Mainstream Media

FBI, DHS Warn Syria Airstrikes May Embolden ‘Homegrown Violent Extremists’

When I heard last night that the U.S. and its allies had initiated airstrikes against Muslim extremists in Syria, I wondered how long it would be before a retaliatory attack was attempted. It’s nice to see the Feds anticipating the same from the jihadists and/or their sympathizers. From an Associated Press piece today on the FOX News website:

There is no indication of advanced Al Qaeda or Islamic State group terror plotting inside the United States, but airstrikes in Syria may have temporarily disrupted attack planning against U.S. or Western targets, according to a security bulletin Tuesday from the FBI and the Homeland Security Department…

In a five-page Joint Intelligence Bulletin obtained by The Associated Press, the government warned that airstrikes targeting the Al Qaeda-linked Khorasan and Islamic State groups could also embolden homegrown violent extremists inside the United States who already have grievances about the U.S. because of military action in predominantly Muslim countries.

While the intelligence community hasn’t viewed Islamic State an immediate threat to the U.S. homeland, officials have been very concerned about Khorasan operatives plotting attacks against the U.S.

The Khorasan group is a cadre of veteran Al Qaeda fighters from Afghanistan and Pakistan…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

If “homegrown violent extremists inside the United States” do in fact strike, how will they carry out their assault? Bombing, mass shooting, poisoning some restaurant salad bar? Who knows? But keep the following in mind- something I blogged back in April 2011:

Consider what Gabe Suarez, a decorated veteran of Southern California law enforcement and president of the personal safety training outfit Suarez International, wrote in his blog Warrior Talk News on May 6, 2010:

Put yourself in the enemy’s shoes….err, sandals…..which option would YOU pick? Which offers the easiest implementation, least chance for detection, greatest chance for success – bombs or bullets?

The mass shooting and not the improvised and unsuccessful bomb is the “easy button”, and that fact cannot be ignored by us as it will not be overlooked by the enemy.

So what do we do?

1). We must identify who the enemy is. Please go back and peruse the list of events above, both failed and successful. What is the common thread connecting the attackers?

2). Carry your gun everywhere…..a REAL fighting gun….not some sissy “suitable for CCW” 5 shot “self defense gun”. The times are not such that concern over a mugger is the issue anymore. Carry extra ammo with you. It is not difficult at all to carry a full sized pistol with a couple of extra magazines. I have done so since 1983.

These are not the times to be seeking political correctness over public safety. It is not the time to fear false labels created and assigned by the mass media. The Israelis learned that lesson long ago. After all is said and done, it is better to be a live “intolerant racist” (as the MSM would call us) than a dead “co-existing”, tolerant “paragon of political correctness”. I suspect that had Shahzad’s bomb been successful, lots of tolerant, “co-exist” types would have died right alongside us “intolerant racists”. The times call for careful profiling and suspicious curiosity as well as daily preparation.

Dress everyday as if you had a business meeting in Mumbai on 26 November 2008 with a bunch of Jews, Christians, and atheist Americans at a cafe right across the street from the Jihad School Of Terrorism.

Be ready or be a victim.

“Be ready or be a victim.” Great words to live by.

Add to readiness a healthy dose of situational awareness, and I suspect those practicing both are leaps and bounds ahead of most Americans in being prepared to anticipate and react to the violent acts of some jihadist or sympathizer the Feds are warning about in that latest security bulletin.

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

Source:

“DHS says Syria airstrikes may have temporarily ‘disrupted’ terror plotting.” Associated Press. 23 Sep. 2014. (http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/09/23/dhs-says-syria-airstrikes-may-have-temporarily-disrupted-terror-plotting/). 23 Sep. 2014.

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Survivalism ‘Shouldn’t Come With A Bad Reputation’

“Survivalism: The stark ideology that may have led to killing of a Pennsylvania state trooper”

-Actual headline on the Washington Post website, September 17, 2014

“I love publishing material that readers can sink their teeth into and learn a lot from. I hope to do a lot more of it when things calm down on my end. At the same time, I will blog about some topics that might not be so informative- like prepping as a form of insurance, for example. Why’s that? It depends on the situation really. But in the case of “Prepping As Insurance,” I’m disappointed in how the mainstream media often portrays preppers/survivalists. Many times, the so-called Fourth Estate equates preparedness with anti-social behavior, paranoia (sound familiar?), and/or domestic terrorism. I like to point out that emergency preparedness (something Uncle Sam/other levels of government actively push- even while demonizing it in some instances) can be thought of as another form of insurance and one of our civic duties as American citizens (the emphasis on self-reliance/sufficiency frees up public safety resources in major emergencies) by its practitioners. Letting the idea fester in our society that prepping is BAD could ultimately result in way too many helpless Americans in a SHTF situation. My intention with this post- while not really one that is chock-full of knowledge- is to help torpedo that dangerous idea with hopes (dreams?) of a more resilient society once again.”

