Saturday, March 29, 2014

"The civilized world faces economic, demographic and military crises that it has a limited time frame in which to meet and resolve. If it fails to do that, the civilization in which we have grown up and which we have known all our lives will die and a long interregnum of darkness will follow in its wake." - Daniel Greenfield, writing at Sultan Knish

Not sure things will play out exactly as Greenfield says, but the multiple levels of in multiple nations and global regions are too much to pretend they don't exist or that they can solve themselves with time.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


"The astonishing wealth of the West, more widely distributed than in any other civilization, the abandonment of religion as the foundation of morals and virtues, the transformation of political freedom into self-centered license, and the commodification of hedonism that makes available to everyman luxuries and behaviors once reserved for a tiny elite, have made self-indulgence and the present more important than self-sacrifice and the future." - Bruce Thornton, writing at FrontPage Mag

And how are the political elites faring in our present age of self-indulgence?

I'm struck by the fact our president, Barack Obama,  is currently in Europe accompanied by an official entourage of 900 while his wife is touring China with her own entourage of 70. Both are traveling at the expense of a nation that has an official recorded debt of $17 trillion dollars and continues to increase.

And don't even get me started on last month's official White House photo touting the lifestyles of Obama dogs Sunny and Bo.

White House photo via @FLOTUS on Twitter

Rising to oppose NJ's proposed gun mag restrictions

Via YouTube:

"New Jersey Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll gives amazing floor speech in opposition to legislation banning magazines over ten rounds."

NY church holds gun raffle

In protest of New York's new gun ban and registration law, a small church in upstate New York decided to raffle a modified AR-15 specifically tailored to be compliant with the law.

However, protests by the anti-gun left rose to such a level that the church reportedly changed its plans.

It chose to add a second rifle to its raffle.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Laying low online this week

Family business has me tied up at least through Saturday.

I'll try to post if I have something good - and if I have the time.

No Don and Doug program this Friday (March 28).

Monday, March 24, 2014

Sunday, March 23, 2014

More insight on grid vulnerability

"Seven U.S. government departments and agencies have now concluded that if our national electric grid is not upgraded to ensure its continuity in the event of a massive solar event — which happen about every hundred years,– or of an attack, we could face a blackout lasting four to 10 years, costing countless lives and potentially bringing cataclysmic damage to U.S. society as we know it. It could emerge as the most severe crisis in modern history." - Congress members Yvette Clarke (D-NY) and Trent Franks (R-AZ), writing at Politico in 2011.

Apocalypse Barbie

Know anyone who fits the description?

Idaho stands against future federal gun-grabbing

Idaho's governor signed into law an interesting piece of gun rights legislation last week.

Idaho SB 1332 says, in part:
It is the intent of the Legislature in
14 enacting this act to protect Idaho law enforcement officers from being di-
15 rected, through federal executive orders, agency orders, statutes, laws,
16 rules, or regulations enacted or promulgated on or after the effective date
17 of this act, to violate their oath of office and Idaho citizens' rights un-
18 der Section 11, Article I, of the Constitution of the State of Idaho. This
19 Idaho constitutional provision disallows confiscation of firearms except
20 those actually used in the commission of a felony, and disallows other re-
21 strictions on a citizen's lawful right to own firearms and ammunition. This
22 act provides that no Idaho law enforcement official shall knowingly and
23 willingly order an action that is contrary to the provisions of Section 11,
24 Article I, of the Constitution of the State of Idaho. The Legislature does
25 not intend to affect an Idaho law enforcement officer who assists federal
26 agents on drug or gang enforcement activities. The Legislature intends to
27 create a penalty for an official, agent or employee of the State of Idaho or a
28 political subdivision thereof that orders an unlawful confiscation without
29 penalizing officers that follow orders. Idaho law enforcement officers are
30 partners with Idaho citizens in protecting the rights as outlined in both the
31 United States Constitution and the Constitution of the State of Idaho.
Additional thoughts on Idaho SB 1332 can be found at the New American in an article written prior to it receiving the governor's signature.

Rewriting the Second Amendment

A seventh grade workbook reportedly used at a Springfield, Illinois school is raising eyebrows for its interpretation of the Constitution's Second Amendment.

Based on what's written, gun owners in states without gun registration would be in violation of the Second Amendment.

Public education continues its march into areas of indoctrination rather than enlightened education. If you have kids in school (public or private), you have an obligation to know what your kids are being taught.

Crack open their books and take a peek from time to time.

Then & now

"The Russians invaded Afghanistan and Carter armed the rebels. The Russians invaded Crimea and Barack Obama went on Ellen to hear the hostess gush about how much America loves Obamacare." - Kurt Schlichter at

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Complex societies can and do collapse

A recent academic study partially funded by NASA has drawn a skeptical eye because it suggests uneven distribution of wealth can be a factor in societal collapse.

