” From that section:

Welcome to the Active Shooter Preparedness Program webpage. Active shooter incidents are often unpredictable and evolve quickly. In the midst of the chaos, anyone can play an integral role in mitigating the impacts of an active shooter incident. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) aims to enhance preparedness through a “whole community” approach by providing products, tools, and resources to help you prepare for and respond to an active shooter incident…

Visitors can obtain active shooter preparedness resources as a private citizen, human resources or security professional, active shooter workshop participant, and first responder. Key resources available to the “private citzen” include:

-“How to Respond” Resource Materials: “A series of materials to assist businesses, government offices, and schools in preparing for and responding to an active shooter” like a booklet, pamphlet, poster, pocket card, and more (translated into other languages too)
-“Options for Consideration” Active Shooter Preparedness Video: Almost 8-minute video which “demonstrates possible actions that individuals can take if confronted with an active shooter scenario.”
-Active Shooter Emergency Action Plan Video: 1-hour 36-minute video that “describes the fundamental concepts of developing an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) for an active shooter scenario…”

According to TIME magazine, under the Trump Administration DHS has actually been ahead of the curve with training places of worship to deal with active shooter incidents. Elizabeth Dias reported Sunday:

Even before Sunday’s shooting at a small Baptist church in Texas, the Trump Administration was moving ahead with efforts to train houses of worship on emergency security procedures, including active shooter situations.

Now, an Administration official says he’ll be working even harder to train religious leaders on how to secure their members and property.

In the past four months, [director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships office Jamie] Johnson the said his team has collaborated with religious groups on more than a dozen efforts to improve security, but he has plans for more.

“We are going to be a whole lot busier in the months and years to come when it comes to safety and security for houses of worship,” he says. “This issue will now come to the forefront of the religious conversation in America.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Good to know. One more thing. Religious institutions might want to investigate if any local resources are available to help prepare for/respond to an active shooter if they haven’t done so already. I’ve stumbled upon a few articles on the Internet these past few days where local law enforcement are offering assistance to churches and such.

DHS’ Active Shooter Preparedness Program webpage can be accessed here. And readers can keep abreast of what’s new out of the DHS Center for Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnerships here.

Know of any religious facilities that might benefit from this information? Pass it on!

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

Source:

Dias, Elizabeth. “Trump Administration Might Ramp Up Security Training for Houses of Worship After Texas Shooting.” TIME. 5 Nov. 2017. (http://time.com/5011069/texas-church-shooting-trump-security-training/). 7 Nov. 2017.

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Anti-Trump Rallies Saturday

On Saturday, November 4, a number of anti-Trump (and Pence) rallies are scheduled to take place in various American cities. Caleb Parke reported on the FOX News website tonight:

A series of anti-government, leftist rallies set to descend on major cities nationwide Saturday is drawing the attention of local officials, who, like the organizers themselves, fear the events could be hijacked by violent masked anarchists.

The left-wing “Refuse Fascism” group is using Nov. 4 as its kickoff for demonstrations in nearly two dozen U.S. cities, protests it says will continue “day after day and night after night- not stopping- until our DEMAND is met.”

The “DEMAND” is the removal of President Trump and Vice President Pence…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Parke added that the 20 cities where rallies are set to take place include Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Honolulu, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Seattle.

According to the Refuse Fascism website, here are the details for the Chicago event:

Chicago, November 4
1:00 pm
Federal Plaza, 219 S. Dearborn

Federal Plaza. My old stomping ground.

Anyway, just be advised should you have plans in these particular cities tomorrow.

For readers going into areas where rallies are scheduled to take place and who have concerns about the gatherings turning into riots, you might want to consider the following advice from Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy of Survival Medicine Handbook-fame (now in it’s 3rd edition):


“13 Tips to Survive a Protest or Riot”
YouTube Video

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

Source:

Parke, Caleb. “Antifa apocalypse? Anarchist group’s plan to overthrow Trump’s ‘regime’ starts Saturday” FOX News. 3 Nov. 2017. (http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/11/03/antifa-apocalypse-anarchist-groups-plan-to-overthrow-trump-regime-starts-saturday.html). 3 Nov. 2017.

