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Quote For The Week

“So the San Bernardino, California, terrorist attack (pretty pathetic how some tried real hard to paint this as merely workplace-related violence) wasn’t exactly ‘major,’ and anyone with at least half-a-brain should have seen this coming. But the Muslim extremists are here, and they will strike again at the ‘homeland’ on the level of what just happened out on the ‘Left Coast’ (all that gun ‘control’ didn’t work out too well for California in this instance) all the way up to another 9/11-type attack with thousands of Americans dead…”

-Christopher E. Hill, Survival And Prosperity, December 8, 2015

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

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Monday, June 13th, 2016 Crime, Firearms, Gun Rights, Middle East, Public Safety, Quote For The Week, Religion, Self-Defense, Terrorism, War Comments Off on Quote For The Week

331 Illinoisans On New Islamic State ‘Kill List’

I’ve heard of the Islamic State “kill lists” before. And the latest one supposedly includes 331 “targets” with Illinois addresses on it. Gilad Shiloach reported on the Vocative website earlier today:

A pro-ISIS “hacking” group calling itself the United Cyber Caliphate distributed its latest “kill” list this week. The group claims the list includes names, addresses, and email addresses belonging to 8,318 people, making it one of the longest target lists ISIS-affiliated groups have distributed.

In a post Vocativ uncovered on the messaging app Telegram that was written in both English and Arabic, the United Cyber Caliphate called on its supporters to “follow” those listed and “kill them strongly to take revenge for Muslims.”

Most of the names and the accompanying addresses listed appear to belong to people in the United States, Australia, and Canada. Out of 7,848 people identified as being in the U.S. alone, 1,445 were listed as having addresses in California, 643 in Florida, 341 in Washington, 333 in Texas, 331 in Illinois, and 290 in New York…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

So is this “kill list” legit? Anthony Izaguirre wrote on the Daily News (New York) website this afternoon:

It is not clear if followers of the United Cyber Caliphate have killed people on any of the lists posted by the collective.

And how does one find out who is on this latest “kill list”? Caleb Howe added on the RedState website this evening:

And before you ask, none of the reports offered any way to find out if you are on the list.

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

Sources:

Shiloach, Gilad. “New ISIS ‘Kill’ List Claims To Target Thousands Of Americans.” Vocativ.com. 8 June 2016. (http://www.vocativ.com/326931/new-isis-kill-list-claims-to-target-thousands-of-americans/). 8 June 2016.

Izaguirre, Anthony. “Pro-ISIS hacking group posts ‘kill’ list with names and addresses of thousands of Americans.” Daily News. 8 June 2016. (http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/pro-isis-hackers-post-kill-list-featuring-thousands-americans-article-1.2666014). 8 June 2016.

Howe, Caleb. “TARGETED: New ISIS Kill List Posted Online Includes Thousands Of Ordinary Americans.” RedState.com. 8 June 2016. (http://www.redstate.com/absentee/2016/06/08/targeted-new-isis-kill-list-posted-online-includes-ordinary-americans/). 8 June 2016.

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Wednesday, June 8th, 2016 Australia, Middle East, North America, Public Safety, Religion, Self-Defense, Terrorism, War Comments Off on 331 Illinoisans On New Islamic State ‘Kill List’

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker Authorizes National Guard To Carry Weapons On Duty

I try to spend as much time as I can at my family’s place in Wisconsin. And it’s my opinion that these days, Illinois could learn a thing or two from its neighbor to the north, particularly as it concerns combatting terrorists- both foreign and domestic. From a press release issued today from Wisconsin’s Office of the Governor:

Madison – Governor Scott Walker today issued Executive Order #168 allowing Wisconsin National Guard members to carry weapons while on duty.

“Safety must be our top priority, especially in light of the horrific attack in Chattanooga,” Governor Walker said. “Allowing our National Guard members to carry weapons while on duty gives them the tools they need to serve and protect our citizens, as well as themselves. I am also directing Adjutant General Donald Dunbar to evaluate longer-term plans to ensure the safety of our service members.”

