Washington

Some Clinton Supporters Protest, Riot After Election

In yesterday’s “Signs Of The Time” post, I noted that the Oath Keepers had recently conducted a webinar addressing how to prepare for the possibility of post-election civil strife and violence.

Apparently, a limited amount of social unrest kicked off on America’s “Left Coast” and elsewhere in the country early this morning after the conclusion of the U.S. presidential election.

Gemma Mullin reported on The Mirror (UK) website today:

Crowds of angry protesters have taken to streets across the United States chanting “Not Our President” while setting fires and smashing windows.

Hundreds of people descended on California minutes after it was announced that Donald Trump had won the election.

Hillary Clinton supporters were filmed setting fire to the US flag while marching through the streets of Portland, Oregon, shouting “F*** Donald Trump”.

Footage also emerged of activists setting tyres and rubbish bins on fire, blocking main roads and lighting flares.

People also burned an effigy of the President-elect, who will be officially sworn into office in January.

Meanwhile, a young student has reportedly been hit by an SUV and severely injured during a march in Berkeley, with one witness claiming the crash was intentional, according to NBC Bay Area…

Other protests have broken out in the San Diego, San Fransisco and San Jose areas, according to reports… A demonstration also unfolded at the University of California, Davis…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Thomas Fuller added over on The New York Times website this afternoon:

From Pennsylvania to California, Oregon and Washington State, hundreds of people hit the streets, according to reports by local news media and The Associated Press…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

After watching TV and surfing the Internet/social media sites earlier today, it’s clear to me that a number of Hillary Clinton supporters (and “Never Trumpers”) are absolutely livid about Donald Trump’s Oval Office victory.

As such, additional- and more intense- acts of civil disobedience/unrest are certainly possible tonight and in the coming days.

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

Sources:

Mullin, Gemma. “Trump win sparks riots across US as crowds burn American flag and chant ‘Not our president.'” The Mirror. 9 Nov. 2016. (http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/trump-win-sparks-riots-across-9225317). 9 Nov. 2016.

Fuller, Thomas. “Anti-Trump Demonstrators Take to the Streets in Several U.S. Cities.” The New York Times. 9 Nov. 2016. (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/10/us/trump-election-protest-berkeley-oakland.html). 9 Nov. 2016.

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Wednesday, November 9th, 2016 Civil Strife, Crime, Government, Political Parties, Public Safety Comments Off on Some Clinton Supporters Protest, Riot After Election

331 Illinoisans On New Islamic State ‘Kill List’

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

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

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

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

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

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

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

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

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

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

Sources:

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

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

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

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

On TV: The Next Mega Tsunami

Seeing that I don’t have an “In Print” post for readers this week (will be discussing The Ultimate Situational Survival Guide: Self-Reliance Strategies for a Dangerous World by Robert Richardson of OffGridSurvival.com-fame next week though), I want to talk about a National Geographic production I recently watched.

Enter The Next Mega Tsunami.

From the TV show’s “About” page on the National Geographic Channel (UK) website:

Ten years after one of the most deadly tsunamis ever known, scientists are making a shocking discovery.

Experts used to believe that the biggest killer waves were only generated in a handful of regions, but mounting evidence now suggests that more of the world’s coasts, from the Mediterranean to Australia, could be in grave danger.

But where will the next Big One strike?

Obviously, there was a lot of talk about the December 26, 2004, Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami and the March 11, 2011, Tōhoku, Japan, earthquake and tsunami in the production. But it was the discussion about the Cascadia Subduction Zone “megathrust” fault (running the coast from Vancouver Island North in British Columbia, Canada, down to Cape Mendocino, California) that grabbed my attention. The presence of this fault means a real threat exists for an earthquake and mega tsunami to strike the coast from Canada to California at any time. Chris Goldfinger, professor of geology and geophysics at Oregon State University, warned:

We have a repeat time of about 240 years. So where that puts us statistically is we’re now 314 years past the last earthquake– an average repeat time of 240- so we’re actually past the average time… There’s a high chance that in our lifetimes, this may happen. That applies to all of Cascadia, but much more so to the south. If we’re lucky, maybe we’ll go through a long interval and we’ll go hundreds of years. But it could just as well happen tomorrow.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

All you readers living on the West Coast- take heed.

The Next Mega Tsunami should be coming back around on the National Geographic Channel soon. It’s also on SPTV here.

