Thursday, June 30, 2011

A couple of good links about starting out with Prepping

This past Monday I did something I occasionally do (mostly for our new listeners) and went back to basic introductory Survival/Prep concepts.  After posting that I decided to look for a couple of online resources which might reinforce some of those ideas and themes and found the following two pages (one at and the other at the forum).  Check these threads out if you get time and are interested in occasionally going "back to basics" to ensure you're on the right path:

First steps in

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

ABC News: Anatomy of a US Debt Default

The above link is to a fairly balanced overview of what could happen if the debt ceiling isn't raised by the beginning of August.  There are some interesting nuggets of information imbedded in this article and I consider it to have been worth the read.  While it doesn't really go into the long-term problem of debt as much as I would like (information which is available through other sources) it does give some specific examples of what we might see transpire, which I find valuable.

UPDATE: Los Alamos fire danger-EPA testing for radiation

KEY QUOTE: '"It contains approximately 20,000 barrels of nuclear waste," former top security official Glen Walp said. "It's not contained within a concrete, brick and mortar-type building, but rather in a sort of fabric-type building that a fire could easily consume. "Potential is high for a major calamity if the fire would reach these areas," he added.'
Fukashima, USA?  Let's hope not. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Los Alamos nuke lab under fire danger

QUOTE: "The fire's leading edge burned to within a few miles (kilometres) of a dump site where some 20,000 barrels of plutonium-contaminated waste is stored at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, fire officials said. Officials for the government-run lab said the stored waste is considered low-level radioactive material and remains a safe distance from the fire in an area cleared of trees and other vegetation.  Carl Beard, director of operations for the lab, said there has been no release of radioactive or hazardous materials into the environment and there was no immediate threat to public safety, "even in these extreme conditions."

Here's hoping for the best, but it's worth keeping an eye on developments down in that area.  Too many recent memories of Fukashima and what's been happening with the flooding in Nebraska to feel completely relaxed about what is occurring.  I'd be interested if any listeners in the area could email me with what's happening on the ground there.  I can be reached at chipmonksurvivalpodcast AT .   

Greece on the edge of collapse

Many, many headlines about this today, and really over the past few days.  Here are a few current links that Drudge is posting today:

I have a few questions jumping out at me.  First off, the media coverage of this in the US still seems pretty weak (although I've come to expect that considering their lousy coverage of Fukashima, Libya, Syria, etc.) Second, could this spread in the Eurozone to Italy?  Spain?  Other countries?  I honestly wouldn't be surprised if it were to eventually show up on our shores considering our finances are in as bad of shape as Greece's (at least in my opinion when one looks at the trillions we have in debt liabilities). 
I think we are in for an interesting summer, folks. thread about recent Pacific Northwest weather

I know that I have a good number of listeners up here in my region of the country and as I was reading the above thread today it struck me how similar these various posts are to our experience.  We've had months of cooler-than-normal weather and you also heard me mention yesterday on the podcast how it feels like it could be January or November instead of late June.  Is this part of that weather shift I talked about on last week's episode about the changing patterns of the Sun?  Well, considering the extreme heat in other parts of the country maybe not but it is interesting to see other people sharing our experience throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Japanese residents have radioactive urine-*HEADLINE MILD FOUL LANGUAGE WARNING*

Fukashima residents exhibiting radioactive urine

QUOTE: "More than 3 millisieverts of radiation has been measured in the urine of 15 Fukushima residents of the village of Iitate and the town of Kawamata, confirming internal radiation exposure, it was learned Sunday.Both are about 30 to 40 km from the Fukushima No. 1 power plant, which has been releasing radioactive material into the environment since the week of March 11, when the quake and tsunami caused core meltdowns.

I still haven't come to a complete understanding of what is truly happening there, but I do have this sneaking suspicion that this is still a major crisis and that the media is merely choosing not to cover it in order to not alarm the population.  Either that or it really is more important for people to know who Kim Kardashian is marrying.  

