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

NY Times Bestselling Author Brad Thor ‘Very Fearful’ Of Terrorist Attack In U.S.

Any readers ever hear of best-selling author Brad Thor? I first heard his name mentioned on TheBlaze website back in the spring. At that time, Thor- who’s brand-new thriller Act of War was just released Tuesday- announced he was moving his family from Chicago, Illinois, to Nashville, Tennessee, because of violent crime and high taxes.

I spotted Thor’s name again on Glenn Beck’s site last night. Erica Ritz wrote:

After 9/11, New York Times bestselling author Brad Thor was one of a select group of individuals asked to assist the United States government in “war gaming” the next move of radical jihadists.

Why? Because he and other thriller writers had demonstrated an uncanny ability to predict events years before they occur. Thor warned of the NSA spying scandal in his book “Black List,” and predicted the release of five of the most dangerous Guantanamo Bay detainees seven years ago in “The First Commandment.”

So where does Thor believe we are headed next?

He told listeners of The Glenn Beck Program yesterday:

What chilled me was Dick Cheney recently saying that within the next six years, we’re going to see a terrorist attack on American soil worse than 9/11. You know, with two-thirds of our border agents changing diapers and trying to feed these children coming across the border, that doesn’t leave many to guard a border that- even at 100-percent strength- people were still getting through. I’m very concerned that the enemies of the United States are exploiting- because they exploit every opportunity to get bad actors into the country. And we already know Iran has lots of bad actors already in the country- Agents that are in place, waiting to be activated should the Iranians trigger them and tell them to activate.

I am very fearful that we could see some sort of terrorist attack in the United States…

As am I, Mr. Thor. As am I…

“Brad Thor Act Of War”
TheBlaze TV Video

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


Ritz, Erica. “Bestselling Author Brad Thor, Who Predicted NSA Spying Scandal and Controversial Prisoner Exchange, Shares What He Fears Is Next for America.” TheBlaze. 9 July 2014. (http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/07/09/bestselling-author-brad-thor-who-predicted-nsa-spying-scandal-and-controversial-prisoner-exchange-shares-what-he-fears-is-next-for-america/). 9 July 2014.

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15 Fukushima-Style Nuclear Power Plants Located In New Madrid Fault Zone

“As Japan’s crippled Fukushima reactor continues to leak radioactive water into the sea, Americans are beginning to worry over potential health risks when radioactive particles reach the West Coast of North America next year.

Concern has been mounting after it was reported that subcontractors at the plant had admitted to having under-reported radiation and that dozens of farms that were initially considered safe had unsafe levels of radioactive cesium.

There have been unconfirmed reports of higher cancer rates among Fukushima locals…”

-The Voice Of Russia website, December 1, 2013

Enough of blogging about my local scene and financial topics. Let’s turn to preparedness now.

Back when I worked for a suburban fire department a few years back I used to do a good deal of the grant writing. From time to time we would be eligible for funds to upgrade the department’s/municipality’s emergency preparedness and response capabilities. As part of the grant approval process, we would have to identify potential threats to the community. I would always point out the danger (although somewhat remote) posed by earthquakes. Yes, the Chicagoland area does have its share of tremors- the last notable one being a 3.2 magnitude quake on November 4. When putting together those grant applications, I was always more concerned of rumblers originating quite a bit south of the Chicago-area, like southern Illinois.

Enter the New Madrid fault.

The other day, I happened to be reading an article on the “NewsWatch” section of the National Geographic website. Neil Lineback wrote on November 30:

The New Madrid (MAH dred) fault is one of the most dangerous in the world. Located beneath the upper end of the Mississippi delta, the fault extends from Cairo, Ill., to Marked Tree, Ark., a distance of 130 miles (220 km)…

According to an article from ABC News Radio Online (March 2011), a major earthquake along the New Madrid fault line today would be catastrophic, potentially affecting more than 15 million people in eight states: Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee. The USGS reports that the people most at risk from a quake of magnitude 7.0 or 8.0, however, are the approximately one million people living in the Memphis metro area…

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) also predicts that a major quake at New Madrid could displace 7.2 million people and destroy at least 15 major bridges.

Another problem altogether could result from the 15 nuclear power plants around the New Madrid region. All of the power plants are of the same or similar design as the ones that failed after Japan’s recent earthquake and resulting tsunami, according to ABC News.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

I checked out that ABC News article Lineback was referring to. What ABC News Radio actually said was:

There are 15 nuclear power plants in the New Madrid fault zone — three in Alabama alone — that are of the same or similar design as the site in Japan experiencing problems.

Not good.

And for any first responders out there reading this blog post, you may be interested in what was also mentioned in the piece:

In September, FEMA’s associate administrator for Response and Recovery, William Carwile, told a Senate panel that FEMA has five regional groups planning for possible earthquake responses, but a major quake along the New Madrid fault line could displace 7.2 million people and knock out 15 bridges. The response would require 42,000 first responders from local firefighters to the Pentagon.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

42,000 first responders!

