urban living

Russians Issue Terrorism Warning For Citizens Traveling To U.S.

Right before the weekend I blogged about the State Department issuing a “Europe Travel Alert” Thursday warning Americans about a “heightened risk of terrorist attacks throughout Europe, particularly during the holiday season.”

This morning, I came across the following on the website of Russian international TV network RT:

The Russian Foreign Ministry has issued a warning to citizens, urging those traveling to European and US cities in the coming months to exercise caution, as the holiday season may prompt terrorist attacks in popular destinations.

In a brief message posted online, the Situational-Crisis Center said there was an increased probability of terrorist attacks during Christmas and the New Year, between December 20 and January 20. It added the hashtags #Europe and #USA.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

The Russians merely having a go at America? Or does Moscow actually possess some information about a potential terror threat directed against the United States- and in particular, American cities- during this timeframe?

No mention in the RT piece about specific intel which may have led to the Russian government issuing the warning.

Still, considering we live in a time of war, it pays to be vigilant.

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

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Realtor.com Examines Best, Worst U.S. Cities ‘To Survive The Apocalypse’

I never really expected to see an article about “strategic relocation” on Realtor.com. But back on October 30 the real estate listings website ran a piece entitled “The Best and Worst Cities in America to Survive the Apocalypse.” Lance Lambert wrote:

Even to the most positive-minded among us, it sometimes seems the world is on the verge of collapse. So just in case civilization does indeed crumble, explode, or implode around you, it makes sense to have a plan. Where do you go to eke out survival?

The location you call home could mean the difference between life and death in the face of utter disaster—but the safest place depends on what kind of disaster we’re talking about. That’s where the realtor.com® data team comes in. We donned our biohazard gear, pulled together a gross of canned goods and filtered water and set our sights on the best—and worst—metros to to survive two wildly different end-of-days scenarios: a nuclear calamity (more terrifying every day, thank you Kim Jong Un) and a zombie apocalypse (hey, it could happen).

Here were the metrics used:

So we looked at a variety of criteria that could mean the difference between life, death, and the fate of the walking undead. We looked at the 200 largest U.S. metros and only included one per state. Our criteria included:*

• Percentage of realtor.com home listings with a lake, pond, or well (for drinking water)
• Percentage of listings with a safe room or panic room
• Percentage listings with a bunker, fallout shelter, or underground shelter
• Percentage of listings with solar panels or hydropower (to fuel your home if the grid goes dark)
• Population density
• Percentage of active military and federal government employees (nuke targets)
• Percentage of health care workers
• Percentage of manufacturing workers (more nuke targets)
• State gun score (tracking the ability to stockpile weapons)
• Percentage of landmass covered by fresh water

And the results were grouped into the following:

• “Best cities to survive a nuclear apocalypse”
• “Worst cities to survive a nuclear apocalypse”
• “Best cities to survive the zombie Armageddon”
• “Worst cities to survive the zombie Armageddon”

It’s an interesting (surprising?) piece from Realtor.com. For readers interested in the subject of strategic relocation, I offer up the following which was published on Survival And Prosperity back on February 1, 2013. I wrote:

Earlier this week in one of my “Project Prepper” posts I blogged about “a nice resource I came across recently while verifying the ‘Badger State’ is the place to be for me.” Uploaded onto the AlexJonesChannel on YouTube.com back on November 8, 2012:

Joel Skousen sits down with Alex Jones and discusses strategies on how to prepare for and survive major disasters. Joel Skousen is a world renowned expert in designing secure homes, geo-political analysis, and strategic relocation. Preparing food, water, arms, medical supplies, and shelter may not be a good enough plan. Large population centers are the biggest threat to survival after any major disaster. Joel Skousen explains his strategy for survival, which includes acquiring all of the essentials, preparing in a safe location and methods on how to avoid a dangerous hungry population and safely arrive at your secure location.


“Strategic Relocation The Film FULL VERSION HQ”
YouTube Video

Skousen is the author of Strategic Relocation: North American Guide to Safe Places, 3rd Edition, which includes updated/expanded analysis of threats facing North America and opinion on popular overseas tax-havens and expatriate colonies.

You can read “The Best and Worst Cities in America to Survive the Apocalypse” on Realtor.com here.

