police

Guns, Ammo Being Removed From St. Louis-Area Gun Shops By Order Of Police?

“A grand jury has reached a decision on whether to indict Darren Wilson, the white Ferguson, Mo., police officer whose fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager sparked days of turbulent protests, sources close to the process said.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) and the county prosecutor’s office are expected to hold news conferences later Monday, and prosecutors have notified the family of Michael Brown — the teen who Wilson killed — that the grand jury’s decision will be announced Monday night, family attorney Benjamin Crump said…”

-The Washington Post website, November 24, 2014

Last night I told my girlfriend that Monday would probably be the day for the announcement of the grand jury’s decision on the Michael Brown shooting (wasn’t going to happen on a weekend- “party time”- or too close to Thanksgiving because of the potential economic impact any violence could have). And by the looks of it, it will be coming Monday night.

There’s no shortage of people predicting Ferguson-related protests are bound to descend into rioting and looting if Officer Wilson isn’t indicted. We’ll find out if they’re correct in a matter of hours, I’m guessing.

I know one thing though. If I resided in an area that could be affected by civil unrest stemming from an announcement of no indictment, I would have prepared for this possibility some time ago as much I possibly could have (I understand financial/time constraints often get the best of us).

Paranoia? Hardly. All I’d be doing is taking responsibility for the safety of loved ones and myself in advance of a potentially-volatile situation where life, limb, and property could be threatened.

Now, I recently blogged about firearm sales being brisk around St. Louis. For those area residents still looking to purchase a gun and/or ammunition- I understand you might be out of luck at this point. From Valerie Beaumont over at the Addicting Info website Saturday:

A St. Louis area gun shop refused a sale to an African-American woman because, according to the clerk, St. Louis police informed gun stores that Darren Wilson will not be charged. To be clear, this was not an instance of racism (not in the traditional sense, anyway) — the shop was just in the process of removing all guns and ammunition from the premises, allegedly on the order of police.

“Did you notice the tractor trailer back there to our loading dock?” the man asked the woman, who responded with an affirmative. “All the guns are already packed in, and we’re taking all the pawns out of here too, just to protect our customers’ merchandise.”

“They’ve been saying that they’re gonna target gun stores and pawn shops,” the clerk told the woman. “This came from law enforcement; it’s what they told us. They sent out memos and everything.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

At this point in the game, for those Survival And Prosperity readers in the crosshairs of potential civil strife related to Ferguson, I pray for your safety. Hopefully, peaceful protests rule the day (and night).

You can read Beaumont’s entire piece here.

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

(UPDATE: I just got done watching a couple hours of streaming video of Ferguson this Monday night courtesy of Bassem Masri on Ustream and Infowars. The situation there steadily eroded after the “no indictment” announcement, and what I saw unfold was much worse than what the mainstream media is reporting at this time. Burning vehicles (I counted three), looted businesses (liquor store, hairdressers, mobile communications store), torched buildings (Sam’s Meat Market- which was defended by armed individuals back in August, a storage facility office, another business that wasn’t identified), multiple gunshots (firefighters had to pull back from Sam’s because they were being fired at), and much more insanity. I was even forced to stop watching Masri’s Ustream feed (approximately 90,000 viewers at one point) because his phone was ripped from his hand and stolen during the chaos. Just plain crazy. And according to the Infowars guys (Jakari Jackson and Josh Owens), it’s been said the second day of the 1992 Los Angeles riots was the worst. Great.)

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CHIEF Supply, Pyramid Air 10% Off Sales

Just wanted to let Survival And Prosperity readers know about the following sales going on over at affiliate marketing partners CHIEF Supply (reviewed here) and Pyramid Air (reviewed here). From an e-mail I received from Charlotte, North Carolina-based CHIEF Supply:

Ends Today
10% OFF Select Brands

With promo code OFF10NOW
*Enter promo code in cart. Additional discount codes excluded. Offer expires Thursday, November 20th at 11:59 EST

Looking at the CHIEF website, it looks like those select brands include Blackinton, Damascus, Orion, Shelby, and Smith & Warren.

Click on the banner ad below to check out the one-day event. Please note that by clicking on the ad and purchasing a product, I receive a commission from the sale. And don’t forget to enter that promo code if you buy anything!


Chief Supply Corp.

As for Pyramid Air, the Warrensville Heights, Ohio-based company’s e-mail said:

Sitewide Holidaze
FREE Shipping (on US orders $150+) +10% off (Some items excluded)
AND 2x Bullseye Bucks (Must have a Pyramid Air Account)

Enter code EarlyBF-14 at checkout
Deals expire Nov. 27, 2014 at Midnight EST

What exactly are Bullseye Bucks? From their website:

For each item you purchase, you will receive Bullseye Bucks. Each Bullseye Buck you redeem is equal to one penny (US $0.01). For instance, if you have 1500 Bullseye Bucks that you can redeem, that would be equal to US$15.00 you can subtract from the total of that purchase.

Click on the banner ad below to check out what Pyramid Air is offering. Please note that by clicking on the ad and purchasing a product, I receive a commission from the sale. And don’t forget to enter that promo code if you buy anything!


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

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Chicago’s 2015 Budget Includes Tax And Fee Hikes

Gee, who could’ve anticipated new fee and tax hikes look to be in store for Chicago next year?

