Free - Beyond Collapse

Monday, December 20, 2010

From Bad To Worse: The Economy Today, And Tomorrow

At first, we were told the American economy was a freight train; invincible. After the derivatives and mortgage crisis began in 2007-2008, we were told the problem was a mere blip in our financial timeline; nothing to be concerned about. In 2009, we were told that the recession was over, and that “green shoots” were on the way. Later, they said we were “turning the corner”, whatever that means. In 2010, we were told it was time to get used to the “new normal”, which of course has yet to be clearly defined. Now, at the cusp of 2011, the year which many establishment economists originally claimed would bring a bright new era in U.S. employment and finance, it has become clear to much of the public that we are being deliberately herded with empty words and false promises towards a very dangerous and uncertain future.

We have discovered that there is no “new normal”. The word “normal” denotes a certain consistency, a set of rules to the system which are generally understood, yet we have seen nothing consistent except the continued downward freefall of our fiscal infrastructure and the end of anything remotely resembling stability.

I feel quite a bit of empathy and maybe even a little remorse for those who blindly believed the mainstream nonsense of the past few years. I can’t imagine being so lost and so utterly disappointed on such a regular basis. The only good to come out of this dashing of false hopes is that it has caused many to begin questioning what the hell is really happening. Why have things only become worse? What about all the government legislation and stimulus? When is it finally going to produce the effects that were once guaranteed? In fact, what are the benefits of ANY action the government or the private Federal Reserve has taken so far?

Let’s look at financial conditions across the globe and here at home, and perhaps we can gain a true understanding of the situation before us, and find answers for some of these questions…

Europe: American Instability With An Accent?

How many times over this summer did we hear about the bailout that “saved” the EU? About as much as we heard about the bailouts that supposedly saved America.

In spring, the MSM was warning of complete disintegration of the European Union. After the Greek bailout, all was suddenly well. The turnaround in rhetoric was enough to give me whiplash. I’m curious now as to where all that candy-coated bubbly adoration for European bonds and the Euro went. When I warned during the “summer of bailout love” that nothing had changed in the EU accept the media’s coverage of the problem, this is what I was talking about…

As we have been pointing out for the past two years, the debt default problems in the EU are not going away, nor are they likely to go away for quite some time. Greece, for instance, is now under review for yet another ratings downgrade by the S&P:

All the exuberance over the IMF/EU bailout of Greece this spring was for naught, as the country continues to falter with no end to their debt woes in sight. The bailout changed nothing (because bailouts never do). This lesson in Greece has apparently made no impression on mainstream media analysts and international investors, who now applaud a similar bailout of Ireland, and who will probably applaud the bailouts of Portugal, Spain, and Italy, once it finally becomes evident to the public that those countries are in equally terrible financial conditions.

Credit-default swaps for Portugal and Spain have risen to record levels as their debt exposure, which has been ignored by the MSM until this past month, is slowly revealed:

This means that the cost of insuring Portuguese or Spanish debt securities is becoming untenable. Like a couple of convicted drunk drivers, the risk of insuring them is tremendous. The likelihood of a crash is simply too high.

Italian bank refinancing costs are also exploding due to the unsustainable debt of the government, meaning an expanded credit crisis is looming for Italians (could this signal a coming bank holiday?):

Ireland and every other EU nation’s response to this disaster will, obviously, be the implementation of austerity measures in order to pay off their IMF creditors. Ireland has already announced a possible 20% cut in overall spending and the simultaneous raising of taxes; a double whammy for Irish citizens who will now lose many government aid programs while at the same time losing valuable income out of their pocket:

Countries that find themselves this indebted to the IMF rarely if ever actually improve conditions enough to pay off their liabilities, and that is not an accident. Global bankers have no intention of ever releasing EU nations from their clutches. The debt cycle must go on forever…

The debt crisis across the Atlantic is culminating in a massive destabilization of jobs markets, which is something we rarely hear about in terms of Europe. Eurozone nations have hit an overall record high “official” unemployment rate of 10.1% (double that for the REAL unemployment rate):

The point? Just under the surface Europe is in a shambles, the Euro is in almost as much danger as the Dollar, and this development will come to a head very soon. Already, the EU is moving to enact a “European Stability Mechanism”, which will effectively divide core EU nations like Germany and France from ‘peripheral’ countries like Greece or Portugal:

More fiscally stable nations such as Germany will no longer be required to foot the bill for those members of the EU that show signs of default. Even now, Germany is refusing to boost aid to EU bailout funds:

This is something we talked about with great concern at the beginning of this year, as richer European countries tie their economies to China and let the rest of the West rot. On one hand, it seems practical for sovereign countries to protect themselves and refuse to pay for the mistakes of others. However, the primary point of all of this has been ignored by the MSM, which is the fact that the EU should never have been formed in the first place. So far it has resulted in nothing but calamity for most participating countries. Surely, the IMF will drop by to pick up the pieces and “save” the union that was never wanted or needed, after the people are sufficiently desperate.

What this shows is that nearly all of the crises we are confronted with daily here in the U.S. are also striking Europe; there’s just much less talk about the EU disaster from local economic analysts. Regardless of what the MSM claims, Europe as we know it is about to change dramatically. In the U.S., the metamorphosis could be even more shocking…

The Recession That Ate America!

The jobs report from the Labor Department last week underlined the breadth of the collapse in America. Establishment economists were heralding the Christmas season as a turning point (yet again) in the U.S. economy, for jobs, and for sales. Predictions for job creation ranged from around 150,000 to 400,000 openings. Traditionally, they would be correct in expecting such a spike in employment, but we are not living in typical times. The jobs report revealed only 39,000 newly employed, and being that Labor Department numbers are generally manipulated, we could safely suggest that almost no jobs were added. All in the midst of the Holidays, when temporary hiring is supposed to boom:

Now, some analysts are beginning to suggest that the U.S. is heading “back” into a recession. The problem is that in order to go into a second recession, we would have to actually exit the first recession before hand:

Whether or not you believe that we are facing a double dip, or that we are caught in one long economic death spiral, one must ask the question: where did all that bailout money go that was supposed to stop this? Recently, we received a pittance of a glimpse at the Federal Reserve balance sheet for part of the stimulus program. What little data was made public was not comforting…

If you thought that stimulus packages from the Fed would actually go into the U.S. economy, you were greatly mistaken. The largest recipients of bailout dollars from the Federal Reserve (paid for with your tax dollars) were FOREIGN BANKS. That’s right, the liquidity injections that have put the very health of the dollar at risk and stoked a growing trade and currency war across the planet did not even go towards the economy in which you live! Overseas banks such as UBS and Barclays received the largest portion of the $3.3 trillion in emergency stimulus that was outlined in documentation the Fed was forced to release due to lawsuit:

Remember, this $3.3 trillion is just what the central bankers openly admit to. We haven’t even scratched the surface of Fed accounts or Fed secrecy yet. One factor in stimulus injections that often goes under the radar is overnight lending. It has been revealed that the Fed has created at least $9 trillion which was then pumped into major banks over the course of the past two years. Merrill Lynch alone snapped up $2.1 trillion:

This brings up another important question: if the major banks have been privy to so much capital, why aren’t they lending to the public? Maybe because they are still broke, even after all that Fed liquidity! Currently, top U.S. banks still face a $100 billion to $150 billion shortfall according to Basel III rules (again, this is just the amount that has been admitted):

This amount of capital retention would suggest a ‘deflationary’ crisis, but instead, we have so far witnessed a falling dollar and rising prices on most goods and commodities. Gold is hovering near $1420 an ounce as I write this. Silver has broken the $30 an ounce mark. Oil is flirting with $90 a barrel, and is firmly entrenched above $3 a gallon, very close to where we predicted during the summer (we still have three weeks to hit $100 a barrel). Other base goods are spiking much faster…

The most recent and disingenuous talking point used by the MSM to explain away rising prices is that it is a result of “demand” by growing developing nations like China. Below are a couple examples, including an article which blames rising cotton prices on demand from China, and rising oil prices on “economic recovery”, which is an unbearable load of media manure:

Anything to avoid the word “inflation”, and most especially the word “hyperinflation”. The problem with the demand argument is that while there is growing need for materials in places like China, this is certainly not at all the driving force behind the explosion in prices. A good way to gage this is by examining the BDI (Baltic Dry Index).

The BDI measures the cost of shipping raw materials across the ocean as well as the amount of goods being shipped. It is one of the few economic indicators that cannot be manipulated by international banks or governments. A dramatic drop in the BDI shows a sharp decrease in demand for global shipping and thus reveals a slowdown in the overall economy. This is exactly what occurred at the beginning of the credit crisis in 2007-2008. However, the BDI can also be measured in comparison with the values of stocks and commodities. Under normal conditions of supply and demand, if the BDI were to drop (or deflate), then the value of most stocks and goods should also drop. This has not been the case, as the below graphs illustrate:

BDI vs. S&P 500

BDI vs. CRB Index

BDI vs. Crude Oil

BDI vs. Gold

BDI vs. Copper

BDI vs. Soy

Now, there have been small deviations in the past between stocks and commodities versus the BDI, but usually it is the BDI which leads the deviation, and not the commodities. As the final year of every graph shows, there has been a significant decoupling of the price of stocks and goods when compared with the amount of shipping of those goods. To put it simply; demand is low, all over the world, yet prices continue to climb skyward at an incredible pace. This suggests to me that we are seeing the beginning of hyperinflation, mostly in the U.S., and in no way a recovery.

The main culprit in creating the inflation millstone is, as you probably guessed, the Federal Reserve. Being that much of the fiat the Fed throws out is going into foreign entities, we have not seen effects as pronounced as they would be if all that cash was flowing into our local markets. This has not, though, stopped devaluation of the dollar itself, which is the true cause of inflation beyond money supply.

Foreign central banks are all too aware that the Greenback will soon be history. Treasury auctions are producing dismal results for anything other than very short term T-bonds, and the Fed is quickly becoming the ONLY buyer of U.S. government debt:

And, the biggest news of the year, the news that almost no mainstream outlet in America covered: China and Russia have announced that they will stop using the dollar for trade between the two countries:

“Wen said Beijing is willing to boost cooperation with Moscow in Northeast Asia, Central Asia and the Asia-Pacific region, as well as in major international organizations and on mechanisms in pursuit of a “fair and reasonable new order” in international politics and the economy.”

