Mainstream Media

Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy On IL Concealed Carry Licenses: ‘Stand By And Watch What Happens’

Many Chicagoans already know that Chicago Police Department Superintendent Garry McCarthy is not a big fan of Illinois Concealed Carry Licenses, or CCLs. And the former New York cop is predicting things will get ugly with these additional guns on the street- despite their being in the possession of vetted, law-abiding residents who’ve received more training than a number of their counterparts in the 49 others states where concealed-carry became legal prior to Illinois. From the website of Chicago CBS affiliate Channel 2 this past Tuesday:

McCarthy, who has been one of the most vocal critics of the law allowing Illinois residents to carry concealed firearms in public, warned there will be confrontations that could escalate into a deadly shooting – similar to January, when a retired police officer shot and killed a man who had been using his cell phones during the previews at a movie theater; or when a Florida man shot four teens – killing one – during an argument over loud rap music in 2012.

“There are going to be confrontation situations. We’re hearing stories across the country about people getting shot over ‘thug music,’ right? Or somebody throwing popcorn in a movie theater,” he said. “These things are going to come, as sure as we’re standing here.”

He said deadly shootings involving people supposedly acting in self-defense will be seen in Illinois now that residents can carry guns in public.

Stand by and watch what happens. The answer to gun violence is not more guns,” McCarthy said…

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

A few things worth noting here…

“We’re hearing stories across the country about people getting shot over ‘thug music,’ right?” Stories? Or story? If we’re talking about recent shootings over “thug music,” I’m only aware of the Jacksonville, Florida, incident that took place on November 23, 2012, which the mainstream media and anti-gun/gun “control” supporters have been desperately trying to equate with the Trayvon Martin shooting.

“Or somebody throwing popcorn in a movie theater?” The individual charged with shooting the popcorn-tosser is a retired Tampa Police Department captain. While studying the gun “debate” these past several years, I’ve observed calls to no longer exempt retired/separated civilian law enforcement officers from those restrictions placed on other civilians (military police personnel I’ve worked in the past were quick to make that point) regarding the ownership/carrying of firearms. The incident involving Captain Reeves may have added fuel to the flames as far as this exemption is concerned. I’m not so sure Superintendent McCarthy wants to keep dragging up the incident involving Captain Reeves, lest more attention be focused on the above (although I understand the retired police officer did possess a valid Florida concealed-carry permit).

“Stand by and watch what happens.” Superintendent McCarthy predicts “deadly shootings involving people supposedly acting in self-defense will be seen in Illinois now that residents can carry guns in public.” Possibly.

To which I add this forecast. Based on the experiences of the 49 others states with legal concealed-carry, there won’t be “blood running in the streets” as the anti-gun/gun “control” crowd would like to make you think is going to happen.

Instead, numerous acts of violence will be thwarted by Illinois CCL holders.

And to tweak what Superintendent McCarthy said earlier, deadly shootings involving people acting in self-defense will be seen in Illinois now that residents can carry guns in public.

Criminals are bound to get perforated by law-abiding citizens in this changed environment more in favor of the victims.

All the while, I’ll be playing the world’s smallest violin…

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

Source:

“McCarthy Warns Of Dangers From Concealed Carry Law.” CBS 2. 4 March 2014. (http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2014/03/04/mccarthy-warns-of-dangers-from-concealed-carry-law/). 7 Mar. 2014.

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HSBC: China, Not Investment Demand From West, Now Steering Gold Prices

Sounds like China may be firmly in the driver’s seat these days when it comes to steering gold prices. Yue Li reported in The Wall Street Journal’s MoneyBeat blog this morning:

China’s buying of gold jewelry, coins and bars is now the biggest driver of prices, not investment demand from the West, according to HSBC Global Research.

“We would argue that physical demand trends in the emerging world will largely define gold’s price movements this year,” HSBC analysts James Steel and Howard Wen said in a research note.

China alone can take up the equivalent of half of the global gold mine output, while a possible recovery in Indian demand could also act as a boost for the yellow metal as long as the Indian authorities reduce import tariffs on gold.

Investment demand, typically coming from gold exchange-traded funds, had long been considered the sole reason behind the gold’s decade-long bull run…

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Long-time observers of gold have recognized China’s growing influence in this market.

A question that’s probably on their minds is, will Chinese demand continue to steer prices?

Consider what Jennifer Schonberger wrote on the FOX Business website back on February 21:

China overtook India last year as the world’s largest buyer of physical gold, according to the World Gold Council. In 2013, Chinese demand for gold bars, coins and jewelry soared 32% to a record high, as China imported 1,066 metric tonnes of the precious metal, or more than one third of the 2,968 metric tonnes of gold produced globally.

And last year’s record wasn’t a one-hit wonder. This year, the World Gold Council expects China to remain the world’s largest consumer of physical gold. While down slightly from last year’s record level, the research body projects China will still gobble up a robust 1,000 tonnes to 1,100 tonnes of gold in 2014. China accounts for roughly 25% of global demand for gold and is likely to boost its share in coming years. The stock of gold in China is less than half of India and consumption per head in China is still catching up to other markets.

The Chinese gold rush comes after China’s government lifted restrictions on gold ownership. Until 2002, Beijing barred citizens from owning gold bars and coins. Culturally there’s been an appreciation for gold for a long time in China, but citizens weren’t able to access it to the extent they have over the past 12 years. Now that China has lifted restrictions, the government has unleashed pent-up demand…

I blogged last April what the demand for the precious metal has looked like in China at times.

In the meantime, the financial mainstream media here in the West keeps running pieces about gold’s imminent demise. And no doubt plenty of Americans will keep believing it.

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

Sources:

Li, Yue. “China Now Biggest Driver of Gold Prices, HSBC Says.” MoneyBeat. 4 Mar. 2014. (http://blogs.wsj.com/moneybeat/2014/03/04/china-now-biggest-driver-of-gold-prices-hsbc-says/). 4 Mar. 2014.

