Quote For The Week

“A zombie film is not fun without a bunch of stupid people running around and observing how they fail to handle the situation.”

-George A. Romero (American-Canadian film director, film producer, screenwriter, and editor, 1940- )

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

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Monday, November 9th, 2015 Preparedness, Quote For The Week No Comments

Quote For The Week

“We are twice armed if we fight with faith.”

-Plato (Greek philosopher and mathematician. 427-347 B.C.)

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


Monday, November 2nd, 2015 Quote For The Week, Religion No Comments

SP Intel Report- October 27, 2015


Saw the following on Channel 7 news earlier today:

“Racially-Charged Sign Posted At Pilsen Coffee Shop”
ABC7 Video

If this is for real, I can only imagine the outrage if the sign had said “Black People Out…” or “Mexican People Out…” But since it targeted “White People” in America of 2015, it’s okay then (wink).

I’m going to go out on a limb here and predict that as the U.S. financial crash draws closer, racial violence will pick up. Wish it weren’t so, but history will probably rhyme here.


President Obama’s in town this raining evening. Earlier Tuesday, he spoke at the 122nd Annual Meeting of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. Not surprisingly, gun control was on the agenda. From a transcript of the speech:

You know exactly why someone all too often should want to own a gun. It’s a powerful instrument. It helps you do a dangerous job. It’s something that has to be used with care. Many of you, like millions of law-abiding Americans, are sportsmen or hunters, or you’ve got a firearm in your home for protection. But you also know the fact is that it’s too easy for criminals to buy guns — and that makes your already dangerous job far more dangerous than it should be. (Applause.)

And it makes the communities so fearful that it’s harder for them to be a good partner with you, because the streets become abandoned, and parents start not being as involved in monitoring what’s taking place. You have a risk of being shot. It’s risky enough responding to a domestic violence call or a burglary in progress without having to wonder if the suspect is armed to the teeth, maybe has better weapons than you do. And the fact is that in states with high gun ownership, police officers are three times more likely to be murdered than in states with low gun ownership. That is a fact. So you know that more guns on the streets do not make you or your communities safer. (Applause.)

Now, one of the benefits of being President is you travel all around the country, and I do know that there is a difference in what firearms mean and how they are handled in rural communities and in urban settings. And we’ve got to take into account some of the regional differences that are involved. But I do want to emphasize this is not just an issue for cities.

There are those who criticize any gun safety reforms by pointing to my hometown as an example. They say, well, look, Chicago had a spike in homicides this year, they’ve got gun safety laws, so this must be proof that tougher gun safety laws don’t help, maybe make things worse. The problem with that argument, as the Chicago Police Department will tell you, is that 60 percent of guns recovered in crimes come from out of state. You’ve just got to hop across the border. As I said before, it is easier for a lot of young people in this city and in some of your communities to buy a gun than buy a book. It is easier in some communities to find a gun than it is to find some fresh vegetables at a supermarket. (Applause.) That’s just a fact.

And that’s why the IACP and the overwhelming majority of the American people — Democrat and Republican — believe we should require national criminal background checks for anybody who wants to purchase a gun. (Applause.) That’s why the IACP believes we shouldn’t sell military-style assault weapons to civilians. They don’t need them. (Applause.) They don’t need them to hunt a deer. It’s just a simple proposition — cops should not be out-armed by the criminals that they’re pursuing. (Applause.)

As I said, earlier this afternoon I met with families of police officers who gave their lives in the line of duty. And I met with families of children here in Chicago who were taken from us by gun violence. And I do this too often, meeting with grieving families. I’m proud to be able to express to them that the entire country cares about them — (applause) — and that they’re in our thoughts and prayers, and that we’re sorry for their loss. But I have to tell you — and I know some of you have heard my frustration in the past here — when I meet with these families I can’t honestly tell them that our country has done everything we could to keep this from happening again — from seeing another officer shot down, from seeing another innocent bystander suffer from a gunshot wound. And that’s a travesty.

