Las Vegas

Viva Las Vegas… Preppers

Late last night I read an interesting article published earlier in the day on the Las Vegas Sun website that focused on preppers/survivalists out in Southern Nevada. In “Prepping for Doomsday: The survivalism movement’s fine line between protection and paranoia,” Rob Miech drew from interviews with Mike Monko and Anthony Champion of Zombie Apocalypse Store, an anonymous employee of Lock N Load Tactical, “Max” at Mad Man Army Surplus, and his neighbor Bailey (“a former military sharpshooter”) to pen the following:

The king of all earthquakes topples the high-rises of Las Vegas Boulevard. A 2-billion-volt electromagnetic pulse (EMP) strike has zapped computers and cell towers. Some other black swan event has pulverized the city’s power grid. In any such cataclysm, a woman implored to Mike Monko, fallout shelters below certain Strip hotels would protect their rank and file.

They would be taken care of, she continued, in a subterranean world of 40,000-square-foot domiciles with massive food supplies fit for 20,000 people. In his Zombie Apocalypse Store, Monko struggled to keep his eyes from rolling. “She was arguing with me,” he said. “She insisted that they exist. I said, ‘God bless you, ma’am. Would you like some more water?’ Here, you hear it all, like, the Sunrise Mountains are hollow and people are living under them.”

They are survivalists, preppers or doomsday preppers, or any of various mutations. Some staunchly pigeonhole themselves; others dismiss definitions. Those who drive only older vehicles- whose pre-solid-state-electronics engines are immune to an EMP strike- belong in a distinct category of preparedness.

Such tales come with Monko’s territory, where fact, fiction and fear straddle fine lines between protection and paranoia. Hollywood inspired the business, which opened in 2011; sales have cooled over the past year. It’s a starting block to gauge what it means to be a survivalist today in Southern Nevada, amid such uncertainty about tomorrow

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

There seemed to be that “preppers/survivalists are kooks” theme permeating the article. But to be fair, Miech is arguing there’s a “fine line between protection and paranoia,” so the use of “fringe” examples is to be expected. That being said, some notable passages from the piece included:

-A glimpse at how many preppers/survivalists there might be out in Las Vegas
-How the prepping/survival industry is doing these days in Southern Nevada
-“Liberal Preppers” on the Vegas scene
-And these bits:

As a group, according to Monko, they do not play well together. They lack communication skills, and when they do gather, their egos always clash. “It’s turmoil,” Monko said. They become even more solitary…

The owner of Lock N Load, which sells weapons and ammunition in the Henderson foothills, declined an interview request. One of her employees, who requested anonymity, recounted how an older woman, nearly teary-eyed and trembling, had recently approached him to buy her first handgun. Her post-Trump trauma was stark; the employee told me he talked her off the ledge. He convinced her not to buy something so dangerous in such a state…

Wow. You can read the article in its entirety over on the Las Vegas Sun website here.

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

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Redfin CEO Identifies Most- And Least-Vulnerable Metro Housing Markets To Experience Another Bubble

Last week in my Sunday paper, I spotted yet another great article by Chicago Tribune real estate reporter Mary Umberger. It was an interview with Glenn Kelman, chief executive officer of Redfin, a real estate brokerage doing business in 20 U.S. housing markets.

Apparently, Redfin recently ranked 15 major metropolitan areas it perceived as most- and least-vulnerable to experiencing another housing bubble. Kelman told Umberger:

We’ve looked at several factors: income to home-price ratios, ratios of sale price to listing price, the frequency of flips (resales within 18 months of purchase), incidences of bidding wars, and rates of going under contract within two weeks of listing.

From looking at those things, we think there are four markets that are in mini-bubble territory, at risk of price correction: Washington, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco.

At the other end of the list, the least likely to see a correction is Atlanta, followed closely by Chicago, Las Vegas and Dallas.

A new housing bubble. Something I’m starting to hear more of these days.

Anyone remember “crash prophet” Peter Schiff’s warning from last September? I blogged on September 18, 2012:

In his September 14 entry on the The Schiff Report YouTube video blog, Schiff, who correctly-predicted the bursting of the U.S. housing bubble and 2008 global economic crisis, explained to viewers what QE3 was really about:

This is the plan that Ben Bernanke has. Ben Bernanke’s plan to revive the U.S. economy, and create jobs, is to inflate another housing bubble. That’s it. That’s what the Fed’s got. That’s what it came up with. As if the last housing bubble worked out so well for the economy, that the Fed wants an encore.

You can read Umberger’s entire exchange with Redfin’s Kelman on the Tribune website here. Interesting stuff.

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

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Could Attacking Iran Unleash The ‘American Hiroshima’?

Talking about what Iran might do if its nuclear sites are attacked brought to mind something I read several years ago. But before I go there, have you ever heard of the “American Hiroshima” threat? I blogged about it back on May 6, 2011. I wrote:

In 2005, Dr. Paul L. Williams, a journalist and author, published the book The Al Qaeda Connectionicon, in which he discussed plans for a future nuclear terrorist strike, dubbed “American Hiroshima.” He wrote:

Bin Laden asserts that he must kill four million Americans- two million of whom must be children- in order to achieve parity for a litany of “wrongs” committed against the Muslim people by the United States of America. The “wrongs” include the establishment and occupation of military bases between the holy cities of Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia, the support of Israel and the suppression of the Palestinian people, the Persian Gulf War and the subsequent economic sanctions, and the invasions of Somalia, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

Few military and intelligence officials question bin Laden’s ability to carry out this threat. US, Saudi, Pakistani, Russian, Israeli, and British intelligence sources have confirmed that al Qaeda possess a small arsenal of tactical nuclear weapons- weapons that are being prepared for the “American Hiroshima.”