From Fran Spielman over on the Chicago Sun-Times website this morning:

[Chicago Mayor Rahm] Emanuel will campaign for re-election on a budget that raises $62.4 million through “targeted” tax hikes and closing “loopholes,” which amounts to the same thing.

People who live, work and play in Chicago will be paying more for everything from parking and vehicle leasing to cable television and stadium skyboxes…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

These individuals have been doing that for a number of years now. Hal Dardick pointed out over on the Chicago Tribune site:

As the Chicago City Council prepares to approve his latest budget Wednesday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel repeatedly has reminded voters that he didn’t raise city property taxes during his first four years in office.

But that doesn’t mean homeowners haven’t had to pay. Under Emanuel, vehicle stickers cost more. Cable TV and phone taxes went up. And water and sewer fees increased significantly…

Taken together, Emanuel’s hikes mean the typical Chicago family will pay about $481 more to the city next year than it did in 2011. That’s the equivalent of a typical Chicago homeowner paying 60 percent more in city property taxes, which are nearly $800 a year for city and library services on a $250,000 home…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“Nearly $800 a year for city and library services on a $250,000 home”

In the Chicago neighborhood I recently moved out of, I’m not sure if any inhabitable houses at that price range with more than 2 bedrooms/1 bath even exists. So I’m guessing a number of my old neighbors- who already shoulder a significant tax burden for the city- will be somewhat pissed to hear of this “good news” coming out of City Hall.

That being said, it’s not exactly Chicago’s “financial reckoning day” we’re talking about here. But it’s probably not what Chicagoans want to deal with as the holiday season kicks-in.

As for the well-publicized pension crisis going on in the “Windy City,” Spielman added:

By December, 2015, the City Council must decide whether to raise property taxes — or find other new revenues — to fund a state-mandated, $550 million payment to shore up police and fire pension funds.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

So a property tax hike might also be coming down the pipeline.

One more thing. Regarding the ongoing manpower shortage in the Chicago Police Department? That doesn’t look like it’s going to be resolved in 2015. From the Sun-Times piece:

Once again, the mayor’s budget includes only enough money to keep pace with retirements. It also includes roughly $70 million in police overtime, down from $100.3 million in 2013 and a projected $95 million this year…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“Crime is down!” Yeah, whatever.

As always, I’m glad to see Fran Spielman and Hal Dardick are on top of their game.

What does all this mean for Chicago residents/workers/visitors?

It’s probably wise to budget a good deal more money for anything city-related next year. Even more so in 2016 considering what could be in store with the city’s public pension mess and what Cook County is telegraphing these days (blogged about Monday).

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

(UPDATE: The Chicago City Council approved Mayor Emanuel’s proposed 2015 city budget Wednesday by a vote of 46-4, and “puts off dealing with the city’s most vexing financial woes until after next year’s elections” according to the Tribune Thursday morning)

Sources:

Spielman, Fran. “Chicago City Council set to pass Emanuel’s $7.3 billion budget.” Chicago Sun-Times. 19 Nov. 2014. (http://politics.suntimes.com/article/chicago/chicago-city-council-set-pass-emanuels-73-billion-budget/wed-11192014-742am). 19 Nov. 2014.

Dardick, Hal. “Higher Emanuel fees and taxes add up.” Chicago Tribune. 19 Nov. 2014. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-emanuel-budget-2015-met-20141118-story.html#page=1). 19 Nov. 2014.

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Ferguson And Firearms

Outside the “Land of Lincoln” tonight, there’s the following story coming out of the St. Louis, Missouri-area as many await the grand jury decision on the shooting death of Michael Brown in nearby Ferguson. From the CBS St. Louis website:

Talking to “St. Louis Coptalk” forum, a supposed police officer in the Ferguson area issued a warning to others in the community to “protect” their families with firearms…

Vocative reports that under the name “A Concerned Cop,” one commenter shared the following warning:

“If you do not have a gun, get one and get one soon. We will not be able to protect you or your family. It will be your responsibility to protect them. Our gutless commanders and politicians have neutered us. I’m serious, get a gun, get more than one, and keep one with you at all times.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Sounds like sensible advice, all things considered.

Don’t forget training on the firearm(s) too!


“Gunsite: Tactical Shotgun for Self-Defense [Part 1/5]”
YouTube Video

Meanwhile, sales of home defense guns in that part of the country are brisk. Amanda Terkel reported on The Huffington Post website this afternoon:

Local gun stores are seeing this buildup of tension first-hand, with sales of firearms skyrocketing.

Metro Shooting Supplies, which is located near Ferguson, usually sells 30 to 40 firearms per week. But this week, the owner told The Washington Post, the store has sold 250. In other words, there has been about a 700 percent spike in sales.

“These people are afraid,” said owner Steve King. “One hundred percent of them are buying because of Ferguson.”

Defensor Tactical is a firearms shop in St. Louis that does a significant amount of business in body armor and custom rifles. John Heidbrink, an employee at the store, told The Huffington Post that Defensor Tactical has also seen an increase in sales lately.

“We’re a smaller shop in a small section of St. Louis, but we have a constant flow of business,” he said. “Our volume of sales has definitely increased — not to the order of what we saw right after Sandy Hook, but it’s definitely a constant flow. Lot of interest.”