And while there are arguable, perhaps even flawed premises or assumptions in the study, it does drive home one undeniable point: Even the most complex societies can and do collapse.

From the study:
It may seem reasonable to believe that modern civilization, armed with its greater technological capacity, scientific knowledge, and energy resources, will be able to survive and endure whatever crises historical societies succumbed to. But the brief overview of collapses demonstrates not only the ubiquity of the phenomenon, but also the extent to which advanced, complex, and powerful societies are susceptible to collapse. The fall of the Roman Empire, and the equally (if not more) advanced Han, Mauryan, and Gupta Empires, as well as so many advanced Mesopotamian Empires, are all testimony to the fact that advanced, sophisticated, complex, and creative civilizations can be both fragile and impermanent.
Over dependence on  technology, and things like complex, far-flung supply chains can put a society at risk. An economic bump or natural disaster can bring modern civilization to a full-blown halt. No power, no Internet. Maybe no resupply of the grocery store that operates on a just-in-time inventory basis. The longer the outage, the more things get behind, the more they spiral out of control.

A troubling point about today's modern society is technology has isolated a majority of  the population from what were once basic life skills: Things like farming, hunting, the ability to build a fire. Also largely lost are concepts of stockpiling things like food or water to carry a family through short to intermediate length disruptions.

Just two or three generations ago, most Americans probably practiced the age old tradition of a stocked cellar (or some equivalent) to carry through a long winter. Even in the Cold War, Civil Defense advised people to keep a two week supply of food and water on hand.

Today? FEMA pleads with Americans just to keep a minuscule three day stash on hand in case of an unannounced emergency. This government produced public service announcement offers a tongue-in-cheek look at how unprepared most Americans are:

This may well reflect a trait that collapsed civilizations have shared: That their members put an overabundance of faith in the society or government, and failed to consider a personal plan to ride out or carry through when the civilization experienced periodic disruptions.

All societies have them.

It can happen here. What's your plan?

Ameirica's rising paramilitary police

It seems American law enforcement grows ever more heavy handed.

The Economist comes up with quite the nugget here:
Peter Kraska, a professor at Eastern Kentucky University’s School of Justice Studies, estimates that SWAT teams were deployed about 3,000 times in 1980 but are now used around 50,000 times a year. Some cities use them for routine patrols in high-crime areas. Baltimore and Dallas have used them to break up poker games. In 2010 New Haven, Connecticut sent a SWAT team to a bar suspected of serving under-age drinkers. That same year heavily-armed police raided barber shops around Orlando, Florida; they said they were hunting for guns and drugs but ended up arresting 34 people for “barbering without a licence”.
Plenty more to chew on in the whole Economist article.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Opposition rises ovwe proposed Rhode Island gun control meaures

On Tuesday, The Providence Journal reported:
At the House Judiciary Committee hearing, gun-rights advocates came out in overwhelming numbers. They were the majority of some 160 who signed up to testify in a hearing that was expected to go late into the night. (Hundreds more marked their names down as opposed to many — if not all — the bills on the agenda, but did not intend to testify.)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Back to the grid

For those who didn't get around the Wall Street Journal's firewall to read the story previously mentioned (or didn't try to), TIME has offered a short synopsis of the WSJ's vulnerable electrical grid vulnerability to attack story from last week.

This isn't fringy, conspiratorial stuff. It's mainstream media reporting on real government assessments.

H/T: Woodpile Report 

Update: The FERC folks seem a little rattled by recent public disclosures

With the resistance shown in Connecticut and New York...

You'd think Rhode Island would have enough sense to leave well enough alone.

But noooo....

Time to get nostalgic?

Now that Russian state TV has started tossing out terms like radioactive ash, maybe it's time to revisit some of the texts and entertainment of the Cold War era.

As far as texts go, this was a classic...

Life After Doomsday by Bruce D. Clayton

Brevard Community College in Florida used Life After Doomsday as the textbook for a class on surviving nuclear war in the mid-to-late '80s.

Do I think nuclear war is imminent?  No.

Likely? Again, no.

But I also think the political leadership and military pros of the Cold War era were far more competent than the touchy-feely progressives running our side of the show today. History's full of wars started by accident, misunderstanding or misinterpretation.

The basics of nuclear war mechanics and survival strategies, once a staple of American media and taught in public schools, no longer gets much mention, let alone serious treatment today.

Speaking of Cold War classics, here's another: An edited version of the TV miniseries The Day After. Available on disc from Netflix. Someone's also loaded it on YouTube. Check it out not only for its nuclear war scenario, but also if you're curious about what 1980s "blockbuster" TV looked like.