“Sun Zhuangzhi, a senior researcher in Central Asian studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the new mode of trade settlement between China and Russia follows a global trend after the financial crisis exposed the faults of a dollar-dominated world financial system.”

Skeptics and disinformation campaigns will likely argue that Russia is barely in the top ten trading partners of China, and the announcement is not a threat to the dollar’s world reserve status. What they will neglect to mention is that China and Russia’s political influence internationally goes far beyond trade decisions. How long before the other BRIC nations, India and Brazil, follow suit and drop the dollar when trading with China? How long before European countries, or even OPEC nations, join this trend? What you are witnessing today is the median step before the final collapse of our currency, and when the history books are written, it will probably be this period that is singled out as the trigger point for the event.

Get Ready For Weapons Of Mass Distraction

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As we have written about many times and qualified in great detail with page after page of supported evidence, the shell shocked state of the economy is no accident. The financial implosion is itself a distraction from the centralization policies of corporate cartels through organizations like the IMF or the Federal Reserve. But as the breakdown progresses (and I think we have shown succinctly that it will), the masses will eventually look for the antagonist of this story. The elites will have no other choice but to conjure villains from the ether to divert attention away from themselves and their detrimental policies. Not to mention, the number of us who understand the criminal nature of central banks is becoming precariously threatening to the continuance of those policies.

The Liberty Movement has hit a point of critical mass. The alternative media is dominating over mainstream corporate news sources. Our fight for transparency in information is reaching every corner of the world. Our membership is growing beyond what many of us had ever imagined possible. Projects such as the ‘Buy Silver: Crash JP Morgan’ campaign have gone effectively viral. Ideas like the popular purchasing of physical precious metals to counter the COMEX manipulations and short positions of big banks have been around for a long time, but in the past couple of years, we finally have the support base and cultural clout to make them a reality with the fantastic media reach of men like Max Keiser, Alex Jones, websites like Zero Hedge, and many others.

The more prominent our movement becomes, the more dangerous we are to global banks, and the more likely we are to see the enactment of engineered events designed to fog the battlefield and confuse the public. The goal of globalists will be to fabricate threats which appear to be more immediate or more frightening than the power grabbing schemes of the elites themselves. Imagine you have cancer, but are then suddenly confronted with a live grenade in your lap. Which problem is going to receive your full attention at that moment; the grenade, or the cancer? The dilemma is that both eventually end the same way. This is how elitists operate; deny people the chance to deal with the long term threat by diverting them with short term catastrophes.

A new ‘Gulf of Tonkin’ off the shores of North Korea, the release of a weaponized computer virus into Wall Street trading networks, yet another attempted or successful terrorist attack with highly questionable players and suspicious results, or maybe a Treasury dump by China resulting in a trade or even shooting war. I can’t say where the punches will come from, but I do know that the hits are on their way. The state of our economy and of public opinion is reaching a crescendo and something has to give. The global banks will do anything to ensure that they are not set in the crosshairs of those people who are forced to suffer, even if it means throwing numerous innocents into the path of the oncoming bullets (figurative or otherwise).

At bottom, to fully comprehend the events that are taking place, and that are about to take place in our economic and cultural environment, we have to focus on the ignition source. If your house is set on fire, do you blame the house for burning? Do you blame the fire? Or do you blame the people that started the fire? I have a feeling the coming months will be crucial in this regard, and how tomorrow unfolds will depend greatly on our ability to lock hold of the influential financial arsonists of today, and never let them go.

Original Article

Constitutional Judo

In all things, there exists a ‘point of balance’; a line that, if crossed, results in the sudden and expedient loss of our self-determinism and makes us subservient to the fickle whims of social, political, and physical gravity. We are “thrown” into the air, as it were, and the landing is rarely ever pleasant. The U.S. Constitution and the civil liberties it outlines is itself one of these historic points of balance. Its original purpose was to temper the most epic of grappling matches ever ignited; between the relentless constructs of government, and the individual freedoms of the common man. The ultimate problem inherent in this struggle is one of consistency, vigilance, and labor…

While the concept of the Democratic Republic and the Constitution was meant to remove suffocating class warfare from our political life and free us from the numerous dangers of elitism, invariably, those men who thirst for power over others find a way to insinuate themselves into any system, regardless of checks and balances, especially when the populace does not fulfill its necessary role as watchdog and tireless sentinel. Many Americans often assume that ‘the people’ derive their power from the Constitution, but the reality is actually reverse; the Constitution, in fact, derives its power from the people. Our duty (which some have forgotten) has always been to protect the rights and liberties inscribed on those pages of parchment. Not just to know those rights, or recite them, but to implement and defend them in our day-to-day existence. Without the constant nurturing cultural pulse of sound minds and courageous hearts, the Constitution dies.

Many in our society, instead of taking on the responsibility of preserving their freedoms, have instead handed it over to the trappings of government. The fatal error here is obvious; the corporatized and over-centralized political landscape of America’s government today does not hold the same values as the people it is determined to lord over. We have witnessed the parasitic possession of our system, know it to be corrupt, yet still seem to expect this bureaucratic monstrosity to cradle our liberties in good faith!

Government is a tool; a mechanical apparatus that can be used to either preserve freedom, or annihilate it. Its use depends upon those men who wield it, and the men who wield our government today certainly do not have the expansion of freedom in mind. In this article, we will examine the many points of contention (balancing points) brewing as our exceedingly globalist leaning political leaders overstep their bounds. Any one of these points, if allowed to falter by Americans, could throw the whole of our heritage into disarray…

Death By A Thousand Cuts

If you’ve been living at the center of the Earth for the past decade, or playing online games till daybreak battling for dominion of Castle Grayskull, then you may have missed out on the numerous attempts by our Government (under both major parties) to erode our freedoms one precious layer at a time. Some of these attempts have so far fallen flat, while others have been frighteningly successful. Here is just a sample of various recent actions and legislation designed specifically to swindle away your rights, if not the shirt right off your back:

Patriot Acts I & II: The Patriot Act is what I call “chameleon legislation”; it’s designed to be “open to interpretation” by officials and to be modified for whatever purpose they happen to deem fit at the moment. Ultimately, both Patriot Acts opened a terrible gateway to a world where any freedom is expendable, especially if it means stopping terrorists and “evil doers”. Of course, the manner in which terrorism is defined by proponents of the Patriot Act is wildly general. ANYONE could be defined as a terrorist, and any threat could be construed as a matter of national security. The true goal of this legislation was not to protect the public, but to untie the hands of the establishment when implementing further destructive actions, as well as to plant the fog of doubt into the minds of Americans as to the continued validity of the Constitution itself.

The Enemy Belligerents Act: The Enemy Belligerents Act is a perfect example of how the leadership caste of the Democrats and Republicans (who are neo-cons, not true conservatives) work in tandem to institute globalist policy. In this case, the act was introduced by the dastardly duo of John McCain and Joe Lieberman. To put it simply, this legislation, if fully imposed, would allow the government to label any person they choose, even an American citizen, as an enemy combatant. This means you could be arrested without being officially charged, imprisoned without a trial or legal council for an unspecified length of time, and no one, not even your family, would be told where you were. They should just re-name it the ‘Shanghai Act’, because it basically legalizes government piracy. The only problem is that this shanghai is less likely to end with tropical island adventure and more likely to end with you being tossed in a dark stinky hole in the middle of another Abu Ghraib surrounded by Blackwater mongoloids with a penchant for naked man dog-piles. Again, this is the kind of poison your government thinks up on a regular basis…

The John Warner Defense Authorization Act: A bill passed by George W. Bush in 2007 with very little initial media coverage. Allows the Federal Government at the direction of the president to subvert Posse Comitatus and use the military within the borders of the U.S. as a police force without any consent from state governments. Also gives the office of the president unprecedented powers over the National Guard. Just add any real or engineered national disaster and what you get is a perfect recipe for Hurricane Katrina deluxe. Martial Law, here we come…

Establishment Of Northcom: Northcom (United States Northern Command) is, at bottom, the teeth behind legislation like the John Warner Defense Act. If martial law is declared in the U.S., it will be Northcom and its assigned military units that will stand at the forefront. Northcom’s stated mission is to “defend the homeland”, supposedly against terrorism, however, much of Northcom’s focus in annual exercises like ‘Vigilant Shield’ has been to prepare for civil unrest and continuity of government. Meaning, they train under the assumption that YOU will be the enemy. The first person posted to command Northcom was General Ralph Eberhart, the same man who was in charge of NORAD on 9/11. Apparently, if you ignore available intelligence and fail completely in your assigned duties, you get a promotion in the upper echelons of the military today, unless I missed something, and he didn’t fail…

Presidential Directive 51: A presidential action shrouded in secrecy and general cloak and dagger spookiness. When ignorant yuppies accuse the Liberty Movement of “paranoia”, I always point out PDD 51, and ask them if they are at least intelligent enough to be concerned. This order was initiated by George W. Bush and continued by Barack Obama, and is designed to give the president virtual dictatorial powers during a state of “national emergency”. It dissolves all states rights and places the entire country under the purview of Northcom, and Homeland Security. The guise of “continuity of government” is used as a rationale. Also allows the president to declare a state of emergency for almost any reason. Members of Congress and even some members of Homeland Security who have requested to read the entire directive have been denied. The bill is apparently so disturbing that Obama doesn’t even want those with security clearance to view the full document. Though I’m sure there is some grey area that can be exploited where classified materials are concerned, as far as I can tell from my research, Obama’s withholding of information on a directive such as PDD 51 from Congress is wholly illegal.

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA): Supported by both Bush and Obama. The word “foreign” is highly misleading. FISA allows telecom companies to supply the personal data and communications of anyone, including Americans, to the government without threat of civil retribution (lawsuit). Under Constitutional law, any invasion of privacy by government authorities must first be approved through an individualized warrant. The person or premises to be monitored must be specified, and the reason behind the surveillance must be clearly explained. FISA does away with all of these protections to your privacy and gives free reign to government to spy on whoever they choose without any oversight whatsoever. It even allows for mass surveillance, or data collation, on entire subsections of the populace. What I find most interesting about FISA is the way in which it brazenly breaks the barrier between government and corporate power. We all know about the revolving door in Washington, but in the past, the idea of the barrier was at least somewhat maintained for appearances, if nothing else. The trick to FISA is that “technically”, it is the telecoms that are doing the actual surveillance, and not government. This is, I’m sure, the argument that will be used by the Feds if FISA is ever taken to the Supreme Court under the Fourth Amendment. The reality, though, is that the telecoms and the government are one in the same, and to treat them as two separate legal entities is to blind one’s self to the facts. Now, Mussolini’s definition of fascism (the melding of government and corporate infrastructure into a single entity with a single purpose) absolutely seems to apply to the U.S.