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

(Editor’s note: Link added to “Resources” page and SPTV)

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Wednesday, January 14th, 2015 Asia, Emergencies, Natural Disasters, North America, On TV, Preparedness, SP Resources Comments Off on On TV: The Next Mega Tsunami

Potential Blowback From Chicago’s Minimum Wage Hike

In case you haven’t heard, the City of Chicago just approved a minimum wage hike for all workers in the city. From the Mayor’s Press Office on December 2:

Mayor Emanuel, City Council Approve Ordinance to Increase Minimum Wage in Chicago to $13 by 2019

City Council today passed an ordinance that will raise the minimum wage for all Chicago workers to $13 per hour by 2019. This measure, sponsored by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Alderman Will Burns, Alderman Pat O’Connor and 31 other aldermen, will increase the earnings for approximately 410,000 Chicago workers, inject $860 million into the local economy, and lift 70,000 workers out of poverty…

On December 1, Mayor Emanuel and a group of Aldermen introduced a substitute ordinance based off of Senator Kimberly Lightford’s bill that gets the City of Chicago to a $10 minimum wage in roughly seven months, an $11 minimum wage by 2017, and to a final minimum wage of $13 by 2019, plus inflation increases after 2019.

Personally, I interpret the hike as merely an election-year ploy to help Rahm Emanuel and the siting aldermen in the upcoming February 24, 2015, Municipal General Election in Chicago. Consider the following from Joseph Erbentraut on the Huffington Post website Tuesday:

The fast-tracked plan, one of three wage-increase proposals considered by city officials this week, is backed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel in what some critics say is a political move designed to win favor with left-leaning Chicago voters ahead of the February 2015 mayoral election

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

While it’s nice to think a number of Chicago workers will be getting raises, the potential blowback could be significant. And Chicago residents may be on the receiving end. Back on June 22, 2014, I was reading the latest issue of The Sovereign Society’s weekly electronic publication the Sovereign Digest. Jeff Opdyke and Erika Nolan commented on the nationwide push for minimum wage hikes. They noted:

All over the country, unwise politicians are pushing a misguided “living wage” agenda that’s driving minimum wages higher. Seattle, for instance, just recently approved a $15-per-hour minimum, which is already biting the city in the butt in two ways. First, as I and anyone with two brain cells to rub together rightly pointed out, companies are finding that low-level managers now want pay raises, too, to rightly keep their pay commensurately above the people they’re managing. Doh! And other companies are imposing a “living wage tax” on consumers to cover the rising labor costs. As both of those trends spread — and they will — a form of inflation creeps into the system more broadly.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

As the above relates to the “Windy City”- Chicagoans should be prepared to pay higher prices for certain items/services.

There’s one more way Chicago residents may be impacted directly and adversely by the minimum wage hike. Sparing readers the simple economics involved with Tuesday’s action down at City Hall, a number of Chicago business owners- realizing now or later the disadvantage they’re at compared to competitors outside city limits- will be shuttering their stores shortly or down the road- either by choice or not- as a result of this hike.

Shuttered businesses= lost revenue via fees/taxes for the City

Something else to chew on. The country is just about due for an economic recession (against which the government and Fed have mostly run out of “bullets” due to the economic crisis late last decade). Forcing raises on a number of Chicago businesses still smarting from the so-called “Great Recession” could be a death sentence for them.

As for those workers in the city who will supposedly benefit from the minimum wage hike? Regrettably, pink slips could be a real possibility for a number of them.

In summary, there’s a good chance the City of Chicago, Chicago residents, and minimum wage workers in the city are ultimately going to get stung by Tuesday’s political theater. And the pain could be coming sooner than later. Just don’t expect City Hall and their friends in the mainstream media to publicize the debacle if/when it goes down.

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

Source:

Erbentraut, Joseph. “Chicago City Council Approves Plan For $13 Minimum Wage Despite Opposition.” Huffington Post. 2 Dec. 2014. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/02/chicago-minimum-wage_n_6255436.html). 3 Dec. 2014.

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Thursday, December 4th, 2014 Business, Employment, Federal Reserve, Government, Income, Inflation, Mainstream Media, Recession, Taxes, Wages Comments Off on Potential Blowback From Chicago’s Minimum Wage Hike

Illinois Public Sector ‘Double-Dipping’ Targeted

“Double-dipping.” When public sector public employees draw a public paycheck while at the same time drawing a public pension.