“Two or three of my personal friends who have been agnostic on guns and have had no real interest in buying one have suddenly asked me [about them],” he added. “So we’re seeing a lot of first-time buyers and people that just continue to collect and get more.”

“Two or three of my personal friends who have been agnostic on guns and have had no real interest in buying one have suddenly asked me [about them]”

I can’t begin to count how many times I’ve heard/read something similar since I started researching personal safety matters several years ago.

More on Ferguson later…

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

Sources:

“Report: Alleged Officer Warns Ferguson ‘If You Do Not Have a Gun, Get One’” CBS St. Louis. 18 Nov. 2014. (http://stlouis.cbslocal.com/2014/11/18/report-alleged-cop-warns-ferguson-if-you-do-not-have-a-gun-get-one/). 18 Nov. 2014.

Terkel, Amanda. “Ferguson Area Gun Store Sees 700 Percent Spike In Sales Ahead Of Jury Verdict.” Huffington Post. 18 Nov. 2014. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/18/ferguson-gun-sales_n_6179254.html). 18 Nov. 2014.

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Prepping For Ferguson-Related Civil Strife

I was planning on wrapping up my blogging on Survival And Prosperity last night (as I strive for posting regularly again Sunday through Thursday), but thought it was important that I end this week with a few words concerning the upcoming decision by a St. Louis grand jury on whether or not to charge Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown. As I wrote in a post last Sunday:

Why do I care? Because I suspect there’s a lot of pent-up anger and frustration out there that could fuel significant destruction and violence in the wake of such a finding.

That being said, the authorities have had a good deal of time to prepare for the day the decision is announced and position resources in the Ferguson area to deal with any peaceful protest gone rogue.

In that respect, it won’t be like the 1992 Los Angeles Riots.

Still, that’s not to say civil strife won’t be sparked in other areas of the country after the announcement is made. St. Louis and Chicago come to mind here. A number of other U.S. municipalities are possible candidates as well.

So what do you do if you live in these areas where Ferguson-related civil disorder could break out any day now?

Late last night I came across an article on The Daily Sheeple alternative news website that might be of some help to those in the crosshairs. Daisy Luther wrote in “Officials Warn: ‘Make Sure You Are Prepared for a Period of Disruption’ Before Michael Brown Decision”:

Are you prepared for civil unrest?

The thing about racially motivated conflicts is that the divisive emotions and actions can spread far beyond the local area. You don’t have to live in the Ferguson area to face the potential for civil unrest. Here’s a synopsis of the threats during such an event and what you can do to prepare for them…

Luther goes on to talk about looting, violence for the sake of violence, destruction of property, running out of supplies, and martial law- and how to deal with each of these threats.

While it was an interesting piece to read for me, it should be required reading for those who are more likely to be impacted by any Ferguson-related civil strife. The article is located on The Daily Sheeple website here. Keep in mind there are a number of items that may require immediate action on the reader’s part, so don’t delay here as a decision could be handed down at any time now.

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

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Advertiser Spotlight: Paladin Press

“Playboy Magazine recently called Paladin Press publisher Peder Lund the ‘most dangerous publisher in the world'”

-Soldier Of Fortune website, June 2, 2012

Ever hear of Paladin Press? It’s a book publishing firm founded in 1970 by Peder Lund and Robert K. Brown (who began publishing Soldier Of Fortune in 1975). From the Boulder, Colorado-based company’s website:

For more than 42 years, Paladin Press has provided readers and viewers with top-quality books and videos on a variety of fascinating and unusual topics, including reality-based self-defense, survival and self-reliance, weapons, combat shooting, locksmithing, marital arts, and personal freedom. To do this, we seek out authors who are knowledgeable in their fields and encourage them to write books or create videos for our niche market. Our authors include such well-respected experts as Kelly McCann, John Plaster, Michael Janich, Jeff Cooper, Ragnar Benson, M.D. Creekmore, Mark Hatmaker, and Rex Applegate.

Paladin has survived all these years in the volatile publishing industry by adapting to the changing technologies and demands of our audience. We adjust our offerings to make them timely and relevant to today’s realities. From a starting inventory of a half-dozen military manuals, Paladin currently offers more than 800 titles in a variety of formats. Today the publishing industry is racing to take advantage of rapidly changing electronic and digital technologies, and Paladin is no exception. We currently offer 400 of our books for electronic download and over 250 of our video titles for digital download, ensuring instant access to favorite books and videos. Additional titles are being added monthly.

Paladin Press offers products in the following subject areas:

• Action Careers
• Combat Classics
• Combat Shooting
• Espionage & Technology
• Firearms
• Historical Arms & Combat
• Knives & Swords
• Locksmithing
• Martial Arts
• Military & Police Science
• New ID & Financial Freedom
• Revenge & Humor
• Self-Defense & Combatives
• Silencers & Exotic Weapons
• Sniping
• Survival & Self-Reliance

Paladin also carries something called the Paladin Crash Course Series. From their website:

The Paladin Crash Course Series consists of 30 timeless, inexpensive videos on an eclectic variety of topics, including developing one-strike stopping power, throwing and sticking knives, targeting vital points on the body, navigating in the wilderness, using hand-to-hand combat, becoming a modern-day gunfighter, making a ghillie suit, and securing your home against intruders. The videos feature Michael Janich, Jim Cirillo, Louis Awerbuck, Kelly Worden, Loren Christensen, Mark Hatmaker, and many more of your favorite Paladin authors.