Schonberger, Jennifer. “Going for the Gold: Chinese Demand Could Be Gold’s Long-Term Bid.” FOX Business. 21 Feb. 2014. (http://www.foxbusiness.com/investing/2014/02/21/going-for-gold-chinese-demand-could-be-golds-long-term-bid/). 4 Mar. 2014.

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Chicago, The Writing Is On The Wall

The city of Chicago is in for some tough times down the road.

“The Machine” keeps putting a positive spin on the city’s deteriorating financial condition, but the numbers don’t lie. I’ve rattled them off time and time again, the most recent being Tuesday. The Chicago press (sans Fran Spielman over at the Chicago Sun-Times and a few others) has even caught on, publishing articles with more frequency these days that reveal just how ugly the city’s finances truly are. Case in point, a Chicago Tribune editorial entitled “Chicago is on the road to Detroit” that appeared on their website yesterday. From the piece:

By the most recent numbers, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s government owes $13.9 billion in general obligation bond debt, plus $19.5 billion in unfunded pension obligations. Add in Chicago Public Schools and City Hall’s other “sister agencies” and you’re talking billions more in debts that Chicago taxpayers owe. Yet here we are on a Wednesday when the mayor probably will get approval from a derelict City Council to issue another up-to-$900 million in bonds backed by property taxes — and to double, to $1 billion, the amount of short-term bank money his administration can borrow to raise cash…

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

By the way, Mayor Emanuel got that approval. Fran Spielman reported on the Chicago Sun-Times website Wednesday morning:

Without a word of debate, the City Council on Wednesday blindly added $1.9 billion to Chicago’s mountain of debt even though aldermen have no idea how the money will be spent.

The vote was 43-to-4. “No” votes were cast by Aldermen Bob Fioretti (2nd), Scott Waguespack (32nd), Brendan Reilly (42nd) and John Arena (45th)…

Now, I’ve heard/read some Chicagoans say something along the lines of don’t worry about the city’s finances, Governor Quinn and the State of Illinois or President Barack Obama and the federal government will ride to the rescue of their fellow Democrats in control of the “Windy City.”

To which I say, I’m not so sure. Is there anyone in America who doesn’t know how much of an economic basket case the “Land of Lincoln” is? A $100.5 billion public pension debt and the worst credit rating of all 50 U.S. states routinely make headlines across the country. As for the federal government, I keep encountering the words “insolvent” and “bankrupt” more and more these days to describe the nation’s finances. And don’t think for a second other economically-challenged cities across the country won’t cry foul to the Oval Office and their elected representatives if Chicago is bailed out. I find it hard to believe the State of Illinois or the Feds could come to Chicago’s rescue without there being serious financial and political repercussions.

Chicago, the writing is on the wall. By the looks of things, that great city where I was born and from which I recently just left is now past the proverbial point of no return, no longer looking capable of effectively navigating the growing financial crisis.

While I don’t foresee the city’s death, I do envision a continuation of its already gradual decline until a point of fiscal implosion is reached. Will it be Detroit-esque in its bottoming out? I don’t know. But it sure as hell won’t be pretty.

Faced with such a scenario, will Chicagoans choose to stay and contend with the almost certain prospect of much higher taxes and fees in conjunction with curtailed city services (public safety comes to mind here), or will they depart the “Second City” like I did?

One might think the latter (going), but I’m sure there will be plenty of the former (staying).

In the interests of surviving and prospering, which is the better choice?

I don’t think the answer is as clear-cut as many readers might think. And it’s something I’ll be exploring and blogging about more in the coming days.

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

Sources:

“Chicago is on the road to Detroit.” Chicago Tribune. 5 Feb. 2014. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-chicago-debt-edit-0205-20140205,0,3757189.story). 6 Feb. 2014.

Spielman, Fran. “City Council OKs going $1.9 billion deeper into debt.” Chicago Sun-Times. 5 Feb. 2014. (http://www.suntimes.com/25398572-761/city-council-oks-going-19-billion-deeper-into-debt.html). 6 Feb. 2014.

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Retired BP Geologist Warns Global Oil Production Declining Over 4 Percent Annually

It’s been a long time since I last talked about peak oil production. Peak what? Yeah, the mainstream media would rather run stories about alternative energy and “unconventional” oil production, as if it will somehow make up for declining “conventional” oil production before we’re hit with another energy crunch.

I’ve been following this topic for close to a decade now. And some pretty informed individuals have deduced not only is the era of “cheap” crude oil gone, but global oil production is in the midst of a steady decline. Dr. Nafeez Ahmed wrote on The Guardian (UK) website on December 23:

A former British Petroleum (BP) geologist has warned that the age of cheap oil is long gone, bringing with it the danger of “continuous recession” and increased risk of conflict and hunger.

At a lecture on ‘Geohazards’ earlier this month as part of the postgraduate Natural Hazards for Insurers course at University College London (UCL), Dr. Richard G. Miller, who worked for BP from 1985 before retiring in 2008, said that official data from the International Energy Agency (IEA), US Energy Information Administration (EIA), International Monetary Fund (IMF), among other sources, showed that conventional oil had most likely peaked around 2008.

Dr. Miller critiqued the official industry line that global reserves will last 53 years at current rates of consumption, pointing out that “peaking is the result of declining production rates, not declining reserves.” Despite new discoveries and increasing reliance on unconventional oil and gas, 37 countries are already post-peak, and global oil production is declining at about 4.1% per year, or 3.5 million barrels a day (b/d) per year

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Dr. Miller, who used to prepare the annual BP in-house projections of future oil supply, not only agrees with the conservative conclusions of an earlier study by the government-funded UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) which predicted “a sustained decline in global conventional production appears probable before 2030 and there is significant risk of this beginning before 2020,” but is dismissive of shale oil and gas preventing a decline in global oil production.