Back when I as a civil servant, not only did I see this taking place, but suspected the arrangement would come under fire one of these days.

As Main Street’s finances eroded significantly after the economic crisis reared its ugly head five years ago, more grumbling was heard over the practice. I blogged back on April 4, 2011:

An employment arrangement I witnessed during my days as a civil servant is coming under increased fire these days. Bloomberg’s David Mildenberg wrote on March 29:

With U.S. unemployment averaging 8.9 percent, so-called double-dipping by tens of thousands of government workers nationwide is drawing increasing scrutiny.

Lawmakers from coast to coast are taking steps to curb the practice as states face combined deficits projected at $112 billion and unfunded pension liabilities of as much as $3 trillion.

Arkansas banned double-dipping by state workers last month, while bills to curb it are pending before lawmakers in Olympia, Washington, and Trenton, New Jersey.

And then there’s Illinois, where double-dipping is still permitted in a state saddled with a nearly $100 billion unfunded public pension liability.

Perhaps for not much longer though.

Enter Illinois State Representative Jack D. Franks (D-Woodstock). Representative Franks has introduced Illinois House Bill 3760, the “Retirement Means Retirement Act,” on November 14. Natasha Korecki reported on the Chicago Sun-Times website today:

[Representative Franks] says the legislation would address anyone — from state lawmakers to school superintendents to those in law enforcement who retire from one public job because they’ve maxed out on their pension, then take another public job as they begin to draw pension benefits.

Franks pointed to school superintendents and police chiefs who retire on a Friday only to return the following Monday with a new title, new salary — and drawing a pension— all while staying in the same office.

“I see a lot of people who retire and just end up in another government job shortly thereafter,” Franks told the Sun-Times. “That’s not what this system was designed for, but it’s a major loophole that they’re able to exploit… We’re going after the abusers — and we know who we’re talking about. Some of these guys make more than the president in retirement.”

Supporters of “double-dipping” argue that someone has to be hired to fill the job opening, so it might as well be the best qualified candidate applying for the position- which in many cases is the new retiree.

Reading over the proposed legislation, “double-dipping” looks to be prohibited only going forward. Illinois public sector retirees who are already participating in such an arrangement appear to be safe.

For now, at least.

You can find out more about Illinois House Bill 3670 on the Illinois General Assembly website here.

Source:

Korecki, Natasha. “Public pension and salary ‘double-dippers’ targeted in new bill.” Chicago Sun-Times. 19 Nov. 2013. (http://www.suntimes.com/23845706-761/public-pension-and-salary-double-dippers-targeted-in-new-bill.html). 19 Nov. 2013.

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

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Tuesday, November 19th, 2013 Debt Crisis, Employment, Entitlements, Government, Main Street, Retirement Comments Off on Illinois Public Sector ‘Double-Dipping’ Targeted

Signs Of The Time, Part 70

You may have heard of the following wacky story out of the Nisqually Indian Reservation some 60 miles south of Seattle. Eric M. Johnson of Reuters reported yesterday:

A 93-year-old Washington state man, whose dog returned home with a human leg it had found, buried it in his back yard on an Indian reservation to avoid being suspected of a crime, a local official and media reports said…

Bill Flowers picked up the leg brought home by his dog, Liberty, and thought of calling the police, he told KOMO-TV at the weekend. But fearing they would suspect him of foul play, he buried it in his backyard, where it remained for several days until he told his daughter, who urged him to call the police.

“I was afraid to call. I’m 93 years old. I didn’t want to have to go to the pen for something I didn’t do,” Flowers told the television station.

Many people will probably just dismiss this story as being another one of those weird tales frequently encountered on the Internet.

However, I find it disturbing that a 93-year-old-man is afraid to contact local law enforcement about his pooch’s gruesome find.

“I didn’t want to have to go to the pen for something I didn’t do.”

A case of someone watching too many movies/too much TV, or is this how Americans have come to view the police?

All I know is, what’s shown on the nightly news doesn’t exactly conjure up images of “Officer Friendly” for those on Main Street:

Shemagh Cop

Is that a shemagh that sheriff’s deputy is wearing?