“How to Control the Handgun Trigger- Speed Shooting”
YouTube Video

No wonder that “dangerous” label was assigned to Paladin. Yet while dangerous to some, highly-informative and incredibly-interesting material to a number of Survival And Prosperity readers, I’m guessing.

While other vendors on the Internet might offer a lower price for a product found on the Paladin Press website, know that Paladin does price match. From their site:

Price Matching

Lowest Prices Guaranteed

PURCHASE PUBLISHER DIRECT. WE WILL MATCH ANY ONLINE PRICE
ON ANY PALADIN PRESS BOOK OR VIDEO.

In addition, Paladin’s postage and handling rates are very reasonable. At the time I type this, domestic U.S. standard shipping for 1 item is $5.00. Add $1.00 more for each additional item shipped this way on the same order.

Looking for some “dangerous” books/videos that could actually save life and limb one day? Click on the banner ad below and see what Paladin Press might have to offer. Please note that by clicking on the ad and purchasing a product, I receive a commission from the sale.

Survival Titles Save 20%

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

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Ferguson Grand Jury Decision Coming On Or After November 15?

Many Americans are wondering when a St. Louis grand jury’s decision on whether or not to charge Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown is coming. Some speculate an announcement might be made as soon as Monday afternoon. Others say a decision won’t be coming until November 15 or afterwards- based on statements made by Ferguson’s mayor and the St. Louis County prosecutor’s spokesperson. Alexis Zotos reported on the KMOV 4 (St. Louis) website on November 6:

School superintendents worried that their students might get caught in potential unrest have asked St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch to announce the grand jury’s finding after 5 p.m. on a weekday or on a weekend, when most kids are safely at home…

McCulloch’s spokesman, Edward Magee, said the prosecuting attorney will inform police when the grand jury reaches a decision but will not reveal the substance of the decision. McCulloch’s office is considering advance-notice requests but hasn’t decided how it will announce the decision, Magee said.

The decision is expected on or after Nov. 15, Magee said

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Chuck Ross of The Daily Caller online news website corroborated that announcement date still being a week away with the following last night:

Sources are reaffirming that a decision will not come for at least another week.

Ferguson mayor James Knowles told The Daily Caller on Friday that the 12-person grand jury, which meets every Wednesday, was still hearing evidence this week and that a decision would not come “for at least a week.”

Ed Magee, a spokesman for St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCullough, who is presenting the case to the grand jury, confirmed the same, telling KSDK on Friday that a decision would not be made until next weekend at the earliest.

McCullough had initially stated that the grand jury would return a decision by mid-November…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

I like that idea from the school superintendents about the grand jury’s finding being announced after 5 PM on a weekday or on a weekend, “when most kids are safely at home.” And if the decision isn’t made until early next week (November 17-18), The Weather Channel is forecasting temperatures in Ferguson, Missouri, will drop into the 30s during the day while falling as low as 21° F at night. Not exactly ideal rioting temps should the decision favor Officer Wilson. Why do I care? Because I suspect there’s a lot of pent-up anger and frustration out there that could fuel significant destruction and violence in the wake of such a finding. Consider what Kellan Howell reported on The Washington Times website Saturday:

Protesters in Ferguson, Missouri attacked one of their own on Friday night, sending a student who attended a church meeting supporting slain teenager Michael Brown to the hospital on Thursday.

Chris Schaefer, a senior at the University of Missouri, St. Louis, told Buzzfeed News Nov. 8 that he was attacked by five men at a gathering in a church where protesters were set to discuss how to conduct future demonstrations…

Mr. Schaefer said there is unrest amongst protesters and that the movement is not entirely unified. He said that there are groups of people who wish for the demonstrations to remain peaceful but other “agitators” have divided the issue on racial lines.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

I suspect these “agitators” will be out in full-force in Ferguson- and possibly elsewhere in the country- should Darren Wilson not be indicted with Michael Brown’s shooting death. Should this be the case, it’s probably a good idea to try and steer clear of locations where such individuals might congregate to “protest.” Otherwise?


“Reginald Denny Beating”
(Warning: Violent images)
YouTube Video

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

Sources:

Ross, Chuck. “Sources Say Ferguson Grand Jury Decision Not Coming For At Least A Week.” The Daily Caller. 8 Nov. 2014. (http://dailycaller.com/2014/11/08/sources-say-ferguson-grand-jury-decision-not-coming-for-at-least-a-week/). 9 Nov. 2014.

Zotos, Alexis. “Rumors swirl about when grand jury announcement will take place.” KMOV 4. 6 Nov. 2014. (http://www.kmov.com/special-coverage-001/Rumors-fly-about-when-Michael-Brown-Grand-Jury-will-reach-decision-281875751.html). 9 Nov. 2014.

Howell, Kellan. “Ferguson protester beaten by allies at church meeting, hospitalized.” The Washington Times. 8 Nov. 2014. (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/nov/8/chris-schaefer-ferguson-protester-supporter-beaten/). 9 Nov. 2014.

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Advertiser Spotlight: CHIEF Supply

As I work hard to get caught-up on Survival And Prosperity, I’ll be publishing a number of “Advertiser Spotlight” posts on the blog this week. The following is the first of those.