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

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Anti-Trump Rallies Saturday

On Saturday, November 4, a number of anti-Trump (and Pence) rallies are scheduled to take place in various American cities. Caleb Parke reported on the FOX News website tonight:

A series of anti-government, leftist rallies set to descend on major cities nationwide Saturday is drawing the attention of local officials, who, like the organizers themselves, fear the events could be hijacked by violent masked anarchists.

The left-wing “Refuse Fascism” group is using Nov. 4 as its kickoff for demonstrations in nearly two dozen U.S. cities, protests it says will continue “day after day and night after night- not stopping- until our DEMAND is met.”

The “DEMAND” is the removal of President Trump and Vice President Pence…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Parke added that the 20 cities where rallies are set to take place include Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Honolulu, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Seattle.

According to the Refuse Fascism website, here are the details for the Chicago event:

Chicago, November 4
1:00 pm
Federal Plaza, 219 S. Dearborn

Federal Plaza. My old stomping ground.

Anyway, just be advised should you have plans in these particular cities tomorrow.

For readers going into areas where rallies are scheduled to take place and who have concerns about the gatherings turning into riots, you might want to consider the following advice from Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy of Survival Medicine Handbook-fame (now in it’s 3rd edition):


“13 Tips to Survive a Protest or Riot”
YouTube Video

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

Source:

Parke, Caleb. “Antifa apocalypse? Anarchist group’s plan to overthrow Trump’s ‘regime’ starts Saturday” FOX News. 3 Nov. 2017. (http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/11/03/antifa-apocalypse-anarchist-groups-plan-to-overthrow-trump-regime-starts-saturday.html). 3 Nov. 2017.

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Surviving The Vehicle Terror Attack

“A truck-driving terrorist carved a mile-long path of carnage through lower Manhattan, killing eight innocents Tuesday as he plowed down helpless victims on a bike path. The rented white pickup hopped the curb at W. Houston with ISIS-inspired suspect Sayfullo Saipov drawing a bead on bicyclists as screams filled the Halloween skies and blood stained the pavement…”

New York Daily News website, November 1, 2017

Continuing on the topic of vehicles from last night night, have any readers thought about how you might try to survive a vehicle terror attack like the one that took place in New York City earlier this week? A legitimate concern, I think, for those who live/work in and visit the “big city” (not saying “Main Street” couldn’t be in the bad guys’ crosshairs too). Consider the following from Alex Nowrasteh on the Cato Institute’s blog Halloween evening:

Vehicle attacks are not the norm in the United States where firearms are more readily available, but they are rising in frequency, as we saw in Charlottesville earlier this year. ISIS recently encouraged its followers to use trucks in lone wolf terrorist attacks and Saipov allegedly left a note declaring allegiance to that wannabe-Caliphate.

RAND Corporation terrorism expert Brian Michael Jenkins remarked that airplane hijackings were the norm for 1970s terrorist attacks while suicide bombers were the norm for the 1980s. Today, vehicle attacks are increasingly common around the world. Jenkins identified approximately 40 vehicle attacks around the world from 2000 through 2016 that resulted in 167 deaths, approximately four per attack. That total also includes the terrorists who died carrying them out…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

As vehicular terrorism shouldn’t be taken lightly, I scoured the Internet for strategies to avoid falling victim to such violence. Three articles grabbed my attention:

“Five Ways to Survive a Terror Truck Attack” by Bob Owens, Editor of BearingArms.com

“Vehicular Terrorist Attacks: Strategies For Safety And Survival” by Steven Crimando for RECOIL OFFGRID magazine

“10 Tips for Surviving a Terrorist Vehicle Attack” by Greg Ellifritz of Active Response Training

While there’s some overlap, each piece brings different yet complimentary ideas to the table. I’m thinking a decent plan to counter the car or truck terror attack could be developed from these resources. But that’s something readers can decide for themselves.

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

Source:

Nowrasteh, Alex. “The Halloween Terror Attack in New York: The Threat from Foreign-Born Terrorists.” Cato At Liberty. 31 Oct. 2017. https://www.cato.org/blog/halloween-terror-attack-new-york-threat-foreign-born-terrorists. 2 Nov. 2017.