Big Brother Technotronic Super Villain-esqe Surveillance Grid: Ever feel like you are being watched? Get used to it, says Homeland Security! CCTV cameras have doubled in most U.S. cities over the past two years, while New York has tripled theirs in only six months. The TSA has been given invincible IRS-like goon squad status and now fondles and x-rays airport travelers at will, storing biometric data without consent and generally treating people worse than cattle. Don’t care because you don’t fly? Don’t worry! Naked body scanners are coming to bus and train stations near you! Hell, if we don’t put a stop to this horror soon, the TSA may roll scanners out on street corners.

A friend of mine was recently on a trip to Boston and went to see the U.S.S. Constitution, the oldest commissioned American war vessel still afloat. He related to me that his excitement was soon smothered when he realized visitors had to pass through metal detectors and security just to see the boat. I’m sure that the government is merely trying to prevent Al Qaeda from sneaking on board with box cutters, hijacking the ship, and sailing it into the Sears tower, causing the building to implode at near freefall speed.

The reason he was disenchanted with the experience was because he knew the metal detectors and security served little purpose, except to condition people into accepting that this was the norm. Everywhere you go, there DHS is.

Next of course would be easily tracked national ID cards, which were attempted a couple of years ago with little success under the Real ID Act. State compliance for the Real ID was postponed until May 2011, which is right around the corner. We’ll see if the states cave, or stand their ground. Finally, no surveillance society would be complete without citizen spies. Homeland Security is establishing its new “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign in your local Walmart. Yes, imagine the ghoulish face of cave troll Janet Napolitano leering down at aisle five as you attempt to save a dollar on frozen buffalo wings. She slobbers rhetoric about how you are surrounded by terrorists while you try to find that economy sized box of Count Chocula. Wouldn’t we all just feel safer?

Bailout Bills (All Variations): I find that a lot of people like to blame our current economic doomfest on one political party or the other, stumbling about in the dark in a sad attempt to trace the roots of the credit and mortgage collapse back to Obama, Bush II, Clinton, Bush I, etc. Everyone is desperate to play cheerleader for their team, not realizing that both teams are fake and almost every president since the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913 is to blame for selling out the American people to global banks. Let’s not forget, both Obama and Bush supported bailout legislation which is now widely considered to be an abject failure. The majority of Americans according to most polls opposed these bills, and yet they were still passed. What do the bailouts have to do with the loss of Constitutional rights? When the entirety of your country’s financial future is poured into the coffers of international banking elites and your currency is subsequently debased if not destroyed, leaving you with nothing but debt and supranational centralization, it is a certainty that a total loss of your rights will soon follow.

FDA Food Safety Modernization Act S. 510: Currently being considered for passage in the House. Yet another bill written in such a way as to make it wide open for interpretation by the authorities. First of all, the FDA has never been synonymous with “safety”, considering half the products they approve end up causing cancer or shrinking your testes. They would approve rat urine for mass consumption if a company like Monsanto wanted to market it. The FDA’s true roll has been to let major corporations violate safety regulations unobstructed while ruthlessly bringing the hammer down on smaller businesses. Now, the FDA has set its aim upon not just small farms, but personal gardens!

The bill gives the FDA far reaching powers over what it terms “food production facilities”, which are defined as “any farm, ranch, orchard, vineyard, aquaculture facility, or confined animal-feeding operation”. It also places all food production under the control of Homeland Security in the event of a “national emergency” (there’s that poorly defined phrase again). I have heard some organic growers and ranchers shrug off the bill, believing that the FDA would never take advantage of the broad interpretation and bring pressure on private gardens or food trade. This kind of naivety is always astonishing to me. When has a society ever opened a door to power that its government has not taken quick advantage of? In fact, the FDA has already begun harassing the Amish, of all people, for private farm trade, even without S. 510:

These are non-commercial farms, yet the FDA believes it has the authority to dictate their food production activities. If the government is willing to set its laser guided sites on a pacifist group that still rides around in horse and buggy, then they’ll definitely have no qualms going after the rest of us.

Anti-Constitutional Arguments For Dummies

Most people enjoy the advantages of freedom and are naturally conservative towards government, whether they realize it or not. Because of the rather unsavory past actions of the neo-cons (globalists), the word “conservative” has been sullied, and is now associated with corporatism and big government. However, real conservatism has always been quite revolutionary. True conservatives believe in the principle of limited government, and individualism above collectivism, which means they usually find themselves the target of establishment fury. True conservatives are almost always in rebellion against the system, because the system is almost always operated by those who are anti-freedom. Show me a self proclaimed conservative who supports proliferation of government with a smile and I’ll show you a very confused man.

The label “Conservative” should really be interchangeable with “Constitutionalist”, and once this is understood, anti-Constitutional arguments can be viewed without the blurred distractions of the false left/right paradigm. We begin to understand that the conflict is not between Democrat and Republican, Liberal or Conservative, because those terms have been warped and their meaning eroded. The conflict we face is instead between individualists (Constitutionalists), and collectivists (globalists).

We’ve all heard the gamut of anti-Constitutional arguments in the past, but almost always through the left/right filter. Let’s set that filter aside for a moment and consider a few of them once again more objectively…

Argument 1 – The Constitution is an outdated document and is no longer practical for the modern world:

I’ve heard this argument from both sides of the aisle once again indicating that left vs. right is all fantasy. Does a good idea ever become outdated? What about inborn instincts? Can the desire for freedom ever be impractical?

The suggestion that the Constitution is “too old” is ludicrous for many reasons. First, the idea of an independent republic is painfully new compared to the long wash of human empires filled with vast stretches of feudalism and tyranny. Globalism is often touted as the next step in the cultural evolution of man, but it is really a giant leap backwards compared to Constitutionalism, representing yet another old centralist autocracy marketed in a modern way. A global feudal state is still a feudal state.

Second, the guidelines of the Constitution are built upon social necessities that have never and will never disappear. The right to speak openly one’s opinions or observations without fear of government reprisal is not a right that we will ever find ourselves too modern to appreciate. The right to bear arms and defend oneself will always be essential to a culture that wishes to prevent despotism in its various forms. The right to privacy from all people, including the government, will never be programmed out of the public entirely. Every man has an innate need to live without being examined and judged as though he were under constant suspicion. Every aspect of the Constitution is archetypal, and therefore, as much a part of us our own eyes and ears. These things do not lose their usefulness, no matter what era we live in.

Third, I have yet to see a political dynamic that is more sincere and honorable than the U.S. Constitution. I have yet to see a social concept presented as an alternative to the Constitution that does not have an ulterior motive attached. If someone, anyone, can present a new system that improves upon the Constitution while retaining the liberties described in the Constitution, I would love to see it. I hear a lot of criticism of the Constitution by globalists, but I have never seen any of them present a workable replacement that the public would respect, or willingly accept.

Argument 2 – Some rights must be given up for the greater good:

I’ll tell you a little secret; there is no “greater good”, unless you are talking about personal conscience. If your version of the “greater good” demands that you supplant your personal conscience, then it is not “greater”, and it is not “good”.

Safety is usually the catalyzing issue that leads to relinquished liberties, but safety itself is an illusion. No government can promise you true safety. Life is dangerous, and filled with the unexpected. Get over it and stop projecting your fears on the rest of us. If someone really feels that they are in immediate danger of a terrorist attack, then they should build a concrete bunker for themselves and stay in it, instead of trying to impose a collective bunker made out of unconstitutional laws and government surveillance around all of us.

Ultimately, what IS the greater good in this situation? Is it an unaccountable globalist nanny state and the dissolution of all individual and national sovereignty for the sake of a few people’s delusions of security? Maybe I’m just reckless, but I’m not buying it…

Argument 3 – National sovereignty must be removed if we are to achieve world peace:

World peace sounds very nice, I admit, but anyone who thinks removing Constitutional boundaries and bowing to globalism is the cure for war is smoking something laced with a serious amount of something. Almost every war of the past century alone has been funded, facilitated, or outright ignited by the same types of global elitists who now demand that we centralize world economic and political power into their hands to end war. This isn’t irony, it’s actually very well thought out Hegelian gaming; a sort of anti-Karma that rewards evil and punishes the respectable.

We have been led to believe that peace requires some kind of Faustian trade; freedom for harmony. But, legitimate freedom is a harbinger of peace, and nothing, not even the promise of harmony, is worth trading it away.

Argument 4 – The government could never undo Constitutional liberties because we would just vote them out:

This argument shows a serious lack of insight into how our government actually functions. As I have pointed out, most of the anti-Constitutional legislation described in this article was supported by both major parties. Therefore, it would be logical to then consider that voting out one party and replacing them with the other makes little difference as to the policies the government pursues. Unless you are voting for third party or liberty based candidates, your stop at the ballot box was a big waste of time. Sorry, that’s just reality. The people who write in Mickey Mouse have more sense than most of the voting public. The point? Elections change very little on a federal level.

The argument is also sometimes reversed by nihilists, who claim that the American public is to blame for government corruption because they voted for said politicians in the first place. Again, how the public votes has little bearing on most major elections because they have not been given a real choice. I get more excitement when deciding between Coke or Pepsi.

Argument 5 – The Founding Fathers couldn’t live up to their Constitutional ideals:

Yes, Thomas Jefferson owned slaves, and he also tried to implement a gradual emancipation for all slaves. It’s a contradiction. Jefferson, like all the Founding Fathers, was living in the midst of a revolutionary age filled with contradictions and conflict. The fact that they were able to sort through much of this and form a nation that at least aspired towards equal rights and independence is nothing short of a miracle. Washington made many mistakes, and so did Adams. In the context of the era in which they lived, they still did extraordinarily well, and this world is immensely better off because of their contributions.

This argument is perhaps the most dishonest of those I’ve heard, because it seeks to dismantle the very tangible and beneficial accomplishments of the revolutionary period by defaming men who cannot defend themselves because they are long since dead. It is successful when used to target people who know only historical events or dates but do not know more about the characters of the figures involved. That is not to say we should blindly idolize the Founding Fathers, on the contrary, we should endeavor to see them as real human beings with strengths, as well as flaws. Those flaws do not discredit what they built. What men are able to achieve in spite of their flaws is often far more meaningful and valuable than what they lose because of them.