I was first made aware of CHIEF Supply- a vendor of public safety equipment and apparel- back when I worked for a fire department in Chicago’s northwest suburbs. From the Charlotte, North Carolina-based company’s website:

Since 1977, CHIEF has served the Public Safety and Surveying industries with high-quality supplies spanning hundreds of the most respected manufacturers in the industry. In 1998, we expanded CHIEF to the Internet. Between our professional sales staff and CHIEFsupply.com, we continue to add the latest products, develop new services for public safety professionals, and aid the general public in personal protection and home and family safety. We’ve gotten this far by running our business on the belief that “quality” pertains as much to the way we treat you, our customer, as it does to our products and services. CHIEF is here to provide you with a wide selection of the highest quality products and deliver service that results in your satisfaction as our customer. We want you to turn to us when you need new gear for your public safety department, for yourself or for your family, and we want you to be glad to do business with CHIEF.

For a number of years, I was under the impression the CHIEF Supply catered only to public safety professionals. But as their website points out:

You can still order from us even if you’re not in the Public Safety industry. Of course, certain products require official authorization, but many of our products, such as flashlights, apparel, knives, multi-tools, etc. can be purchased by the general public.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

And man-oh-man do they carry a lot of products. According to their site, CHIEF has “over 55,000 high-quality supplies spanning over 375 of the industry’s most respected manufacturers.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Which helps explain why they’re a favorite vendor among a number of public safety agencies.

To help customers find exactly what they’re looking for, CHIEF makes a 375-page print catalog (Premier Product Guide) available for download by section or in its entirety on their website.

While CHIEF offers plenty of promotions year round, all orders with an order total (subtotal minus any discounts) of $99+ receive free shipping everyday as I type this!

It’s also good to note the Better Business Bureau has issued a “B” rating for the company.

One more thing- this morning I received the following e-mail from the folks at CHIEF about a Veterans Day Sale they’re having:

VETERANS DAY SALE
20% OFF
ORDERS OVER $89

Use Promotional Code OFF20VET in cart
*Maximum qualifying order size is $1000. Offer expires Tuesday, Nov 11 at 11:59pm EST. Current markdowns, additional discount codes and some brands excluded.

Click on the banner ad below and see what CHIEF Supply can do for you. Please note that by clicking on the ad and purchasing a product, I receive a commission from the sale.


CHIEF

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

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Chicago Transit Authority Train Passengers Now Being Randomly-Screened For Explosives

Chicago Transit Authority train riders may spot something new at the stations in the coming weeks. From the ABC 7 (Chicago) website this morning:

CTA passengers are now subject to random screening for explosives at train stations across the city.

There is no known threat to the CTA, but Chicago police said the precautionary measure is another layer of security. The screenings went into effect Monday morning.

The Multi-Mode Threat Detector is capable of finding trace amounts of explosive compounds, officials said. A team of CPD transit officers will work at one CTA station a day with the machines.

A random number of people will be selected each time. For example, if that number were 10, every tenth person would be approached by an officer and the outside of his or her bag would be swabbed. That swab is then read by the Multi-Mode Threat Detector for the presence of any explosive residue…

“One CTA station a day with the machines.” “A random number of people will be selected each time.” Not exactly airtight security, but it’s a start when it comes to protecting passenger trains and their riders against potential terrorist attacks. And when I say “start,” I mean the bare minimum.

Which makes me wonder if it’s not all just for show- certain politicians and public safety types trying to give Chicagoland the impression they’re doing something to combat potential terrorism, when the reality may be that the measures taken might not be all that effective in stopping a determined bomber.

I hope I’m wrong. But checking around cyberspace, there’s no shortage of critics of the new security screenings. Bill Savage, a Northwestern University professor, wrote in an opinion piece on the Crain’s Chicago Business website last week:

Maybe this plan will deter any terrorist who happens to pick the one station a day being staked out. That terrorist will, of course, be too nearsighted to notice the cops. That terrorist will be randomly selected. That terrorist will be too tongue-tied to refuse the swabbing and then walk the half-mile to the next station that isn’t hosting our crack one-station-at-a-time anti-terror team.

Security Theater will keep us all safe and sound, and everyone will live happily ever after.

Pass the popcorn. This is going to be an entertaining show.

If Chicago is going to perform random screenings for explosives on CTA trains going forward, my wish is that they have a plan in place to develop the program to be truly effective in thwarting a terrorist attack- while ensuring minimal intrusiveness to riders. Otherwise, “Security Theater” might not be able to stop something like this:


Madrid Train Bombings
(Warning: Violent Images)
YouTube Video

God bless those people.

In the meantime, CTA train riders should know the random bomb screenings have now started to take place. It’s probably not a bad idea for commuters to factor in a couple of extra minutes for ride times in case they’re selected to be swabbed.

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

Sources:

“CTA Adds Random Screenings For Explosive.” ABC 7. 3 Nov. 2014. (http://abc7chicago.com/traffic/cta-adds-random-screening-for-explosives-/378414/). 3 Nov. 2014.

Savage, Bill. “It’s not CTA security- it’s street theater.” Crain’s Chicago Business. 27 Oct. 2014. (http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20141027/OPINION/141029821/its-not-cta-security-its-street-theater). 3 Nov. 2014.