-One of my comments in a discussion about last Friday’s Survival And Prosperity post entitled “Prepping As Insurance”

I’ve always thought any negative associations with prepping/survivalism stemming from related “reality” TV shows like National Geographic Channel’s Doomsday Preppers were essentially harmless. As they were rolling out a couple of years ago, I trusted people would be able to figure out it’s only entertainment television- with some useful knowledge thrown in to keep more “demanding” viewers coming back for more. Entertainment TV with a good deal of shock and awe to ratchet up ratings and score as many advertising dollars as possible.

Several years on, and plenty of critics- particularly in the mainstream media- of preparedness/survivalism base their view at least in part of what they’ve seen on TV.

Doomsday Preppers Toilet Paper

Doomsday Preppers Toilet Paper


They just don’t get it. And if you ask me, in many cases it’s because they’ve haven’t researched the subject thoroughly enough (either by choice or lack of time).

And the ones that do but who still try and push the goofy idea that most- if not all- preppers/survivalists are authority-hating, machine gun-toting, wannabe special forces types who are two sandwiches short of a picnic and long for the end of the world (note I’m not including “as we know it” here) to remake it in their own image- well, don’t forget they’ve got newspapers/other media products to sell.

So it was with some relief that I encountered the following article yesterday on the WFMZ-TV 69 News (Allentown, Pennsylvania) website. Talking about the ongoing manhunt for alleged cop killer Eric Frein, 69 News staff wrote:

This weekend, 69 News spoke with the chief of the Greater Philadelphia Search and Rescue about survivalists.

Mark Hopkins believes Frein will be able to evade police for a period of time, but police will catch up with him.

He says to a degree, everyone is a bit of a survivalist, and that description shouldn’t come with a bad reputation.

“I wouldn’t want to see that lumped together and think that all survivalists or all people that are doing this prepping stuff want to hurt people, because that’s not the case; this is clearly an outlawry,” Hopkins said…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“Everyone is a bit of a survivalist, and that description shouldn’t come with a bad reputation.”

Something the “haters” would do well to remember. But probably won’t, or choose not to out of self-interest or something else.

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

Source:

“Survival expert believes police will catch up with Frein.” 69 News. 21 Sep. 2014. (http://www.wfmz.com/news/Regional-Poconos-Coal/survival-expert-believes-police-will-catch-up-with-frein/28175968). 22 Sep. 2014.

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Prepping As Insurance

A couple of days ago, I stumbled on a Chicago Tribune piece that made fun of preppers. I’ve encountered a number of these in the mainstream media the past few years, so I wasn’t really surprised to see one in my “local” paper. Columnist Steve Johnson wrote on the Tribune website:

All across the country people are preparing or, in the shorthand, “prepping” for a coming apocalypse — the day when, in the even shorter hand, the “SHTF.” That’s an acronym preppers use that stands, almost, for “something hits the fan.”

I read news stories about this anticipatory readiness. I witness it on reality TV, a realm in which shows are primarily about Alaskans, Kardashians and preppers. Even more meaningfully, I see it in such leading cultural indicators as costco.com and SkyMall. Many people think a social meltdown looms, and they are getting their gear, from canned goods to weaponry, in order.

Yet I dawdle. I toe-drag. Instead of outfitting the family for a dubious kind of survival, I let myself get distracted by such trifling matters as whether my sons have girlfriends and should I try one of those stand-up desks.

But I know, in my heart of hearts, that I am lax, and I must take stock. Let me enumerate the ways in which I am not prepared for the apocalypse…

That included such things as “I do not have a zombie fighting plan,” and “I have not doled out $3,999.99 to Costco for the ‘32,000 Total Servings 4-Person 1-Year Food Storage,’ an actual product,” along with “My cars are not swathed in armor, jacked up to go way off road and fitted with machine-gun turrets,” among others.

The Tribune columnist wrapped up his ridicule of preppers with the following:

When we can no longer hold out, well, that’s when we bite down on the cyanide capsules — OK, I’m going to be a little bit prepared — and thank our lucky stars we didn’t spend the good days cloaked in paranoia, suspicion and highly speculative, ridiculously costly planning.

Now, I’m not a prepper. Nor do I claim to be an expert on preppers. But from my experience researching and writing about them for a couple of years now, the actions of most preppers don’t seem to stem from some belief of “a coming apocalypse” (an image made popular by “reality” TV). Nor have the majority of preppers I’ve met/corresponded with been “cloaked in paranoia” or filled with “suspicion.” No doubt some fall into the camps. But I suspect most preppers are not unlike the Tribune columnist himself- an adult American with a job, car, kids/ loved ones depending on them, and many other “real world” responsibilities, concerns, and problems to boot.

It’s just that the prepper has either insured or is in the process of insuring his or her lifestyle in the event of a lasting emergency which can strike at any time.

This can include anything from a local power outage lasting a couple of days, to a regional man-made/natural disaster, to that “apocalypse” Johnson wrote about.

Many Americans insure their health, their life, their residence, their vehicle, and so on. Why not their ability to live comfortably on a day-to-day basis in the event something terrible happens?