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

Source:

Johnson, Eric M. “Dog finds human remains, owner buries leg in backyard.” Reuters. 12 Nov. 2013. (http://news.yahoo.com/dog-finds-human-remains-owner-buries-leg-backyard-094716764.html). 13 Nov. 2013.

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On TV: Doomsday Preppers ‘The Gates of Hell’ Review

It took a while, but I finally got around to watching season 3, episode 2, of Doomsday Preppers– “The Gates of Hell.” From the National Geographic Channel website:

An economic collapse could mean total chaos for the U.S. — looting, riots and civil unrest are top concerns. In Washington state, Steve works with a stern hand to prep his family for the potential threat. South Carolinian David Appleton is a comedian, but the idea of a devastating earthquake is no joke to him. His job doesn’t always pay the bills, so David must Dumpster dive to find supplies to make a DIY camouflage net to hide his preps.

Once again, there was more to the episode that aired last week than just the segments on Steve H. and David Appleton. The show also introduced Suzanne Strisower living out in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains.

My thoughts about “The Gates of Hell”:

Part 1: The heavily-defended bug-out location

Season 3, episode 2, of Doomsday Preppers opened with a segment about “Steve H.,” who told viewers:

I’m preparing my family for the imminent collapse of the United States economy.

According to the show:

Steve H. a contractor in Washington state, fears that economic collapse will encourage widespread riots and looting, and that his home, in an easily-accessible neighborhood, could become a target.

While Steve, his wife Kim, and sons Nick and Steven James work on their preps every week, most of their efforts are directed towards their bug-out location, a cabin 50 miles away in the mountains and where the family heads to on weekends.

The BOL and the preparations that have gone into constructing it are impressive, not the least of which is a concrete bunker that houses supplies.

Steve, along with friends Nolan and Dylan, have also put a lot of thought and effort into making the cabin highly-defensible. The prepper group is heavily-armed, utilizing even binary explosives to protect against intruders making their way up the only road to the cabin.

For those readers not familiar with binary explosives, according to the BATFE website:

Binary explosives are pre-packaged products consisting of two separate components, usually an oxidizer like ammonium nitrate and a fuel such as aluminum or another metal.

The remainder of the segment showed what an attack on the mountain hideaway (not really, as it looks to be right off a paved road) might look like. Those into big guns (.50 caliber) and even bigger explosions (those binary explosives were put into action) probably enjoyed this part a lot. I know I did.

Two things stood out in this segment for me. First, I’ve heard/read concerns about youngsters participating in preparedness activities (usually, it relates to firearms). So has Steve, who has little man Steven James involved in the family’s prepping. Dad had this to say:

My mother says that our prepping is a negative influence on our 8-year-old son. But I say it’s a positive influence on my son. Reality is what reality is. And the sooner that we face reality, the sooner that we’re going to be able to do something about it. I don’t want to lose anybody in our family. I don’t people in my family to be hungry. I don’t want people in my family to be discomforted or in pain. And so I’m taking these steps beforehand, to see to it that that doesn’t happen to us.

Second, Practical Preppers awarded Steve and the group 79 points out of 100 points for their efforts. Instead of disputing the assessment- which happens quite a bit- Steve was incredibly open-minded about the whole thing. Steve confided with viewers:

I think the assessment is spot on. Especially about the security. There’s a lot of things that we can do that would be better. And I think that I’m going to seek some training.

Good for him.

Part 2: The dumpster-diving prepper

In the second segment, viewers met David Appleton, a professional comedian out of Charleston, South Carolina. Appleton explained:

I’m actually preparing for a catastrophic earthquake to hit Charleston, South Carolina.

“Apples,” as David is known on the comedy circuit, added:

I’m prepping for an earthquake because it’s happened in the past.

The show went on to confirm that it has- and in a big way.

It’s revealed David and his wife, Lauren, have 72 hours of preps set aside at their home, then they plan on bugging out in the event of a longer-term emergency.

Appleton is a also a self-admitted dumpster-diver. And using his scavenging skills, he’s been able to acquire materials that allow him to construct items like a multi-purpose rickshaw made out of PVC pipes. During the show, he demonstrated how to make camouflage netting out of what looked to be a discarded painter’s drop cloth, wire mesh, and various cans of spray paint.

The finished product looked like it might be pretty functional for its intended use.

Those who desire camouflage for their bug-out vehicles (especially trucks) but who don’t want to spend much money for it- take note.