A copy of Governor Walker’s Executive Order is attached.

I’ve read similar directives have been issued in Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas.

As for Illinois?

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

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Tuesday, July 21st, 2015 Military, Public Safety, Terrorism 2 Comments

Illinois Democrat Introduces Statewide Gun Registration, Ammo ‘Control’ Bill

“A list, record, or registry of legally owned firearms or law-abiding firearm owners is not a law enforcement tool and can become an instrument for profiling, harassing, or abusing law-abiding citizens based on their choice to own a firearm and exercise their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed under the United States Constitution. Further, such a list, record, or registry has the potential to fall into the wrong hands and become a shopping list for thieves.”

-State of Florida Statutes, 790.335 Prohibition of registration of firearms; electronic records

The push for more gun “control” is on the march in the “Land of Lincoln.”

Last year around this time, State Representative Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) spearheaded statewide gun registration and ammunition “control” in Illinois with HB4715. Creating the “Firearms Registration Act,” the legislation eventually went nowhere.

This time around, State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago) is the torch-bearer of more gun and ammo “control” in the Midwestern state, filing the resurrected Firearms Registration Act legislation in the Senate (SB1413) on February 20. From a synopsis of the bill over on the Illinois General Assembly website:

Creates the Firearms Registration Act. Provides that every person in the State must register each firearm he or she owns or possesses in accordance with the Act. Provides that a person shall not purchase or possess ammunition within this State without having first obtained a registration certificate identifying a firearm that is suitable for use with that ammunition, or a receipt demonstrating that the person has applied to register a suitable firearm under the Act and that the application is pending. Provides that the Department of State Police must complete a background check of any person who applies for: (1) a registration certificate for a firearm that was lawfully owned or possessed on the effective date of the Act, was brought into the State by a new resident, or was acquired by operation of law upon the death of the former owner; or (2) a renewal of a registration certificate unless, within 12 months of the date the renewal application is submitted, the applicant passed a background check conducted by the Department in connection with the applicant’s acquisition of another firearm. Provides exceptions. Amends the Criminal Code of 2012. Provides that it is a Class 2 felony to sell or transfer ownership of a firearm to another person without complying with the registration requirement of the Firearms Registration Act.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Before Illinois gun owners dismiss the chances of such legislation becoming law in the state, it should be noted that:

• 2014 was as an election year for state senators and representatives
• Illinois Democrats maintain a veto-proof supermajority in both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly in 2015- 71 Democrats to 46 Republicans in the House and 39 Democrats to 20 Republicans in the Senate
• A future mass shooting along the lines of Newtown or some other mass casualty event on American soil “featuring” firearms could be all it takes for the public to get behind the Firearms Registration Act

For more information about Illinois Senate Bill 1413 and to track its status, you can visit the Illinois General Assembly website here.

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

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Sunday, March 1st, 2015 Ammunition, Crime, Essential Reading, Firearms, Government, Gun Rights, Hunting, Legal, Main Street, Political Parties, Self-Defense, Shooting Sports, Terrorism Comments Off on Illinois Democrat Introduces Statewide Gun Registration, Ammo ‘Control’ Bill

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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Friday, March 7th, 2014 Crime, Firearms, Government, Gun Rights, Legal, Mainstream Media, Public Safety, Self-Defense Comments Off on Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy On IL Concealed Carry Licenses: ‘Stand By And Watch What Happens’

Survival Warehouse Ranch Survival Community

Speaking of Doomsday Preppers, while I haven’t watched “The Gates of Hell” yet, I saw something that caught my eye in last week’s episode “Don’t Betray the Colony” that I thought was worth sharing with readers.