Consider what modern survivalist and The Survival Podcast host Jack Spriko said on August 13, 2014, about prepping as a form of insurance. In episode 1406, “Well, Why Isn’t Everyone a ‘Survivalist’?”:

I’ll say, “Dude, what kind of car do you drive?”
“Well, I have this car. I’ve got this new car and I bought it.”
“Do you have insurance on it?”
“Well, yeah. You have to.”
“If you didn’t have to, would you have insurance on your car?”
“Well, yeah.”
“Well, why?”
“Well, if you get into a wreck, you want someone to pay for it.”
“Oh, so you’re a prepper?”
“Oh, no. That’s not what that means.”
And I’m like, “It kind of does.”
“You have a potential disaster- a car wreck- and I’m sure your insurance covers things like injury or bodily harm or other people if you get sued, things like that. So you preempted a potential emergency with prior planning. This makes you prepared for that. Therefore you’re a prepper.”
“Well, that’s not what I’m talking about.”
And then if you start having a conversation with them, you’ll find there’s all these places in their life that they’ve put some sort of assurance or insurance into. But then there’s the gaping holes of things that are actually very, very important.
So you’ll say, “What happens if one of your family members dies?”
“Oh, well, you know- we have life insurance.”
“Great. Well what happens if you both lose your job for some reason and you’re trying to put food on the table?”
There’s some unemployment, but when you start doing the math, it’s like your whole life is going to fall apart.
“Well, if you have some food set aside- even just a couple of months- and for a couple of months you knew that you could just not go to a grocery store, or only go 10 percent as much as you used to buy, and you can use that 60-, 90-day period as a get-by in-between so you can get back on your feet, don’t you think that would take the pressure off of you, let you make better decisions about getting a new job?”
“Well, yeah.”
“Then why don’t you do it?”

“Then why don’t you do it?”

Short of not having the financial/physical resources to do so, maybe because it’s easier to mock others rather than make the effort to insure one’s way of life in the event of a real, drawn-out emergency?

Prepping as paranoia? Try prepping as insurance. That’s how I’ve observed more Americans considering it these days.

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

Source:

Johnson, Steve. “Completely unprepped for doomsday.” Chicago Tribune. 8 Sep. 2014. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/ct-doomsday-johnson-talk-20140908-column.html). 19 Sep. 2014.

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Jim Rogers: North Korea Now Where China Was In 1980

While at my parents’ place last weekend, I happened to catch the FOX News show Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo. Well-known investor, author, and financial commentator Jim Rogers was on, and what he said about a particular East Asia country was so much different than the picture that’s being painted of them in the mainstream media. From a transcript of the exchange between Bartiromo and Rogers:

BARTIROMO: Jim, you just returned from North Korea.
ROGERS: Yes.
BARTIROMO: And you say that North Korea is now where China was in 1980. Washington has yet another country completely wrong.
ROGERS: Absolutely. It’s where Myanmar was in 2010. Washington has this as wrong as they have the Middle East. Listen, North Korea is changing very, very dramatically. Very fast. And it’s very exciting…
(CROSSTALK)
BARTIROMO: What about Americans being held there hostage?
ROGERS: Yes, listen, if somebody comes into my country and tears up his visa and says, I want asylum, maybe he’s a little nuts. I don’t know the guy, I don’t know what he did. But I know what we read in the press — the Western press, it sounds very, very strange.
Many Americans — by the way, many Americans go there. Not all — I went there. I’m not in jail.
BARTIROMO: When you were there, was it completely dark?
ROGERS: What?
BARTIROMO: Were the lights on when you were in North Korea?
ROGERS: Yes, there were there lights on. People were in the markets buying and selling food. All this stuff about starving North Koreans, I didn’t see any of them. There were markets everywhere, all sorts of goods. I didn’t even understand what some of the goods were, they were so modern.
YORK: Was what you were allowed to see controlled by anyone?
ROGERS: No. I went into the market, the market with thousands of people, thousands of North Koreans buying and selling day in and day out.

The former investing partner of George Soros touched on other subjects as well, including the American response to the Islamic State and the 2016 U.S. presidential election, which you can read about in that transcript on the FOX News website here.

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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John Rubino: Tune Out The Noise And Prepare For The Inevitable Crash

On Sunday, as I was pulling up some material on John Rubino for that “Quote For The Week” post, I stumbled on something he penned back on November 7, 2012, which really resonated with me. From the website he manages, DollarCollapse.com:

This story is at least a decade old, and it’s getting tiresome for all involved. For the majority who expect positive change from each election the disappointment must be exhausting, as each inevitable compromise moves their latest hero one step closer to impotence. For the small number of people who see the underlying truth, this show is even harder to watch because the obvious, inevitable ending just won’t come. The zombie that should have died for good after the 2000 tech stock crash keeps shambling along, wreaking havoc or boredom, depending on whether you’re in its path or watching from a safe distance.

The solution? Accept that time spent obsessing over a process with a predictable result but unpredictable schedule is time wasted. So just stop watching. Make the right- and by now obvious- financial and lifestyle choices and then tune out. Turn off the TV and stop reading the business and political sections of the paper. Use the resulting time to develop yourself and cultivate your community. You know what’s going to happen, more or less: A decade hence your gold will be worth a lot more and everything else quite a bit less. And you know your friends will suffer and need your help. So prepare for the things that you can predict.

