cities

New Study: Rural America More Dangerous Than Big City

Anyone recall the lyrics to John Mellencamp’s 1985 song “Small Town”?

Well I was born in a small town
And I can breathe in a small town
Gonna die in a small town
Ah, that’s probably where they’ll bury me

“Gonna die in a small town.”

That may very well be the case, according to researchers from the University of Pennsylvania.

Yesterday, “Safety in Numbers: Are Major Cities the Safest Places in the United States?” was published on the website of the Annals of Emergency Medicine. Charles C. Branas, Brendan G. Carr, Benjamin C. French, Michael J. Kallan, Sage R. Myers, Michael L. Nance, and Douglas J. Wiebe authored the piece, which stated the following:

Study objectives: Many US cities have experienced population reductions, often blamed on crime and interpersonal injury. Yet the overall injury risk in urban areas compared with suburban and rural areas has not been fully described. We begin to investigate this evidence gap by looking specifically at injury-related mortality risk, determining the risk of all injury death across the rural-urban continuum.

Methods: A cross-sectional time-series analysis of US injury deaths from 1999 to 2006 in counties classified according to the rural-urban continuum was conducted. Negative binomial generalized estimating equations and tests for trend were completed. Total injury deaths were the primary comparator, whereas differences by mechanism and age were also explored.

Results: A total of 1,295,919 injury deaths in 3,141 US counties were analyzed. Injury mortality increased with increasing rurality. Urban counties demonstrated the lowest death rates, significantly less than rural counties (mean difference ¼ 24.0 per 100,000; 95% confidence interval 16.4 to 31.6 per 100,000). After adjustment, the risk of injury death was 1.22 times higher in the most rural counties compared with the most urban (95% confidence interval 1.07 to 1.39).

Conclusion: Using total injury death rate as an overall safety metric, US urban counties were safer than their rural counterparts, and injury death risk increased steadily as counties became more rural. Greater emphasis on elevated injury-related mortality risk outside of large cities, attention to locality-specific injury prevention priorities, and an increased focus on matching emergency care needs to emergency care resources are in order.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

At the conclusion of the article, it was stated:

When considering all mechanisms of injury death as an overall metric of safety, large cities appear to be the safest counties in the United States, significantly safer than their rural counterparts. Greater emphasis on elevated safety risks outside of large US cities is in order, alongside a changed perception of urban living as a relatively safe experience.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Big Brother has spoken. Rural folk continue to put themselves in peril by living out in the country. So move on down to the concrete jungle (for easier oversight and control).

Just kidding. I better check myself before I wreck myself while tooling around Wisconsin in my “free” time.

An interesting piece of research, which you can read in its entirety on the Annals of Emergency Medicine website here (.pdf file).

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

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Number Of Poor In Chicago Suburbs Increased 99% Over Last Decade

You may have heard this one before as it concerns a future outbreak of civil strife in a downtrodden U.S. economy:

Once the urban poor stop getting government assistance- in particular, food stamps- the ensuing rioting and violence will first consume the city and then spill out into the “wealthy” suburbs.

After reading the following piece by Vikki Ortiz Healy and Matthew Walberg on the Chicago Tribune website earlier this morning, I’ve been wondering if this scenario- if it ever takes place- might not be backwards. Ortiz Healy and Walberg wrote:

Once considered the definition of the middle-class American dream, the suburbs are now home to a larger, faster-growing poor population than urban areas, according to a new analysis.

During the 2000s, the number of poor living in U.S. suburbs grew by 64 percent — more than twice the 29 percent growth rate in cities.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

This rapid growth in the number of poor living in the suburbs is evident in the Chicagoland area. Ortiz Healy and Walberg added:

The shifting poverty demographic can be seen in Chicago’s suburbs, where the number of poor increased by 99 percent in the last decade — from 363,966 to 724,233, said Elizabeth Kneebone, co-author of “Confronting Suburban Poverty in America.”

That was a greater increase than recorded in the New York City or Los Angeles regions, according to the book.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Now, if you’ve never encountered a fictitious scenario where the urban poor riot after seeing their government benefits cut off, I suggest you read “Bracken: When The Music Stops – How America’s Cities May Explode In Violence” on the Western Rifle Shooters Association blog here. Incredibly thought-provoking stuff.

Still, perhaps U.S. metropolitan areas of the future will resemble other countries where wealth is concentrated in the city center and poverty is forced out into the periphery- including the suburbs.

And should a major crisis emerge in this type of setup where government assistance is cut off, it’s possible that civil strife will work its way towards the center, rather than away from it.

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

Source:

Ortiz Healy, Vikki and Walberg, Matt. “More poor in U.S. suburbs than cities, report says.” Chicago Tribune. 21 May 2013. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-poverty-report-20130521,0,6518088.story). 21 May 2013.