Not all of the couple’s preps are scavenged. He’s acquired an old Army truck for a BOV and an old pontoon boat from his parents (shown with outboard engine). In the event David and Lauren ever have to get off the island where they live (only three earthquake-vulnerable bridges connect them to and from the mainland), they plan on trailering the boat and driving it down to the waterfront to escape. David was even shown fabricating and installing a rain catchment system onto the boat should they need to collect fresh water while on the “high seas.”

Part 3: Lifestyle prepping

In the final segment of “The Gates of Hell,” viewers were introduced to yet another pacifist from California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains- Suzanne Strisower- and her partner Dave. The couple reside on 30 acres there.

Strisower told viewers:

When the economy collapses, I’ll barter everything I have to survive and thrive.

She added:

The United States is not going to be the global standard for the currency anymore. I think we’re going for sure have some kind of currency collapse, where money is not going to be worth what it used to be worth. And I think it’s going to get worse. I tell everybody- listen, you need to have a plan. You need to know what you’re going to do if something comes down. So, it’s about mindfulness. It’s about preparation. It’s not about fear. That’s why I really advocate for people to be lifestyle preppers- not doomsday preppers.

The couple plans to survive TEOTWAWKI through bartering. From the show:

Suzanne’s lifestyle plan for an economic collapse is to turn her mountain retreat into a giant doomsday swap meet. All her resources will be alternate currency she’ll use to barter and trade for whatever she needs.

Strisower is a gifted barterer. She is shown putting this skill to work in order to acquire a dehydrator.

Recognizing the need for being able to protect themselves, the pacifist was shown visiting Surplus City, a local military surplus store, and talking to Robert Pratt there about what might best-suit them. Since lethal weapons are out of the question, Pratt suggested a stun gun. Strisower didn’t like the fact that it would require her to get close to an attacker to be able to use it.

Pratt came up with a different option for her- a paintball gun.

Used correctly, paintball guns can inflict a lot of pain on an aggressor some distance out. Strisower asked Pratt to come up to the couple’s place to demonstrate the gun, she tried it out, and was subsequently impressed.

Needless to say, viewers shouldn’t have been surprised when Practical Preppers only awarded her 3 out of a possible 20 points in the “Security” category of the assessment. Oh well. As Pratt said earlier in the segment:

I get it. You don’t want to have to hurt somebody. You don’t want to have to do it. But to me, you have to be willing to accept it. Willing to go with the fact that- I might have to.

Overall, a good episode.

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

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

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Doomsday Garage Update

Last week I blogged about Doomsday Garage, “Suburban Commando,” that aired on the cable/satellite TV channel Country Music Television.

Curious to see if the half-hour show was just a one-off, a pilot, or the premiere episode of a new series, I headed over to the CMT website where this was posted:

This show is not playing on CMT during the next 7 days.

Oh well. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens with Doomsday Garage (my recommendations- maximum info, minimal drama, pop-ups if keeping half-hour format).

In the meantime, I came across a really interesting article last week about the Garage crew. Kristi Turnquist wrote on The Oregonian website on August 20:

Starting a side business that helps people prepare for the worst may turn out to be one of the best decisions Jeff and Zach Aylesworth ever made.

The Longview, Wash., father-son duo have spent the last decade operating The Toy Store, a business specializing in vehicle restoration, accessories, customization and other services.

But not too long ago, Zach got the idea to add an offshoot business to The Toy Store. With BugOutTruck.com, the Aylesworths focused on building “bug out” vehicles, which as the website says, are “designed and outfitted specifically to help you survive … Whether you’re single or have a family of five, whether you need to escape from (the) metropolis or cross the tundra we have your answer. If you can dream it, we can build it.”

I headed over to BugOutTruck.com to take a peek at the site. Info about the business, the guys, a web-based store- good stuff. Even a blog, where in a May 16 post they talked about Glen Tate and “The Team” of 299 Days-fame. I’ve read a couple of Tate’s books- they’re really good. And here’s what Tate had to say about BugOutTruck- whom he’d worked with- over at his blog:

BugOutTruck.com kicks ass

Mind you, that’s just the title of one of his posts (February 10). But it sure says a lot, don’t you think?

Tate noted:

The other cool thing about the BugOutTruck.com guys is that they’re preppers. They aren’t just doing this to make money; they enjoy helping people make it through what’s coming.