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Chicago Police Department Manpower Shortage Worse Than Portrayed

Something tells me the popular Chicago police blog Second City Cop is going to have a field day with the following. Hal Dardick and Jeremy Gorner reported on the Chicago Tribune website tonight:

The ranks of the Chicago Police Department are well below full strength, even as the rate of hiring has increased in recent years, according to testimony Thursday before the City Council.

The department has 587 vacancies, with plans to hire 200 more officers in coming months — before accounting for end-of-the year retirements, Superintendent Garry McCarthy said during council hearings on Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s 2015 budget proposal. The city is working to bring the department up to the full authorized strength of 12,533 officers, he said…

About 200 of the vacant posts are among rank-and-file officers, which would reach full strength at 9,608. The rest of the vacancies are among the ranks of detectives and police brass…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“Full authorized strength of 12,533 officers”

I seem to recall “full authorized strength” for the Chicago Police Department meant 13,500 officers only a short while ago.

I blogged on October 26, 2012:

The Chicago FOP has argued for the past couple years that the Chicago Police Department should return to its previously budgeted strength of 13,500 officers.

Recently, Mayor Rahm Emanuel presented his 2013 budget to the Chicago City Council. Under “Investing to Enhance Public Safety,” the Mayor called for, “Funding for CPD to hire officers to remain at full strength at all times.”

I blogged back on October 12:

The Chicago Police Department to finally be at “full strength?”

That I’ve got to see.

Why do I suspect the goal posts are going to be moved here?

I was thinking of that 13,500 number when I wrote that.

Apparently, Mayor Emanuel and Superintendent McCarthy were thinking more along the lines of a thousand cops less. Dardick and Gorner added:

Before year’s end, the city plans to hire 263 more officers, city officials said. And the mayor’s proposed 2013 budget calls for hiring an additional 500 officers — four quarterly classes of 125. The goal is to keep the total number of officers at about 12,500.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“12,500.”

Goal posts moved?

Goal posts moved.

And the CPD currently has 11,946 officers, while full-strength amounted to 13,500 just a few years back.

But seeing that “crime is down” in Chicago. Wink wink. Nudge nudge.

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

Source:

Dardick, Hal and Gorner, Jeremy. “Chicago Police Department not at full strength, top cop says.” Chicago Tribune. 30 Oct. 2014. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-chicago-police-budget-hearing-met-1031-20141030-story.html). 30 Oct. 2014

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Thursday, October 30th, 2014 Government, Public Safety No Comments

Chicago Preparing For Potential 9/11 Anniversary Terrorism?

I’m back. And just in time for the 13th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

While I haven’t come across anything (yet?) from the feds about any specific terrorist threats related to tomorrow, I see New York City is ramping up “intelligence gathering and visibility.”

Good for them. I’ve come to believe NYC (in particular, One World Trade Center aka Freedom Tower) and Washington, D.C., are primary targets for the Muslim extremists.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Chicago is a target as well. After all, Al-Qaeda has reportedly mentioned the city as being one. I blogged back on May 6, 2011:

After receiving today’s marching orders at their place of employment, a number of Chicagoans are settling down at their desks this morning and reading on the Chicago Tribune website:

Some of the first information gleaned from Osama bin Laden’s compound indicates al-Qaida considered attacking U.S. trains on the upcoming anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. But counterterrorism officials say they believe the planning never got beyond the initial phase and have no recent intelligence pointing to an active plot for such an attack.

As of February 2010, the terror organization was considering plans to attack the U.S. on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. CNN reports that al-Qaida was particularly interested in striking Washington, New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.

Sounds like Chicago’s Al-Qaeda’s kind of town, right?

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

I’ve heard an Al-Qaeda expert or two say the group is big on “celebrating” anniversaries. Along with that purported Islamic State Twitter post with a photo of the Old Republic Building at 307 North Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago, one might think the City of Chicago, like New York City, would take precautions around 9/11/14.

If they are, major local news outlets aren’t reporting it from what I can tell. I just visited a number of MSM news websites a short time ago and didn’t see a thing. No news releases from the City of Chicago or its Office of Emergency Management and Communications either.

Now, that’s not to say the “Windy City” isn’t preparing for a potential terror attack. I’d like to think the City of Chicago and Chicago Police Department are taking a page out of the New York Police Department’s playbook when it comes to 9/11 anniversaries. Collen Long of the Associated Press reported yesterday:

New York Police Commissioner William Bratton said the department is prepared.

“We will, as always, ramp up intelligence gathering and visibility,” Bratton said. That means thousands of officers in specialized teams, bomb-sniffing dogs who can detect not only the scent of a bomb but the vapors of a moving target, undercover officers and teams of police using radioactive detection devices and other high-tech tools.

Intelligence officers around the globe will be reporting in regularly and monitoring events around the world. If something happens in Gaza, it’s instantly felt in New York because of the large Jewish and Palestinian populations.

“Things ricochet real quick here,” said intelligence chief Thomas Galati…

Too much to hope for considering the current state of affairs in the CPD?

I understand a new Gallup poll is out showing Americans still aren’t concerned about terrorism these days despite the recent emergence of the Islamic State and what looks to be a competition between it and Al-Qaeda to see who can land a major blow against the American homeland first.