Global hurricane activity at historic lows

QUOTE: "During the past 6-years since Hurricane Katrina, global tropical cyclone frequency and energy have decreased dramatically, and are currently at near-historical record lows. According to a new peer-reviewed research paper accepted to be published, only 69 tropical storms were observed globally during 2010, the fewest in almost 40-years of reliable records. Furthermore, when each storm's intensity and duration were taken into account, the total global tropical cyclone accumulated energy (ACE) was found to have fallen by half to the lowest level since 1977."

I guess you could say this falls into the "And Now For Some Good News" Department. :) At the same time what does it tell us about global climate patterns? 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Historic Flooding in Minot, ND

Unprecedented flooding hits Minot

QUOTE: "It is not a question of 'if' anymore...Minot will flood. It will be displace thousands, shut down the heart of the city for weeks, and inundate thousands of homes in a way never seen before."
In the words of the Mayor:
"We could have a really catostrophic type of event here. We will -- there is no doubt about it anymore. I think people have to understand if you were on the edge before you may not be on the edge now."

Yet another reminder that almost every day there is a disaster taking place somewhere in the world.  Be prepared.

MORT ZUCKERMAN: Why the Jobs Pictures is Even Worse Than it Looks

US News and World Report Op Ed

KEY QUOTE: "Today, over 14 million people are unemployed. We now have more idle men and women than at any time since the Great Depression. Nearly seven people in the labor pool compete for every job opening. Hiring announcements have plunged to 10,248 in May, down from 59,648 in April. Hiring is now 17 percent lower than the lowest level in the 2001-02 downturn. One fifth of all men of prime working age are not getting up and going to work. Equally disturbing is that the number of people unemployed for six months or longer grew 361,000 to 6.2 million, increasing their share of the unemployed to 45.1 percent. We face the specter that long-term unemployment is becoming structural and not just cyclical, raising the risk that the jobless will lose their skills and become permanently unemployable."

I guess I don't really have much more to add in this particular case... 

UK Paper: Dishwashers harbor 'killer bugs'

Dishwashers may not be effective against deadly germs

Sometimes survival is about not the cataclysmic "End-of-the-world" stuff but instead mundane things like threats we face from unexpected sources around us.  It does no good to prep for everything from a Gamma Ray Burst to a Zombie Apocalypse only to die from a minor cut that gets infected.  The above article is an example of this idea, so I thought I would share.  After reading it I can't tell if this is just alarmist journalism or a bonifide threat but it's worth reading regardless. 

Friday, June 17, 2011

'Misery Index' at its highest point in 28 years

CNBC: Just how miserable are we these days?

QUOTE: “The good news is that other measures suggest conditions aren't quite that bad and over the next 18 months the gloom should lift a little,” the firm’s chief US economist wrote in a Misery analysis. “The bad news is that households won't be in the mood to boost their spending significantly for several more years.” 

In such a consumer spending-driven economy much of any "recovery" is going to depend on people feeling confident enough to go out and spend money on things they don't really 'need'.  Ask yourself, have you tightened your belt of late?  Gone without things you usually would be buying?  Canceled trips/vacations/etc?  Deferred maintenance on your house/car?  Now think of the multiplier effect throughout the economy and then ask yourself are we really in a Recovery or sinking further into a Recession/Depression?  Who are you going to believe: The Media or Your Lying Eyes? :)

Some conversations about .308 Battle Rifles

On Episode 200 I discussed a few aspects of the more popular .308/7.62mm NATO 'battle rifles'.  I didn't go particularly in-depth but tried to look at a few considerations to think about when deciding to purchase one.  I will be doing a short episode about some of the older bolt-action 'battle rifles' as well, but before I cover that topic here are some forum threads at various sites discussing various factors about the semi-autos covered in Episode 200:

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Links to books about Primitive Skills

Every few episodes I try to talk about primitive skills of different kinds and the value of knowing multiple ways of doing any of the things in life that are vital to keeping us alive.  Occasionally I come across a web site that has information about such topics and I'll try to do a better job of sharing some of those links I think might be useful for listeners.  Below are links to a site that has compiled a list of books, magazines and newsletters on the topic of Primitive Skills and connections to sites (such as where you can order some of them.