Dr. Ahmed wrote an incredibly insightful piece, which you should read in its entirety over at The Guardian website here, since this really isn’t on the radar of the American press despite EIA data showing it should be a concern.

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

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Chicago At The Tipping Point

“There should be no doubt that I predict tough times ahead for the city. But it’s not just me who harbors such suspicion. Even the Chicago FOX affiliate, Channel 32 News, is running a series called ‘Chicago at the Tipping Point’ these days.”

-Survival And Prosperity, July 24, 2013

FOX 32 News in Chicago has been pretty busy with their “Chicago at the Tipping Point” project since I wrote the above. What is it? Political Editor Mike Flannery wrote on their website back on May 30:

FOX 32 News is starting a new series: “Chicago at the Tipping Point.”

We know — as you do — that Chicago is at a critical point, where things can either get better, or much worse. We want to know what you think about which way things will go.

Joblessness and violent drug gangs? Lousy schools and families fleeing? We’ll be looking at those connections in our city…

Recently, I happened to catch a series special entitled “Special Report: Jobs And The Economy.” Released at the end of November and hosted by Flannery and former FOX 32 News anchorwoman Robin Robinson, this production further confirmed for me that Chicago faces some major economic headwinds going forward, potentially making the city’s financial position even more precarious than it already is:

Chicago News and Weather | FOX 32 News
“Special Report: Jobs And The Economy”
FOX 32 Video

The special is worth checking out when you can spare 33 minutes and change.

In the meantime, for more information about the “Chicago at the Tipping Point” project, visit the FOX 32 News site here.

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

Source:

Flannery, Mike. “Chicago at the Tipping Point: New FOX 32 News Series.” FOX 32 News. 30 May 2013. (http://www.myfoxchicago.com/story/22463117/2013/05/30/chicago-at-the-tipping-point-flannery-violence-drugs-schools-economy-jobs). 24 Dec. 2013.

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Tuesday, December 24th, 2013 Employment, Mainstream Media No Comments

Quote For The Week

“It’s been a bad week for MSNBC, and a bad week for serious journalism. First, the network learned to regret giving Alec Baldwin a job after he called a photographer a word that is more than a little homophobic. MSNBC have since suspended his show for two weeks. Now, Martin Bashir has scraped the bottom of the proverbial barrel after launching a tirade against Sarah Palin (“America’s resident dunce”) that has to be seen to be believed. And you’re warned: it is stomach churning.

The beloved liberal journalist used his afternoon TV show to deliver a somewhat justified critique of a comparison Palin made between national debt and slavery. His analysis starts crudely and rudely enough, but it ends with a truly shocking suggestion that someone defecate in the former governor’s mouth to teach her a lesson. I’m not making this up. Quote:

Given her well-established reputation as a world class idiot, it’s hardly surprising that [Palin] should choose to mention slavery in a way that is abominable to anyone who knows anything about its barbaric history.

So here’s an example. One of the most comprehensive first-person accounts of slavery comes from the personal diary of a man called Thomas Thistlewood, who kept copious notes for 39 years. Thistlewood was the son of a tenant farmer, who arrived on the island of Jamaica in April 1750, and assumed the position of overseer at a major plantation. What is most shocking about Thistlewood’s diary is not simply the fact that he assumes the right to own and possess other human beings, but is the sheer cruelty and brutality of his regime. In 1756, he records that a slave named Darby ‘catched eating kanes; had him well flogged and pickled, then made Hector, another slave, s-h-i-t in his mouth.’ This became known as ‘Darby’s Dose,’ a punishment invented by Thistlewood that spoke only of inhumanity. And he mentions a similar incident in 1756, his time in relation to a man he refers to as Punch. ‘Flogged Punch well, and then washed and rubbed salt pickle, lime juice and bird pepper. Made Negro Joe piss in his eyes and mouth’. I could go on, but you get the point. When Mrs. Palin invokes slavery, she doesn’t just prove her rank ignorance. She confirms if anyone truly qualified for a dose of discipline from Thomas Thistlewood, she would be the outstanding candidate.

‘If anyone truly qualified for a dose of discipline from Thomas Thistlewood, she would be the outstanding candidate.’ Wow.

There’s a popular myth that all the hate in US politics comes from the Right. Here’s proof that there’s plenty on the Left, too.”

-Dr. Tim Stanley, British historian and author, writing on The Telegraph (UK) website Saturday.

By the way, from Dr. Stanley’s personal website:

I love America deeply and I suspect she is the last hope for mankind (I really don’t want to have to learn Chinese).

Too funny.

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

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Signs Of The Time, Part 70

You may have heard of the following wacky story out of the Nisqually Indian Reservation some 60 miles south of Seattle. Eric M. Johnson of Reuters reported yesterday:

A 93-year-old Washington state man, whose dog returned home with a human leg it had found, buried it in his back yard on an Indian reservation to avoid being suspected of a crime, a local official and media reports said…

Bill Flowers picked up the leg brought home by his dog, Liberty, and thought of calling the police, he told KOMO-TV at the weekend. But fearing they would suspect him of foul play, he buried it in his backyard, where it remained for several days until he told his daughter, who urged him to call the police.

“I was afraid to call. I’m 93 years old. I didn’t want to have to go to the pen for something I didn’t do,” Flowers told the television station.

Many people will probably just dismiss this story as being another one of those weird tales frequently encountered on the Internet.

However, I find it disturbing that a 93-year-old-man is afraid to contact local law enforcement about his pooch’s gruesome find.

“I didn’t want to have to go to the pen for something I didn’t do.”

A case of someone watching too many movies/too much TV, or is this how Americans have come to view the police?

All I know is, what’s shown on the nightly news doesn’t exactly conjure up images of “Officer Friendly” for those on Main Street:

Shemagh Cop

Is that a shemagh that sheriff’s deputy is wearing?