Here's one more from the dusty book shelves: Alas, Babylon. One of the earlier novels focused on surviving a nuclear apocalypse, I actually saw it on a public high school summer recommended reading list just a few years ago. Florida's changed a lot from the rural settings described when the book written in the late 1950s. For example, there was no Orlando International Airport; it was McCoy Air Force Base back then.

Gun registration forms were burned in NY protest

New York's new gun registration deadline is now less than a month away.

Citing international law...

Secessionists in Venice push their campaign.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Reefer madness

Apparently "weed" is no longer in with progressives.

Mother Jones says it causes climate change.

 The Left is going bonkers faster than I can keep up.

Idiocracy reigns at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Have you toured the White House website lately?

This is is among the images the Obama administration now projects to the nation and the world:

Seriously. No spoof. It's from the real White House website. Link to the page here

Obama orders sanctions

The Obama administration orders sanctions to punish Russia's interventions in the Ukraine.

Politico reports an executive order was signed this morning:
It authorizes Treasury Secretary Jack Lew to work with Secretary of State John Kerry to impose sanctions on “any individual or entity that operates in the Russian arms industry, and any designated individual or entity that acts on behalf of, or that provides material or other support to, any senior Russian government official,” the White House said in a statement.
Will this order be used to ban the import of Russian made ammo into the United States? Such action would seem to clearly fall within the scope of the order as it's reported.

There are other sources of cheap steel case ammunition. But Russia has been a biggie provider to the U.S. civilian market.

Update: Remember this Sipsey Street post earlier this month?

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Class war in Chicago gets a new anthem

Poor progressives. They've worked hard to stir up class envy and racial strife.

Now it bites 'em in the butt in Chicago.

School kids there sing anything by praise for Obama pal and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel
Torturing, tormenting us as we choke on the ashes of our memories
*Cough Cough*
Let's hope we don't get sick
Because he's closing all our clinics
He needs to get treated
And then maybe we can sew back on the other half of the middle finger
that he has been giving us  
Its almost as if he's E Manuel of E-Limination
Step one: Take away our schools
Step Two: Put them out their home
Lastly: Destroy it all and
Deny Deny Deny
But remember, to always keep a straight face when you lie! 
Full lyrics and a performance is available on YouTube.

Carney ready to quit?

Daily Caller reports Jay Carney is about ready to step down as White House press secretary, and speculates Carney will get a cushy network gig after a White House departure.

What network doesn't want its own Baghdad Bob to enhance its credibility with viewers.

Then again, compared to the knuckleheads currently on MSNBC, Carney may seem like a giant lean forward.

Powder scarcity 2014

I recently read a report predicting gunpowder's gonna get more scarce later this year.

Now, a recent event may hasten the expected decline in supply.

As the man said, for those who reload, get what you can where you can while you can.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Obamacare's latest pitch

The Angry Mom

The HHS poster "mom" looks a lot like the kind of woman Stalin's USSR routinely featured in its propaganda.

Gloomy doomy today at 1 pm EDT

Just because there are danger signs doesn't necessarily mean something bad's going ot happen.

On the other hand, just because you don't want something bad to happen doesn't mean it won't.

Don Dickinson and I will be talking economic and political collapse scenarios today on Don and Doug.

Shyanne's not shy about defending gun rights

“I am an example to others that kids and guns don’t always lead to bad things happening,” Shyanne Roberts told the (New Jersey) Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.

Shyanne Roberts is a competitive shooter. Shyanne Roberts is also 9-years-old.

Roberts' comment reminds me of something my grandma told me when I was a kid visiting her farm.

I saw a group of boys with rifles walking down the dirt road out front, and pointed it out to granny.

"Oh, those are good boys, otherwise their parents wouldn't trust 'em to be out with guns," she told me.

We used to encourage our young people to take up shooting. Shooting teams were once a popular extracurricular school activity. In a few places today, they still are.

Going back even farther, Thomas Jefferson saw firearms as a companion to mental and physical fitness in American youth.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Today's U.S. Military update

"The US military is on its way to being a small, ceremonial Reichswehr, whose principal function is to provide a budgetary pool for legislators’ cronies and donors to swim in. It already is losing its ability to project power and protect allies; soon it will be failing to secure the nation itself." - Weaponsman at his self-titled blog

In other military news today:

Panel urges Obama to lift US ban on transgender military service

Congressman Gowdy makes his pitch

Congressman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) sponsors a bill that would let Congress sue the president to force presidential compliance in following law passed by Congress.

I don't necessarily agree with the strategy, I believe Congress has direct means to enforce its will.