I cringe to think such indifference runs rampant among Chicagoans and their leaders too.

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

Source:

Long, Collen. “NYPD says terror threat more complex than ever: ‘It is layer upon layer upon layer’” Associated Press. 9 Sep. 2014. (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/sep/9/nypd-terror-threat-more-complex-than-ever/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS). 10 Sep. 2014.

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Former CIA Director: Islamic State Attack On U.S. ‘Will Come Probably Sooner Rather Than Later’

“#AmessagefromISIStoUS
We are in your state
We are in your cities
We are in your streets
You are our goals anywhere.”

-Twitter post supposedly connected with the Islamic State, which also included a photo of the Old Republic Building, 307 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, along with that flag photo outside the White House.

Well, it shouldn’t surprise regular readers of Survival And Prosperity that not only does terrorism carried out by Muslim extremists against the United States and its interests still pose a real threat, but another major player besides Al-Qaeda has now emerged with the rise of the Islamic State (formerly ISIS or ISIL).

Subsequently, the United States is taking action in defense of the “homeland.” John Dodge reported on the website of Chicago CBS affiliate Channel 2 last Friday:

The U.S. government on Friday issued a security bulletin to all U.S. law enforcement in light of the overall threat posed by Islamic State, commonly known as ISIS or ISIL…

The security bulletin issued Friday cautioned that there is no known threat to any U.S. cities…

Since Al-Qaeda has reportedly been trying to strike at targets within the United States for a number of years now, should Americans be concerned about this new upstart and their threats? Consider what retired General Michael Hayden, the former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency, had to say in an interview Monday on CNN. From his exchange with Jim Sciutto:

SCIUTTO: When it comes to ISIS, I think a principle concern for Americans is, what is the direct threat to them? My impression is that there’s a debate inside the intelligence community as to how imminent that threat is. You have a school of thought that they certainly aspire to attack the American homeland. They have a number of Americans among their ranks. Perhaps 100. But the FBI put out a report this week saying no credible threats yet. Where do you stand in that debate? Is it more imminent, or less imminent, is this a future threat, or a clear and present danger?
HAYDEN: Well, Jim, you’ve outlined it perfectly. This is a question of timing. Not of inevitability. Not of intent. And right now, I think it’s fair to say, that ISIS is very powerful local terrorist organization, and probably a reasonably powerful regional terrorist organization. But it’s one that has global ambitions. And it has the tools, as you suggested. American passport holders, European passport holders. It’s expressed the intent. And so, if it’s not Tuesday, it’s at a time and place of their choosing. And will come probably sooner rather than later. Look, they’re in a competition now with Al-Qaeda Prime, folks along the Afghan-Pakistani border, and there’s no way more powerful to express their street credentials among the jihadist community than a successful attack against the West.
SCIUTTO: So, to be clear, you’re saying it’s just a matter of time before ISIS attempts to attack or attacks the U.S. homeland?
HAYDEN: I think so. Certainly the West in general. Of course, and Americans and American interests in the region right now, are at risk.


“Hayden: ‘ISIS Attack A Matter Of Time’”
YouTube Video

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

Source:

Dodge, John. “Chicago A Top Terror Target; Ominous Tweet Connects ISIS Threat In City.” CBS 2. 22 Aug. 2014. (http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2014/08/22/ominous-tweet-connects-isis-threat-in-chicago/). 26 Aug. 2014.

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Thoughts On Concealed-Carry Permits And Their Relation To ‘Falling’ Chicago Crime

“I don’t expect to see these numbers being touted by Chicago’s mayor or the national media, but they should. The Windy City is one of the areas of the nation most plagued by violence and their efforts to make the entire metropolis a ‘gun free zone’ have only fueled further violence by those who weren’t going to pay attention to the laws in the first place.”

-Jazz Shaw, conservative blog Hot Air, August 25, 2014

A number of alternative media outlets are discussing a supposed correlation between concealed-carry permits being issued in the state of Illinois and “declining” crime in Chicago. Kelly Riddell reported on the website of The Washington Times this past weekend:

Since Illinois started granting concealed carry permits this year, the number of robberies that have led to arrests in Chicago has declined 20 percent from last year, according to police department statistics. Reports of burglary and motor vehicle theft are down 20 percent and 26 percent, respectively. In the first quarter, the city’s homicide rate was at a 56-year low.

“It isn’t any coincidence crime rates started to go down when concealed carry was permitted. Just the idea that the criminals don’t know who’s armed and who isn’t has a deterrence effect,” said Richard Pearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association. “The police department hasn’t changed a single tactic — they haven’t announced a shift in policy or of course — and yet you have these incredible numbers.”

As of July 29 the state had 83,183 applications for concealed carry and had issued 68,549 licenses… A July study by the Crime Prevention Research Center found that 11.1 million Americans have permits to carry concealed weapons, a 147 percent increase from 4.5 million seven years ago. Meanwhile, homicide and other violent crime rates have dropped by 22 percent.

The apparent correlation between more concealed-carry permits and falling violent crime both locally and nationally is interesting. However, in the case of Chicago, I suspect there’s more at work here than just Chicagoans now walking around town armed with Illinois Concealed Carry Licenses and handguns.

“Better” policing, as Chicago Police Department Superintendent Garry McCarthy is supposedly countering with?