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

Source:

Johnson, Eric M. “Dog finds human remains, owner buries leg in backyard.” Reuters. 12 Nov. 2013. (http://news.yahoo.com/dog-finds-human-remains-owner-buries-leg-backyard-094716764.html). 13 Nov. 2013.

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Chicago’s Debt Crisis Finally Gets Major Exposure

Early Sunday morning, I mozied on down to the end of my driveway to pick up my Chicago Tribune. After eating a little breakfast, I busted out the paper and saw the following headline in big, bold letters on the front page:

City’s debt splurge: ‘It’s like a cancer’

Well, it’s about time Chicago’s debt crisis gets major exposure in a mainstream media outlet.

Of course, Survival And Prosperity readers have known about this growing debacle for some time now (a big hat tip goes out to Fran Spielman over at the Chicago Sun-Times). Back in July 2012 I noted Chicago’s long-term debt was over $27 billion. This July, I blogged that this figure was now up to nearly $29 billion, or $10,780 for every city resident ($780 more per Chicagoan in just one year). So the debt splurge wasn’t just a feature of the Daley regime.

Regarding that Tribune piece, Patricia Callahan, Heather Gillers, and Jason Grotto reported:

A reckless pattern of borrowing by city leaders has undermined Chicago’s future by ignoring the most basic tenets of municipal finance and piling billions of dollars of debt onto the shoulders of future generations, a Tribune investigation has found.

Chicago officials abused a powerful financial tool intended to build for the future — issuance of bonds backed by property taxes — as they spent nearly $10 billion in 13 years with few restrictions and virtually no oversight.

The Tribune’s unprecedented examination of city finances reveals that Chicago built mountains of long-term debt from thousands of problematic short-term purchases including software that was soon obsolete, spare parts for vehicles and items you might find on a weekend shopping list: trash bins, flowers, even bags for dog waste…

When the Tribune analyzed $9.8 billion in proceeds from general obligation bonds issued from 2000 to 2012, it found that nearly half of the money went to paper over growing budget problems.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Any doubts I still may have had about Chicago being in serious financial trouble were dispelled when I read that last bit about half the bond money going to “paper over growing budget problems.”

As to the culprits in this financial caper? Callahan, Gillers, and Grotto added:

Most of Chicago’s debt woes can be traced to the long reign of former Mayor Richard M. Daley, but the borrowing he relied on so heavily has continued under Rahm Emanuel as his administration gropes for ways to deal with the financial problems it inherited…

There is no limit on the city’s general obligation debt, and the sole check and balance is the City Council, a body that rarely pushes back on major mayoral decisions. Since 2007, aldermen have authorized $7.6 billion in general obligation bond issuances without a single dissenting vote. And each year they get millions in bond proceeds to dole out for projects in their wards.

While it would be easy to blame Richie Daley, Rahm Emanuel, and the alderpeople for this big mess, at the end of the day, many Chicagoans need only look into the mirror to see who’s really to blame for letting the city’s finances get this far out of hand.

As to what “Windy City” residents might want to do now seeing that “a reckless pattern of borrowing by city leaders has undermined Chicago’s future”? Perhaps start looking at ways to mitigate the current and coming damage- something I’ll be talking more about in the months to come.

A good place to begin would be read the article to get a sense of how bad the problem really is, which can be found on the Chicago Tribune website here.

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

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What Effect Have (Post-) Apocalyptic-Themed TV Shows And Films Had On The Prepping Movement?

“i friggin LOVE “doomsday preppers”!”

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

Back in February 2012, the Daily Mail (UK) reported that “as many as three million Americans now fall into the category dubbed ‘preppers’- people who are making detailed plans for the end of the world as we know it.”

(Editor’s note: Most mainstream media outlets drop that “as we know it” bit out, which is a shame as there’s an important distinction to be made between preparing for the “end of the world as we know it” as opposed to the actual “end of the world” where such activity may be thought of as futile. Kudos to the the British publication for keeping this scenario “intact.”)

That the ranks of individuals taking up preparedness have grown significantly in the last couple of years while (post-) apocalyptic-themed television shows and big screen productions simultaneously exploded in popularity is probably not coincidence. As a matter of fact, it’s something the National Geographic Channel, as part of an upcoming “Blog Carnival,” is currently exploring. The American cable and satellite television channel wants to know what effect these TV shows and films have had on the prepping movement.

I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a strong correlation between the two. As more shows and movies of the (post-) apocalyptic genre were aired/released for public viewing, I can’t help but suspect increasing numbers of Americans bought into the idea of prepping.

I have a feeling the seed for prepping was already planted before watching such shows and films in many cases. Scientific and technological advancements in the Information Age have increased Americans’ knowledge of potential man-made and natural disasters beyond events fresh in the mind of many such as 9/11, 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, the Panic of ’08, 2012’s Hurricane Sandy, and April’s Boston Marathon Bombings. Viewing such productions on a TV in the family room or at a local movie theater might have made such threats feel closer to home, thereby prompting action.

So the TV shows and films may have served as some sort of prepping recruitment vehicle. Yet at the same time, the preppers portrayed in such media have more often than not been of the extreme sort. These individuals probably aren’t a good representative of your typical prepper, if only because there are many different kinds of preppers out there.

Not surprisingly, I’ve noticed a number of production companies and cable/satellite television channels have come under fire because of the way preppers are portrayed. I can understand why this is, as some believe such depictions only serve to fuel ridicule and potential persecution of preppers by a number of parties including the mainstream media and the government. However, keep in mind that cable/satellite television channels and production companies are part of the entertainment industry, where these extreme prepper types can be quite entertaining to watch (cha-ching!). Those behind the ridiculing and potential persecution of American citizens for merely fulfilling the federal government’s recommendations as it concerns household emergency preparedness should keep this in mind as well.