But I also like the way in which Gowdy makes his point:


I suspect Gowdy understands he's surrounded by gutless colleagues, and understands any form of challenge to the runaway president is preferable to none.

If Gowdy's bill should pass, and Obama vetoes as promised - we gain advantage. We'll have clear cut, undeniable case of Obama again snubbing Congress, and siding against the tradition of American rule of law.

Each step further revealing Obama's go-it-alone rogue nature is a step in the right direction.

He's got a pen and a phone...

Have we really come to absurdity like this?

Obama threatens to veto bills that require him to follow the law.

More specifically:
President Obama is threatening to veto a law that would allow Congress to sue him in federal courts for arbitrarily changing or refusing to enforce federal laws because it "violates the separation of powers" by encroaching on his presidential authority.
Obama moves in dangerous directions.

If  the president doesn't cease his march toward dictatorial powers, Congress needs to quit acting like cry-babies and act with direct legislative authority. Impeachment is an option. Congress also has the power to curtail funding, and shut down government until constitutional rule of law, and balance of power are restored.

Message to Congress: Failure to act directly and decisively to bring the executive branch back in check is dereliction of duty.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A handful of trouble makers could plunge America into darkness

As few as nine teams... maybe even just nine determined people... could have the potential to plunge America into a nation-wide blackout.

So reports the Wall Street Journal:
The U.S. could suffer a coast-to-coast blackout if saboteurs knocked out just nine of the country's 55,000 electric-transmission substations on a scorching summer day, according to a previously unreported federal analysis.
Still think "preppers" are nutty-kooky when they talk about stuff like a national grid collapse? Even the top people in government say the same sort of things, but - more often than not - they tend to keep it to themselves.

Update: More on grid insecurity at the Washington Free Beacon.

The absurdity of DC elites gets worse...

The Washington Free Beacon shares this enlightening moment from the House floor in DC:


The Free Beacon reports: "Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D., Texas) declared the U.S. Constitution to be 400 years old Wednesday on the House floor, which would mean it was signed in 1614."

I say perhaps Ms. Jackson Lee's been dippin' into some Common Core math.

Locals angered by the Obamas golf weekend

Last weekend, the first couple flew to spend the weekend at an exclusive golf community in Key Largo, Florida.

Not everyone, it seems, was happy to have them.

"President Obama has done nothing but degrade and punish the 'one percent' of Americans who have done the most for this country," according to an email to Ocean Reef Club board members. reports the letter was signed by two residents.

"To have a man here who hates us, who has divided America along racial lines, hates people who have been successful in life by hard work and determination is an affront to the membership," the email reportedly stated.

Seems some Americans are tired of the president's self-centered luxury lifestyle, one that needlessly tramples on the rights and comfort of others.

Rewriting the rules of full-time employment

Some jobs are done better when an employee's not watching the clock, and has a degree of say in exercising his/her discretion in setting a daily schedule. Many employees are happier when they're allowed more control of their workday and projects.

Obama wants to take that away.

From the New York Times:
On Thursday, the president will direct the Labor Department to revamp its regulations to require overtime pay for several million additional fast-food managers, loan officers, computer technicians and others whom many businesses currently classify as “executive or professional” employees to avoid paying them overtime, according to White House officials briefed on the announcement.
No surprise really, since Obama clearly embraces government central planning, and regards most Americans as too stupid to responsibly handle most routine life tasks.

Prediction: This may mean some workers benefit from overtime short-term. Long term, it means employers will once again look at splitting full-time jobs into part-time to escape mandatory overtime thresholds.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Owning a gun in Connecticut

Via YouTube:

I'd add something, but the little cartoon seems to say it all.

Common Core's a flop

So Connecticut's governor forms a task force for political cover.

Let me guess.

2014 continues to unfold in ways Dannel Malloy never imagined.

By the way, Republicans are just as bad as Democrats in weaseling through with Common Core.

Here in Georgia, lawmakers are dealing with the debacle much the same way: A swift and steady can-kick couched in more study.

Update: Georgia's legislative resistance to Common Core collapses.

How bad could it get...

Imagine what economic collapse would look like if it came to America. Imagine the societal upheaval if such an event wasn't just a blip, but a full scale hard-stop.

If you're thinking Great Depression, or even something comparable to ravaged south toward the end of the American Civil War, you may be underestimating the potential.