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Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013 Civil Strife, Demographics, Entitlements, Government, Main Street, Population, Poverty, Public Safety, Security, Self-Defense, Wealth Comments Off on Number Of Poor In Chicago Suburbs Increased 99% Over Last Decade

Chicago Transit Authority’s 21 Percent Jump In Reported Crime Brings Video Surveillance Cameras Into Focus

Video surveillance cameras are thought to be incredibly-effective deterrents to criminal activity. Over time, image resolution has improved, while costs have come down, leading to a proliferation of these devices all over America’s urban landscape.

Yet, a new analysis of such cameras and reported crime at Chicago Transit Authority rail stations probably has some wondering just how effective they really are in the fight against crime.

Art Golab and Rosalind Rossi reported on the Chicago Sun-Times website yesterday afternoon:

Even with $26 million in high-resolution cameras finally in full force last year, reported crime at CTA rail stations rose 21 percent, a Chicago Sun-Times analysis shows.

And compared with 2010 — well before most of the CTA’s current 3,600 rail station cameras were installed — station crime was up 32 percent

The good news is that while overall crime is up, violent crime is down 30 percent. And when all reported crime is counted, Chicago is close to achieving swift arrests in two of every three station crimes.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Via comments over at Second City Cop this morning, I hear at least one Chicago media outlet is running the same story as violent crime is down 30 percent on CTA trains.

Can’t say I’m really too surprised to find that out.

Golab and Rossi talked about the criminal activity in more detail. From the piece:

Also worth noting: Only five percent of CTA station crimes were categorized as “violent” by the FBI — ranging from murder to rape to strong-arm robbery — and such offenses dropped a substantial 30 percent between 2011 and 2012, the Sun-Times found. However, the arrest rate for those crimes also fell four percentage points over that period.

Other station crimes — a category that includes cell phone thefts, purse-snatchings, fare evasion, simple assault and drug crimes — were up 26 percent.

Combined with “violent” crimes, that translates into a 21 percent overall increase in station crime across the system’s 145 rail stations.

Sucks to hear criminal activity has picked up on the CTA. Then again, seeing that my girlfriend was recently pick-pocketed aboard one of their buses, I can’t say that I’m shocked.

Are video surveillance cameras effective deterrents to crime? I’m guessing they are. Will the cameras put an end to criminal activity like some politicians may want you to believe? No way- if only because there will always be criminals who just don’t care they’re being filmed while carrying out their dirty deeds.

Don’t let a location full of security cameras lull you into a false sense of security. Remember- you and you alone are ultimately responsible for your personal safety.

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

Source:

Golab, Art and Rossi, Rosalind. “More CTA cameras haven’t stopped increase in crime.” Chicago Sun-Times. 25 Feb. 2013. (http://www.suntimes.com/18393808-761/more-cta-cameras-havent-stopped-increase-in-crime.html). 26 Feb. 2013.

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Tuesday, February 26th, 2013 Crime, Public Safety, Security, Self-Defense, Technology, Transportation Comments Off on Chicago Transit Authority’s 21 Percent Jump In Reported Crime Brings Video Surveillance Cameras Into Focus

Repeat Of The 1992 Los Angeles Riots Coming This Summer?

Following up on last night’s post abut urban warfare training exercises in U.S. cities, I noted how one Midwest-based writer recently claimed that an unnamed “high-ranking, military source” in the Department of Homeland Security says the military exercises, conducted jointly with local law enforcement, are being conducted to desensitize urban dwellers in preparation for mass civil unrest in American cities. This is supposedly being done out of fear a currency devaluation, astronomical gas prices, and resistance to more gun “control” which will combine to produce civil strife in America’s urban areas this summer.

Like I wrote yesterday, “take it or leave it” concerning the credibility of this claim. But let’s just suppose for an instant the above is true and these really are the reasons for the exercises.

If that’s the case, then the powers-that-be may have overlooked one more potential flashpoint:

The trial of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin that’s set to begin on June 10.

Yamiche Alcindor reported on the USA TODAY website on February 5:

Trayvon Martin would have turned 18 Tuesday.

Instead, lawyers for George Zimmerman, the man accused of murdering the teen, and prosecutors were back in court, where a judge denied a motion to delay the June 10 trial date and heard arguments about evidence…

In court Tuesday, Judge Debra Nelson denied a motion by Zimmerman lawyer Mark O’Mara to delay the trial date. O’Mara argued that the prosecution has been slow to turn over evidence and that he does not have enough time to prepare his case…

“We’re four months away from trial,” Nelson said. “The court has no reason to continue the case.”

If George Zimmerman is found innocent of the teen’s death, will one or more American urban centers experience rioting not unlike what took place in Los Angeles in 1992 in the wake of the Rodney King trial verdicts?

By itself, I think it’s possible. In conjunction with other miseries, even more so.

And just to remind everyone of just how bad the 1992 Los Angeles riots really were:

• 53 deaths
• 2,000 injured
• 3,600 fires
• 1,100 buildings destroyed
• Up to $1 billion in material losses

And don’t forget the looting…


“1992 LA Riots – Defenseless Store Owner Confront Rioters with Hammer”
YouTube Video

Let justice take its course, but it might be a good idea to keep an eye on that trial and when it’s going to be wrapping up. Especially for the city-dwellers out there.