From time to time, I would see “Suvival Warehouse” emblazoned on things around Jeff Mann’s ranch-turned-preper “colony” in central Florida. For example, the shipping containers in which the colony’ residents would reside had these words on them. So I decided to query “Survival Warehouse” on an Internet search engine, and it turns out Survival Warehouse is a vendor of “earthquake, disaster and emergency preparedness products. The company “specializes in Dehydrated Food, Emergency Supply Food, Military MRE & MRE Meals and Survival Kits as well as various Freeze Dried Food and Freeze Dried Survival Food,” and has been doing business since 1993.

But here’s something else I found. Along their website’s sidebar is a link to something called the “Survival Warehouse Ranch.” According to the Survival Warehouse site:

Survival Warehouse Ranch is a survival community of like minded individuals on a 22 acre secured Central Florida ranch. Are you interested in preparing for a US societal collapse, natural disaster, or other problem that will make law and order a thing of the past? It can be overwhelming when you look at the cost and complexity of planning? So, you have been prepping at home? Large gangs of thugs will be going door to door collecting everything you have put together if your not in a secured community of other preppers. Are you a prepper looking for a group of like-minded individuals to bug out with? Do you want access to a fully secured and stocked retreat location but don’t have one of your own? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, we may have a spot for you at the Survival Warehouse Ranch. We offer space and membership in our community for $150,000.

Let us do the planning for you and when the time comes, you’ll have a comfortable, well-prepared beautiful community to retreat to. Our 22-acre Central Florida prepare community is secure, and fully sustainable. We are assembling a community of like-minded individuals who wish to take advantage of thestrength in numbers principle to assure safety and long-term self-sufficiency in the event of a societal collapse. We are using 40′ high top containers as a secure base for this community. Each family has their own locked and secure container. The containers can be finished like a custom home or any way you prefer. We have eleven (11) containers on site now. We will consider the community filled at 40 containers. The ranch has two 4″ well going direct into spring water some 350′ down. Several modern large secure barns. On site caretakers and employees on the ranch 7-days a week. It is a beautiful safe haven in Central Florida filled with deer, emu, chickens, and more.

We believe that groups of well-prepared, well-informed survivalists will stand the best chance of long term survival in the event of a major societal collapse. When the SHTF you’ll want to be surrounded by like-minded individuals with a diverse range of skills and abilities – people to care for livestock, tend to the ill, protect and defend the area, growing the fresh foods, etc. Our growing community of survivalist and preparedness specialists (including doctors, police, former military, pilots, animal husbandry professionals, food preservation specialists, etc.) will ensure the health, well-being, and safety of our community members, resources, and assets.

In addition to our the highly trained community members and spacious, secure location we also offer a literal warehouse worth of survival supplies to guarantee long term self sufficient living for at least 50 people. We have 4 years worth of freeze-dried food in addition to reproducing livestock (including cattle, goats, chickens, fallow deer, and emu), an several heirloom seed kits to ensure fresh and adequate food for everyone. Our ranch features two 4″ deep wells, a rainwater collection system, as well as access to a lake and ponds in addition to 1,000 gallons of stored fresh water. We have all the necessary fresh and saltwater filtration systems to purify an unlimited amount of water.

For the safety and security of community members we are heavily armed and have more than 800,000 rounds of ammo. Our unique community includes trained tactical and weapons specialists as well as patrol dogs. We are equipped with radiation detection devices, night vision equipment, security systems, back-up generators and stored fuel, medical supplies, Segway’s, and communication radios for your protection and comfort. In addition, our small town has a standing emergency group of around 30 members. This group is almost all X-Law Enforcement, and X-Military and work directly with us. Your family will be safe & happy here. All Members of our community also buy survival foods and survival supplies at very big discounts. This alone will re-cover a lot of your membership cost.

A societal collapse, natural disaster, or one of many other disasters is a very real possibility and being prepared is essential but preparations don’t have to be scary and overwhelming. By securing your spot in our Survival Warehouse Ranch Community you’re assuring your families safety and well-being without all the stress and insecurity of planning and going it alone. Why not sit back, relax, and enjoy your pre-collapse life and let us do all the planning for you? Give Jeff Mann a call at 407-349-2525 today!