Moral Ambiguity In Times Of Crisis

Liberty is most threatened in moments of great duress. Desperation breeds reckless abandon, and such an atmosphere is suffocating to wisdom. Each point of balance in the struggle for freedom requires considerable focus, and that focus can be twisted, flipped, and wrenched by the shock of disaster. The preservation of Constitutional rights depends greatly on our ability to maintain a sense of integrity and discipline as a culture, even when all the world seems to crumble around us.

Fear makes the insane seem reasonable. Financial collapse, war, civil unrest, all of these calamities can tempt us to silence our dissent, to do things we would not normally do, or to concede that which is precious to us. Even now, that kind of fear has led to many unfortunate compromises. The good news is, there is no freedom taken, that cannot be taken back.

The question is, how much are we willing to endure to see that our ideals survive? How hard are we willing to work? How much of our time, effort, and energy are we willing to expend? If the answer is not “all of it”, then we have failed already. What we have covered so far is the present situation, and by no means does it have to continue. When drawing a line in the sand, that line must first be drawn within. We must promise ourselves that it is here we will not bend, we will not lose balance, we will not be thrown. All liberty depends most on this.

Original Article

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Wall Street Pentagon Papers: The Biggest Scam in History Exposed

What if the greatest scam ever perpetrated was blatantly exposed, and the US media didn’t cover it? Does that mean the scam could keep going? That’s what we are about to find out.

I understand the importance of the new WikiLeaks documents. However, we must not let them distract us from the new information the Federal Reserve was forced to release. Even if WikiLeaks reveals documents from inside a large American bank, as huge as that could be, it will most likely pale in comparison to what we just found out from the one-time peek we got into the inner-workings of the Federal Reserve. This is the Wall Street equivalent of the Pentagon Papers.

I’ve written many reports detailing the crimes of Wall Street during this crisis. The level of fraud, from top to bottom, has been staggering. The lack of accountability and the complete disregard for the rule of law have made me and many of my colleagues extremely cynical and jaded when it comes to new evidence to pile on top of the mountain that we have already gathered. But we must not let our cynicism cloud our vision on the details within this new information.

Just when I thought the banksters couldn’t possibly shock me anymore… they did.

We were finally granted the honor and privilege of finding out the specifics, a limited one-time Federal Reserve view, of a secret taxpayer funded “backdoor bailout” by a small group of unelected bankers. This data release reveals “emergency lending programs” that doled out $12.3 TRILLION in taxpayer money – $3.3 trillion in liquidity, $9 trillion in “other financial arrangements.”

Wait, what? Did you say $12.3 TRILLION tax dollars were thrown around in secrecy by unelected bankers… and Congress didn’t know any of the details?

Yes. The Founding Fathers are rolling over in their graves. The original copy of the Constitution spontaneously burst into flames. The ghost of Tom Paine went running, stark raving mad screaming through the halls of Congress.

The Federal Reserve was secretly throwing around our money in unprecedented fashion, and it wasn’t just to the usual suspects like Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Citigroup, Bank of America, etc.; it was to the entire Global Banking Cartel. To central banks throughout the world: Australia, Denmark, Japan, Mexico, Norway, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, England… To the Fed’s foreign primary dealers like Credit Suisse (Switzerland), Deutsche Bank (Germany), Royal Bank of Scotland (U.K.), Barclays (U.K.), BNP Paribas (France)… All their Ponzi players were “gifted.” All the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations got their cut.

Talk about the ransacking and burning of Rome! Sayonara American middle class…

If you still had any question as to whether or not the United States is now the world’s preeminent banana republic, the final verdict was just delivered and the decision was unanimous. The ayes have it.

Any fairytale notions that we are living in a nation built on the rule of law and of the global economy being based on free market principles has now been exposed as just that, a fairytale. This moment is equivalent to everyone in Vatican City being told, by the Pope, that God is dead.

I’ve been arguing for years that the market is rigged and that the major Wall Street firms are elaborate Ponzi schemes, as have many other people who built their beliefs on rational thought, reasoned logic and evidence. We already came to this conclusion by doing the research and connecting the dots. But now, even our strongest skeptics and the most ardent Wall Street supporters have it all laid out in front of them, on FEDERAL RESERVE SPREADSHEETS.

Even the Financial Times, which named Lloyd Blankfein its 2009 person of the year, reacted by reporting this: “The initial reactions were shock at the breadth of lending, particularly to foreign firms. But the details paint a bleaker and even more disturbing picture.”

Yes, the emperor doesn’t have any clothes. God is, indeed, dead. But, for the moment at least, the illusion continues to hold power. How is this possible?

To start with, as always, the US television “news” media (propaganda) networks just glossed over the whole thing – nothing to see here, just move along, back after a message from our sponsors… Other than that obvious reason, I’ve come to the realization that the Federal Reserve’s crimes are so big, so huge in scale, it is very hard for people to even wrap their head around it and comprehend what has happened here.

Think about it. In just this one peek we got at its operations, we learned that the Fed doled out $12.3 trillion in near-zero interest loans, without Congressional input.

The audacity and absurdity of it all is mind boggling…

Based on many conversations I’ve had with people, it seems that the average person doesn’t comprehend how much a trillion dollars is, let alone 12.3 trillion. You might as well just say 12.3 gazillion, because people don’t grasp a number that large, nor do they understand what would be possible if that money was used in other ways.

Can you imagine what we could do to restructure society with $12.3 trillion? Think about that…

People also can’t grasp the colossal crime committed because they keep hearing the word “loans.” People think of the loans they get. You borrow money, you pay it back with interest, no big deal.

That’s not what happened here. The Fed doled out $12.3 trillion in near-zero interest loans, using the American people as collateral, demanding nothing in return, other than a bunch of toxic assets in some cases. They only gave this money to a select group of insiders, at a time when very few had any money because all these same insiders and speculators crashed the system.

Do you get that? The very people most responsible for crashing the system, were then rewarded with trillions of our dollars. This gave that select group of insiders unlimited power to seize control of assets and have unprecedented leverage over almost everything within their economies – crony capitalism on steroids.

This was a hostile world takeover orchestrated through economic attacks by a very small group of unelected global bankers. They paralyzed the system, then were given the power to recreate it according to their own desires. No free market, no democracy of any kind. All done in secrecy. In the process, they gave themselves all-time record-breaking bonuses and impoverished tens of millions of people – they have put into motion a system that will inevitably collapse again and utterly destroy the very existence of what is left of an economic middle class.

That is not hyperbole. That is what happened.

We are talking about trillions of dollars secretly pumped into global banks, handpicked by a small select group of bankers themselves. All for the benefit of those bankers, and at the expense of everyone else. People can’t even comprehend what that means and the severe consequences that it entails, which we have only just begun to experience.

Let me sum it up for you: The American Dream is O-V-E-R.

Welcome to the neo-feudal-fascist state.

People throughout the world who keep using the dollar are either A) Part of the scam; B) Oblivious to reality; C) Believe that US military power will be able to maintain the value of an otherwise worthless currency; D) All of the above.

No matter which way you look at it, we are all in serious trouble!

If you are an elected official, (I know at least 17 of you subscribe to my newsletter) and you believe in the oath you took upon taking office, you must immediately demand a full audit of the Federal Reserve and have Ben Bernanke and the entire Federal Reserve Board detained. If you are not going to do that, you deserve to have the words “Irrelevant Puppet” tattooed across your forehead.

Yes, those are obviously strong words, but they are the truth.

The Global Banking Cartel has now been so blatantly exposed, you cannot possibly get away with pretending that we live in a nation of law based on the Constitution. The jig is up.

It’s been over two years now; does anyone still seriously not understand why we are in this crisis? Our economy has been looted and burnt to the ground due to the strategic, deliberate decisions made by a small group of unelected global bankers at the Federal Reserve. Do people really not get the connection here? I mean, H.E.L.L.O. Our country is run by an unelected Global Banking Cartel.

I am constantly haunted by a quote from Harry Overstreet, who wrote the following in his 1925 groundbreaking study Influencing Human Behavior: “Giving people the facts as a strategy of influence” has been a failure, “an enterprise fraught with a surprising amount of disappointment.”

This crisis overwhelmingly proves Overstreet’s thesis to be true. Nonetheless, we solider on…

Here’s a roundup of reports on this BernankeLeaks:

Prepare to enter the theater of the absurd…

I’ll start with Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont). He was the senator who Bernanke blew off when he was asked for information on this heist during a congressional hearing. Sanders fought to get the amendment written into the financial “reform” bill that gave us this one-time peek into the Fed’s secret operations. (Remember, remember the 6th of May, HFT, flash crash and terrorism. “Hey, David, Homeland Security is on the phone! They want to ask you questions about some NYSE SLP program.”)

In an article entitled, “A Real Jaw-Dropper at the Federal Reserve,” Senator Sanders reveals some of the details:

At a Senate Budget Committee hearing in 2009, I asked Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke to tell the American people the names of the financial institutions that received an unprecedented backdoor bailout from the Federal Reserve, how much they received, and the exact terms of this assistance. He refused. A year and a half later… we have begun to lift the veil of secrecy at the Fed…

After years of stonewalling by the Fed, the American people are finally learning the incredible and jaw-dropping details of the Fed’s multi-trillion-dollar bailout of Wall Street and corporate America….

We have learned that the $700 billion Wall Street bailout… turned out to be pocket change compared to the trillions and trillions of dollars in near-zero interest loans and other financial arrangements the Federal Reserve doled out to every major financial institution in this country.…

Perhaps most surprising is the huge sum that went to bail out foreign private banks and corporations including two European megabanks — Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse — which were the largest beneficiaries of the Fed’s purchase of mortgage-backed securities….

Has the Federal Reserve of the United States become the central bank of the world?… [read Global Banking Cartel]

What this disclosure tells us, among many other things, is that despite this huge taxpayer bailout, the Fed did not make the appropriate demands on these institutions necessary to rebuild our economy and protect the needs of ordinary Americans….

What we are seeing is the incredible power of a small number of people who have incredible conflicts of interest getting incredible help from the taxpayers of this country while ignoring the needs of the people. [read more]

In an article entitled, “The Fed Lied About Wall Street,” Zach Carter sums it up this way:

The Federal Reserve audit is full of frightening revelations about U.S. economic policy and those who implement it… By denying the solvency crisis, major bank executives who had run their companies into the ground were allowed to keep their jobs, and shareholders who had placed bad bets on their firms were allowed to collect government largesse, as bloated bonuses began paying out soon after.