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

Source:

Alcindor, Yamiche. “Judge denies request for delay in Zimmerman trial.” USA TODAY. 5 Feb. 2013. (http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/02/05/trayvon-martin-hearing-birthday/1892419/). 23 Feb. 2013.

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Urban Warfare Training Exercises To Desensitize, Prepare For Mass Civil Unrest In Cities?

The City of Chicago is providing support for a routine military training exercise in and around the Chicagoland area on April 16 -19. This routine training is conducted by military personnel in cities across the country, designed to ensure the military’s ability to operate in urban environments as service members meet mandatory training certification requirements and prepare for upcoming overseas deployments.

The training sites have been carefully selected to minimize the impact on the daily routine of residents.

The training is not open to the public.

-City of Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC), April 16, 2012

Back when I blogged about Chicago hosting an urban warfare training exercise for U.S. military personnel in April 2012, I mentioned other major American cities had experienced something similar: Boston (July 2011) and Los Angeles (January 2012).

Since that time, countless other municipalities have hosted this training.

However, in that April 16 post I pointed out the U.S. military was already busy developing its urban warfare training resources, including the construction of mock cities. I wrote:

Now, I’ve heard the U.S. military has been busy developing its urban warfare training program for some time already. Spencer Ackerman wrote in the Wired.com blog Danger Room back on January 18, 2011:

American soldiers spent seven years patrolling the urban neighborhoods of Iraq; its troops battled insurgents there block-by-block and house-by-house. Now that the Army is getting out of Iraq, it wants to make sure its urban combat skills don’t wither away. So it today it gave Lockheed Martin a contract worth up to $287 million to build Urban Operations Training Systems — essentially, giant simulation facilities and modules to help soldiers get ready for life in the big, bad city.

Versions of those training systems can be as simple as shipping containers tricked out to resemble multi-story houses and arranged in village formations, so soldiers can practice how to seize a building without causing needless damage. The Army’s got an entire 1000-acre facility in Indiana it uses to train soldiers in urban combat.

As for the Marines? From the CBS Channel 2 (Los Angeles) website on January 25, 2011:

A 1,560-building mock city has risen in the Southern California desert.

The $170 million Marine Corps urban training center at the Twentynine Palms military base, some 130 miles northeast of Los Angeles, is roughly the size of San Diego.

The Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center facility uses mock cities and role players to prepare Marines and sailors for urban terrain missions.

If our armed forces already have such resources, what’s with the urban warfare training in American cities then?

I added this about the Chicago training at the time:

I wonder if the exercise isn’t related to counter-terrorism.

Responding to an “American Mumbai” or dirty-bomb attack, perhaps?

However, these days, a Midwest-based writer and decorated Navy veteran is claiming that an unnamed “high-ranking, military source” in the Department of Homeland Security says the military exercises, conducted jointly with local law enforcement, are being conducted to desensitize urban dwellers in preparation for mass civil unrest in American cities. David Bard wrote on “progressive liberal” sociopolitical commentary blog The Allegiant on February 6:

I spoke with a high-ranking, military source in DHS. Preferring to remain unnamed for obvious reasons, he told me, “DHS and DOD are conducting desensitizing exercises all across the U.S.,” he paused, then added, “we’re being prepared for mass civil unrest in major U.S. cities. DOD will be expected to help – when we’re requested.”

I asked if there was a timeline for expecting civil unrest in our cities and why should we expect it to begin with. I was told that there were many reasons, but that the continued devaluation of our currency, the predicted history-setting prices for gasoline this summer and the continued gun control debate are forming a perfect storm of civil discontent. When this storm hits, it will most assuredly produce mass casualties. When does DHS expect this to happen? This summer.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

I can’t speak for Mr. Bard’s credibility, so “take it or leave it” as it concerns this explanation for the urban warfare training.

Still, I’ve heard similar talk about the purpose being to prepare for civil strife since I first blogged about those exercises in spring of last year.

You can read Bard’s entire piece here on The Allegiant. Disturbing stuff.

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

Sources:

Ackerman, Spencer. “Lockheed Gets Big Bucks to Prep Soldiers for Urban War.” Danger Room. 18 Jan. 2011. (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/01/lockheed-gets-big-bucks-to-prep-soldiers-in-urban-war/). 22 Feb. 2013.

“$170M Mock City Built For Marine Training In Twentynine Palms” CBS Channel 2 (Los Angeles). 25 Jan. 2011. (http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2011/01/25/170m-mock-city-built-for-marine-training-in-twentynine-palms/). 22 Feb. 2013.

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Friday, February 22nd, 2013 Civil Strife, Currencies, Energy, Firearms, Government, Gun Rights, Inflation, Main Street, Military, Public Safety, Terrorism, Training Comments Off on Urban Warfare Training Exercises To Desensitize, Prepare For Mass Civil Unrest In Cities?
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