At the end of the day, it must be pointed out that preppers actually perform a major public service in the event of a community/regional/national emergency. That’s right. Think about it. Preppers strive to be able to take care of themselves, family, friends, and even neighbors in many cases in the event of a real crisis. That’s one less person or group of people public safety agencies need to attend to in a significant emergency, where resources are typically stretched thin already. Because preppers can assume this “sheepdog” role, police, fire, and other groups can focus their limited amount of resources on others (more often than not, those who didn’t prepare).

One might even argue here it should be the civic duty of Americans to prep if they can.

Imagine if every American household had a couple of weeks of emergency food, water, and other supplies socked away in case of emergency. The next time a man-made or natural disaster reared its ugly head, think how much smoother the emergency response might be, especially when compared to those recent events I listed earlier.

Returning to the National Geographic Channel’s question as to what effect (post-) apocalyptic-themed TV shows and films have had on prepping, despite often portraying more extreme prepper types (it’s just show business!), it’s my belief such productions have increased the ranks of preppers in the United States, thereby assisting public safety agencies across the United States in the event of a real disaster as preppers should be able to take care of themselves and a number of other individuals in many cases, freeing up limited resources to be applied elsewhere in the emergency response.

Thank you for doing this preppers!

And production companies and cable/satellite TV channels like the National Geographic Channel- go ahead and give yourselves a nice pat on the back as well.

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

Source:

Brady, Tara. “Fill the pool with fish and stockpile the guns: Up to THREE MILLION ‘Preppers’ in the U.S. are prepared for for the end of the world.” Daily Mail. 11 Feb. 2012. (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2099714/Meet-preppers-Up-3-MILLION-people-preparing-end-world-know-it.html). 20 Oct. 2013.

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D.C. Navy Yard Shootings Suspect African-American Male Entering With Only A Shotgun?

I only recently heard about the tragic shootings that took place at the Washington, D.C., Navy Yard earlier today. While information about the incident is still coming in- and a lot of nonsense is already being spouted-off (“declare the NRA a terrorist organization!”)- I read the following on the website of NBC4 Washington, D.C. a short time ago:

At least 12 people are dead after a shooting Monday morning in a heavily secured building at the D.C. Navy Yard, and authorities now say they have identified the gunman.

That gunman, 34-year-old Aaron Alexis of Fort Worth, Texas, is among the 12 dead. Officials said he recently began working as a civilian contractor.

On the home page of the NBC affiliate, a young, African-American male sporting a bald/shaved head is shown superimposed on a banner which reads:

“Gunman ID’d in Navy Yard Shooting That Killed 13″

Hmm. A number of people were probably real disappointed that it wasn’t a “creepy cracker” that was shown.

In addition, there’s this:

Survellance video shows the gunman entered the building at the Naval Sea Systems Command Headquarters, at 1336 Isaac Hull Ave., with a shotgun, News4’s Jackie Bensen reported.

He shot the security guard in the head, killing him. The shooter then continued through the building, and seemed to target his victims, who were mostly on the third and fourth floors.

D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department and several other law enforcement agencies responded, Bensen said. During that response, a MPD officer was shot in the leg.

The gunman was then shot by a FBI hostage response team, Bensen said.

According to what witnesses are telling investigators, by the time the shootings ended, the gunman was seen with a semiautomatic 9 mm pistol and an AR-15 assault rifle. Authorities are investigating whether the gunman took the security guard’s service weapon – likely a 9 mm pistol – and hid in wait for the first responding D.C. police officers, who would be specially armed with AR-15s.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

An African-American male suspect possibly armed with just a shotgun initially?

No “assault weapon” or “scary” handgun?

(Editor’s note: Some have already suggested this account of the incident may get “sanitized” real quick once the mainstream media get their marching orders from the powers-that-be)

Something tells me the hopes of the anti-Second Amendment crowd in furthering their agenda with the Navy Yard shootings will fade pretty fast if what NBC4 Washington is reporting this afternoon is found to be true.

In the meantime, my prayers go out to all those affected by this violence.

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

Source:

“Gunman ID’d in D.C. Navy Yard Shooting That Killed 13.” NBC Washington, D.C. 16 Sep. 2013. (http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/Confirmed-Shooter-at-Navy-Yard-One-Person-Shot-223897891.html). 16 Sep. 2013.

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Retired CIA Al-Qaeda Expert Michael Scheuer’s May Prediction: ‘Obama Will Intervene Militarily In Syria’

“We have looked at all the evidence, and we do not believe the opposition possessed nuclear weapons on – or chemical weapons of that sort. We do not believe that, given the delivery systems, using rockets, that the opposition could have carried out these attacks. We have concluded that the Syrian government in fact carried these out. And if that’s so, then there need to be international consequences.”

-U.S. President Barack Obama, in a PBS NewsHour interview earlier today

As the Middle East threatens to boil over yet again, I thought I’d search out retired Central Intelligence Agency veteran Michael Scheuer to hear his take on the situation in Syria. Regular readers of this blog may remember Scheuer, who tracked Osama bin Laden as Chief of the Bin Laden Issue Station (“Alec Station”) from 1996 to 1999 and later as a special advisor to the unit from 2001 to 2004, as I’ve talked about him from time to time.

While what the CIA veteran has had to say recently about the crisis on the website of Foreign Policy Journal has been insightful, it’s something Scheuer wrote back on May 21 which really sticks out:

As three administration-wrecking scandals — Benghazi, the IRS, and the AP phone records — continue to unfold, it will become increasingly clear that President Obama is: (a) stupid; (b) unable to control his felonious subordinates; or (c) a liar and a trimmer. And as this clarity evolves, Obama will engineer a U.S.-NATO military intervention in Syria…

Odds are that we are going to see the same old story: Obama will intervene militarily in Syria, get Americans worried about the safety of their soldier-children, stoke their patriotism and fierce support for the troops, and — voila — the Obama-butt-kissing media will refocus the victims of the Obama-ites’ domestic felonies on an unnecessary war in the Levant.