For those who can pony up the $150K, don’t want to be bothered with the hassle of preparing for a TEOTWAWKI scenario, and don’t relish the idea of living below-ground for an extended period of time- this setup might be worth exploring.

You can find out more about the Survival Warehouse Ranch on the Survival Warehouse website here.

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

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Wednesday, August 21st, 2013 Emergencies, Man-Made Disasters, Natural Disasters, Preparedness, TEOTWAWKI Comments Off on Survival Warehouse Ranch Survival Community

On TV: Doomsday Preppers ‘Don’t Betray The Colony’ Review

“As long as nothing happens, preppers are idiots. The day after something happens- we’re geniuses.”

-Tony C., prepper featured on National Geographic Channel’s Doomsday Preppers episode “Don’ Betray the Colony”

In addition to watching the premiere of National Geographic Channel’s latest prepper/survivalist-themed project, Doomsday Castle (blogged about here), I caught the latest Doomsday Preppers episode, “Don’t Betray the Colony.”

Question- Was Tuesday night’s airing the start of season 3 of the show (making this episode 1), or is it a continuation of season 2 (making this episode 31, according to Wikipedia)?

Moving on, from the Nat Geo Channel website:

Some preppers believe in safety in numbers — as is the case for Jeff Mann, who leads “the Colony,” a community of 25 preppers unified with the single purpose of surviving doomsday. Watch as he prepares his son, Colten, to take the reins by having him hunt down live boar in the Florida swamps and builds the Colony’s very own gallows — an important message that there are laws to be upheld, even in times of chaos.

Actually, there was more to the episode than just Jeff Mann- “We’re preparing for an economic collapse”- and the prepper “colony.” The show also introduced Tony C.- “I’m preparing for a space-borne disaster”- and Cheree- “We’re preparing for a mega-earthquake.”

My thoughts about “Don’t Betray the Colony”:

Part 1: The prepper “colony”

When I heard this new episode would be featuring a “colony,” I wasn’t sure what to expect. Actually, I came away pretty impressed with the 21-year-old son Colten Mann. Fearing the worst, I reluctantly kept watching, suspecting the culinary school student might flounder (remember, this is “reality” TV, where drama plays a big role in the genre). I was relieved when Milandred and Hennessey put Colten through the paces and he managed to show a good deal of promise (got to give him a lot of credit for gutting and getting all up in that wild boar like he did).

But then there was that part with the gallows. Just prior to that, there was talk of a “city council” and “laws.” Now, I don’t see anything wrong with discussing a post-apocalyptic judicial system. “Post-apocalyptic” being the key words here. But throwing up that gallows on private property these days might have raised the eyebrows of authorities. If not local- higher up. And if these authorities are anything like the ones I know and have worked with in the past, thoughts of “Waco” probably crossed their minds. I’m just saying.

Personally, I would mothball the gallows until a situation exists without the rule of law. But as much as I might be inclined to agree with Milandred on just banishing the guilty parties, Hennessey may have been on to something here. You see, in a hypothetical societal collapse, banishing a colony member could mean unintentionally providing hostiles with intel about any vulnerabilities the setup may have. I suspect Hennessey was aware of the potential for this happening.

Last point about the prepper colony. They received an assessment score of 89, or a “19 month initial survival time.” That’s got to be one of the highest scores (highest?) ever given by Practical Preppers to a prepper individual or group. I’m impressed.