Once the markets stop providing unlimited leverage and the system crashes for good, then tune back in and add your voice and your capital to the debate over what to build in its place.

“Make the right- and by now obvious- financial and lifestyle choices and then tune out. Turn off the TV and stop reading the business and political sections of the paper. Use the resulting time to develop yourself and cultivate your community.”

I realize the writing is on the wall. Have since around 2004. A coming financial crash (the country has seen a number of these intense periods of economic pain before). But not the end of the world.

Still, I have a nasty habit of immersing myself in too much “news” related to the approaching storm. And often feel compelled to discuss it on this blog.

However, not only has this led to posts of questionable value for the reader, but the “obsession” has also taken away valuable time that could have been spent on that personal development and cultivating the community Rubino spoke about.

I get it now. It’s something I’ll be working on going forward.

And the quality of Survival And Prosperity should improve as a result.

Thank you for your continued readership.

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

Source:

Rubino, John. “Now We Can Stop Paying Attention.” DollarCollapse.com. 7 Nov. 2012. (http://dollarcollapse.com/the-economy/now-we-can-stop-paying-attention/). 7 Aug. 2014.

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Quote For The Week

“We are really past the point where we even need to talk about whether a crisis is coming; we know it is and we know the general outline of the solution, which is massive devaluation. What we do about that as individuals? That is the real question now. So becoming more self-sufficient and lessening your dependence on the local fiat currency- all that stuff is what people should be focusing on now rather than even bothering to watch the news, I think. I think some kind of a crisis is baked in the cake and it is going to be resolved through massive devaluation.”

-John Rubino, co-author with James Turk of the recently-released book The Money Bubble, in a July 12, 2014, podcast on Chris Martenson’s Peak Prosperity website.

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

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About That ‘Sniper Nest’ In Chicago

Sorry FOX 32 News in Chicago. As much as I like watching you on TV on weekday mornings (Jake Hamilton, Darlene Hill, Jon Kelley, Melody Mendez are particularly good), whoever penned the following on your website on June 30 needs to be flogged.

The offending article…

Sniper nest discovered near Kennedy-King College

The Chicago Police Department made a frightening discovery on the South Side of the city last week.

Officials say they found a high-powered semi-automatic weapon about a block from the campus of Kennedy King college, near 64th and Lowe last Thursday. Officers say the nest was found on top of a garage across from a soccer field on campus.

At the scene, officers recovered a fully loaded Mac-10…

“Sniper nest?” “High-powered semi-automatic weapon?” “Mac-10?”

I could’ve sworn the piece originally said “high-powered semi-automatic rifle” when I first read it. But I see it was updated on July 1.

Consider what Elizabeth Kreft reported on TheBlaze website that same day:

The weapon officers recovered at the scene wasn’t a rifle but a fully loaded Mac-10.

“I’m not sure why they are calling it a sniper’s nest, it was a machine gun, not a rifle,” Officer Mike Sullivan, Chicago Police Department spokesman, told TheBlaze.

Sullivan said media members should look up the difference between a Mac-10 and a rifle. “They are very different,” he said…

I was kidding with that bit about the author needing to be flogged. But I concur with the CPD- they definitely need to learn more about firearms (Guy Smith’s free Gun Facts e-book is a good place to start) or risk “cheapening” the FOX 32 brand.

Not like I’m an expert on the subject of guns myself. But I’m not paid to write about such things.

Now if an unpaid intern wrote the article… lesson learned? I hope so. You’d be doing your future field of work and colleagues a favor.

Journalists Firearm Identification

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

Sources:

“Sniper nest discovered near Kennedy-King College.” FOX 32. 30 June 2014. (http://www.myfoxchicago.com/story/25910016/sniper-nest-discovered-near-kennedy-king-college). 3 July 2014.

Kreft, Elizabeth. “‘Sniper Nest’ Found Near College Campus In Chicago — but It’s the Type of Gun Found Close by That May Be More Disturbing.” TheBlaze. 1 July 2014. (http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/07/01/sniper-nest-found-near-college-campus-in-chicago-but-its-the-type-of-gun-found-close-by-that-may-be-more-disturbing/). 1 July 2014.

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Wildings Around Chicago’s Navy Pier, Downtown July 4?

I fear if there’s one night this year where wildings- also referred to as “flash mobs” and “mob attacks”- are likely to occur, it’s tomorrow, Friday, July 4.

And the location? Around Navy Pier and downtown Chicago.

From the Chicago Tribune website this afternoon:

Fireworks enthusiasts and lovers of Independence Day pomp and circumstance, plan to head to Navy Pier early on Friday if you want a good spot for watching the pyrotechnics over the lake…

And with July 4 falling on a Friday with sunny skies and mild temperatures predicted, officials are preparing for huge crowds that will likely fill the pier to capacity long before the 15-minute exhibition starts at 9:30 p.m., according to Navy Pier spokesman Nick Shields…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Wildings have already taken place in the downtown area this year, as I noted last month.