Don Dickinson sent me a a few off the cuff thoughts he had over the weekend:
I was thinking about collapse Sunday morning. 
U.S. Government photo/Library of Congress
When a one or two story building collapses, it is not a very spectacular or deadly event compared to something like the collapse of the World Trade Center towers. The reason is simple physics. A few thousand pounds falling a few tens of feet compared to millions of tons falling hundreds of feet. 
The mid 19th Century collapse of the white ruled Haitian government or the late 20th Century collapse of the white ruled Rhodesian government were analogous to a one or two story building collapse. The surviving whites were many and went off somewhere else to resume their lives. The natives mostly returned to the squalor to which they were already accustomed. 
The collapse of the Western Roman Empire in Rome in the mid-5th Century was a collapse from the highest level that had been attained up until that time and it lead to an 800-1000 year dark age. Millions of people died, whole cities, including Rome, and regions were depopulated and even the place names of significant towns were lost to history. 
The situation in contemporary America is vastly different from all those examples. The height that has been attained by the lowest and middle classes in America, not to mention the upper crust, is orders of magnitude higher than anything previously attained in history. Therefore, if my analogy holds, once the collapse begins after all the fire and smoke, the velocity and violence will be beyond human comprehension and self-reinforcing in intensity. It will make the collapse of the Roman Empire look like a middling event. 
When low height societies collapse, most of the people already know how to function in a minimalist, survival situation. Thus after the Haitian earthquake, the survivors immediately began rebuilding their hovels and knew how to forage for water and food until the norteamercanos arrived with help. When the sky scraping American society collapses, only 1-3% of the population (outdoors men, farmers, and preppers; a lot of overlap in these classes) will have any idea in hell how to take care of themselves and there will be zero help forthcoming from any source.
Agree - or disagree?  Don's analogy and the prospects for long, hard crash will be part our webcast discussion Friday. We'll also look at growing signs of an American decline - and other possible outcomes short of the full-out crash. Our program each Friday on BlogTalkRadio is always open to live callers and chat between 1:00 and 3:00 pm EDT. If you feel inclined, please join us.

Related post

Food for thought...

Via Twitter (May take a second or two to load):

More tales of unsustainability

You don't have to seek out Black Swans or exotic circumstances to understand why America's in economic peril.

Too much load piled on insufficient carriage should tell you a train wreck's a comin'.

Looking at the nation's underfunded pensions are sign enough of a potential crash around every bend.

Firearms activist arrested and jailed

James Kaleda is reportedly being held in Pennsylvania awaiting extradition to New Jersey.

Second Amendment advocates following developments say this seems to suspiciously smack of retribution for Kaleda's pro-gun activism in the so-called Garden State.

Kaleda gained notoriety last year when he was forcibly removed from a New Jersey senate hearing last year after speaking in opposition to a gun control bill.

Spring 2013:

Monday, March 10, 2014

Sharyl Attkisson quits CBS

The reporter who played a key role in bringing Operation Fast and Furious and the Benghazi scandal much of what MSM coverage they received has resigned from CBS.

Via Twitter:
Politico reports it happened after months of negotiation between Atkisson and the network, but prior the  scheduled end of her contract.

I left a comment below the Politico article.
I'm old enough to remember when the media prided itself as being a public watchdog. Now, it's seems no more than a lapdog, groveling for the exclusive with the POTUS or FLOTUS. Sharyl Attkission is an old school reporter who fearlessly followed wherever the story led. It's a shame America's MSM was too afraid to follow her lead on stories like Fast and Furious or Benghazi. 
While leaving my comment, I noticed this from Matt Bracken:
Sharyl had no place at CBS, a media arm of Obama's Gangster Govt Inc. She dared to report on Operation Fast and Furious and Benghazi, so she was a pariah there. American Pravda = ABCNNBCBS, the NYT, WP and LAT etc. Their motto is, "It's not a scandal if we don't report it." They spent 100 times more minutes covering "Bridgegate" than Fast and Furious (300+ Mexicans murdered on purpose) and Benghazi combined. Sharyl didn't play "team ball" and was reduced to tweeting out her scoops, CBS would not give her ten seconds of airtime.
I hope we see Sharyl resurface soon on a platform where she's appreciated. And encouraged to follow the story - wherever it leads.

Update: More reaction via Twitchy

No such thing as too big to fail

It's a lesson oft repeated in history.

From the March 25, 1885 edition of Puck, a magazine of the era::

Illustration shows Julius Caesar or a Roman centurion, in the background, tumbling off a pillar of stones labeled "Rome, Etruria, Britain, Asia, [and] Africa", and in the middle distance, on a bit of land labeled "France", Napoleon I tumbling off a pillar of stones labeled "Egypt, Italy, Spain, Holland, Austria, Prussia, [and] Russia" and falling toward a rocky island labeled "St. Helena". In the foreground, John Bull is standing atop a pillar of stones labeled "Scotland, Ireland, Malta, Gibraltar, India, Australia, Cyprus, Egypt, [and] Soudan [sic]" on a bit of land labeled "England"; the stones are propped up by various types of weapons, with the top two stones supported by a steamship, though the top stone "Soudan" appears about to fall off.
- Description and illustration courtesy Library of Congress

Vacation, all I ever wanted...