What changed?

I suspect the “falling” crime rates can also be attributed to crimes like robberies and burglaries just not being reported like they once were. I blogged back on Halloween of last year:

Enter the folks over at the insightful Chicago police blog Second City Cop, and something they wrote earlier this month. SCC blogged on October 16:

Perception is part of the key to people “feeling safe.” The other part is actually being safe, having a visible patrol presence, being seen making arrests, performing traffic stops, and interacting with the public. That isn’t happening in most “safe” neighborhoods because the manpower has been stripped (or retired without replacement) from those areas.

Add in a massive reclassification of crime, increased response times to discourage reporting of crime, making the 3-1-1 (Alternate Response) a nightmare to navigate through and you have all the makings of betraying trust with the community when they can see the uptick in crimes with their own eyes and they no longer believe your numbers.

Before I exited the city in May, I myself witnessed CPD manpower being stripped from my police district (16th), heard stories about this “massive reclassification of crime”- “downgrade and reclassify”- from Chicago police officers, and read about/personally experienced the “nightmare” in interacting with the Chicago Police Department (procedural, not personnel).

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Make reporting crime a big pain in the butt for residents, and reported crimes like robbery and burglary plummet. Simple as that.

That being said, I wouldn’t be surprised if a real correlation did exist between more Illinois CCLs out there in the city and less robberies and burglaries. I just don’t think it’s responsible for most of the drop in crime.

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

Source:

Riddell, Kelly. “Chicago crime rate drops as concealed carry applications surge.” The Washington Times. 24 Aug. 2014. (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/aug/24/chicago-crime-rate-drops-as-concealed-carry-gun-pe/). 26 Aug. 2014.

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Future Riots In Store For Ferguson, Missouri, And Elsewhere In U.S.?

I first mentioned Gabe Suarez, a decorated veteran of Southern California law enforcement and president of the personal safety training outfit Suarez International, way back in April 2011. I follow Suarez on a regular basis, and yesterday he wrote the following about the ongoing civil strife in Ferguson, Missouri, and how it’s been “a replay of the Rodney King events of so long ago.” Via an e-mail from Suarez International:

I will make a prediction – in this order.

The Grand Jury will find the officer “Innocent Of Any Wrong Doing”.
The mob will not accept it and riot again.
Obama will step in, demanding another hearing.
No justice – no peace…as it were.
There will be another hearing where the officer is found guilty (wink-wink-nod-nod)

And all will live happily ever after.

Sure enough, Tim Bross and Jef Feeley reported on the Bloomberg website earlier today:

A grand jury will begin hearing evidence tomorrow in the police shooting death of Ferguson, Missouri, teenager Michael Brown, as violent clashes continued in the St. Louis suburb.

A grand jury will start hearing from witnesses about the shooting that left Brown, 18, dead, Ed Magee, a spokesman for St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch, said in a telephone interview today…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Gabe Suarez may be on to something with that prediction about the state grand jury finding the officer “Innocent Of Any Wrong Doing.” Along with other media outlets, Jason Howerton reported on TheBlaze.com late last night:

More than a dozen witnesses have backed up the account of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the controversial shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown, police sources reportedly told St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Christine Byers…

Police sources tell me more than a dozen witnesses have corroborated cop’s version of events in shooting #Ferguson

— Christine Byers (@ChristineDByers) August 19, 2014

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Will Suarez’s other prediction about an “innocent” verdict play out, and “the mob will not accept it and riot again” be in store for Ferguson, Missouri, and possibly other parts of the country?

Time will tell. But I’ll say this- If I suspected the safety of loved ones and/or myself could be threatened by such activity, I’d start taking steps to prevent that from happening.

Don’t be that schmuck trying to obtain personal safety gear, supplies, tools, what have you after the riot’s already at your doorstep, a la Los Angeles, April/May 1992.

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

Sources:

Suarez, Gabe. “St. Louis: Having “Been – There – Done – That.” Suarez International Blog. 19 Aug. 2014. (http://blog.suarezinternational.com/2014/08/st-louis-my-take-having-been-there-done-that.html#.U_O955V0zIU). 19 Aug. 2014.

Bross, Tim and Feeley, Jef. “Ferguson Police Shooting Grand Jury Probe Starts Tomorrow.” Bloomberg.com. 19 Aug. 2014. (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-08-19/ferguson-police-shooting-grand-jury-probe-starts-tomorrow.html). 19 Aug. 2014.

Howerton, Jason. “Report: More Than a Dozen Witnesses Have Corroborated Officer Darren Wilson’s Version of Ferguson Shooting.” TheBlaze.com. 18 Aug. 2014. (http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/08/18/report-more-than-a-dozen-witnesses-have-corroborated-officer-darren-wilsons-version-of-ferguson-shooting/). 19 Aug. 2014.

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This Is What A Good Old Fashioned Chicago Riot Looks Like

The 1968 Chicago West Side Riots were a little before my time (I was born a couple of years later on the West Side), but I remember hearing stories about the unrest growing up not too far from where they took place.

Here’s a little taste of what went down, courtesy of “ChicagoFD1” on YouTube.com:


“Chicago Fire Dept. – Chicago Westside Riots 1968”
YouTube Video

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

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Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 Civil Strife, Government, Military, Public Safety No Comments


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