If the criminal activity does in fact occur, don’t be surprised if the Chicago news media ignores it. Or no video of it exists out in cyberspace- as those with even half a brain would have been preoccupied trying to steer clear of the feral youngsters.

Your best bet for any info would be Second City Cop later in the day Saturday- if SCC is blogging over the long holiday weekend.

Here’s hoping for a peaceful, quiet night. On the Fourth of July, no less.

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

Source:

“125,000 expected at Navy Pier for fireworks.” Chicago Tribune. 3 July 2014. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-125000-expected-at-navy-pier-for-fireworks-20140703,0,6815249.story). 3 July 2014.

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Thursday, July 3rd, 2014 Crime, Mainstream Media, Public Safety No Comments

2.9 Percent GDP Contraction Casts Doubt On Sustainability Of Economic ‘Recovery’

Remember that U.S. GDP “hiccup” from the first quarter?

It’s been revised. And let me just tell you, barf-o-rama baby. Barf-o-rama.

From a Reuters piece on the CNBC website earlier today:

The U.S. economy contracted at a much steeper pace than previously estimated in the first quarter, but there are indications that growth has since rebounded strongly.

The Commerce Department said on Wednesday gross domestic product fell at a 2.9 percent annual rate, the economy’s worst performance in five years, instead of the 1.0 percent pace it had reported last month.

While the economy’s woes have been largely blamed on an unusually cold winter, the magnitude of the revisions suggest other factors at play beyond the weather

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Wow, did I just read that last part right? Usually the MSM plays along with that oft-used weather excuse as bad government economic reports are concerned.

The general feeling I’m getting tonight from mainstream media outlets is one of “don’t worry, be happy.” Of course, damage control is in overdrive. Jeffry Bartash reported on the MarketWatch website:

The revised GDP report briefly stunned Wall Street and clearly unsettled the White House. President Obama’s chief economic adviser, Jason Furman, cast doubt on the report and argued the economy is much stronger than the first-quarter contraction implied.

Investors, for their part, shrugged off the backward-looking report. The economy appears to have rebounded in the second quarter and economists polled by MarketWatch predict growth will turn positive again, with a 3.8% increase…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

3.8 percent increase in GDP in the second quarter? After revisions? It will be interesting to see if they’re right.

Personally, I feel that abysmal first quarter GDP report is a worrisome sign the sustained economic “recovery” we keep being told about is getting long in the tooth.

“Taper” to go full reverse soon, like “crash prophet” Peter Schiff has been predicting?

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

Sources:

“Bad to worse: US economy shrank more than expected in Q1.” Reuters. 25 June 2014. (http://www.cnbc.com/id/101787838). 25 June 2014.

Bartash, Jeffry. “Economy’s stumble in first quarter historic.” MarketWatch. 25 June 2014. (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-growth-contracted-29-in-first-quarter-2014-06-25). 25 June 2014.

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Wildings Return To Downtown Chicago

I’ve been following and blogging about flash mobs/mob attacks/wildings in the downtown Chicago area since January 2011. And here are two things I’ve noticed:

1. The Chicago mainstream media generally seems to ignore these incidents.

2. The growing number of trolls on the comment area of the popular Chicago police blog Second City Cop keep asking for video evidence of the criminal activity.

Now I can’t speak for others, but if I find myself in a situation where feral kids are acting up nearby, I’ll be too busy watching after myself/loved ones to worry about shooting some stupid video.

Besides, I own a simple flip phone.

But getting back on track, after a long day my I turned on the 9 o’clock news on FOX 32 and caught a segment about the City of Chicago preparing for summertime wilding. In the piece, the Chicago Police Department acknowledged the wilding from last weekend that Second City Cop/commenters have been talking about (suck it, trolls). Craig Wall reported on the FOX 32 website tonight:

Summer has come to mean more than just scores of shoppers and visitors on Michigan Avenue. It now also brings plenty of extra police officers to discourage would be troublemakers.

Friday night police arrested one man for unknown reasons, but the bigger concern is the mobs of young people who have been terrorizing visitors on warm summer weekends, and giving this vital tourist destination a bad reputation for safety…

Last weekend police sources said there were problems in and around Michigan Avenue, a mob of young people overran the McDonalds at State and Chicago, stealing food orders from patrons and running out.

And in an unrelated incident, a woman who confronted a thug got her car window smashed out. Police hope a very visible police presence will discourage any problems and make visitors feel secure…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

FOX 32 News Chicago
“CPD Out In Full Force To Deter Crime, Violence”
FOX 32 Video

Planning to visit downtown Chicago soon? It’s still generally safe, I hear. Just be careful and aware of one’s surroundings at all time while in the area, particularly on nice weekend nights.

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

Source:

Wall, Craig. “CPD Out In Full Force To Deter Crime, Violence.” FOX 32. 6 Jun . 2014. (http://www.myfoxchicago.com/story/25716966/cpd-out-in-full-force-to-deter-crime-violence). 6 Jun. 2014.

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‘Gun Reform’ Replacing ‘Gun Control’?

Late last night, I spotted something interesting that scrolled across my Internet service provider’s home page. It was the picture of a firearm with the following caption:

Gun Reform Legislation

The first thing I thought to myself was- pardon my French- “What the hell is gun reform?”