Part 2: The underground RV shelter

WTSHTF, some people will bug out in their recreational vehicles. Others, to an underground shelter. But Tony C. and his family, an underground RV shelter. I’m intrigued. Not only because it’s something I don’t come across too often (the Vivos Survival Shelter & Resort in Kansas notwithstanding) but also because it sounds like something that might be more affordable than building out an underground bunker with utilities. According to the episode, Tony dug a hole in the Indiana woods 52 feet long, 40 feet wide, and 12 feet high, and then parked his RV in there, constructing an underground compound with 1,200 square feet of living space. Tony explained:

The reason for that is everything’s done in the RV. You have all the comforts of home, and all the systems- the wiring, the plumbing, pressure pumps, inverters. Everything’s in an RV because it’s designed to be self-contained living.

I’d be curious to find out how much it cost him to build his shelter, minus the RV and supplies.

One other thing. That homemade filtration system Tony C. “MacGyvered” up- I wonder if he’s put it to the test yet? And if so, was it effective? It’s just as cool a contraption as that hand-held water pump in the final part of “Don’t Bertray the Colony.”

Part 3- The pacifist prepper camp

In the last part of Tuesday’s show, viewers were introduced to 27-year-old Cheree and her parents Jessica and Carl. They own and operate a 21-acre Christian camp in the foothills of the California’s Sierra Mountains. Cheree is concerned about a mega-earthquake striking the area, and wishes to follow in Christ’s footsteps and take care of disaster victims after the event. Very noble.

While hosting friends and family from the Bay area for a disaster aftermath dry-run, viewers are informed that Cheree adheres to a strict policy of non-violence and no weapons. The problem is, one of their group, Garry, wants a firearm for protection. He explained:

In a critical scenario, where you have people scrambling for food, for water, for shelter, for whatever. If they want it, and they have weapons, they’re going to take it. So, in that respect, I have to take appropriate action.

Cheree sticks to her guns, and “Garry is voted out of the group, and asked to leave the premises.”

Cheree later said:

I think that my faith brings me peace. And it may not necessarily better equip me physically prepping, but mentally and emotionally, He’s the one I turn to. I realize that whatever’s going to happen is going to happen, and God’s in control.

Hmmm. Two things come to mind here. First, this is a situation that has come up before in Doomsday Preppers. Specifically, in season 1 episode 2, “I Hope I Am Crazy.” I blogged back on February 8, 2012:

Firearms Which brings me to my next thought, which is about guns. One prepper said in episode 2:

It’s easy to feel a little left out of the prepper community if you live in New England and if you’re not fairly right-wing and conservative politically. But I just don’t spend my time worrying about storing guns and ammunition. Because our security comes not from stockpiling weapons but from having a community that respects each other, supports each other, and we have each other’s backs.

While the right of the law-abiding individual to keep and bear arms is enshrined in the Bill of Rights under the Second Amendment, I understand that owning a gun may not be right for everyone. However, keep in mind that in a SHTF situation, there are individuals/groups this prepper and her community could very well come into contact with who have come out and said (future post) they don’t bother stockpiling food, water, and other supplies because they intend to take these items away from others under threat of force (guns). Firearms are without a doubt one of the most effective tools for self-defense, and with the proper training and tactics, our prepper and her beloved community might actually have a chance of keeping their preps safe against these roving bands of human parasites.

By the way, that future post about human “parasites” is here.

And the other thing that comes to mind when the “Pacifist Prepper” said “whatever’s going to happen is going to happen, and God’s in control”? Consider the following…

It rained for days and days and there was a terrific flood. The water rose so high that one man was forced to climb on top of his roof and sat in the rain. As the waters came up higher a man in a rowboat came up to the house and told him to get in. “No thank you, the Lord will save me!” he said, and the man in the rowboat rowed away.

The waters rose to the edge of the roof and still the man sat on the roof until another rowboat came by and another man told him to get in. “No thank you, the Lord will save me!” he said again, and the man rowed away.

The waters covered the house and the man was forced to sit on his chimney as the rain poured down and a helicopter came by and another man urged him to get in or he’ll drown. “No thank you,” the man said again, “The Lord will save me!”

After much begging and pleading the man in the helicopter gave up and flew away. The waters rose above the chimney and the man drowned and went to heaven where he met God.