The saddest part of the foregoing scenario is that it probably will work.

Time will tell if Scheuer is correct.

Source:

Scheuer, Michael. “As scandals deepen, Obama, his party, and Republicans will militarily intervene in Syria.” Foreign Policy Journal. 15 May 2013. (http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2013/05/21/as-scandals-deepen-obama-his-party-and-republicans-will-militarily-intervene-in-syria/). 28 Aug. 2013.

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Chicago Homicide Study: ‘The City Is Way Safer!’ Part 1

(Editor’s note: Part 2 has been published and is located here)

I came across an interesting post earlier this evening on the Greg Hinz On Politics blog on the Crain’s Chicago Business website. Hinz talked about a recent Chicago homicide study conducted by Daniel Kay Hertz, a master’s student at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago. Kay Hertz compared homicide rates in Chicago Police Department districts from 1990-1993 to rates from 2008-2011. Utilizing two colored maps, Kay Hertz wrote in his blog City Notes back on August 5:

The areas in dark green are the safest; the ones in dark pink are the most dangerous. The colors are calibrated so that green areas are safer than average for the early 90s, and pink ones are more dangerous than average for the early 90s. The 2008-2011 map keeps the same calibration: green is safe compared to the early 90s, so that you can see change in the levels of violence over time.

And, indeed, the first thing that jumps out from these maps is that there’s way more green nowadays, and it tends to be darker. The city is way safer!

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

“The city is way safer!”

Kay Hertz continues to equate “safe” with lower homicide rates in the remainder of his blog post. The grad student writes later:

The North Side is unbelievably safe, at least as far as murder goes.

And then flames the mainstream media with this:

This is a complicated state of affairs, and probably goes at least part of the way to explaining why, in the face of a 50% decrease in homicides citywide over the last two decades, many people persist in believing that the opposite is true: because in their neighborhoods, it is. It’s a dynamic that defies an easy narrative, and makes me slightly less angry (though only slightly) at all those journalists who have written in the last year or two about murder in Chicago without mentioning that the city is, in fact, safer on the whole than it has been in fifty years.

“The city is, in fact, safer on the whole than it has been in fifty years.”

I’m assuming he’s still equating “safe” with lower murder rates here.

Now, Crain’s Hinz also mentioned the word “safe” when referring to the part of Chicago where he lives. From his post earlier today:

Overall, Mr. Hertz’s statistics are a good thing for most of the city. I and more than a million others live on the North Side and in adjacent areas, and they’re as safe as any other patches of urban real estate in the country.

“They’re as safe as any other patches of urban real estate in the country.”

Is Hinz also equating “safe” with lower homicide rates?

To each, their own.

And seeing I’m a big picture kind of guy, if its safety “on the whole” in the “Windy City” that’s being talked about, I suggest violent crime- which includes homicides- is examined instead. According to the Chicago Police Department, violent crime consists of:

• Homicide, 1st and 2nd Degree
• Criminal Sexual Assault
• Robbery
• Aggravated Assault
• Aggravated Battery

(Editor’s note: I’m aware of the allegations of “downgrade and reclassify” regarding these types of incidents. For example, downgrading/reclassifying a robbery as theft in the books to paint a better picture as it concerns crime. I’ll keep that in mind.)

A comparison of violent crime numbers in Chicago Police Department districts from 1990-1993 to 2008-2011. That’s what I think is needed here if we’re going to have a serious discussion about safety in the city of Chicago.

Time to crunch some numbers.

More tomorrow…

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

Source:

Hinz, Greg. “When it comes to murder rates, Chicago is two cities.” Greg Hinz On Politics. 14 Aug. 2013. (http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20130814/BLOGS02/130819920/when-it-comes-to-murder-chicago-is-two-cities). 14 Aug. 2013.

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Wednesday, August 14th, 2013 Crime, Mainstream Media, Public Safety, Self-Defense No Comments

Chicagoans: Should They Stay Or Should They Go?

These days, there are times living out here in the northwest suburbs of Chicago that I feel like Henry Hill (played by actor Ray Liotta) at the end of the 1990 film Goodfellas.

No, not that part about Henry living the rest of his life as a “schnook.”

Rather, where previously I could step out my door adjacent to a major city artery and things were generally hopping, this suburban subdivision I now live in can be pretty dull at times (which isn’t entirely a bad thing).

Thank god the Italian food around here isn’t nearly as bad as what the other Hill encountered.

Grazie a Dio.

However, I was just reminded this morning of one of the big reasons why my girlfriend and I moved out of the city of Chicago while reading the popular Chicago police blog Second City Cop. “016 Up For Grabs” discussed 5 people getting shot in less than 2 days in the Chicago Police Department’s 16th District, something that kind of hit home considering I used to live in that same district.

Now, it’s not like crime never happened in 016 before. It’s the big city, and the 80 percent of good, law-abiding people are packed shoulder-to-shoulder with the 10 percent of human refuse and remaining 10 percent who play by the rules because they’re forced to. I can recall walking into a convenience store down the street from me just minutes after it had been robbed, having a “welcome to the new home” plant stolen from my building’s entryway shortly after it had been delivered, and finding a big metal Coleman cooler stolen from my underground parking garage space- all within weeks after moving in to my old Northwest Side neighborhood, one of the “nicer” ones in the city.

Funny thing about that cooler. It used to store bottles of antifreeze, windshield washer fluid, engine oil, and more- none of which was taken even though it was inside the cooler. But plenty of which splashed around and/or leaked in that container.

Something tells me those bastards got pretty ill later drinking from those beer bottles/cans because they were too lazy to clean out that cooler before using it.

Karma’s a bitch. Or here’s hoping, right?