Very cool indeed.

You can read Turnquist’s entire article on The Oregonian website here.

And to read Tate’s post about BugOutTruck.com, go to his blog here.

Here’s hoping we hear good news soon about Doomsday Garage. As in TV series-good.

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

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Monday, August 26th, 2013 Man-Made Disasters, Natural Disasters, On TV, Preparedness, TEOTWAWKI, Transportation, Vehicles Comments Off on Doomsday Garage Update

On TV: Doomsday Garage ‘Suburban Commando’ Review

Remember when I blogged the other day about a new “doomsday”-themed TV show on the cable/satellite channel Country Music Television?

Well, I got the chance to watch the premier episode of Doomsday Garage this afternoon.

Here’s a short summary of what went on in “Suburban Commando”:

The show started off with the following intro:

When all Hell breaks lose, people need to defend themselves and get out of harm’s way. A bunker isn’t going to cut it. It’s just an underground death trap. You’ve got to stay mobile. That’s where we come in. My son and I build custom vehicles called bug-out trucks. Whether it’s a terrorist attack, a natural disaster, or a government takeover, you need to be tougher than the danger ahead. We build bug-out trucks, so regular Joes can protect themselves and their families. We’re the best in the business, because we live by only one rule:

When danger strikes, you’ve got to strike back.

Viewers were introduced to the following garage personnel (in order of appearance):

-Jeff (Aylesworth): Owner, The Toy Store, Longview, Washington
-Zach (Aylesworth): Jeff’s son and tasked with vehicle design
-Aaron: Fabricator
-Marion: Fabricator
-Mike: Weapons expert

In this episode, the client was Ryan, a prepper. Ryan lives with his wife Tina and three boys in the suburbs, and explained to viewers:

My fear is economic collapse, and the anarchy that would ensue, leaving a wasteland of desperate people doing desperate things.

I need a bug-out truck that would get my family and I to safety. I’m doing what every good husband and father should do.

Should Ryan and his young family ever have to “bug out,” they’d have to traverse some real difficult terrain by the sounds of it.

And besides needing to have the ability to go off-road, Ryan’s discussion with Jeff and Zach revealed their “survival truck” required weapons and a quad (all-terrain vehicle).

Regarding weaponry, Ryan insisted:

Big, right? We need to make that statement. We need to make sure that people know it’s about business.

This I had to see.

This first part of Doomsday Garage really reminded me of the beginning of Doomsday Bunkers.

Having the information they need from the client interview, the garage went to work.

Due to the size of the family and requirements , Jeff and Zach selected an older but in good shape Chevy Suburban for their vehicle platform (cost $4,000).

Thousands of dollars more were poured into the project with the following “improvements”:

-Full body exoskeleton (exterior roll cage) for protection and strength
-Roof rack for supplies, quad ramps
-Small drone for reconnaissance
-Four-wheeled ATV
-Browning .50 Caliber Machine Gun (selected by Zach with Mike’s help)
-Paint job (all black truck, yellow cage)

It’s a sweet-looking bug-out vehicle, that’s all I can say.

Ryan and Tina seemed to think so too, and the last part of the “Suburban Commando” showed the couple putting their BOV through the paces with the help of Mike and the garage.

By the time Tina chewed up and detonated a junked car with her “Ma Deuce,” it became all too clear that not only did their customized Chevy Suburban look the part of a survival truck, but played it as well.

So what did I think about the premiere episode of Doomsday Garage?

I liked it. The premiere episode offered a little bit of everything for the prepper/survivalist, the gearhead, the off-roading enthusiast, the gun “nut,” and the “reality” TV fan.

Jeff, Zach, and the rest of cast are likeable too.

As I mentioned earlier, the format reminded me of Doomsday Bunkers quite a bit (which is funny considering the intro flamed underground shelters), where Deep Earth Bunker would meet with clients, talk to them about their needs, go about fabricating the customized underground shelter, and bring the clients to where their bunker was being fabricated.

Also, like I’ve said before with other prepper/survivalist-themed TV productions, I’m big on education/information with as little as possible “reality” TV. While I would have preferred more info on the various aspects of the setup and project (you can’t just buy an M2 machine gun at the local gun shop), the production company behind Doomsday Garage thankfully kept the reality stuff to a minimum (Aaron breaking the die on the pipe bender was the only instance of drama I can remember).