(NOTE: I have no affiliation with this site or any of the books listed but several of them looked as though they might be useful.)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Scientist's 'stunned' by absence of sunspots, Say may lead to another "Little Ice Age"

Scientists predict rare 'hibernation' of sunspots

QUOTE: 'For years, scientists have been predicting the Sun would by around 2012 move into solar maximum, a period of intense flares and sunspot activity, but lately a curious calm has suggested quite the opposite. According to three studies released in the United States on Tuesday, experts believe the familiar sunspot cycle may be shutting down and heading toward a pattern of inactivity unseen since the 17th century.'

ANOTHER QUOTE: 'Experts are now probing whether this period of inactivity could be a second Maunder Minimum, which was a 70-year period when hardly any sunspots were observed between 1645-1715, a period known as the "Little Ice Age." "If we are right, this could be the last solar maximum we'll see for a few decades. That would affect everything from space exploration to Earth's climate," said Hill."

First off, I'm not going to get into the Global Warming/Climate Change debate here.  I will say that if what the article describes comes to pass we will likely see an uptick in wars over natural resources, more difficulty growing crops and other slow-unfolding disasters.  It would be quite interesting to find out what is being said about this topic in the higher levels of government.  Oh to be a fly on the wall during those threat assessment discussions... 

Iran pushing for an anti-Western Nation alliance

Iran's president calls for post-Soviet security alliance to unite in alliance against West

 This is more of a long-range threat but I would not be surprised at all to see something come to fruition.  Anyone who believes that Russia and China are "allies" of the US are ignoring history and playing with fire.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Bloomberg News: Roubini Says a ‘Perfect Storm’ May Converge on the Global Economy in 2013

'Perfect storm' may devastate global economy

Roubini has said some interesting things in the past and I find much of what he discusses in the above article curious, to say the least.  Here is one example: "There are already elements of fragility,” he said. “Everybody’s kicking the can down the road of too much public and private debt. The can is becoming heavier and heavier, and bigger on debt, and all these problems may come to a head by 2013 at the latest.” 

I have this sneaking suspicion that things will come to a head before 2013, but it's becoming clear to pretty much everyone that the amount of debt the US is carrying is a huge problem.  And when many say the US is in more trouble than Greece, it's an even greater source of concern to those of us watching this slowly unfolding fiscal train wreck.  

Strong earthquakes rock New Zealand again

Christchurch, NZ hit with new earthquakes

QUOTE: "Buildings topple and cars sink into the ground after two magnitude 6.0 and 5.5 aftershocks strike the quake-devastated city of Christchurch. The city was hit by a major quake February 22 that killed 181 people."

 I can't imagine after the terror of what took place in February what it must be like to have additional tremors months later.  I know the seismologists would probably say it's unrelated to the volcanic activity in Chile or the other earthquakes that have occurred around the Ring of Fire, but I'm curious to see if there will be another pattern like we saw in February/March where quakes crop up in various places around the Pacific Rim.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

'Bloodthirsty' pack of dogs roaming Washington State

Washington residents warned about 'bloodthirsty' dog pack

A "bloodthirsty" pack of dogs has killed about 100 animals in the past few months while eluding law enforcement and volunteers in northeastern Washington state, residents and authorities said.
The killings started in late March and have occurred in a wide area of mountains and valleys west of Deer Park, a small town about 40 miles north of Spokane.
"Trying to figure out where they are going to hit is next to impossible," Stevens County Undersheriff Lavonne Webb said Thursday. "Nobody is claiming ownership of any animals involved in the pack."
Most recently, the dogs killed a 350-pound llama Tuesday night. They've also killed goats and other farm animals.
So far, no humans have been attacked. But authorities are warning residents to take whatever steps are necessary to protect their families and animals because the dogs appear to be killing for fun rather than food."