Still, armed with “intel” from Second City Cop and other alternative media with a local focus (Chicago mainstream media was hit-or-miss on reporting criminal activity in my neighborhood), Chicago-related research/blog material, and my own local observations, I realized that the 16th District had not only become “grittier” as it concerned crime, but it was occurring at a time when police protection in my area was significantly-reduced from when I first moved in.

Coupled with the City of Chicago’s financial woes that are finally coming home to roost? Chicagoans don’t need to be brain surgeons to figure this one out. Like I’ve been saying for some time now, more fees/fines/taxes and less government services seem to be on the horizon.

I suspect less police protection will be part of that equation, unless Chicago taxpayers pony up more of their hard-earned cash to at least keep the “thin blue line” intact.

And boy is it thin these days.

But I suspect increased revenues will be directed at Chicago’s public employee pension crisis and City Hall’s pet projects (where’s my park, dang it) before it’s steered over to the CPD and public safety.

In other words, Chicagoans had better be prepared to keep hearing “crime is down” for a long time.

In the meantime, City Hall still can’t comprehend that losing Downtown to all the wilding will see the City’s bottom line hit hard as word gets out.

Judging by recent MSM coverage nationwide about such criminal activity here, the word’s already out.

I wonder how hard it is to fudge tourism numbers?

While I would have preferred to have stayed in Chicago, and in particular, our old or the adjacent neighborhood in the CPD’s 16th District, considering what I see is in store for the area and our particular circumstances, my girlfriend and I made the right decision to move when and where we did.

Then again, that might not be the “correct” decision for other Chicagoans. Consider this. We didn’t have much invested in our old location. We didn’t own it (could have, but we steered clear of buying anything until home prices came back down to earth somewhat), we weren’t required to live within the city limits as required by a municipal job, we don’t have kids in the local schools, family and friends didn’t live down the street, the list goes on. So it wasn’t all too painful for us to just pick up and leave when our latest lease ran out.

The same can’t be said for others, and I respect that.

At least I, for one, have given you enough notice of what to expect down the road.

Prepare accordingly.

Is the “Second City” going to get worse? Could get “Third World” when all is said and done, and the ongoing financial storm finally blows completely through.

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

Source:

SCC. “016 Up For Grabs.” Second City Cop. 13 Aug. 2013. (http://secondcitycop.blogspot.com/2013/08/016-up-for-grabs.html). 13 Aug. 2013.

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CIA Vet Michael Scheuer: Idea That Al-Qaeda Is On The Way Out Is ‘Completely Politicking’

“Al Qaeda Scoops American Media on Fact They Are Not Decimated”

-A headline on Breitbart.com yesterday

Back on September 11, 2011, I blogged:

While there’s been lots of talk recently about Al-Qaeda’s operational capabilities being severely crippled, one expert on the organization points out they still pose a significant threat. Retired CIA veteran Michael Scheuer, who tracked Osama bin Laden as Chief of the Bin Laden Issue Station (“Alec Station”) from 1996 to 1999 and later as a special advisor to the unit from 2001 to 2004, told Ali Moore of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in an interview that was broadcast last Friday that:

Well they’re capable of any number of things. They’re certainly capable of car bombs or any of the Hamas-style attacks are something that they’ve been capable of since 9/11 or before. And something they’ve deliberately chosen not to do.

But in the last four or five years we’ve seen during the end of bin Laden’s career, a deliberate effort on the part of Al-Qaeda to recruit U.S. citizen Muslims to begin to try to incite operations within the United States.

Anwar al-Awlaki, Adam Gadahn- who’s known as al-Amriki- a number of other people who are intent on encouraging U.S. citizen-Muslims, English-speaking Muslims, to attack in the United States.

So they have the capability of sending people from abroad, our borders are wide open, and they also have an increasing number of U.S. citizen-Muslims who are willing to take action.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

The last time I mentioned Michael Scheuer in Survival And Prosperity was in April 2012, when I brought up the above quote amid growing claims that Al-Qaeda was toast, which grew louder as the November 2012 U.S. Presidential election drew closer.

In light of the recent revelation that the terrorist group is not “on the run” or “decimated” as claimed by U.S. President Barack Obama in the days leading up to his re-election, but now threatens the United States and its interests abroad, the mainstream media is miraculously paying attention again to what Mr. Scheuer has to say. Rhonda Schwartz and James Gordon Meek reported on the ABC News website Monday:

Michael Scheuer, a former CIA officer who led the hunt for bin Laden before his retirement in 2004, went further, telling ABC News that he believed al Qaeda really hasn’t changed since bin Laden’s death.

“I think the guys on the ground [local affiliate commanders], day-to-day tactical decisions were made there, where they always have been,” he said. “Core al Qaeda lays down the guidelines to keep everybody pointed at the enemy.”

Scheuer said he believes al Qaeda is more dangerous under its currently leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, than it was under bin Laden. Zawahiri, Scheuer said, may settle for smaller U.S.-based operations that would have a much smaller body count than a 9/11-type operation that bin Laden aspired to repeat.

Any idea that al Qaeda is on the way out, Scheuer said, is “completely politicking.”

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

As I thought.

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

Source:

Schwartz, Rhonda and Meek, James Gordon Meek. “Al Qaeda Threat: Officials Fear ‘Ingenious’ Liquid Explosive.” ABC News. 5 Aug. 2013. (http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/al-qaeda-threat-officials-fear-ingenious-liquid-explosive/story?id=19871892). 7 Aug. 2013.

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Is Chicago At A Tipping Point?

Several incidents that recently took place in the city of Chicago lead me to suspect my girlfriend and I may have moved out of there just in the nick of time.

Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity know that I think the “Windy City” is gusting in the wrong direction when it comes to areas such as finance, public safety, and leadership.

Which sucks, since I want nothing more than the Midwest metropolis to do well.