Dr. Williams said later on in the book that several nuclear weapons are already in the United States and that the attack is planned to occur simultaneously on a number of major cities, including Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and Washington, DC.

Spooky stuff. But back to what I was saying before about the current situation with Iran. On April 28, 2006, the following appeared on WND.com courtesy of Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin (FYI, Hamid Mir is a Pakistani journalist and terrorism expert who interviewed Osama bin Laden in 1997):

[Hamid] Mir said that he met with an Egyptian engineer last week who lost an eye after one of bin Laden’s nuclear tests in the Kunar province of Pakistan. The Pakistani journalist said the encounter with the engineer greatly disturbed and depressed him since it provided further assurance that a nuclear nightmare for America is about to dawn.

Mir believes that an “American Hiroshima” will occur as soon as the U.S. launches an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

According to Mir, the terrorist group and Iran have a “secret relationship.” The piece continued:

Mir’s position that al-Qaida’s nuclear weapons may have already been forward-deployed to the United States confirms the report of Sharif al-Masri, a key al-Qaida operative who was arrested in Pakistan in November 2000.

Al Masri, an Egyptian national with ties to [Ayman] al-Zawahiri, said that al-Qaida had made arrangements to smuggle nuclear weapons and supplies to Mexico. From Mexico, he said, the weapons were to be transported across the border and into the United States with the help of a Latino street gang.

Mir also maintains that numerous sleeper agents are in place in major cities throughout the United States to prepare for the nuclear holocaust. Many of these agents, he says, are Algerians and Chechens who obtained European passports and are posing as Christian and Jews.

He further says that many of these agents have been in the United States since bin Laden’s issuance of his “Declaration of War on Americans Occupying the Country of the Two Holy Places.” That fatwa was issued Aug. 23, 1996.

Talk of an “American Hiroshima” has increasingly disappeared in the years since 9/11. Doubters of the theorized attack argue that if Al-Qaeda had nukes in their possession, they would have used them already. However, if that capability truly exists (and I hope it doesn’t), I can understand why the terrorist group might want to wait for an attack on Iran before bringing nukes into play. Retaliating against the so-called “Great Satan” with such devastating weapons in response to an attack on the Islamic Republic of Iran could be a huge PR coup in the Muslim world at a time when Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia struggle to find their national identity and where exactly they stand with the West.

Source:

“‘American Hiroshima’ linked with Iran attack.” G2 Bulletin. 28 Apr. 2006. (http://www.wnd.com/2006/04/35923/). 15 Mar. 2012.

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Friday, March 16th, 2012 Africa, Foreign Policy, Middle East, Terrorism, War No Comments

Signs Of The Time, Part 39

Speaking of the shooting range today, has anyone been to Las Vegas lately to partake in some “gun tourism?” I’ve been hearing more about this activity lately. Rob Lovitt wrote on MSNBC.com on February 27:

Blam-blam-blam! Pa-pow-pow! Ber-t-t-t-t-t-t, ber-t-t-t-t-t-t!

If that sounds like a good time, you may want to set your sights on Las Vegas’ newest attraction, Machine Guns Vegas (MGV), which opened its doors Monday. Part gun range, part ultra-lounge, MGV invites visitors to grab the automatic weapon of their choice — Uzis, AK-47s and more — and get in touch with their inner gangster or SEAL Team Six commando.


“Luxury shooting range mixes bullets with nightclub mood.”
FOX News Video

Less than 10 minutes from the Vegas Strip, MGV consists of 10,000 square feet of newly-built floor space and provides shoot hosts called “Gun Girls,” who also happen to be NRA-certified instructors, according to Lovitt.

The MSNBC website contributor noted that the arrival of Machine Guns Vegas competes with gun tourism pioneer The Gun Store, a Las Vegas “institution” for more than 20 years. A visit to the store was recently named one of the things to do in a recent CNNGo website piece from February 21. From the article “10 classic American experiences:”

10. Las Vegas

Every American needs at least one regrettable weekend in this neon mecca to the seven deadly sins, located in the Mojave Desert, one of America’s most unwelcoming environments, made slightly more inhabitable by power and water management from the Hoover Dam.

Sleep at the hotel pool all day, check out Cirque du Soleil, gamble away your rent money, visit the Liberace Museum, catch a boxing match, go to the Gun Store on Tropicana Avenue and shoot every gun you’ve ever seen in a mobster movie, wander the Strip and try to leave without a wedding certificate.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)


Vimeo Video

Next time I’m in Vegas and I need to take a break from a marathon session betting the ponies at the Race and Sports Book at the Imperial Palace Hotel, I might have to saunter over to Machine Guns Vegas and The Gun Store to let some steam off.

Sources:

Lovitt, Rob. “Find your inner commando at Machine Guns Vegas.” MSNBC. 27 Feb. 2012. (http://itineraries.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/02/27/10243853-find-your-inner-commando-at-machine-guns-vegas). 13 Mar. 2012.

Brown, Jennings. “10 classic American experiences.” CNNGo. 21 Feb. 2012. (http://www.cnngo.com/explorations/escape/usa/10-quintessential-american-experiences-406346?page=0,1). 13 Mar. 2012.

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Tuesday, March 13th, 2012 Firearms, Signs Of The Time, Travel No Comments
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