Letting my curiosity get the better of me, I opened up the accompanying article- which, ironically, comes from the Agence France-Presse. The AFP reported last night:

US lawmakers moved to boost funding of the national background check system for firearm sales, a small but symbolic step toward broader gun law reform following recent mass shootings…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Okay, so the AFP was actually talking about “gun law reform” (why that headline then?). But the activity described in their piece has nothing to do with reform- let alone reforming a gun law- from what I read.

My curiosity grew. A quick search engine query turned up two more recent articles that mentioned “gun reform.”

There was this editorial from The Berkshire Eagle (Pittsfield, Massachusetts) on Wednesday:

Our Opinion: A timely gun reform bill

House leadership’s bill strengthening Massachusetts’ gun laws was revealed Tuesday… With this legislative session ending on July 31, the House must pass this bill, reconcile it with Senate legislation and get it to the desk of Governor Patrick, who supports further gun reform

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

And this Thursday on the website of The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Kentucky), where the section headline proclaimed:

Letters- Gun reform, JCPS spending

Here’s what I think. Since “gun control”- in name and action- is considered quite toxic by many Americans, the term is now being replaced by the less menacing sounding “gun reform.”

And who in their right mind could possibly be against reform?

I suspect we’ll be hearing/seeing this term used a lot more going forward.

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

Sources:

“US House moves to bolster gun background checks.” AFP. 29 May 2014. (http://news.yahoo.com/us-house-moves-bolster-gun-background-check-system-233357263.html). 30 May 2014.

“Our Opinion: A timely gun reform bill.” The Berkshire Eagle. 28 May 2014. (http://www.berkshireeagle.com/editorials/ci_25847547/our-opinion-timely-gun-reform-bill). 30 May 2014.

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Friday, May 30th, 2014 Firearms, Gun Rights, Mainstream Media No Comments

Sino-Russian Natural Gas Deal Blow To U.S. Dollar Supremacy?

“The Obama administration is playing down an increasingly warm relationship between its main global rivals, China and Russia, that it may have inadvertently encouraged.

U.S. officials maintain there is nothing to fear from the growing alliance between Moscow and Beijing, even as each throws its weight around in neighboring regions like Ukraine and the South China Sea and at international forums like the United Nations, where on Thursday they double-vetoed the latest in a series of Security Council resolutions on Syria.

Yet when coupled with growing cooperation between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, in other areas- notably, a new $400 billion natural gas deal and apparent agreement on the crisis in Ukraine- many believe Russia and China may now or may soon represent a powerful new alliance challenging not only the United States, but also the Western democratic tradition that the U.S. has championed globally…”

-Associated Press, May 23, 2014

You may have heard about that $400 billion natural gas deal that was just struck between China and Russia. Or maybe you didn’t, as I’ve noticed the mainstream media hasn’t really been talking about it too much. Most of the outlets that did neglected to talk about the potential ramifications for the U.S. dollar.

There were exceptions. From the BBC News website on May 22:

Some papers are also analysing the impact of the deal on the world currency market.

A commentary in the Beijing Youth Daily says the deal will probably encourage more countries to not trade in US dollars if China and Russia decide to switch to clearing payments in Russian roubles and the yuan.

“The world economy and finance will then embark on a process to get rid of the US dollar, and the dominance of the dollar will gradually lose its support. The US will then face more challenges in its ability to control global economics and politics,” it says…

From Liam Halligan on The Telegraph (UK) website yesterday:

The real danger, in my view, is rather more abstract — but deadly important nevertheless. If Russia’s “pivot to Asia” results in Moscow and Beijing trading oil between them in a currency other than the dollar, that will represent a major change in how the global economy operates and a marked loss of power for the US and its allies.

With the dollar as the world’s petrocurrency, it also remains the reserve currency of choice for central banks globally. As such, the US is currently able to borrow with “exorbitant privilege”, as it has for decades, simply printing money to pay off foreign creditors.

With China now the world’s biggest oil importer and the US increasingly stressing domestic production, the days of dollar-priced energy, and therefore dollar-dominance, look numbered. Beijing has recently struck numerous agreements with major trading partners such as Brazil that bypass the dollar. Moscow and Beijing have also set up rouble-yuan swap facilities that push the greenback out of the picture.

If Russia and China now decide to drop dollar energy pricing totally, America’s reserve currency status could unravel fast, seriously undermining the US Treasury market and causing a world of pain for the West. This won’t happen tomorrow or next year. It’s unlikely even by 2020. But by announcing this deal, Russia and China turned the screw half a twist more…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Then there’s this from Max Keiser, an American filmmaker and host of the Keiser Report, a financial show on RT. From The Washington Times website earlier today:

He said the $400 billion, 30-year deal will further the strategic goals of Moscow and Beijing to diminish the status of the U.S. dollar by conducting world trade in critical commodities such as oil and gas using other currencies.

Russia is the world’s biggest producer of commodities such as crude oil, gold and titanium. China is the world’s biggest consumer of these commodities.