Come to think of it, there wasn’t much to dislike about the show at all. The only thing I really had a beef with was the episode being only a half-hour long. With such a time constraint, a lot of material can only be glossed-over. If that’s all the time Doomsday Garage will have to work with down the road, perhaps pop-ups can be utilized to share more information with viewers.

While Doomsday Garage looks set up to be an ongoing TV series, I couldn’t find anything on the Country Music Television website that indicates it will be.

Here’s hoping it is.

For more information about the show, visit the CMT website here.

And if you don’t have cable/satellite and CMT, don’t fret though, because CMT has uploaded the entire episode on their website here. Enjoy!

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

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On TV: Doomsday Preppers ‘Taking From The Haves’ Review

Sorry for getting this review of episode 5 (season 2) of National Geographic Channel’s Doomsday Preppers TV series out a little later than usual, but I’ve been tied up with other things. “Taking From the Haves,” which aired Tuesday night, December 4, featured four preppers- John Adrain, Jeff Bushaw, and neighbors Allen and Franco.

John Adrain

During the first part of the show viewers were introduced to John Adrain, an inventor living in the Pacific Northwest with his two dogs. According to John:

I am preparing for the unexpected.

From the show:

John’s not sure which “doomsday” scenario will play out first- a supervirus, biological terrorist attacks, natural disaster. But he’s certain something’s coming. And since travel is often restricted in states of emergency, “bugging out” is the absolute last resort in John’s survival plan.

As such, the episode focused on John and his large fortified home in which he plans to “bug in.” From the show:

His primary goal is to turn his home into a technological fortress, in which he can keep rampaging survivors at bay.

John told viewers:

It doesn’t matter how many preps you have if you can’t protect them from others. Because the “have nots” are going to be taking from the “haves.”

John is shown trying out a .50 caliber long-range rifle called the Beowulf, upgrading the internal/external security of his home, showing off some home security gadgets he invented such as the Burglar Blaster and BedBunker, and practicing some home invasion drills during the remainder of the segment.

Jeff Bushaw

In the second part of the show, viewers were introduced to Jeff Bushaw, a full-time prepper living in Vancouver, Washington. According to Jeff:

I’m preparing for the Yellowstone supervolcano that may end the world as we know it.

From the show:

Yellowstone National Park’s majestic vistas, diverse wildlife, and impressive geysers draw more than 3 million visitors each year. But underneath the seeming tranquility of the park lurks an active supervolcano, one so large that that should it ever blow, the force of the super eruption could be as if 1,000 Hiroshima-size atomic bombs were going off every second … The force of the blast is likely to annihilate everything in the immediate vicinity. Even though Jeff lives more than 800 miles away from Yellowstone, he still doesn’t feel safe. That’s because the supervolcano could spew enough smoldering ash into the atmosphere to bury half of the United States at least several inches deep.

Besides the immediate loss of life and property from such an eruption, the episode noted:

Scientists believe it could take a decade for vegetation in parts of the Midwest to recover from the damage done by the massive ash clouds. Jeff fears the volcano will devastate crops, leading to food shortages throughout the U.S.

Fearing the effects of a “volcanic winter,” Jeff, along with son Hayden, are shown preparing for such an event, socking away food, participating in storage unit auctions in the hope they’ll find valuable preps, practicing bug-out drills, and taking flying lessons to give them the option of bugging out via plane should it come to that.

Allen and Franco

In the last part of the episode, two “neighbors” in Southwest Missouri were introduced. First up, Allen is an electrical engineer and veteran prepper with more than thirty years of experience. Allen said:

I’m preparing for an economic decline of the U.S. economy.

From the show:

Allen worries that the economy is failing, and that as the dollar’s value declines, food prices will skyrocket out of control.

Next, there’s Franco, a master electrician and newer prepper. Franco told viewers:

I’m preparing for the rise of food costs, food shortages, and the corruption of the food supply through big business.

Both Allen and Franco plan on “bugging in” when the food shortages come, but not after they’ve taken charge of their own food production via aquaponics. From the show:

In aquaponic systems, fish and plants are grown together in a closed environment, where the fish waste is converted into food for the plants. The fish excrete waste and ammonia into the water. That water is pumped into the grow beds, where bacteria convert the waste into nitrogen, which the plants use as fertilizer. As the plants use the nitrates, they filter the water, which is then sent back to the fish tanks, completing the circle.