Located in the “Geological Survey Program” section of the Missouri Department of Natural Resrouces website is a page entitled, “Facts about the New Madrid Seismic Zone.” From that resource:

The NMSZ appears to be about 30 years overdue for a magnitude 6.3 quake because the last quake of this size occurred 100 hundred years ago at Charleston, Missouri, on Oct. 31, 1895 (it was a magnitude 6.7). A magnitude 6.3 quake near Lepanto, Arkansas, on Jan. 5, 1843, was the next prior earthquake of this magnitude. About 75 percent of the estimated recurrence time for a magnitude 7.6 earthquake has elapsed since the last quake of this size occurred in 1812.

The earthquake that severly damaged New Zealand’s second-largest city- Christchurch- in 2011 and killed 185 people was a magnitude 6.3 event.

Any police or fire departments in the New Madrid fault region have any funds available for “new hires”?

How about gear to protect against radiation?

Just thought I’d ask.

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


“Are Americans safe from Fukushima radiation?” The Voice Of Russia. 1 Dec. 2013. (http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2013_12_01/Are-Americans-safe-from-Fukushima-radiation-0907/). 2 Dec. 2013.

Lineback, Neal. “Geography in the News: New Madrid Earthquake.” National Geographic. 30 Nov. 2013. (http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2013/11/30/geography-in-the-news-new-madrid-earthquake/). 3 Dec. 2013.

“Potential Catastrophe: Earthquake Could Devastate Parts of US.” ABC News Radio. 15 Mar. 2011. (http://abcnewsradioonline.com/national-news/potential-catastrophe-earthquake-could-devastate-parts-of-us.html). 3 Dec. 2013.

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Advertiser Spotlight: Smoky Mountain Knife Works

The next “Advertiser Spotlight” post I have for you today is for the Smoky Mountain Knife Works. From the Sevierville, Tennesse-based company’s website:

Smoky Mountain Knife Works was founded in the early 1970s, when Kevin Pipes and John Parker started selling pocketknives at flea markets. Through the mid 1970’s, they worked hard to build strong relationships with their vendors and customers, and the business grew quickly. In 1978, SMKW opened its first Retail Showroom. Over the years, SMKW has grown by leaps and bounds, outgrowing two facilities before building its current retail location in Sevierville, Tennessee. Today, Kevin Pipes serves as SMKW’s President & CEO.

Over 1.2 million SMKW customers visit the Retail Showroom annually. SMKW’s monthly catalogs are mailed to millions of mail-order customers, and smkw.com is the best in the industry!

I’ve seen one of their catalogs before and boy do they have a ton of stuff in there!

“Smoky Mountain Knife Works Store”
YouTube Video

Most orders ship withing one business day, and shipping costs are very reasonable (shipping charges include a $1 insurance fee).

Customer service and satisfaction is incredibly important to Smoky Mountain Knife Works. From their website:

We want you to be satisfied with the merchandise you purchase from Smoky Mountain Knife Works. That’s why we offer a “100% Satisfaction Guarantee.” You can return or exchange SMKW Merchandise for up to 21 days from the date of purchase – for any reason – no questions asked*.

* Merchandise worn or damaged by abuse, misuse, lack of reasonable care, or extended use (e.g., normal wear and tear) is not covered by SMKW’s “100% Satisfaction Guarantee” and/or the applicable manufacturer’s warranty and cannot be returned or exchanged at any time after your date of purchase.

In addition, SMKW currently maintains an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau.

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

(Editor’s note: SMKW is no longer an affiliate marketing partner)

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

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Signs Of The Time, Part 65

Back in the spring I stopped by the hardware store I frequent when I’m at my family’s place in Wisconsin. I was talking to the guy who was staffing the sporting goods section that day (and who’s also the resident gun guru from what his fellow employees tell me). He had just gotten off the phone with an ammunition supplier who had always come through for him in the past. This being only a couple of months after the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, the Great Guns & Ammo Panic of 2012-13 was still in full throttle. Anyway, “Scott” told me that his usually-reliable supplier wasn’t able to provide him and the store what they needed this time around. A first, from what I gathered.

Now, Scott and the hardware store will survive because they sell a lot more than just bullets. But what about the small gun stores who deal primarily in just firearms and ammunition? What would happen to them if enough inventory was gone, with no hope of resupply for months, and the bills started to pile up?

Apparently, a number of those gun shops go out of business. From Carley Gordon on the website of Nashville NBC affiliate Channel 4 last night:

For months, many Tennessee gun owners have had a hard time finding ammunition for their weapons. Now, some gun stores say a nationwide ammo shortage is pushing them out of business.