But the banks themselves still faced a capital shortage, and were only kept above those critical capital thresholds because federal regulators were willing to look the other way, letting banks account for obvious losses as if they were profitable assets.

So based on the Fed audit data, it’s hard to conclude that Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke was telling the truth when he told Congress on March 3, 2009, that there were no zombie banks in the United States.

“I don’t think that any major U.S. bank is currently a zombie institution,” Bernanke said.

As Bernanke spoke those words banks had been pledging junk bonds as collateral under Fed facilities for several months…

This is the heart of today’s foreclosure fraud crisis. Banks are foreclosing on untold numbers of families who have never missed a payment, because rushing to foreclosure generates lucrative fees for the banks, whatever the costs to families and investors. This is, in fact, far worse than what Paul Krugman predicted. Not only are zombie banks failing to support the economy, they are actively sabotaging it with fraud in order to make up for their capital shortages. Meanwhile, regulators are aggressively looking the other way.

The Fed had to fix liquidity in 2008. That was its job. But as major banks went insolvent, the Fed and Treasury had a responsibility to fix that solvency issue—even though that meant requiring shareholders and executives to live up to losses. Instead, as the Fed audit tells us, policymakers knowingly ignored the real problem, pushing losses onto the American middle class in the process.” [read more]

Even the Financial Times is jumping ship:

Sunlight Shows Cracks in Fed’s Rescue Story

It took two years, a hard-fought lawsuit, and an act of Congress, but finally… the Federal Reserve disclosed the details of its financial crisis lending programs. The initial reactions were shock at the breadth of lending, particularly to foreign firms. But the details paint a bleaker, earlier, and even more disturbing picture…. An even more troubling conclusion from the data is that… it is now apparent that the Fed took on far more risk, on less favorable terms, than most people have realized. [read more]

In true Fed fashion, they didn’t even fully comply with Congress. In a report entitled, “Fed Withholds Collateral Data for $885 Billion in Financial-Crisis Loans,” Bloomberg puts some icing on the cake:

For three of the Fed’s six emergency facilities, the central bank released information on groups of collateral it accepted by asset type and rating, without specifying individual securities. Among them was the Primary Dealer Credit Facility, created in March 2008 to provide loans to brokers as Bear Stearns Cos. collapsed.

“This is a half-step,” said former Atlanta Fed research director Robert Eisenbeis, chief monetary economist at Cumberland Advisors Inc. in Sarasota, Florida. “If you were going to audit the facilities, then would this enable you to do an audit? The answer is ‘No,’ you would have to go in and look at the individual amounts of collateral and how it was broken down to do that. And that is the spirit of what the requirements were in Dodd-Frank.” [read more]

See also:

Here’s the only person on US TV “news” who actually covers and understands any of this, enter Dylan Ratigan, with his guest Chris Whalen from Institutional Risk Analytics. This quote from Whalen sums it up well: “The folks at the Fed have become so corrupt, so captured by the banking industry… the Fed is there to support the speculators and they let the real economy go to hell.”

The Progressive’s Matthew Rothschild has a good quote: “The financial bailout was a giant boondoggle, undemocratic and kleptocratic to its core.”

Matt Stoller on NewDeal 2.0:

End This Fed

The Fed, and specifically the people who run it, are responsible for declining wages, for de-industrialization, for bubbles, and for the systemic corruption of American capital markets. The new financial blogosphere destroyed the Fed’s mythic stature…. With a loss of legitimacy comes a lack of public trust and a vulnerability to any form of critic. The Fed is now less respected than the IRS…. Liberals should stop their love affair with conservative technocratic myths of monetary independence, and cease seeing this Federal Reserve as a legitimate actor. At the very least, we need to begin noticing that these people do in fact run the country, and should not. [read more]

In case anyone is confused into believing that this is just another right vs. left partisan issue, enter Fox Business host Judge Andrew Napolitano with his guest Republican Congressman Ron Paul, who is, of course, a longtime leading Fed critic. Paul hopes to see some Wikileaks on the Federal Reserve:

The Sunlight Foundation shines a light on Bank of America and the Federal Reserve’s brother money manager BlackRock:

Federal Reserve Loan Program Allowed Bank of America to Benefit Twice

Bank of America was one of several banks that was able to play both sides of a Federal Reserve program launched during the 2008 financial crisis. While Bank of America was selling its assets to firms obtaining loans through the Fed program, the investment firm BlackRock—partially owned by Bank of America—was potentially turning a profit by using those loans to buy assets similar to those sold by Bank of America. [read more]

Gretchen Morgenson at the New York Times jumps into the act:

So That’s Where the Money Went

How the truth shines through when you shed a little light on a subject….

All of the emergency lending data released by the Fed are highly revealing, but why weren’t they made public much earlier? That’s a question that Walker F. Todd, a research fellow at the American Institute for Economic Research, is asking.

Mr. Todd, a former assistant general counsel and research officer at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, said details about the Fed’s vast and various programs should have been available before the Dodd-Frank regulatory reform law was even written.

“The Fed’s current set of powers and the shape of the Dodd-Frank bill over all might have looked quite different if this information had been made public during the debate on the bill,” he said. “Had these tables been out there, I think Congress would have either said no to emergency lending authority or if you get it, it’s going to be a much lower number — half a trillion dollars in the aggregate.” [read more]

Welcome to the “global pawnshop:”

The Fed Operates as a “global pawnshop:” $9 trillion to 18 financial institutions

What the report shows is that the Fed operated as a global pawnshop taking in practically anything the banks had for collateral. What is even more disturbing is that the Federal Reserve did not enact any punitive charges to these borrowers so you had banks like Goldman Sachs utilizing the crisis to siphon off cheap collateral. The Fed is quick to point out that “taxpayers were fully protected” but mention little of the destruction they have caused to the US dollar. This is a hidden cost to Americans and it also didn’t help that they were the fuel that set off the biggest global housing bubble ever witnessed by humanity. [read more]

“No strings attached.” Financial reporter Barry Grey unleashes the truth:

Fed report lifts lid on Great Bank Heist of 2008-2009

The banks and corporations that benefited were not even obliged to provide an account of what they did with the money. The entire purpose of the operation was to use public funds to cover the gambling losses of the American financial aristocracy, and create the conditions for the financiers and speculators to make even more money.

All of the 21,000 transactions cited in the Fed documents?released under a provision included, over the Fed’s objections, in this year’s financial regulatory overhaul bill?were carried out in secret. The unelected central bank operated without any congressional mandate or oversight.

The documents shed light on the greatest plundering of social resources in history. It was carried out under both the Republican Bush and Democratic Obama administrations. Those who organized the looting of the public treasury were long-time Wall Street insiders: men like Bush’s treasury secretary and former Goldman Sachs CEO Henry Paulson and the then-president of the New York Federal Reserve, Timothy Geithner….

The Fed documents show that the US central bank enabled banks and corporations to offload their bad debts onto the Fed’s balance sheet. Now, in order to prevent a collapse of the dollar and a default by the US government, the American people are being told they must sacrifice to reduce the national debt and budget deficit.

But as the vast sums make clear, the “sacrifice” being demanded of working people means their impoverishment?wage-cutting, mass unemployment, cuts in health care, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc.

The very scale of the Fed bailout points to the scale of the financial crash and the criminality that fostered it…. The entire US capitalist economy rested on a huge Ponzi scheme that was bound to collapse…

The banks were able to take the cheap cash from the Fed and lend it back to the government at double and quadruple the interest rates they were initially charged?pocketing many billions in the process….

The ongoing saga of the looting of the economy by the financial elite puts the lie to the endless claims that “there is no money” for jobs, housing, education or health care. The ruling class is awash in money. [read more]

Here’s an old Jim Rogers interview from two years ago when this whole thing was originally going down:

Here are two videos that I made last year, with an assist from Alan Grayson and Dylan Ratigan:

The Wall Street Economic Death Squad – Part I

The Greatest Theft in History – Wall Street Economic Death Squad – Part II

And on a final note, you may as well rock out to this new song while Rome burns…

WORLD PREMIERE ~ Ben Bernanke: Public Enemy #1 – Mr. Big Shot (((Music Video)))

Ben Shalom Bernanke is wanted for violating the United States Constitution, committing acts of financial terrorism and crimes against humanity. As a leading member of the Global Banking Cartel, he is considered a highly dangerous enemy combatant. Citizens of the United States hereby demand that he be properly detained under the laws and customs of war.

Original Article

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The First Amendment and the Internet are in Jeopardy

Have you watched the news lately? What usually takes up most of their time? Holiday shopping? Celebrity news? Recipes and reality show coverage? Do we still get the hard hitting investigative stories we use to get in the days of Walter Cronkite or Edward R. Murrow? No. We use to get a fair presentation of the issues, usually both sides of the story and it was up to us to discern it's meaning. Occasionally their would be some whisle blower whose revelation shook the very foundations of our society. One such revelation cause a president to resign in shame. These instances may have shaken us to the core, but we always came out stronger as a result.

No long do we get the news that might be problematic but necessary to hear. No longer does our media ask the hard hitting questions of our leader out of fear they may lose theie Whitehouse pass or Corporate sponsors. Make us see what is uncomfortable to see. Our press at one time was given a most important position in American society as the eyes of our conscience. The press was protected in the First Amendment of the Bill of rights because our founders new that without information it would be difficult if not impossible for Americans to make crucial decisions about the course of our nation.

Recently, a man by the name of Julian Assange of the international non-profit whistle blower Wikileaks, has been getting quite a lot of attention. (Bye the way it is no mistake that you can not go to the wikileaks site as you a Free American have been censored from viewing this and other web sites.) The Mantra on the main streem media has been to call such leaks, treasonous.
However, I would disagree based on the fact that government is supposed to work for the people. As we all know, employees should never conduct backroom deals without their bosses knowing what is going on. I can understand that giving up military strategy before a battle has been launched could put lives at risk but this is not what has been leaked. A free society can not remain free if government is always acting in the shadows. If we are ultimately held responsible for the actions of our government then we must keep an ever watchful eye on it.

There is another more ominous point here. Generally speaking, if the Corporate owned media don't want you to know something it's not covered by them at all. However, Wikileaks has achieved unprecedented coverage and very little positive coverage I might add. Senator Joe Lieberman, Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee has been extremely vocal in his opposition to this sort of leak of classified documents.