While a challenge to maintain, the results are impressive.


“Doomsday Preppers: Prepper Profile: Franco and Allen”
Nat Geo Channel Video

My thoughts about Doomsday Preppers “Taking From the Haves”:

• While John Adrain’s “technological fortress” is amazing, I wonder how effective it would be in a long-term, grid-down event. His security system is comprised of an electronically-controlled entry gate, a computerized command center, 12 high-definition surveillance cameras, and a front door with sophisticated recognition software, among other things. Does Adrain have enough back-up power to operate this technology should the utilities go down for an extended period of time? And what if a device malfunctions or breaks?

• “But if the attackers come in multiple vehicles and penetrate the gate, John wants to be able to engage them at a distance before they cover the 1,000 feet from the gate to his front door.” Enter the Beowulf, a .50 caliber rifle that Adrain’s weapons guy Bill Alexander brought to the party. Three words. I LIKE IT!

• Another security feature of John Adrain’s fortified home is that its windows are coated with something he called “embassy tint,” a strong film that holds glass together in case it shatters. I’ve done a little bit of research on window security film, and from what I’ve seen via the Internet, the technology is pretty impressive. So much so I’d consider using it on my future residence.

• Adrain busted out some of his inventions in the episode. The Burglar Blaster is a self-contained electronic OC (oleoresin capsicum) spray anti-burglar system. When the infrared detector is tripped, the Burglar Blaster releases OC pepper spray in the immediate area, chasing away the intruder. The BedBunker is a concealed safe that replaces a bed boxspring. Another of Adrain’s inventions shown but not really discussed was the ConsoleBunker, an all-aluminum vehicle center console for storing firearms. The ConsoleBunker is tied in with the vehicle’s factory door locks and has a timing mechanism that prevents unauthorized access. Really neat and useful stuff.

Now I see how John can afford the big house and nice toys.

• In the segment with Jeff Bushaw, the Vancouver, Washington-based prepper was shown taking flying lessons in the event he and his family needed to bug out from the effects of a Yellowstone National Park supervolcano eruption. However, from what I recall, the show never mentioned Bushaw owning a plane. If he doesn’t, and an eruption did take place with an ash cloud headed his way, it might be difficult- if not impossible- to rent a plane in that type of situation. From looking at a map of Vancouver, I can’t help but wonder if he shouldn’t plan on bugging out of the area via ean-going boat.

• Speaking of maps, here’s a link to a 2007 FOX News web article with one showing (right arrow to slide 2) where ash fell from previous Yellowstone National Park supervolcano eruptions.

• In the segment with neighbors Allen and Franco, both preppers were shown riding scooters. While attending the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign in the early nineties, these were cherished forms of transportation for many broke-ass college students such as myself (I didn’t own one, but could be seen riding on the back of one from time to time. That must have been a scary sight.) . I wouldn’t be surprised if some preppers/survivalists are including scooters/mopeds in their preps, especially if they anticipate an energy crunch and sky-high gasoline prices down the road.

• Like the preceding Doomsday Preppers episode, this one had its gross-out moment when Franco ingested one his red wigglers. Classic line by his young daughter though:

I’d rather drink pee.

• I found the following particular interesting in the “Assessment” portion of the final segment:

PRACTICAL PREPPERS LLC: You currently lack weapons, and have no tactical training. Without them, you will be unable to protect your home in a crisis.

FRANCO: Yeah, you’re right about the weapons. I do not possess them nor do I plan on possessing them. It’s not what I believe in.

To each their own. But considering what a juicy target he, his family, and his food could be in a real SHTF situation, I just hope Franco’s got something else up his sleeve to deal with those with weapons wanting what he has.

New episodes of Doomsday Preppers air on the National Geographic Channel on Tuesday nights at 9 PM Eastern Time.

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Thursday, December 13th, 2012 Agriculture, Currencies, Emergencies, Firearms, Food, Health, Man-Made Disasters, Natural Disasters, On TV, Preparedness, Self-Defense, Shelter, Technology, TEOTWAWKI, Terrorism, Training, Transportation, Utilities Comments Off on On TV: Doomsday Preppers ‘Taking From The Haves’ Review
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