Thirty-two cops have been shot and killed this year. At least a dozen children have been shot and killed this month. About 400,000 Americans have been shot and killed by guns since 9/11 — 400,000. Just to give you a sense of perspective, since 9/11, fewer than 100 Americans have been murdered by terrorists on American soil — 400,000 have been killed by gun violence. That’s like losing the entire population of Cleveland or Minneapolis over the past 14 years.

And I refuse to accept the notion that we couldn’t have prevented some of those murders, some of those suicides, kept more families whole — (applause) — protected more officers if we had passed some common-sense laws. (Applause.)

So, look, I understand we won’t all agree on this issue. But it’s time to be honest — fewer gun safety laws don’t mean more freedom, they mean more danger. Certainly more danger to police, more fallen officers, more grieving families, more Americans terrified that they or their loved ones could be next. So I’m going to keep calling on the folks in Congress to change the way that they think about gun safety. And if they don’t, I’m going to keep on calling on Americans to change the folks in Congress until they get it right. (Applause.)

And please do not — some of you watching certain television stations or listening to certain radio programs, please do not believe this notion that somehow I’m out to take everybody’s guns away. Every time a mass shooting happens, one of the saddest ironies is that suddenly the purchase of firearms and ammunition jumps up because folks are scared into thinking that Obama is going to use this as an excuse to take away our Second Amendment rights. Nobody is doing that. We’re talking about common-sense measures to make sure criminals don’t get them; to make sure background checks work; to make sure that — (applause) — to make sure that we’re protecting ourselves…

A couple of thoughts here:

•In a nutshell, Barack Obama is trying to muster support from these police chiefs for his gun control initiatives.

• I worked alongside a number of police chiefs back when I was in local government. Keep in mind that many of them are political hires. It would be somewhat harsh to say they are not the police, but I suspect many of them have much more in common with their municipal masters than the beat cop at that stage in their career. If their “clout” is anti-gun, there’s a pretty good chance the police chief is as well (or at least that will be their public stance on the issue). Of course, there are always exceptions.

• Notice how “gun safety” is substituted for “gun control” in the speech. I learned a long time ago to be wary of people who get their jollies off playing around with words like this.

• Obama’s ongoing push for gun control mirrors that of the larger movement in America, which seeks to chip away at the Second Amendment piece by piece. Mass shootings embolden the effort. And the end justifies the means in these peoples’ minds. Compromise is not part of their vocabulary. Which leaves pro-Bill of Rights supporters no other alternative but to deal with them along the lines of that old Arab parable:

“If the camel once gets his nose in the tent, his body will soon follow.”

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

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SP Intel Report- October 26, 2015

Welcome to the inaugural post of the “SP Intel Report.” On October 15 I blogged big changes were coming to Survival And Prosperity starting October 19. I wrote:

Each day will begin with an “SP Intel Report” (if it’s warranted), where I’ll be focusing on current events locally (Chicagoland area), nationwide, and overseas which I think readers should be aware of…

As luck would have it, my computer crashed October 19, delaying the implementation of these changes.

One week later, I’ve managed to repair my laptop, and I’m back in the saddle again.

So off we go then…


“If City Hall ‘loses’ downtown to the bad guys… you lose the tourists, their money, revenue… you get the point.”

Survival And Prosperity, May 4, 2011

The Chicago news media is reporting that two tourists from Minneapolis were robbed at knifepoint by three men near Oak Street Beach late Saturday evening. The male victim was stabbed during the holdup while trying to protect his girlfriend. Two of Chicago’s more upstanding residents have been charged with the crime (police are still looking for a third individual).

The last time I blogged about a tourist getting knifed downtown was back during the 2012 holiday season. Even though it’s been a while, I fear we’ll be hearing of similar incidents with increased regularity as the city’s financial health deteriorates and the Chicago Police Department keeps receiving lip service but not bodies (meaning manpower).

There will probably be plenty of the other based on recent trends.

Note to self. Study up on defense against knives.