Senator Lieberman has gone so far as to introduce legislation that will outlaw such leaks as terrorist actions and prosecute persons leaking information and entities disseminating such information. He has gone as far as intimidating companies from releasing the leaked information and has threatened the New York Times with criminal charges. The legislation introduced may even give the government the authority to shut down websites that are in violation of the legislation. Has Senator Leiberman read the Bill of Rights, specifically the First Amendment? If anything is considered treasonous it is something that endangers the very freedoms that are written in the Bill of rights. Is it possible that these politaically embarrassing, but not dangerous, leaks were a ploy to give justification for the passage of unconstitutional legislation and further userpation of our rights as Americans? I don't know. However, if our media functioned as it should there would be no need for Wikileaks. For those that still cling to the notion that this type of thing should be illegal, I ask you then, how may we know when our government has gone a stray? How may we hear of the mistakes that government is unwilling to share? Only Americans as people have the right of privacy, Government does not.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Pentagon Has Been ‘War Gaming’ for Economic Disaster Since Early ‘09

While we learned yesterday that the U.S. is preparing its domestic response to a potential economic collapse, the bigger story might be that the U.S. has been playing such “war games” for almost two years.

“The Pentagon sponsored a first-of-its-kind war game last month focused not on bullets and bombs — but on how hostile nations might seek to cripple the U.S. economy, a scenario made all the more real by the global financial crisis.” That’s how Politico reporter Eamon Javers (now with CNBC and who brought us Monday’s report) began an article dated April 9, 2009

In that article, he describes how the U.S. first began preparing for an economic collapse. “Participants sat along a V-shaped set of desks beneath an enormous wall of video monitors displaying economic data,” he writes. “Their efforts were carefully observed and recorded by uniformed military officers and members of the U.S. intelligence community.”

The Office of the Secretary of Defense hosted the two-day event March 17 and 18, 2009, at the Warfare Analysis Laboratory in Laurel, MD.

The “game” didn’t end well for the United States: “the savviest economic warrior proved to be China.”

“We were allowed to fight with financial weapons only (stocks, bonds, currencies, gold, reserves, etc.) and no kinetic weapons,” James Rickards, who participated in the game, told The Blaze in an e-mail.

“This was an example of the changing nature of conflict,” Paul Bracken, a professor and expert in private equity at the Yale School of Management who attended the sessions, told Javers. “The purpose of the game is not really to predict the future, but to discover the issues you need to be thinking about.”

“Why would the military care about global capital flows at all?” asked another person who attended the game. “Because as the global financial crisis plays out, there could be real world consequences, including failed states. We’ve already seen riots in the United Kingdom and the Balkans.” That was in 2009, before European unrest began grabbing headlines weekly.

Those real-world consequences are exactly what the U.S. is preparing for. And according to a picture we stumbled upon, those consequences include civil unrest over lack of food caused by a financial crisis.

This picture, reportedly released by the Air Force, shows Alaska National Guard troops taking part in a training exercise. According the picture’s caption, “Alaska Army National Guard Soldiers assist Anchorage Police to calm or detain rioters as part of the training scenario of exercise ‘Vigilant Guard.’” One actor is holding a sign saying, “FOOD NOW!”:

“America‘s intelligence community has said the global economic crisis is now the top threat to the nation’s security,” NPR reported in February ‘09. “The downturn could produce political instability and damage the ties that hold countries together. Countries might even be tempted to engage in financial warfare, officials say.”

Rickards was quoted in that piece saying the tempted could include a country such as China. “You can envision scenarios where they launch a financial attack, you know — a Pearl Harbor on the dollar, if you will,” he said. “And those are the things that I think national security professionals rightly think about. But it doesn’t even have to be that. It could just be China acting in its own best interests, in a way that causes interest rates to go up, the dollar to go down.”

Fox Business also reported on the war gaming in ‘09 and laid out a shockingly relevant scenario involving none other than China:

Picture this hypothetical dreamed up by a national security expert obsessed with economic catastrophe:

Angry that U.S. policies aimed at boosting the economy have devalued their $2 trillion of currency reserves, the Chinese decide to stop buying Treasurys just as America tries to finance its massive spending plans.

In response, the U.S. imposes trade sanctions against China, which in turn pushes for a global currency. From there, the U.S. accuses China of manipulating its own currency and things escalate further.

Without a shot being fired, those actions represent a type of unfriendly economic competition that some are very worried about.

At the time, Fox reported that the Pentagon would hold future war games. That seems to have happened last month as Javers recently reported.

The new war game, called Unfied Quest 2011, “is the Army Chief of Staff’s primary mechanism to explore enduring challenges and the conduct of operations in a future operational environment.”

“Army officials met outside Washington last week for a thought experiment about the implications of a large-scale economic breakdown that would force the Army to absorb significant funding cuts and prepare the service for an increased role in keeping domestic order amid civil unrest,” reported on the recent games.

The article says that officials chose the global financial collapse scenario because “it was deemed a plausible course of events given the current global security environment.”

“In such a future,” the article says, “the United States would be broke, causing a domino effect that would push economies across the globe into chaos.”

The most versatile and efficient stove/grill on the marker today.

The latest game included a grim outlook: cuts in defense and international relations, fragmentation of power, and consolidation of “common functions, like logistics, training, medical services and information systems.”

But there was one “sliver lining” according to the article: “The Army would have an influx of qualified recruits as the result of an unemployment rate between 25 percent and 30 percent.”

Check List Preparedness

Original Article

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Surviving Economic Collapse: Tips, Tactics, And Gear

A large part of our society operates on a disturbing assumption, a belief that has been driven into the very fabric of our culture for generations; the assumption that preparation for disaster is unnecessary because all will remain the same as it always has been.

This collective assumption exists in very few countries. South America, Africa, most of Asia, and even parts of Europe experience and even anticipate upheaval and catastrophe from time to time, not only in respect to mother nature (as recently occurred in Haiti), but also in terms of economics and social unrest. Many Americans have attempted not only to insulate themselves from such events, but to also insulate themselves from the very idea that such events could ever happen to them. The concept of hyperinflation, loss of utilities, loss of police protections, loss of infrastructure, loss of grocery outlets, is so outside their pre-programmed world view that to dare discuss these subjects is seen as “absurd” and “alien.”

While many Haitians would see the act of survival preparation as entirely practical (for numerous reasons), many Americans would become incredulous, jeering, as if they are above and beyond such concerns. This must change, and it must change quickly.

Over the past few years, there has been a strong broad based and growing movement that opposes such presumptive thinking, and has opted towards independence and self reliance. They are often called “survivalists,” usually lumped in with “conspiracy theorists,” in a derogatory fashion as if the term is disparaging. But what many of us have come to realize is that what the mainstream considers “rational” is usually anything but, and what they call “common sense” sometimes borders on the insane, for only a madman would label the logical act of preparation as “crazy,” especially in the face of so much economic uncertainty.

In this article we will discuss how to prepare for a wide-spectrum financial breakdown, as well as why it is absolutely necessary, not just to ensure ones own survival and ones own future, but the future of an ideal, and a way of life.

Survival Strategies

The fact is, there are as many strategies for survival as there are survivalists, although some survival “gurus” insist that their way is the ONLY way (I know, because I have dealt with them in the past). Keep in mind that there are very few set rules for survival that apply to everyone. Your personal survival strategy will depend on your unique circumstances and environment, and a true survival expert will recognize this immediately. Beware of anyone who claims they have the only solution, or who overtly boasts of their many survival skills and background qualifications. From my experience, real survivalists tend to be rather reserved and humble people with no interest in showboating their knowledge.

In this article, we will endeavor to give broad guidelines which can then be tailored to your specific circumstances. Our recommendations will not necessarily work for everyone.

When devising a survival strategy, we must take into account our surroundings and our supply options, but first, we must make an important decision; will we stay where we are, or will we have a “retreat” in a different location. This decision will greatly effect how you prepare for disaster. Let’s explore theses two options carefully…

Staying On The Home-Front:

In order to stay at home, we should consider our circumstances.

Do you own your home, or do you rent? If you rent, then you may have little control over your property and what happens on it, which means you may want to consider the retreat option instead.

Is your home in the midst of a large population center? If it is, then there may be considerable danger in the event of an economic collapse. Urban survival is definitely possible, but follows different guidelines and involves dangers not covered in most survival manuals. If you are not confident in your ability to stay safe in a populous area, you may want to use a retreat away from the city.

Is your home highly visible to others, or is it set in dangerous terrain? If your terrain makes you vulnerable, or your home sits on the very top of a hill for everyone to see, then you may want to consider a separate retreat.

If your home does not suffer from any of these setbacks, then you will have many advantages in staying put. First, because it is where you have probably lived for quite some time, you will know your surroundings inside and out. It is much easier to protect yourself from unwanted intruders if you have intimate knowledge of the terrain, and familiarity breeds confidence, which is incredibly important for survival. It is also much easier to stockpile goods, rig an alternative power source, and fortify your building as well as your land over time.

Another advantage to staying at home is that if you have been doing your job correctly and informing your friends and trusted neighbors of the collapse, then you will have allies and with them safety in numbers. Not to mention, the ability to combine resources with those who have also been preparing.

Planning For Retreat:

A retreat is a place away from your home environment that provides greater security and less visibility, or greater resources such as edible plant life, animal life, and water. A retreat could be almost anywhere; a forest cabin, an old tunnel structure, a carefully hidden RV, or simply a mountain range you hike every summer. Sometimes the best places are right under our noses. Abandoned farmland for instance would make an excellent retreat because it has already been tilled, planted at one time (which often produces random plant food sources long after the land is abandoned), and is normally surrounded with game. The most important consideration is that you choose the location far in advance of collapse and plan accordingly.

The disadvantages of a retreat include; a possible lack of terrain familiarity, the inability to fortify the area over time because of its remoteness, the inability to store ample goods on site for fear of theft (you would be required to bring most of your survival goods with you at the time of collapse), and the fact that you will have to get to the location without incident.

All of these problems can be overcome with good planning and a little foresight.

Survival Food And Gear

Again, the supplies we choose to stock will greatly depend on which path we have decided on; Home Front, or Retreat.

Staying at home gives you the advantage of larger stock, heavier equipment, and more permanent utility solutions. Here are some recommendations for food and gear that lend themselves to the Home Front option.