WSMV Channel 4
“Gun Shops Closing”
Channel 4 Video

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

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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)


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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AAA Predicts Falling Gas Prices, Except In Great Lakes Region

Usually around this time of year, I commute more often between my pad in Chicago and my family’s place in southeastern Wisconsin. While that won’t be happening as much in 2013 due to everything that’s going on around here, I still like to keep on top of gas prices to get an idea of how much I’ll be shelling out to enjoy the open road.

(Editor’s note: Open road my butt. This is the Chicago metropolitan area, where if bumper-to-bumper gridlock isn’t taking place, you’re dealing with drivers who are distracted, in a hurry to go nowhere, or who really just don’t care about the rules of the road. And a “good drive” is one where you don’t lose a hubcap/wheel cover from a pothole that goes all the way to China.)

Venting process complete.

Anyway, here’s some highlights from the “AAA Monthly Gas Price Report: April 2013 Trends and Summer Outlook” that’s just been released on the “NewsRoom” section of the AAA website:

• Gas prices nationally averaged $3.55 per gallon in April, which was the least expensive average for the month since 2010. Gas prices dropped about 13 cents per gallon in April (3.5 percent), which was the largest percentage decline for the month in ten years. In comparison, gas prices in 2012 averaged $3.89 for the month, while the average price in April 2011 was $3.79 per gallon.
• Gas prices should drop to $3.20 to $3.40 per gallon by mid-summer if current trends continue in regards to oil prices, motorist demand and refinery production. Gas prices in recent years have declined in early summer after reaching a springtime peak as refineries ramp up gasoline production in anticipation of the summer driving season.
• The cheapest gas prices are predominately in the Southeast where extensive refinery production and lower-than-average taxes have helped keep prices low in comparison to the rest of the country. Gas prices in the Great Lakes region have increased in recent weeks because of planned refinery maintenance and unscheduled outages following recent heavy storms.
• The five states with the highest averages today include: Hawaii ($4.34), Alaska ($3.97), Ill. ($3.91), Calif. ($3.90) and Mich. ($3.79). The five states with the cheapest gas price averages today include: S.C. ($3.23), Tenn. ($3.26), Ala. ($3.27), Ark. ($3.27) and Miss. ($3.28).

As for me in Chicago? Prices at the pump have not only been brutal this spring, but are expected to go higher. Samantha Bomkamp reported on the Chicago Tribune website last night:

AAA said Tuesday that motorists nationwide are paying the lowest springtime gas prices in three years, but don’t tell that to drivers in Illinois.

Despite a recent dip, drivers here are paying the highest average price in the lower 48 states. With a statewide average on Tuesday of $3.91 a gallon, Illinois drivers are paying more than every state except Alaska at $3.97 and Hawaii and $4.34.

Costs are even higher in Chicago where the average price was $4.32 per gallon Tuesday, according to AAA. Prices averaged $4.14 in the suburbs…

While AAA predicts that drivers nationally should see gas prices fall even lower, motorists in Illinois and other Great Lakes states should see even higher prices as maintenance continues on refineries that provide most of the region’s gas supplies.

It’s a good thing I fill up in Wisconsin, where the price of gas is routinely cheaper.

East bound and down, loaded up and truckin’…

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


“AAA Monthly Gas Price Report: April 2013 Trends and Summer Outlook.” AAA. 29 Apr. 2013. (http://newsroom.aaa.com/2013/04/aaa-monthly-gas-price-report-april-2013-trends-and-summer-outlook/). 1 May 2013.

Bomkamp, Samantha. “Gas prices ease nationwide while Ill. marches higher.” Chicago Tribune. 30 Apr. 2013. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/breaking/chi-gas-prices-ease-nationwide-while-ill-marches-higher-20130430,0,3861102.story). 1 May 2013.

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Wednesday, May 1st, 2013 Energy, Transportation, Travel, Vehicles No Comments

On TV: Doomsday Preppers ‘Solutions Not Problems’ Preview

Season 2 of National Geographic Channel’s Doomsday Preppers TV series continues tonight with a special Valentine’s Day episode, “Solutions Not Problems,” which airs at 9 PM ET.

I was lucky enough to be provided an advance-screening of the “Bachelor Prepper” episode. From a Nat Geo Channel press release I received at the end of last week:

Prepping for an economic collapse, Jeff is converting a decommissioned missile silo into the perfect bug-out getaway. But that’s not all Jeff is focused on. With an online dating profile, he is also searching for a special someone who can share his love for prepping. We’ll see Jeff, a bachelor on the lookout for love, not only work on his bunker, but also go on multiple dates to find his prepper mate. Will he select one to take to his secret bunker? We also meet Doug, who lives in the mountains of Tennessee. He currently runs his own stone quarry, and the locals call him “Rockman.” But what they may not know is that he is using rocks to prepare his underground bunker for the upcoming economic collapse. Will he build a safe haven out of his rock stockpiles?