Speaking of deteriorating financial health, the State of Illinois was hammered by two of the major credit rating agencies in the past week. On October 19, Fitch Ratings announced in a press release:

Fitch Ratings has downgraded the rating on $26.8 billion in outstanding Illinois general obligation (GO) bonds to ‘BBB+’ from ‘A-‘.

In addition, the ratings on bonds related to the state based on its appropriation have been downgraded to ‘BBB’ from ‘BBB+’…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Three days later, Moody’s Investors Service stated in a release:

Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded the State of Illinois’ $26.8 billion of general obligation bonds to Baa1 from A3, while also lowering ratings on the state’s sales-tax (Build Illinois) bonds to Baa1 from A3, and on the state’s subject to appropriation bonds (issued by the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority and for the state’s Civic Center program) to Baa2 from Baa1. The outlook for all of these obligations remains negative…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Keep in mind the following observations by Karen Pierog over on the Reuters website on October 22:

Both general obligation bond ratings are now just three steps above the “junk” level… The downgrade by Moody’s marked the 17th by major credit rating agencies for Illinois since 2003… Even before this week’s downgrades, Illinois had the lowest credit ratings among the 50 U.S. states. Ratings histories from the three major credit rating agencies indicate few states have ever had their GO ratings fall below the A level…

Faced with a $105 billion unfunded public pension liability and a bill backlog of around $7 billion, I suspect Illinoisans will be on the hook for some sort of tax hike(s) in the near future.


Any Survival And Prosperity readers skeptical about the future existence of the Internet? Personally, I won’t be surprised if it goes kaput one day. Don’t get me wrong, I’m somewhat of a techie (driven by needs, not wants) and love the Internet. But I’m not sold on its staying power due to frailties with its infrastructure. A couple of years ago I remember reading about an elderly Georgian woman accidently cutting off neighboring Armenia’s access to the World Wide Web for up to five hours- using only a spade. And now there’s this from The New York Times website this past Sunday. David E. Sanger and Eric Schmitt reported:

Russian submarines and spy ships are aggressively operating near the vital undersea cables that carry almost all global Internet communications, raising concerns among some American military and intelligence officials that the Russians might be planning to attack those lines in times of tension or conflict.

The issue goes beyond old worries during the Cold War that the Russians would tap into the cables — a task American intelligence agencies also mastered decades ago. The alarm today is deeper: The ultimate Russian hack on the United States could involve severing the fiber-optic cables at some of their hardest-to-access locations to halt the instant communications on which the West’s governments, economies and citizens have grown dependent

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

So the Russians could switch off the Internet. Or a rogue Uncle Sam could do it and blame the Russkies.

I told my girlfriend her brilliant nephew should get into the BBS game. Wave of the future?

“Apple II on a BBS in 2014!”
YouTube Video

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


Sobol, Rosemary Regina. “$500K, $950K bails set for 2 accused of robbery, stabbing near Oak Street Beach.” Chicago Tribune. 26 Oct. 2015. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-police-2-held-following-armed-robbery-stabbing-near-oak-street-beach-20151026-story.html). 26 Oct. 2015.

Pierog, Karen. “UPDATE 2-Illinois bond rating cut again over budget impasse.” Reuters. 22 Oct. 2015. (http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/10/22/illinois-downgrade-moodys-idUSL1N12M2L120151022). 26 Oct. 2015.

Sanger, David E. and Schmitt, Eric. “Russian Ships Near Data Cables Are Too Close for U.S. Comfort.” The New York Times. 25 Oct. 2015. (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/26/world/europe/russian-presence-near-undersea-cables-concerns-us.html?_r=1). 26 Oct. 2015.

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Quote For The Week

“Money grows on the tree of persistence.”

-Japanese proverb

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

Monday, October 26th, 2015 Quote For The Week No Comments

Computer Crash Means ‘Big Changes,’ New Posts Delayed Until October 26

Remember those “big changes” for Survival And Prosperity I blogged about last week? They were supposed to be implemented today. However, my laptop “crashed” around lunchtime Monday and I’ve been busy ever since trying to repair the hobbled machine. I’m going to need a couple of days to completely fix the problem. Therefore, those changes- along with any new posts- will be delayed until next Monday, October 26, when I should be up and running at 100 percent again.