Obama may be fresh from another weekend vacation, but many Americans lone summer vacation money is already spent on over-budget winter utility bills.

More voices chime in on America's economic decline

Lots of gloom and doom in my Monday morning reading. Actually, I'm delighted. It's increasingly obvious that we're living in an age of economic decline. I'm glad more voices reflect the new reality.

Here's an interesting premise: As America unravels, its stock markets may remain a safe haven.

So suggests Larry Edelson at Weiss Research's Money and Markets:
Yes, I know, it makes no sense. If America is on the decline, how can stocks go higher? Well, it’s actually simple. Most companies in America are in better financial shape than our own government.
While Edelson makes the argument that stock holdings are largely seen as non-confiscatable, he sidesteps the possibility of government seizure of corporate assets in a major economic emergency. Still, I'm intrigued by his hypothesis for the short and intermediate term. Worth a read.

Jim Kunstler is also heavy on American gloom and doom in his blog offering today. I often disagree with his politics and parts of his peak-energy hypothesis, but the last paragraph in today's essay likely has a lot of short term validity for today's huddled masses:
If you travel around the upper Hudson Valley, north of Albany, where I live, you would see towns and landscapes every bit as desolate as a former Soviet republic. In fact, our towns look infinitely worse than the street-views of Ukraine’s population centers. Ours were built of glue and vinyl, with most of the work completed thirty years ago so that it’s all delaminating under a yellow-gray patina of auto emissions. Inside these miserable structures, American citizens with no prospects and no hope huddle around electric space heaters. They have no idea how they’re going to pay the bill for that come April. They already spent the money on tattoos and heroin.
We had a $500 utility bill last month (just one month) as we dealt with record cold. We can handle it (short term). But  many who live paycheck to paycheck are being hammered hard this winter; especially in areas that have had back to back months of snow and ice. They'll have to incur more debt, nix those summer vacation plans, or make cuts elsewhere to cover the gap.

Don Dickinson shared some unique thoughts on economic decline and collapse with me over the weekend. I want to digest them further before blogging under a separate heading.

I expect this week's Don and Doug webcast will be heavy on digesting some of these latest thoughts and data points that steer toward steep decline.

Stay tuned.

Follow-up post is here

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Apocalypse coming to Venezuela?

Naw. It isn't gonna happen. Said the UK Guardian just four months ago.

This was the headline:
Sorry, Venezuela haters: this economy is not the Greece of Latin America  
Predicting a Venezuelan acpocalypse won't make it happen
And the bottom of the article?
• The subheading on this article was amended on 15 November 2013. The original one, not supplied by the author, ended with the words "in this oil-rich country the only thing imploding is poverty". This has now been removed
Seems a lot's changed in Venezuela since November 2013.

Stopped in one of my favorite gun stores today

Hadn't been in for a while.

Glad to say the racks and display cases are full once again.

What stuck me this visit was nearly all the inventory was new. Used guns were few and far between. Much more so than a couple years ago.

I'm guessing fewer folks are parting with their used guns.

Anyway, for new guns at least, variety and quantities appear to be back. Ammo too, appeared to be well stocked, as were reloading components.

Rice is nice

I bought a 20 pound bag of white rice this week. The contents filled 11 one-quart mason jars - with about a half jar left over.

That's about 46 cups.

A cup of rice makes a serving for four people.

The bag of rice cost $7.29 at Sam's Club.

Assuming a cup of rice, when cooked, is split four ways, that's about 4 cents per person per meal.

Three years ago, I vacuum packed white rice just using mason jars and a FoodSaver vacuum unit. The storage has worked fine.

This time, I've added the step of heating the filled jars in the oven at about 220 degrees for forty minutes along the lines of the old "oven canning" method. However, rather than let the cooling seal the jars, I still use the vacuum sealer shortly after retrieving the jars from the oven. The idea being, the heat further sterilizes the container, and kills potential impurities. And while the vacuum sealer is used to seal the jars, there's an even stronger vacuum created because after sealing, the cooling adds to the internal vacuum.

In an emergency situation, I figure a case of 12 mason jars of rice will feed a family of four for two weeks. Much longer if other items are mixed in or alternated with other long term storage food to create a more varied, balanced menu.

Even in regular times, rice is a food budget stretcher.

We had rice with our fish dinner the other night. The next morning, I had some leftover rice with little butter on it for breakfast. Then for lunch I had more rice, this time mixed with a little spicy Chinese mustard. Each meal providing a distinctly different taste experience.