“Lord, I don’t understand,” he told Him, frustrated, “The waters rose higher and higher and I waited hours for you to save me but you didn’t! Why?”

The Lord just shook his head and said, “What are you talking about? I sent two boats and a helicopter?!”

The moral of the story? Help God help yourself.

Otherwise, you may just succeed in teeing the Almighty off.

After getting yourself killed just prior to that accomplishment, of course.

For more information about Doomsday Preppers, visit the show’s web page on the National Geographic Channel site here.

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

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Friday, August 16th, 2013 Ammunition, Emergencies, Firearms, Government, Gun Rights, Legal, Man-Made Disasters, Natural Disasters, On TV, Preparedness, Religion, Security, Self-Defense, Shelter, Space, TEOTWAWKI, Utilities, Vehicles Comments Off on On TV: Doomsday Preppers ‘Don’t Betray The Colony’ Review

Study: 326 Chicago-Area Bridges Are ‘Structurally Deficient’

While I don’t drive over bridges too often here in the Chicagoland area, I thought Chicago-area readers should be made aware of an article published Wednesday by Art Golab and Rosalind Rossi on the Chicago Sun-Times website that noted 73 bridges in Chicago and 326 bridges in the metro area are “structurally deficient” according to 2012 federal bridge data. Golab and Rossi reported:

The nation is littered with such bridges— structures in need of “significant maintenance, rehabilitation or replacement,” according to a recent Transportation for America study that urges dedicated federal money for bridge repair…

Statewide, the Transportation for America study put the number of structurally deficient Illinois bridges at 2,311, or nearly 9 percent the state’s total bridges. That compares with 11 percent nationally.

From a Transportation for America press release yesterday:

Nearly 67,000 of the nation’s 605,000 bridges are rated “structurally deficient” and are in need of substantial repair or replacement, according to bridge inspections analyzed in The Fix We’re In For: The State of the Nation’s Bridges 2013. Nearly 8,000 are both structurally deficient and “fracture critical”, meaning they are designed with no redundancy in their key structural components, so that if one fails the bridge could collapse. The Federal Highway Administration estimates that the backlog of troubled bridges would cost $76 billion to eliminate.

The report ranks states and the District of Columbia in terms of the overall condition of the their bridges, with one having the largest share of deficient bridges, 51 the lowest. Twenty-one states have a higher percentage of deficient bridges than the national average of 11 percent. The five states with the worst bridge conditions have a share over 20 percent: Pennsylvania has the largest share of deteriorating bridges (24.5%), followed by Oklahoma (22.0%), Iowa (21.7%), Rhode Island (21.6%), and South Dakota (20.3%).

At the other end of the spectrum, five states have less than 5 percent of their bridges rated structurally deficient: Nevada and Florida lead the rankings with 2.2%, followed by Texas (2.6%), Arizona (3.2%), and Utah (4.3%).

You can access the bridge report on the Transportation for America website here.

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

Source:

Golab, Art and Rossi, Rosalind. “Report: Busiest ‘structurally deficient’ bridge in area is Kennedy Expy. over Ashland.” Chicago Sun-Times. 18 June 2013. (http://www.suntimes.com/20828373-761/report-busiest-structurally-deficient-bridge-in-area-is-kennedy-expy-over-ashland.html). 20 June 2013.

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Thursday, June 20th, 2013 Infrastructure, Transportation Comments Off on Study: 326 Chicago-Area Bridges Are ‘Structurally Deficient’

CEO Survey: Illinois 3rd Worst State In Which To Do Business

Last week, Chief Executive magazine announced the results of its 9th annual survey regarding the best and worst states in which to do business. From their website:

In its ninth annual survey of CEO opinion about the best and worst states in which to do business, 736 CEOs—the highest response on record—rendered their verdict. Business leaders were asked to grade states with which they are familiar on a variety of competitive metrics that CEOs themselves regard as critical. These include: 1) taxation and regulation; 2) quality of workforce; and 3) living environment. The tax and regulatory grade includes a measure of how CEOs grade a state’s attitude toward business, a key indicator.