Both countries have chafed for years at having to conduct purchases and sales in dollars, as is customary worldwide. The gas deal announced in Beijing on Wednesday would be the first major commodities contract to be settled in Russian rubles and Chinese yuan rather than dollars.

“This means the U.S. dollar’s days as the world reserve currency are numbered,” said Mr. Keiser, noting that Russia and China have been investing heavily in gold.

Many analysts question whether Moscow and Beijing can succeed in displacing the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. If that happens, however, it likely would usher in a period of global financial instability and force Americans to pay much more for the massive amounts of imported energy, Mr. Keiser said…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

According to the Economist Intelligence Unit- the research and analysis division of The Economist Group, the sister company to The Economist newspaper- on May 22, it has been reported payments for the gas will be made in Chinese yuan rather than U.S. dollars.

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

Sources:

“China media: Russia gas deal.” BBC News. 22 May 2014. (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-27514395). 25 May 2014.

Halligan, Liam. “Russia-China gas deal could ignite a shift in global trading.” The Telegraph. 24 May. 2014. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/liamhalligan/10854595/Russia-China-gas-deal-could-ignite-a-shift-in-global-trading.html). 25 May 2014.

Hill, Patrice. “Russia’s Putin gains strategic victory with Chinese natural gas deal.” The Washington Times. 25 May 2014. (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/may/25/russias-putin-gains-strategic-victory-with-chinese/). 25 My 2014.

“The Sino-Russian gas deal.” Economist Intelligence Unit. 22 May 2014. (http://www.eiu.com/industry/article/431836627/the-sino-russian-gas-deal/2014-05-22) 25 May 2014.

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Peter Schiff Warns Of Coming Inflation, Accompanying Propaganda

“Crash prophet” Peter Schiff sees inflation getting worse in America. And with it, Washington, the Fed, and the mainstream media spinning rising prices as something that’s beneficial for the general public. The Euro Pacific Capital CEO and Chief Global Strategist added a new entry Tuesday on his YouTube video blog The Schiff Report, and warned viewers of the following:

It’s going to get worse. And, what is the Fed going to do about it? Because the problem is, no matter how high that inflation number gets, they can never admit it’s a problem. Because if they admit that it’s a problem, they’ve got to do something about it. But they can’t do anything about it. Because if they want to fight inflation, what tools do they have? Just one. They’ve got to raise interest rates, which means they’ve got to end quantitative easing. And in order to raise interest rates, they’ve got to start selling their bonds and their mortgages back into the market. That will collapse the real estate market, collapse the stock market, send the economy into a sharp recession, and bring about a financial crisis worse than 2008. So because they can’t do that, they can’t do anything. So they’re going to have to tolerate inflation, no matter how high it gets. They’re going to have to convince us that it’s good for us, no matter how high it gets. They’re going to say, “Oh, well, maybe it’s transitory,” “It’s because of the weather,” “Oh, you know, we had such low inflation for so long, we need a few years of higher inflation to even it all out.” Who knows what kind of excuses Janet Yellen is going to come up with to rationalize why whatever the inflation number is- no matter how high it is- it’s always going to be a good thing?

But I wonder if the media- if the guys at Bloomberg or the guys at The New York Times or the AP or the Financial Times- will ever see through this charade. Will they ever see through this smokescreen and come out and call the Fed out on this? Will they ever say, “You know what, we’ve got too much inflation- this is not good. Do something about it.” And when the Fed doesn’t do something about it, that’s going to be a big problem for the dollar. Because that’s when people realize that this is QE Infinity, that inflation is never going to stop, that the dollar’s value is going to erode away in perpetuity. That’s when the bottom drops out of the market. That’s when the real crisis comes in. Because now the dollar really starts to cave, and puts more pressure on the bond market. That means the Fed has to print a lot more money. A lot more dollars that nobody wants to buy the Treasuries that nobody wants to keep the market from collapsing. That accelerates the inflationary spiral, and puts the Fed in a real box. Because then, it just can’t print the dollar into oblivion. It can’t turn it into monopoly money. Then it has to slam on the breaks. Then it has to really jack up interest rates. Not just a few hundred basis points- ten percent, fifteen percent, twenty percent. Paul Volcker style. Of course, the medicine won’t go down nearly as smoothly as it did back then. Not that it was so great tasting- we had a pretty bad recession in 1980. But that’s nothing compared to what we’re going to go through, because we have a lot more debt now than we had then- it’s not even close. We don’t have the viable economy. We don’t have the trade surpluses or the current accounts surpluses. And we don’t have a federal government that has a long-term financing on the national debt. It’s all financed with T-bills. And we have all these adjustable rate mortgages. We have all these corporations, individuals that are so levered-up. We’ve got all these student loans and credit card debt. We have all this stuff that we didn’t have back in the 1980s that we’re going to have to deal with- thanks to the Fed.


“Media Reports Rising Food Prices as Positive News”
YouTube Video

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

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Peter Schiff On Gold: ‘Most Likely Prices Have Bottomed’

A little more than a week ago, Euro Pacific Capital’s Peter Schiff- who correctly called the housing bust and 2008 economic crisis- told CNBC viewers that gold prices would eventually head north of $5,000 an ounce (blogged about here).