Bottom line, long term food storage need not be a complex or expensive affair. It's just that people are so used to prepackaged stuff, the mechanics of storage are somewhat of a mystery to them - so they assume it too complex to do themselves.

Another home invader shot dead in Detroit

"'It's a message to the criminals - stop coming in to people's homes unannounced and uninvited. Crime no longer pays in the city of Detroit,' says Dep. Chief Rodney Johnson of the Detroit Police Department." 

Bears repeating...

I've updated my post from a couple days back accordingly.

But the updates on ammo exports from Russia bear repeating atop the blog:

From Bearing Arms: Russian Ammunition Cutoff Rumors Are Bogus

Friday, March 7, 2014

Breakfast this morning...

Started my day with some black coffee and steamed rice made of elements from a long-term food storage project.

Okay. I cheated. Put some butter from the fridge on the rice.

But the point is, if you're going to put stuff away in reserve, try some out every once in a while.

Normalize it's use. Rotate your stock. Just remember to replenish what you use.

It's Friday...

Don and I go live at 1:00 pm EST on BlogTalkRadio.

Central planning in education

Via the Daily Caller:
A Minnesota public high school was so committed to obeying its fire drill policy to the exact letter of the law that it forced a female student–dressed only in a swimsuit, and sopping wet–to stand outside in the freezing cold for ten minutes. As a result, she suffered frostbite.
Welcome to the new America - where bureaucrats lack the intelligence, will, or authority to deviate from central planners explicit instructions.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Ball of Confusion

That's what Connecticut is today. Hey, hey.

(Sorry, the classic Temptations lyric was too close a match to resist borrowing).

Anyone have confirmation on this?

Silver Doctors website reports that Putin is now blocking export of Russian ammo to the U.S.
The largest wholesale gun & ammo distributors in the US have informed us in private conversation today that a massive scramble is on for all 7.62 as Russia has reportedly halted all exports to the US of Russian made ammunition.  

I've have thought Bad Vlad would have waited, and let Obama be the one to ban U.S. importation of Russian ammo - and thereby take a PR hit from U.S. shooting community.

So far, I'm only seeing the ban reported on this one blog. But if this is true, we may have another panic round of ammo buying - especially in the cherished 7.62x39 caliber. Heck, I suspect Silver Doctors is right in one regard; that buying's already picked up on speculation.

Update: David Codrea posts this at his War on Guns blog.

Update II: Bob Owens at Bearing Arms also knocks it down.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


President Obama and members of his team seem upset that Russia doesn't seem to play by the Obama team's interpretation of international law.

"There is a strong belief that Russia’s action is violating international law.  I know President Putin seems to have a different set of lawyers making a different set of interpretations, but I don’t think that’s fooling anybody," Mr. Obama said yesterday.

This is the same Obama who unilaterally alters Obamacare deadlines for political gain, and contrary to written American law. Just last week, a noted legal scholar told Congress that Mr. Obama takes the law into his own hands with alarming regularity on a widening array of issues.

President Obama likes to dictate legal terms to others, but has bragged his phone and his pen allow him to rewrite rules as he desires.

Obama squandered any moral authority he may have had internationally by the way he practices political expediency at home.

An eyeful...

From Hope n' Change Cartoons:

Redistribution of wealth is "despotic"

"The Utopian schemes of leveling, and a community of goods, are as visionary and impracticable as those which vest all property in the Crown. [These ideas] are arbitrary, despotic, and, in our government, unconstitutional." - Samuel Adams, as recorded in The Life and Public Services of Samuel Adams, William V. Wells, published 1865

Saying of a generous parent

"If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace." - Thomas Paine, in The Crisis, 1776

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Conspicuous by its absence

Quinnipiac University today released a poll on Connecticut politics.

It includes a rundown of the governor's race, general perceptions of the state legislature, and questions regarding a proposed hike in minimum wage.

But the Quinnipiac releasae shows no questions regarding the state's new gun registration bill.

You'd think, with estimates of as many as 100,000 Connecticut residents in willful noncompliance with a law many deem unjust and tyrannical, the Connecticut gun and magazine registration law might have rated a question or two.

So, you say you want democracy?

“Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There was never a democracy that did not commit suicide.” - John Adams, letter to John Taylor, 1814 as noted by the John Adams Historical Society

Another Obamacare delay

Democrats are still trying to keep you from finding out what's in the law before you vote in November.

Has the Courant gone gun-shy?

After calling for police action against "scofflaws," it appears the Hartford Courant has gone mostly silent in its coverage of Connecticut's largely ignored gun registration law.

But the Courant has continued to print letters to the editor, most in recent weeks seem in opposition to the registration law and enforcement of it.