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The Green Suite Of Chicago Offering Window Farming For Beginners, DIY Solar Electricity Classes In March

Nick Conrad and The Green Suite of Chicago (first blogged about here in January 2014) will be offering instruction in “window farming” and solar electricity next month. From their website:

DIY Solar Electricity
Thursday, March 2, 2017
7:00pm -9:00pm
Green House Loft (map)

Class Info

Wouldn’t it be awesome to harness your own electricity from the sun? Solar energy is green, silent and a lot easier to build than you think.

This DIY class will cover the basics of electricity as well as how to design, build, and install your own solar panel system. In addition to solar electricity, we will discuss other sources of renewable energy such as wind and geothermal power. The class concludes with hands-on experience assembling part of an actual solar panel.

You will walk away from this course with the basic knowledge needed to start generating your own solar energy at home…and for a lot less money than you thought!

As I type this, 11 spots are still open for the class. Cost is only $30.

Regarding that window farming class:

Window Farming for Beginners
Sunday, March 5, 2017
3:00pm-5:00pm
Green House Loft (map)

Class Info

Have you always wanted to start a garden but don’t have the space or knowledge? Window farming is inexpensive and easy way to grow your own food right in your window! Constructed from recycled materials, window farms are perfect for small apartments with limited space.

The class consists of a 1hr introduction to the basics of hydroponics, window farming and seed cultivation followed by a thirty-minute workshop. In the workshop you will make a small hydroponic planter to take home with you. Each student should bring one empty plastic bottle. (12-32oz is best)

Anyone can learn how to grow fresh, organic food, hydroponically. Enroll today and you’ll learn how to grow your own food, save money and turn trash into treasure!

What to bring

Each student should bring one empty plastic bottle. (12-32oz is best)

As I type this, 11 spots are still open for the class. Cost again is only $30.

For more information about the instruction and how to enroll, head over to The Green Suite website here. You can also register for classes on the Dabble Chicago website here.

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

(Editor’s note: Posting of information about any instruction is not to be construed as being a recommendation from this blog and its editor, unless specifically indicated. I am not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented herein.)

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Chicago Ties Birmingham, Alabama, For Highest Jobless Rate Among Large Metro Areas In December

This morning the U.S. Department of Labor handed the Chicago metropolitan area some bad news on the employment front. From a Bureau of Labor Statistics news release this morning entitled “Metropolitan Area Employment And Unemployment- December 2016”:

Of the 51 metropolitan areas with a 2010 Census population of 1 million or more, Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, Mass.-N.H., had the lowest unemployment rate in December, 2.5 percent, followed by Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo., 2.6 percent, and Salt Lake City, Utah, 2.7 percent. Birmingham-Hoover, Ala., and Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, Ill.-Ind.-Wis., had the highest jobless rates among the large areas, 5.4 percent each.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Worrisome.

You can read the entire BLS news release here (.pdf format).

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

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Wednesday, February 1st, 2017 Business, Employment, Government No Comments

Chicago’s 2016 Violence, ‘Fetal’ Policing Suggests Residents Focus On Personal Safety

Last Thursday, I wrote the following concerning some Chicago Tribune reader correspondence entitled “Letter: I’m leaving Chicago and I’m never coming back”:

I remain optimistic about the long-term prospects for the “Windy City.” That being said, I do believe conditions in the city will erode before improving again. For those dead set on remaining in town, please do yourself a favor and take a good, hard look at your financial and personal safety capabilities for successfully navigating any “storm” that may lie ahead. For example, how do your finances look with the real prospect of future tax hits down the road?

More later…

Later is today- as least as that bit about “personal safety capabilities” is concerned.

Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity know that the physical well-being of Chicagoans in the face of growing criminal threats has been a priority of this blog since its inception. A recent post on the popular Chicago police blog Second City Cop and a just-released report from the University of Chicago Crime Lab seem to justify such concern.

“SCC” posted the following on Second City Cop on December 29, which suggests the Chicago Police Department is becoming increasingly “fetal”:

[Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson] claims we’re “still policing” despite all evidence to the contrary:

-street stops down from 159,000 in 2015 to 21,000 in 2016
-property crime skyrocketing in formerly “quiet” areas
-arrest down tens of thousands
-a 20% homicide clearance rate

The list is near endless, and the price is paid in bodies…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Yesterday, the University of Chicago Crime Lab released a report entitled Gun Violence In Chicago, 2016, which utilized data obtained from the Chicago Police Department and other sources “to provide a more complete picture of the change in our city’s crime problem in 2016.”