Jeff Flaningam is a 37-year-old Wisconsin bachelor who owns 19-acres out in central Kansas- with a decommissioned Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) silo buried underneath it. Jeff is hard at work turning the abandoned missile base into a livable bug-out location. He told viewers:

I’m preparing for a catastrophic economic collapse.

According to the show:

The national debt currently totals more than $16 trillion. Jeff believes that if nothing is done to change this, the U.S. could go from becoming a global economic leader, to a nation struggling to provide food, water, and power. He worries that the consequences of such a collapsing economy could last indefinitely.

Flaningam added:

Transportation system falls apart, fuel costs go through the roof, people can’t get the goods that they need. The normal courtesy that we share with our fellow man is going to degrade and get thrown out of the window. Violence would be rampant. I don’t think anyone can know how long an event like that could last. I know I have to be prepared to stay off the grid for as long as it takes.

The Wisconsin-based prepper plans on bugging out 800 miles to the Kansas bunker when the first signs of a SHTF situation arise.

But before that happens, he’d like someone to share those “special times” with.

“Doug,” aka “Rockman,” owns a stone quarry in the Tennessee mountains. He told viewers:

I’m prepping for an economic collapse that will change the world forever.

Doug added later:

Our economy is in distress. And I don’t see it getting better. Can you imagine paying $17 trillion dollars back?

Along with his employee and best friend Inés, the two of them are shown building an underground shelter constructed out of a shipping container that their families will use as a bug-out location, and putting a 3-tiered defensive plan for the bunker into place.

It was a fun, informative, and not too overboard (reality TV-wise) episode to watch. And if you’re not into that lovey-dovey stuff, at least catch it for the “Rockman’s” segment, where he, with the help of a former U.S. President, shows you an easy way to make money from money.

Don’t worry. You’ll get what I’m talking about by watching tonight’s episode.

For more information about the TV series visit the Doomsday Preppers page on the National Geographic Channel website here.

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

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Study: Only 3 Out Of 76 Major U.S. Metro Areas Are In Economic Recovery

Surprise, surprise. More evidence is out that points to the economic recovery that’s supposed to be taking place in the United States as being a big joke. Reuters’ Lisa Lambert talked about a new report that was released today by the Washington, D.C.-based think tank the Brookings Institution and wrote on the Yahoo! News website:

The United States has the most major metropolitan economies of all countries – 76 – according to an annual report on the 300 largest metropolitan economies worldwide that Brookings released on Friday…

Three and a half years since the 2007-09 economic recession ended, only three major U.S. metropolitan areas are experiencing an economic recovery, according to the Brookings Institution.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Those three metro areas are Dallas, Knoxville, and Pittsburgh.

Congratulations you guys.

Only 3 out of 76 major metropolitan economies in the U.S. experiencing an economic recovery?


Especially when you consider all that stimulus, all those bailouts, all that government intervention, all that new debt heaped on the pile these past couple of years. Lambert added:

“It was still better than last year when the U.S. had no metro recoveries,” Brookings Associate Fellow Emilia Istrate said.

0 recoveries to 3 out of a possible 76? Pardon me for a moment while I head outside to go dance in the streets.


Lambert, Lisa. “Only three major U.S. cities see economic recovery: study.” Reuters. 30 Nov. 2012. (http://news.yahoo.com/only-three-major-u-cities-see-economic-recovery-050732585.html). 30 Nov. 2012.

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Poll: Illinois Finishes Second To California As Least Favorite U.S. State

I heard it on the Chicago morning news today. According to a recent poll, Illinois is the second least favorite state in the Union- topped only by California. The Raleigh, North Carolina-based survey organization Public Policy Polling conducted a “state favorability poll” from October to January in which they asked American voters nationally what their impressions of each state were. The results were discussed on their website Tuesday. The five most favorite states of those surveyed were:

1. Hawaii
2. Colorado
3. Tennessee
4. South Dakota
5. Virginia

While the five least favorite states turned out to be:

1. California
2. Illinois
3. New Jersey
4. Mississippi
5. Utah

Public Policy Polling staff said on their website:

Americans generally have a favorable view of most states. Only five are in negative territory, led by California (27% favorable and 44% unfavorable), Illinois (19-29), New Jersey (25-32), Mississippi (22-28), and Utah (24-27).

Wisconsin, where I spend a good deal of my time during the year, was the 16th most favorite state among respondents.


“State favorability poll.” Public Policy Polling. 21 Feb. 2012. (http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/2012/02/state-favorability-poll.html). 24 Feb. 2012.

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Friday, February 24th, 2012 North America No Comments
Survival And Prosperity
Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Est. 2010, Chicagoland, USA

Successor to Boom2Bust.com
"The Most Hated Blog On Wall Street"
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