Here's an excerpt from one:
Self-defense is a God-given right. Choosing otherwise is an active personal choice. A pacifist's choice does not confer the right to arrogate their gun control will on any other American. Someone's imagined right to safety never trumps anyone else's rights. Repeat never. 
And another:
My solution: Let the folks who want to retain their gun ownership as protected in the Constitution reside east of the river, and the folks who support the bans and registration live west of the river, closer to their gun-hating cousins in New York.
Can anyone explain how registering firearm magazines would prevent a sociopath from murdering his mother and stealing her guns? Can anyone explain how banning assault weapons would help parents to recognize their son's mental health problems? We are told these are common-sense gun laws, but the police investigation on the Newtown attack reported it was an issue with the deteriorating mental health of the attacker, not a gun control issue.
Of course, there is a letter or two in favor of the law, like this one:
At the first sign that someone has an illegal weapon , they should be immediately tried and imprisoned. These are the people we must be worried and concerned about -- the ones who need to keep their ownership secret.
Other news sites and blogs around the nation continue to treat the Connecticut law and rising tensions caused by non-compliance as a developing news story. But in recent weeks, the Courant seems to shy away from blow-by-blow coverage, almost as if it's afraid of the hornets nest it stirred when it called for police action.

Gotta wonder if the Courant may be rethinking its editorial position.

Monday, March 3, 2014

How a politically motivated gun confiscation raid might go down...

A bit of (for now) fictional speculation appearing at Bearing Arms:
Friday, June 27th, 2014, 0-dark-thirty:  The politicians have made their decision. By a twist of fate–your file simply happened to be on the top of the stack for no particular reason–you’ll be the first example. A state police SWAT team pull to the curb in front of your home, leap from their van and rush to your front door. Two black-clad men pull back a ram and swing it toward your front door, aiming just above the knob, while the rest of the team waits anxiously, their automatic weapons charged and off safe. Two hope they’ll get the opportunity to shoot. At least one wants to manufacture the opportunity. 
You’ve made two major mistakes; they will cost your life and destroy your family:  you live in a blue state where the governor and legislature have no respect for the Constitution and the lives and liberty of citizens, and you were foolish enough to obey the law...
Plenty more at the link.

As seen on Twitter:

Sorry. It seems to be a dated screen-grab. I'm pretty sure Kerry's well into negative territory by now.

Snapshot of a failing welfare state

"The welfare state has been spending more money with an unsustainable demographic imbalance. There are fewer working families supporting more elderly, immigrants and broken families. The Russians invest money into increasing the native birth rate. Instead we fund Planned Parenthood because liberal economic eugenics dictates that we should extract "full value" from working women as a tax base to subsidize the welfare state while discarding the next generation." - Daniel Greenfield at Sultan Knish 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Obama announces Connecticut event

President Obama plans to fly to Connecticut later this week.

Via the Hartford Courant:
President Barack Obama will speak at Central Connecticut State University on Wednesday in an effort to garner support for increasing the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. 
The visit was announced Saturday by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's office, which said the president would be joined in New Britain by Gov. Deval L. Patrick of Massachusetts, Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee of Rhode Island and Gov. Peter E. Shumlin of Vermont.
Strikes me on a couple of levels...

It's  been reported the prez didn't have time to attend a weekend security briefing on the Ukraine. But he's gonna fly to Connecticut to pimp for a hike in minimum wage.

 Do any of the four governors announced as part of Wednesday's event have any concern that the president is arguably neglecting an international crisis yet he devotes so much time to things like fundraisers, a student film festival and political rallies on college campuses?

Second point: Is Obama trying to lend Malloy some star power on another issue to help distract from the growing concerns of non-compliance with Connecticut's gun registration law?

Never let a crisis go to waste

Fans of Wolf, Brown Bear and Tula ammo, take note:

Over at Sipsey Street, Mike Vanderboegh speculates that the Obama team may use the Ukrainian crisis as an excuse to choke the flow of Russian made ammo into the U.S.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

This "Caturday" is almost over...

But still time to work in some Commie-themed kitty humor...

If the poster's slow to load, please be patient.

"Ma'am, it sounds like you're anti-American"

Heck of a thing for a cop to say to a woman when she asks if police will invade her home to confiscate her husband's rifle. 

Where's Obama

As the crisis in the Ukraine deepens, and Putin gets okay to roll in troops, Obama skipped today's security team briefing at the White House.

Maybe he's watching the Ukraine from where ever he was when he watched Benghazi unfold.

The dude appears in over his head.

And I suspect he hasn't surrounded himself with people as smart as past presidents have.

Is there a problem here?

If you don't want the gun, don't buy a raffle ticket.