Thank you for your patience with this matter.

Have a great week,

Christopher E. Hill

Monday, October 19th, 2015 Housekeeping No Comments

Quote For The Week

“The trick is to make sure you don’t die waiting for prosperity to come.”

-Lee Iacocca (American automobile executive. 1924- )

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


Monday, October 19th, 2015 Quote For The Week No Comments

Big Changes At Survival And Prosperity Starting October 19

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.”

-Winston Churchill (British politician and Prime Minister. 1874-1965)

Starting next Monday, October 19, significant changes will be made to Survival And Prosperity. This includes:

• New posts will now be published only from Monday thru Friday (unless there’s something I think readers should know right away)

• Each day will begin with an “SP Intel Report” (if it’s warranted), where I’ll be focusing on current events locally (Chicagoland area), nationwide, and overseas which I think readers should be aware of

• Those different series of posts I’ve run since late November 2010 are returning on a regular basis. This includes:

Monday- Quote For the Week
Tuesday- Signs Of The Time
Wednesday- Project Prepper
Thursday- In Print (or On TV when I don’t have a book review ready yet)
Friday- Resource Of The Week

• Mondays will also feature the latest investment activities/recommendations of the “crash prophets”- Marc Faber, Jeremy Grantham, Jim Rogers, and Peter Schiff. If anything newsworthy concerning the “prophets” emerges during the work week, I might not choose to wait until Monday to blog about it.

• Other material related to the focus of this blog- finance/investing, personal safety, and emergency preparedness/survival- will still be published throughout the week as well.

That’s it for now. No new posts the rest of this week as I work on the rollout for Monday.

Of course, while I’m implementing these changes over the next several days, feel free to drop me a line via the “Contact” page with any suggestions you may have for making the blog better.

On a side note, I know I owe a number of people who’ve contacted me recently responses. I apologize for the delay getting back to you- a large amount of time spent blogging and charging ahead on other projects (business rollout), getting the suburban “homestead” up to speed, and family-related elder care has made it difficult to keep on top of e-mail lately. Regardless, I’ll be working hard on replying to communications in the coming days.

Thank you for your patience and your visits to Survival And Prosperity. I am grateful as always.

Christopher E. Hill

Churchill, Change (2013)
YouTube Video

Thursday, October 15th, 2015 Housekeeping No Comments

REI Survival-Related Classes In The Chicago Area For Early November

Back on October 2, I published information on survival-related classes in the Chicago area from REI for October thru early November. Since that time, a couple of more training opportunities have popped up in the first half of next month:

Map and Compass Navigation Basics, Oakbrook REI (west suburbs- Oakbrook Terrace), November 6, 6:30-8:30 PM, $30 member/$50 non-member, 14 spots left
Backcountry Navigation with a Map & Compass- Level 1, Palos Forest Preserve- Bull Frog Lake (southwest suburbs- Willow Springs), November 8, 9 AM-2 PM, $60 member/$80 non-member, 12 spots left
Map and Compass Navigation Basics, Northbrook REI (north suburbs- Northbrook), November 9, 6:30-8:30 PM, $30 member/$50 non-member, 12 spots left
Wilderness Survival: 3-Season Skills, Deer Grove Forest Preserve- Grove 5 (northwest suburbs- Palatine), November 15, 9 AM-2 PM, $65 member/$85 non-member, 12 spots left

REI membership is still available for only a one-time fee of $20. For more information about REI, visit their website here.

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

(Editor’s note: Posting of information about any third-party instruction is not to be construed as being a recommendation from Survival And Prosperity and its editor, unless specifically indicated. 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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Wednesday, October 14th, 2015 Preparedness, Training No Comments

Quote For The Week

“Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light.”

-Founding Father and 1st U.S. President George Washington (1732-1799), in a private letter to Charles Mynn Thruston dated August 10,1794

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


Monday, October 12th, 2015 Quote For The Week No Comments
Survival And Prosperity
Christopher E. Hill, Editor
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