Order your emergency storable food supply today at!


Home Front Foods

Are you ready to evacuate?

When staying at home, one does not have to worry so much about the weight and volume of goods stored, so bulk food items are an excellent option. When making food purchases, always take into account nutritional value and calorie levels. Although we have been taught that high calorie and fat intake are “bad,” in a survival situation, storable foods with high calories are actually good! Fats most especially will be at a premium, and are required by your body to function properly. Also keep in mind that most wild game tends to be lean, and low in fat, so do not count on hunting alone to provide what you need.

A good rule of thumb for calorie intake is the same rule used by athletes when losing or maintaining weight; check your weight then multiply it by ten. If you weigh 200 pounds, this means you will need at least 2000 calories just for your body to remain healthy in an inactive state. If constantly active (which is likely) you will need more than 2000 calories to remain in good health. Never scoff at calorie counting, it may save your life. For home storage I would recommend at minimum a one year supply of food. Stocking more, especially for trade, would be preferable.

Here are just a few great food items that can help to fill your calorie and nutritional requirements.

Canned Goods, Jarred Goods: Canned goods are a given for the Home Front strategy, but rotation is necessary, and storing for more than two years is not a good idea.

Hard Red Wheat: Hard red wheat if dried properly can be stored for up to 30 years. It can be boiled and eaten, or if you have a grain mill, ground up and used to make bread products. Great source of calories and nutrition.

Rice: Easily stored, and a little goes a long way.

Beans: Takes a long time to cook, but when combined with rice, they provide a full protein in the advent that meat is not available.

Nuts, Trail Mix:
Almonds, Walnuts, Peanuts etc., provide a high amount of fats and are also very good for you.

Honey: Honey is an incredible food source. Sugars are extremely important in one’s diet and honey has ample amounts, as well as being far easier to store than normal table sugar, because unlike table sugar, honey kills bacteria.

Non-Instant Powdered Milk: Good source of fat, calcium, and amino acids. I am told non-instant tastes better than instant.

Salt: Your body must have salt, period.

Spices, Soup Bases: Spices are comfort food, but in a survival situation, we all might need a little comfort. Also, spices help make some wild game more palatable.

Water: Having your own land opens the possibility of a well, using your roof and gutters as a water collection tool, and with a little investment even a personal pond or lake. Filtration is the key. Stocking up on pumps that filter out bacteria would be essential. Boiling water also works, but remember, it doesn’t remove silt and heavy metals, and it can waste fuel.

The above foods when stored properly will provide you with the basic nutrition your body needs. They can then be supplemented with a garden, wild edible plants, and game.

Nitro-Pak--The Emergency Preparedness Leader


Home Front Gear

Staying at home opens up many options as far as gear is concerned. Here are some ideas that Home Front people can use to their advantage:

Electricity: Men often romanticize about roughing it in the wilds or returning to a state of primal caveman-ness, but really, life without electricity is very difficult, especially if you have a family, and it removes many advantages from your survival playbook. Go to Africa and see if the people there without simple electric lighting romanticize their situation. Many items that give you an edge in survival require electricity, the most important being refrigeration. Gas generators can help, but are limited by the amount of gasoline you can acquire. Large quantities of gas are also difficult to store. For those staying home, I highly recommend setting up a solar power system. They are not as expensive as you might imagine, once set up the energy is free and never runs out, and you will be completely independent from the grid, making you free from the effects of power outages.

If you live in the plains or in high wind areas, windmill power is also available at reasonable prices for the homeowner.

Water Generators: With solar power comes limitless energy. Add an atmospheric water generator like those produced by Ecolo Blue, and you now have unlimited clean water:

Ecolo Blue

This may be initially more expensive, but over the long run you will be so far ahead of the game you will wonder why you ever agonized over spending your fiat paper money.

Surveillance Cameras: While we generally think of these as being globalist tools of control, they can be put to an honorable purpose on the Home Front. Having solar and wind power gives you the option of security perimeters, alarms, even cameras which can alert you to intrusion. This may seem a bit “over the top” to some, but only because they are thinking in terms of the way the world is now. Think in terms of how the world will probably be after a severe economic downturn. Study other countries in history who suffered similar fates, including the Weimar Republic, Argentina, Zimbabwe, etc. People often had to take their safety into their own hands in the face of a completely chaotic social landscape. Every opportunity for advantage (within the bounds of conscience) should be taken.

Lumber, Construction Tools: The kinds of things you would never be able to carry with you to a retreat are readily available to those staying at home as long as you plan ahead of time. Good fresh lumber may be difficult to find unless one wants to take the risk of scavenging away from his property. Having a supply set aside could help in buttressing walls, building barricades, repairing fencing, animal pens, animal traps, making items for trade etc. The need for sturdy tools is self explanatory.

Now that we’ve discussed the particular benefits of staying at home, we will go over the retreat scenario and its particular quirks…


Retreat Foods

Start YOUR Food Savings Account

The retreat situation requires a very strong sense of efficiency and the ability to discern the necessary from the less necessary. Weight and versatility of goods will be extremely important, especially if your retreat is a piece of land without any preexisting structures. You will have to think carefully on what you can carry and what you can load into your vehicle. The allure of the retreat strategy is the option of mobility. You will not be tied down to one place, and thus you will not be betting the entire game on a single hand. You can even have several backup retreat locations staked out in the event that you must pick up and leave one. However, in order to do this, you must maintain agility and speed.

Food is heavy, and six month’s to a year’s worth of food is very heavy. So, how do you cope? There are several methods.

Freeze Dried Foods: Freeze dried foods are an excellent alternative in a number of ways. They are very light, and only require boiling water to prepare. They usually have ample salts, fats, sugars, and proteins, and the packages contain calorie data, which means you won’t have to spend as much time keeping track of nutrition essentials. I highly recommend a large stock of these meals if you plan to be on the move.

Protein Bars: Protein bars contain a high amount of calories (usually 200-300) in a very small package. They also sometimes have decent vitamin and enzyme content. A great option for the retreatist.

Beef Jerky: Stores well. Survival situations are strenuous and drain the body of energy. The protein and iron content of meat are helpful in maintaining body strength. Jerky also has high salt content, and gives you that satisfying feeling of “fullness.”

Chocolate: We all know that chocolate bars have a lot of fat and sugar, but for our purposes this is actually a very good thing. One Snickers Bar for instance has around 270 calories, 13 grams of fat, and 28 grams of sugar. I wouldn’t recommend living on them, but they do provide a small meal’s worth of energy in a tiny bar.

Vitamins: You may not have easy access to fruits and some vegetables. A good multivitamin can keep you from wasting away or getting scurvy (this is not a joke. You don’t have to be a pirate to get scurvy from lack of vitamins).

Because the retreatist cannot take a large supply of food with him, he will be far more dependent on what he can use off the land. A small book on wild edible plants would be invaluable. Surveying the area you plan to retreat to would be a good idea, so that you may identify what plants and game will be available to you when you finally have to set up camp. You don’t have to become a horticulturalist, but being able to identify at least a few safe greens could make the difference between staying healthy and placing the mechanics of your body in serious danger.

I would like to make another suggestion as far as food is concerned and it may sound rather odd at first. But, if you see the signs of collapse unfolding and you know the event is near, why not go to the store and pick up some extra fatty foods? Eating more than usual just before a collapse could help you to build up some extra fat stores before the event, which can act as a cushion (literally and figuratively) when your diet suddenly goes into survival mode. I’m not saying we should all get fat quick, but after a collapse you may not have another chance to gorge yourself for a while. Something to keep in mind…

retreat gear

Retreat Gear

The retreatist has to be a master of adaptation. Some gear he might like to have would just not be possible to transport, so he has to make due, or come up with workable and clever alternatives. Here are some examples of gear that may be very helpful to the unique situation of the retreatist.

Electricity: Even the retreatist has items that require batteries and electricity, items he would rather not be without. Two way radios, emergency short wave radios, flashlights, rangefinders, maybe even nightvision. But what happens when the batteries run out? Bringing a lot of extra batteries would add a lot of weight, and they can run out quickly. Some people planning for retreat may forgo all electronics, but I’ve found a better solution; highly portable and durable solar panels much like those used in the military from a company called Brunton:


The solar panels fold up into a small binder-like package, they are very hard to damage, and are extremely light. The system comes with multi-adaptors that allow you to charge any device, and when combined with a portable battery pack (also offered by Brunton), you can store energy all day if needed and never run out of power. This device along with a portable battery charger and good rechargeable batteries would allow you to use your electronics indefinitely without constantly having to scavenge or trade for new batteries. You can order directly from Brunton, but buying from Amazon and E-bay instead could save you hundreds of dollars.

Water: Carrying a large supply of water is just not practical for the retreatist. The general rule is you need 1 liter of water for every 1000 calories your body expends. If you are very active, you will probably expend at least 3000 calories per day, which means drinking 3 liters of water daily. Loading up enough water into your vehicle for even a month may be unrealistic, and impossible if you are hiking to your location. The most reliable solution to get water that doesn’t taste completely vile is to purchase a portable water filtration system.

Of course, packing a roll of strong garbage bags (yard work bags are best) will also be necessary to build makeshift rainwater collection units, or a poncho can be used to the same purpose.

Portable Stove: Learning the ins and outs of campfire cooking is a must for the retreatist, but a campfire may not always be a good option, especially if you want to avoid being seen from five miles away (cooking under overhanging tree branches can help disperse smoke, but even this may not be enough sometimes). Having a decent portable stove can solve this issue. There are two that I personally suggest; the first is the Coleman Multifuel Stove.

This stove runs on Coleman fuel, unleaded gasoline, and kerosene. This gives you a wide range of fuel sources which helps when certain fuels are hard to find. The drawback of course is that you have to carry around a stock of fuel, which will eventually run out. Another stove has been recommended to me which solves this problem; the Bush Buddy Stove.

The Bush Buddy burns anything, including twigs and grass, and is designed to contain and re-circulate the heat created. I have not yet used it myself, but I have heard only good things, and I believe it is the best possible option for the retreatist. You would never have to worry about a fuel supply, ever.

Another strategy for the retreatist would be caching of supplies in areas you know you will retreat to. Caching a small amount at a time in different locations can help alleviate the problem of transporting a lot of stock. However, you better be sure you know how to bury the items correctly so they aren’t ruined over time, and you have to be certain that you can find the caches after they are buried.