The “change” was disturbing. From the report’s “Introduction”:

Between 2015 and 2016, Chicago experienced 58 percent more homicides and 43 percent more non-fatal shootings. Annual increases of this size are not unprecedented among American cities, particularly in recent years, but are rare for a city of Chicago’s size. One striking feature of Chicago’s increase in gun violence is how sudden it was: as of December 2015, there was no indication that gun violence was on the verge of rising sharply. But in January 2016, homicides and shootings surged relative to their 2015 levels and remained higher in almost every month that followed, threatening 20 years of progress on violent crime in Chicago…

What changed in Chicago was not so much the nature of our violence problem, but rather its prevalence. Most murders involved guns, occurred in public places, and stemmed from what police believe was some sort of altercation. This violence continues to be very regressive in its impact, disproportionately affecting the city’s most disadvantaged residents. Most gun violence victims and suspects were African American men, more often than not having had some prior encounter with the criminal justice system.

Compared to other cities, a larger share of homicide suspects in Chicago consists of adolescents, although the majority of all homicide suspects are in their 20s or older. The increase in gun violence occurred disproportionately in several disadvantaged neighborhoods on the city’s South and West sides, which now account for an even larger share of the city’s homicides. Another change is that from 2015 to 2016, the share of homicides that CPD believes stemmed from an altercation, as well as the share of homicide offenders who were recorded by CPD as having a gang affiliation, seemed to decline

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“The share of homicide offenders who were recorded by CPD as having a gang affiliation, seemed to decline”

And here I was parnanoid about the tens of thousands of gang bangers infesting the city.

Further suggesting Chicagoans’ really need to look after their personal safety were these nuggets found within the report:

-“In 2016, 77 percent of gun homicides and shootings took place on the street or in an alley, up from 75 percent in 2015…”

-“Around 64 percent of homicides in 2016 were described by CPD as stemming from an altercation, down from 74 percent in 2015. Unless there was a change in how CPD recorded the circumstances of homicides from 2015 to 2016, this suggests that homicides stemming from other motivations increased more rapidly (by 121 percent) than did homicides stemming from an altercation (by 35 percent)…”

-“Individuals arrested for a homicide or shooting in Chicago in 2016 and 2015 had similar prior criminal records: around 90 percent had at least one prior arrest, approximately 50 percent had a prior arrest for a violent crime specifically, and almost 40 percent had a prior gun arrest. The average person arrested for a homicide or shooting in both years had nearly 12 prior arrests, with almost 45 percent having had more than 10 prior arrests, and almost 20 percent having had more than 20 prior arrests…”

-“The share of offenders with a current or prior gang affiliation, as noted by CPD, declined from 73 percent in 2015 to 67 percent in 2016, suggesting that individuals not affiliated with gangs may have been overrepresented among those driving the increase in violence…”

-“In 2016, Chicago police made 24 percent fewer arrests than in 2015, accelerating the steady downward trend in arrests the city has seen in recent years…”

-“Chicago police recorded over 80 percent fewer stops in January 2016 than they had in November 2015. This drop, from an average of over 50,000 stops per month in 2015 (through November) to approximately 10,000 stops per month starting in early 2016, began a few months before rates of gun violence in Chicago began to increase. What caused the decline is itself unclear. Several frequently-mentioned candidate explanations—the release of video footage showing the shooting by a CPD officer of teenager Laquan McDonald, announcement of a U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation of CPD, implementation of an agreement between the City and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) concerning street stops, and a new state law regarding street stops—all happened essentially within a few weeks of each other in late 2015 and early 2016…”

More on Chicago and personal safety later. In the meantime, head on over to the University of Chicago Crime Lab website here to read their entire report (.pdf file). It’s enlightening, to say the least.

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

Source:

SCC. “The War on Cops Continues.” Second City Cop. 29 Dec. 2016. (http://secondcitycop.blogspot.com/2016/12/the-war-on-cops-comtinues.html). 18 Jan. 2017.

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Survival And Prosperity
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Christopher E. Hill, Editor

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