That being said, get a load of these recent developments…

Back in January 2011 I started to blog about Chicago’s growing problem with flash mobs, flash mobbery, mob actions, wildings, what have you. I subsequently warned in May of that year:

If City Hall “loses” downtown to the bad guys- or, in this case, bad boys and girls- you lose the tourists, their money, revenue… you get the point.

You listenin’ Rahm?

More than two years later, the downtown is being “lost.” Wilding in the area is being reported in both the mainstream and alternative news media with increasing regularity. So much so that even this appeared in the Sunday Chicago Tribune paper:

Two visitors to Chicago received a rude welcome to the city Friday when one was robbed by a group of city teens and the other was punched while trying to help, officials said.

The two visitors – a 15-year-old Florida girl and a 51-year-old Michigan woman – were both walking on the Mag Mile Friday evening when the older woman was robbed of her iPhone by a group of eight juveniles, officials said…

“We had only been in town four hours and I got robbed,” Tammy said with the hint of a laugh during a telephone interview Saturday evening. “Welcome to Chicago.”

Welcome to Chicago, indeed.

The cat’s out of the bag so much that regarding the “Magnificient Mile”, aka Michigan Avenue, the storied boulevard is now being called “Muggers’ Mile.” From Chicago ABC affiliate Channel 7 News last night:

The Guardian Angels went as far as saying the “Mag Mile” is well on its way to becoming the “Muggers Mile.”


Channel 7 News Chicago Video

Instead of the usual “crime is down” line that’s been regularly touted by the Chicago Police Department this year, the Channel 7 News reporter in the segment, Michelle Gallardo, noted:

And while not all cell phone robberies are reported, police did insist in pointing out that in the last 28 days, only 3 robberies have been filed in this area.

Only 3 robberies in the last 28 days? That’s hard to believe.

The popular Chicago police blog Second City Cop shed some light on this matter early this morning. SCC wrote:

Again, here is where CompStat really shines. Reclassify the crimes from “Strong Arm Robbery” to “Theft from Person” and –tada!!!– Instant drop in violent crime. You don’t think they’re doing it? How about those juveniles that got caught the other day? The one had another smart phone and was charged with “Theft of Lost/Mislaid Property” probably because no one could identify who committed the actual robbery.

Or the lack of police that is emboldening the robbers? If someone has to wait an hour for a police report, they might as well head home and do it over the phone….or not do it at all. –Tada!!!— another drop in crime!

Downgrade and reclassify? That’s just tin-foil hat talk, right?

Sadly, I’m convinced the wilding will continue to get worse because of the ongoing Chicago Police manpower shortage and the punks only getting slaps on the wrist. City Hall and CPD brass will keep dishing out the spin to try and prevent visitors from being scared away. And I suspect the Chicago mainstream news media will keep going along with the “official line” out of fear of finding themselves out in the cold, information-wise.

Don’t think the MSM isn’t doing this already? That story about the two out-of-town Magnificent Mile robbery victims from Friday night? It made the Tribune as “Breaking News” Sunday- on page 14.

And all that wilding that took place downtown around the Fourth of July? The Tribune covered the criminal activity- once the tourists cleared out of town.

At least they mentioned it though. I don’t recall hearing/reading anything about the wildings anywhere else around town.

Let’s see. Finances. Public safety. Oh yeah- political leadership. Anyone familiar with the word nepotism? From the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

Favoritism (as in appointment to a job) based on kinship.

I once worked as an assistant to a city administrator in a Chicago suburb where many residents happened to be related. This was reflected in the political structure of the city as well.

Not surprisingly, nepotism was not an unheard of event there.

I’ve experienced first-hand how family ties and nepotism can poison local, representative government.

Consequently, I believe responsible government should guard fiercely against this.

And then there’s the City of Chicago.

Mitch Dudek and Fran Spielman reported on the Chicago Sun-Times website today:

Completing a process the Sun-Times first reported in January, state Rep. Deb Mell was sworn in Wednesday to replace her retiring father as alderman for the Northwest Side’s 33rd Ward…

Emanuel’s decision to write a Mell family sequel to Chicago’s long-running saga of “All in the Family” politics is unlikely to sit well with some independent voters.

It will look like a continuation of the longstanding tradition that has allowed fathers like former Ald. Anthony Laurino (39th) to handpick their daughters — like Marge Laurino — and wives — like Carrie Austin, who replaced her late husband, Ald. Lemuel Austin (34th).

After the swearing-in, Ald. Edward M. Burke (14th), who replaced his father as alderman in 1969, read the list of names of families that have had multiple members who served in the Chicago City Council.

It includes two Burkes, four Cullertons, two Ogdens, two Hoellens, two Knickerbockers, two Baulers, two Clark’s, three Keanes, two Sheridans, two Vrdolyaks, two Austins, two Beavers, two Sawyers, two Laurinos and now two Mells.

Too bad. The specter of Nepotism rears its ugly head again.

There should be no doubt that I predict tough times ahead for the city. But it’s not just me who harbors such suspicion. Even the Chicago FOX affiliate, Channel 32 News, is running a series called “Chicago at the Tipping Point” these days.

Chicago-based Survival And Prosperity readers can’t say the “signs” weren’t there.

I’ve already sprung into action.

Question is, what are they going to do about it?

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

Sources:

Regina Sobol, Rosemary. “Welcome to Chicago — now give me that iPhone.” Chicago Tribune. 21 July 2013. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-chicago-crime-iphone-robbery-magnificent-mile-20130721,0,1601942,full.story). 24 July 2013.

Dudek, Mitch and Spielman, Fran. “State Rep. Deb Mell named to replace father in City Council.” Chicago Sun-Times. 24 July 2013. (http://www.suntimes.com/21503401-761/state-rep-deb-mell-named-to-replace-father-in-city-council.html). 24 July 2013.

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