The best states in which to do business?

1. Texas (9 consecutive years now)
2. Florida
3. North Carolina
4. Tennessee
5. Indiana

Nice job Indiana!

The “Top 5” were unchanged from last year.

And the worst states in which to do business?

1. California
2. New York
3. Illinois
4. Massachusetts
5. New Jersey

Nice going Illinois. Second year in a row in that position.

The faster Illinois residents dump incompetent and ill-intentioned lawmakers, the sooner the state will be able to make headway on a number of real issues. Avoiding insolvency (somewhat of a stretch at this point) and job retention/attraction readily come to mind here.

By the way, our neighbors to the north- Wisconsin- climbed three spots in this latest survey to number 17. JP Donlon wrote on May 6:

More and more states are getting the pro-growth message. Wisconsin governor Scott Walker’s position is typical of this new thinking. “I’ve never seen a store get more customers by raising its prices, but I’ve seen customers knock down doors when they cut prices,” he says.

You can view the rankings of all 50 U.S. states on the Chief Executive website here.

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

Source:

Donlon, JP. “States More Aggressive in Competing With One Another.” Chief Executive. 6 May 2013. (http://chiefexecutive.net/states-more-aggressive-in-competing-with-one-another-2013). 13 May 2013.

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Monday, May 13th, 2013 Business, Debt Crisis, Employment, Fiscal Policy, Government, Taxes Comments Off on CEO Survey: Illinois 3rd Worst State In Which To Do Business

Day Trip To Pro-Gun Wisconsin

Earlier today I was at my family’s place in Wisconsin taking care of a number of tasks. As I crossed the state line from Illinois into the “Badger State,” I couldn’t help but think of something I read on TheBlaze website the other day. On February 22, Mike Opelka discussed the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and its 2011 Brady State Scorecard rankings. He wrote:

Leading the “worst” list (according to Brady) are three states that might be considered the “best” states for gun owners. All three scored a ZERO on the Brady checklist. Getting a zero is probably like scoring 100 in the eyes of a firearms fan. Meet the “zeros”:

• Arizona
• Alaska
• Utah

Rounding out the rest of the top 10 best states for gun ownership (based on Brady) appear to be:

• North Dakota
• Oklahoma
• Florida
• Wisconsin
• Texas
• Wyoming
• Mississippi

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Yep. Plenty of Wisconsinites sure are fond of the Second Amendment.

Banning hunting ammo. What were those Wisconsin Democrats thinking?

Anyway, while I was out and about in the nearby town I stopped by the sporting goods department of the local hardware store and the firearms department of a sporting goods store with a major presence in the region. At the hardware store, an employee was just getting off the phone trying to acquire more ammunition from a major distributor- with not much success by the sounds of it. While that store does a good job keeping their shelves stocked with ammo and other items that customers often use, there seemed to be less ammo on the shelves (no .22 LR from what I could see) as well as firearms compared to the last time I was in there in the fall (pre-Election).

The same goes with the sporting goods store. A lot less ammo (no .22 LR again), lots of empty hangers in the glass-paned gun cases, and not a single ammunition magazine in sight.

Now that I think of it, there were no employees in or around the gun department either.

Well, I guess you can’t sell what you don’t have. And they sure moved a lot of firearms-related product since my last visit to the store back in autumn.

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

Source:

Opelka, Mike. “What Are the Best and Worst States for Second Amendment Fans?” TheBlaze. 22 Feb. 2013. (http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/02/22/what-are-the-best-and-worst-states-for-second-amendment-fans/#). 25 Feb. 2012.

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Monday, February 25th, 2013 Ammunition, Firearms, Gun Rights, Hunting, Political Parties, Self-Defense, Shooting Sports Comments Off on Day Trip To Pro-Gun Wisconsin
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