Schiff did an e-mail interview with MarketWatch this week, and the CEO of Euro Pacific Precious Metals talked more about the yellow metal. From that exchange:

Q: What would you say to investors who are discouraged by gold’s performance so far this year? (Futures are prices up around 7% year to date, but only partially making up for last year’s plunge.)

Be patient. Many investors in the 90’s believed that gold was a dead asset class. But in the 10 years from 2001 to 2011, gold increased almost 900%. The moves come in waves.

Q: With prices currently under $1,300 an ounce, have prices hit bottom for this year? Is gold a bargain at these levels — is it a good time to buy now? Please explain.

Most likely prices have bottomed, as too many speculators are looking for lower prices. The fundamental case for gold has also never been stronger. From a gold short seller’s perspective, this will prove to be the equivalent of a perfect storm. Their losses will be severe…

I’ve been following gold closely for a decade now. I can’t remember any time in those last ten years when the amount of hate directed at the precious metal was ever greater. Particularly in the mainstream financial media and accompanying reader comment sections. Just check out some of the comments in the MarketWatch article I’ve been discussing if you don’t believe me.

I can’t help but wonder sometimes if paid “trolls” aren’t out in force these days in the various comment areas and forums with the mission of talking down gold and its highest-profile supporters at any chance they get.

Then again, many of these comments could just be coming from individuals who fear a rising gold price for some reason or another.

“Where you stand is where you sit”?

I just know one thing. I don’t see stocks catching nearly the same kind of flak as this particular “shiny lump of metal,” as one “correspondent” recently called gold.

Like Mr. Schiff pointed out- before the recent pullback, the price of one ounce of that “shiny lump of metal” increased almost 900 percent in the decade prior.

Anyone want to give me their “shiny lumps of metal”? It’s going to plummet past $1,000 to almost nothing anyway- if one believes what’s claimed in many comments and forums these days.

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.)

Source:

Saefong, Myra P. “Peter Schiff: Reckless Fed may push gold to $5,000.” MarketWatch.com. 25 Apr. 2014. (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/peter-schiff-reckless-fed-may-push-gold-to-5000-2014-04-25?pagenumber=1). 25 Apr. 2014.

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Chicago Gangs Completely Out Of Control?

“Mayor Rahm Emanuel today decried the weekend violence that left at least nine people dead and at least 36 wounded in Chicago, calling for adults around the city to instill the right values in their children and to stand up for the safety of their neighborhoods…”

-Chicago Tribune website, April 21, 2014

This past weekend, I read some interesting takes on the Chicago-area violence from individuals much closer to it than most. Billy Briggs of the The Daily Telegraph (UK) wrote Saturday:

It’s an opinion I hear later from another gangbanger with the Black P Stones. The Stones are one of the Latin Kings’ rivals and have about 30,000 members.

In the suburb of Maywood on the city’s west side, I interviewed an ex-con called Anthony, better known on the streets by his nickname, Chopper, an allusion to his role in cutting illegal drugs before distribution…

He says Chicago’s latest problems are a result of gang discipline breaking down and the rise of a new generation of gangbangers who are completely out of control.

All the structure in the gangs is gone, so there is no leadership. There is so much shooting going on, nobody knows where to turn. It ain’t the older guys, it’s the young guys, as young as 13. It wasn’t like that in the 80s or 90s. This is new. Some of these guys just shoot for fun.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

This perceived lack of structure and leadership was also highlighted in a different Chicago gang piece that appeared on The Guardian (UK) website this weekend. John Swaine discussed the recent shooting death of area rapper Mario Hess aka “Blood Money” and “Big Glo,” and reported Saturday:

In the 1990s, the aggressive jailing of gang leaders left behind a more fractured setup that is even more difficult to control.

“Back then, two of the heads could stand up and say ‘OK: enough, we gonna have a peace treaty,’” said Renaldo Hess, 43, who managed Blood Money before his murder last week.

“Now, it’s much more chaotic.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)


“Chicago news crew catches shooting on tape”
YouTube Video

So the jailing of gang leaders created an environment today in the Chicago-area gangs where structure and discipline is severely lacking. Toss in some feral urban youth into the mix- and the rampant gang-related violence that’s constantly in the local news these days makes a lot more sense.

Kind of messed up we have to hear that from individuals on/around the inside and from overseas publications.

Whereas here in the Chicago area, all we ever get from the politicians, their disciples, and their presstitutes is that a lot of the violence comes from not enough gun “control.”

Yet, I’d be surprised to find out if even one FOID card holder was involved in any of that carnage over the past weekend.

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

Sources:

Briggs, Billy. “Armed and ready in Murder City, USA.” The Daily Telegraph. 19 Apr. 2014. (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11240669). 20 Apr. 2014.

Swaine, John. “Chicago gang shootings go on as Mayor Emanuel boasts crime at ‘record low'” The Guardian. 19 Apr. 2014. (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/19/chicago-deadly-shooting-guns-rahm-emanuel-2014). 21 Apr. 2014.

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