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Signs Of The Time, Part 118

From the California Department of Water Resources Facebook page, concerning the ongoing Oroville Dam crisis:

February 12 at 10:09 AM
Water continues to be released from both the gated spillway and the auxiliary spillway. At 6:00 am, inflow to the lake decreased to 52,700 cfs. Flows from the gated spillway remain unchanged at 55,000 cfs. Flows over the auxiliary spillway peaked at 1:00 a.m. this morning at 12,600 cfs and are decreasing. Lake elevation levels are trending down…

February 12 at 10:40 AM
Aerial footage of the main and auxiliary spillways working together to bring down elevation level of Lake Oroville…

February 12 at 11:22 AM
California Department of Fish and Wildlife successfully evacuated almost all salmon from the Feather River Fish Hatchery. Nice work!

February 12 at 4:40 PM
EMERGENCY EVACUATION ORDER ISSUED: Officials are anticipating a failure of the Auxiliary Spillway at Oroville Dam within the next 60 minutes.
Residents of Oroville should evacuate in a northward direction, toward Chico. Other cities should follow the orders of their local law enforcement.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

60 minutes.

Good thing the Auxiliary Spillway didn’t fail, because according to one report over on SurvivalBlog.com, the evacuation order didn’t appear to reach many of the potentially affected until well after that hour was up. From the contributor, reporting on his friend’s bugging-out to the author’s residence:

We can also learn a few things from what my friend saw on his trip here. He got a jump on nearly everyone, by acting immediately and by having a plan on what he was going to take in an emergency. He also says he should have had a checklist, because he still forgot a few things. He encountered several crazy drivers, including one in a 4WD crew cab truck that was driving at over 100 MPH cutting in and out of traffic, obviously panicked although no true breach of the dam had yet occurred. This was just an average idiot. By 6:30 pm, evacuation orders were spreading, and as they went through one community with mandatory evacuation orders, they noted that no one was reacting to anything. The communication was not very effective either. Up until about 5:00 pm, there was little being said on either television or radio locally. He could find nothing on the radio news, until one mention on KFBK 1530 at about 6:30 pm began reporting on it. KFBK 1530 is the emergency broadcast station for the greater Sacramento Valley area. By about 7:00 pm, it was all over local news, and since the evacuation was affecting by some reports up to 180,000 people and other reports of 130,000 people, it was being covered on the national cable news to some degree…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

You can read the rest of the account over on the SurvivalBlog.com site here.

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

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Warren Buffett’s $12 Billion Stock Purchase Analyzed

Back on January 31, I blogged about famous stock investor Warren Buffett informing talk show host Charlie Rose he bought $12 billion (net) of common stocks since Election Day.

The third richest man in the world and his equity purchases were the focus of an article on the FOX Business Network website today. Matthew Frankel reported:

According to Berkshire Hathaway’s latest SEC filing, Warren Buffett and company had an active fourth quarter in 2016. After sitting on a company record $85 billion cash hoard at the end of the third quarter, and having said that Berkshire spent $12 billion on common stocks in the wake of Donald Trump’s election victory, investors have been wondering what Berkshire has been up to. Here’s the answer.

While we don’t necessarily know the reasoning behind Berkshire’s latest investments, or whether they were initiated by Warren Buffett himself or one of his trusted stock pickers, we do know what changed in Berkshire’s portfolio during the fourth quarter. Here are the most notable buys

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

I’m not going to steal Frankel’s thunder here. Head on over to the FBN website here to read what the “Oracle of Omaha” has been acquiring.

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

(Editor’s note: A qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. The creator/Editor of this blog is 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 contained herein.)

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Thursday, February 16th, 2017 Government, Investing, Stocks No Comments
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