Now that we have covered gear specific to the two main survival strategies, here is a list of items that everyone should have regardless of which path they have chosen:

· MultiTool

· Pocket Knife

· Combat Knife

· MRE’s

· First Aid Kit (include Celox blood stopper and sterile sutures)

· Compass

· Hiking Backpack

· Sleeping Bag

· Canteens

· Sewing Kit

· Maps

· Duct Tape

· Lighter

· Space blanket

· Plastic Freezer Bags

· Waterproof Matches

· Emergency Candles

· Hiking Tarp

· Water Filter

· Camp Axe

· Shovel

· Hiking Boots

· Gloves

· Water-purification tablets

· Paracord / Rope / Twine

· Tinder

· Fishing line

· Extra Socks

· Rain suit or poncho,

· AM / Weather Radio

· Snare Wire

· Batteries

· Magnesium Fire Starter

· Wire Saw

· Plastic Trash Bags

· Binoculars

· Shortwave Radio

· Eating and Cooking Utensils

· Scissors

· Cable Ties

· Tire Repair Kit

· Gas Mask

· Lantern

· Silver / Gold Coins

· Can Opener

The key to survival is awareness: Kamana

Self Defense

Yes, that’s right, we are going to talk about guns. We are going to recommend you buy a gun. We are going to recommend you stock ammunition. We are even going to recommend that you use that gun and ammunition to defend yourself in the event that your life or your freedoms are threatened.

I’m not sure exactly when, but at some point in American history a large portion of our society started equating the philosophy of self defense with malicious violence. It is not immoral to defend one’s self. It is wholly in line with the voice of conscience not to mention entirely rational. It is something we all should have learned in kindergarten; sometimes the bully doesn’t listen to reason, and sometimes there’s no one around to help you. Sometimes, you just have to punch the bully in the teeth.

Nowadays, they send the cops after your five-year-old if he punches the bully in the teeth. People are lambasted for self defense from an early age, and admonished for not informing an “authority figure” instead. But the fact of the matter is, authority figures are rarely if ever around to protect you in bad situations. Most of the time, you and you alone are responsible for your own safety. This is the way life is. We can either accept it, or face the consequences for our stubborn denial.

I have been a martial artist for 22 years, and I understand well the distaste for guns. In my opinion, all violent conflicts should be settled fairly, barehanded, and man-to-man, but this is not our reality. In the real world, unarmed and innocent people are killed by guns daily, by criminals, as well as overzealous soldiers and governments. Logic dictates that the innocent must prepare to shoot back, because they’re innocence alone will not be enough to protect them. A few years ago, I decided it was time to grow up and get over my aversion to firearms.

When purchasing a firearm for survival, there are a couple guidelines people should follow:

Military Grade: Semi Auto Combat rifles are called combat rifles for a reason. They are durable, long lasting, and dependable. They are made to be fired over and over again. Despite what your good hunting buddy may say, cheap hunting rifles and bolt actions are NOT made for combat. They often overheat and malfunction from continuous firing and break easily. Bolt actions are good for long distance shooting, but are too slow when fighting in closer quarters (no matter how Rambo we might think we are). Those with well made semi-auto rifles and pistols designed specifically for combat are more likely to survive than those without.

Caliber: Choosing a weapon in a military caliber (.223, 7.62 by 39, or .308 for rifles, 9mm, 40 S&W, 45 ACP for pistols) would be a very good idea, mainly because these calibers will be far easier to find and trade in a post collapse scenario.

Surroundings: Will you be in the city or the country? A long range heavy rifle may do poorly in close quarters city or suburban areas, while a close-quarters carbine would be less effective in the plains or mountains.

Comfort: Some weapons fit certain body types better than others. Finding a weapon that “feels right” instead of awkward, is important. It should feel like an extension of yourself. Accuracy improves greatly with comfort.

Cost: When choosing a firearm that may save your life one day, I find concerns of cost to be less important, but it is understandable that some of us cannot afford “top of the line” so we must find a respectable and affordable alternative.

Here are some rifle recommendations from Neithercorp, divided by more affordable, to more expensive:

Cheap But Effective

Russian / Chinese SKS


The SKS is an accurate and very reliable precursor to the AK-47. They are almost impossible to break, rarely jam, and run even when dirty. They are limited however by capacity. Only ten round stripper clips. They are also a pain to modify for AK magazines or scopes without a qualified gunsmith (believe me, we’ve tried, and all it does in most cases is ruin the gun). The cost has gone up quickly on the SKS, but they are still far more affordable than most combat rifles: $300 to $400.



Ugly and mean looking. Often associated with terrorists. Whatever, these things last forever. High capacity mags allow for 30 rounds (sometimes more). Good for close quarters. Drawbacks: not very accurate. Trying to shoot at 100 yards or more is pushing it and they are much better at the 50 yard range. Cost: $500 to $600.



Saiga is a great company. As far as I can tell, they make the best combat rifle in their price range hands down. The Saiga is basically an AK-47 clone but less costly, not to mention you can get it in various calibers, including .223, 7.62, and .308. They even make a semi-auto shotgun, which I have not yet had the pleasure of testing. Drawbacks would be like the AK; not meant for long ranges. Cost: $250 to $450.

Rugar Mini 14


Well made and reliable. Also fires .223, which is the standard U.S. military caliber, meaning ammo will be widely available. Far less expensive than most rifles in the .223 caliber. Drawbacks: must change to a tactical stock in order to add scope or red dot sight. Loses accuracy past 100 yards. Cost: $600.



The CETME is similar to the famous HK G3 rifle, but much less expensive. It is very reliable, takes HK parts and some mags, and is probably one of the most affordable .308 long range rifles available. Drawbacks: Newer models sometimes have cheaply made stocks that require replacement with better furniture, as well as reports of some trigger problems. Cost: $600.

Savage 10FCP


Probably the most affordable heavy barreled sniper rifle platform out there. Accolades for accuracy and performance. Drawback: none, except that it is a bolt action, and not meant for extended or close combat. Cost: $800 to $1200.

ammo for sale

Top Of The Line Wallet Busters

Some of the more expensive but extraordinary rifles include:

Springfield M1A / SOCOM


This rifle is famed and revered by gun enthusiasts for a reason. It is simply bad (in a good way). This gun was my choice for survival and I have never had a complaint about its function. It’s built like a rock, I’ve never had a jam, its accurate out to 500 yards or more (basically a semi-auto sniper rifle), and it has a magazine capacity of up to 30 rounds. Drawbacks: Very difficult to scope. The top ejection design beats the crap out of the cheaper scope mounts and they jar loose quickly. A tactical stock replacement is usually necessary, but honestly, I prefer the iron sights anyway. Cost: $1500 to $2500.



FN is a good company that makes high quality firearms. The FNAR is an exceptional rifle designed specifically for semi-auto long range combat and comes with a built in scope mount. Drawbacks: There are no iron sights on this gun. You are basically required to put a scope on it, and good scopes can cost almost as much as the gun itself. Cost: $1300 to $1500.

HK 91


World famous German engineering. Very reliable, very accurate. Drawbacks: none, except the price. Cost: $2200 to $2500.

AR-15 / M16


I’m not a big fan of the AR-15 / M16 platform, but I understand its allure. AR’s are very light, easy recoil, and their tabletop flat stocks allow for good accuracy in close quarters. Their tactical railing systems allow for any number of scopes and add-ons. Drawbacks: The .223 round has certain range limitations, making it better for urban style combat. The railing systems are often taken too far. Some people put so much stuff on their AR’s as to make their weight advantage useless. I sometimes wonder when they’ll make an iPod mount for the AR. Also, feed problems galore. I have not heard of an AR that didn’t jam on a regular basis. You have to keep them immaculately clean in order for them to function. In fact, reports are coming in from Iraq and Afghanistan that troops are specifically requesting old M1A’s / M14’s from storage because the sand is destroying their M16’s. Cost: $1500 to $2500.

Pistols And Hunting

Pistols are backup weapons only, and should not be relied upon as the main means of self defense. Semi-auto pistols are much more likely to save your life than revolvers, mainly because of their high capacity, not to mention the greater availability of ammo. Glock’s and Glock clones (such as the Springfield XD) are great combat pistols and very reliable. Expect to pay at least $500 to $600 for a decent sidearm.

Hunting rifles are a bit of a contention among survivalists. What if you go out hunting with a bolt action rifle and are ambushed by men with combat weapons? You will be at a distinct disadvantage. What if you use a combat rifle and the military ball ammo doesn’t work correctly? My solution would be to use a combat rifle with ammo specifically meant for hunting, such as .308 steel-core expansion ammo. In a pinch, regular military surplus ammo can still be used.

The Survival Mentality

More important than any gun, any gear, any preparation, is the mental state of the survivalist himself. One must have confidence in himself and his ability to endure, otherwise he will not succeed. I am consistently confronted by nihilists, some who even claim to be part of the Liberty Movement, who state unequivocally that survival preparation is futile, that we are all “doomed,” that the Elites who are ransacking our country cannot be stopped. Frankly, I’m not certain of that, and neither are they. I do know it is better to stand and fight for what you believe and die in the attempt, than to give up before the fight even starts and die from lack of trying. I wonder how many people told those that fought in the American Revolution that their effort was futile, that the British could not be stopped.

I also am sometimes dismayed by those that prepare for survival only for survival’s sake. To stay alive is important of course, and a primary human drive, but our survival success may hinge not only on our instinct to live, but to also remain free. Without a philosophical or spiritual ideal, without a greater purpose, surviving this economic collapse will be an empty affair with little meaning. To come through the chaos relatively unscathed is admirable, but pointless if the end result is the formation of a tyrannical world government and the loss of our liberties. Each individual who not only survives but fights for what he believes tips the scale away from elitism and oppression. Every person who works towards something greater than himself, a future where such pain and catastrophe no longer hang over humanity, each of these men and women send a shockwave through history that touches elements of society in ways we cannot yet even imagine.

What is the point of giving up now? What do we have to gain? What do we have to lose by fighting back that we are not already about to lose?

Survival is about more than living, it is about more than believing, it is about KNOWING. Knowing what the world should be, and knowing what the world should not be. Knowing in an intuitive way, beyond simple examination and observation. Knowing from a deeper perspective.

In the end, our survival and the survival of our ideals depends not only on our two hands, our cleverness, or even our fear of death, but the content of each man’s heart, and how much of that content he is willing to trust.

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