I've warned of this on the podcast a number of times.  Especially following a major catastrophe I expect we'll see more of this in the future.  Don't get me wrong, I'm a dog lover and have a couple of them as members of our little family.  Still, I recognize the potential for danger large groups of wild dogs can pose.  It's definitely worth planning for that contingency in your survival/preparedness plans.

Friday, June 10, 2011

CNN: What are the chances of violence in the US because of the economy?

Cafferty's Blog mentioned in Episode 197

If you are curious about the state of mind of your fellow citizens, read the short blog post given at the above link and the glance through some of the comments.  It is both informative, chilling, and will fill you with both hope and dread, at least it did me.  I mentioned this and even shared a few brief examples on Wednesday's podcast episode.  I decided to post it here to as I consider it to be highly worth reading.


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Stocks tumble below 12,000

Stocks drop mucho in Friday trading

12,000 is an important psychological barrier so it will be interesting to see how the market performs the rest of the day.  Yesterday stocks finished up and I sifted through the data trying to understand why.  Today the Dow was down 100+ points before I got out of bed.  I always consider that to be disconcerting.  While I no longer consider any of the financial indexes to really be accurate indicators of the state of all things economic I do keep an eye on them as they can foretell potential problems before they hit. 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Yahoo Finance: New jobless claims unexpectedly rise

Yet another unexpected rise in unemployment

Oh my goodness!  Can you believe it?  As a certain conservative talk show host used to say the members of the media must have a button they push to insert the word "unexpected" when reporting on any bad financial news when one of their heroes happens to hold the Oval Office.  This would be humorous.... If it wasn't so serious, that is. 

Cost of the war in Libya soars

Financial Times: Cost of Libya War Escalates

When you're in a financial hole, the first rule is to stop digging.  Running three wars (all of which have potential to escalate over the course of this summer) is something it's difficult to see how we can no longer afford going forward.  Let's see if Congress can put some teeth behind their non-binding resolution admonishing the President on this topic

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

CNN: Nearly 50% of Americans foresee another Great Depression in the next year

48% in CNN Poll believe a Great Depression is coming in the next year

Key Quote: "Forty-eight percent say that another Great Depression is likely to occur in the next year - the highest that figure has ever reached. The survey also indicates that just under half live in a household where someone has lost a job or are worried that unemployment may hit them in the near future. The poll was conducted starting Friday, when the Labor Department reported that the nation's jobless rate edged up to 9.1 percent."

That's nearly one in two folks.  You've heard me say over the life of this podcast that I believe we may be on the leading edge of another Great Depression (a "Greater" Depression, if you will).  I'm starting to think we've been in one for a while now and that only the obfuscation of those in government and the media has been masking what is truly going on.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

James Carville discusses civil unrest in America

Carville: 2012 could be ‘very rough’ for Obama, says civil unrest ‘imminently possible’

I'm going to be discussing my projections on what civil unrest in the US would look like in an upcoming episode.  I did talk about this quite a while back on an episode and I have some updated thoughts and suggesting about prepping for such an eventuality.  If you have thoughts about the potential for such violence coming to our shores drop me a line and share your thoughts at chipmonksurvivalpodcast @  I might even use some of them on the podcast.

Massive discharge released by the Sun today

And it's a whopper...

According to the article because of the angle it's not supposed to be a big deal (ie. no "EMP" effects).  However, some day that may not be the case:

USA Today: Food prices drop 1% (Hooray, 1%)

Food prices drop 1% but will stay high for the foreseeable future

Here's one of the key quotes as far as I'm concerned: "Food prices dropped 1% in May compared to the previous month, but remain 37% above May 2010, according to a price index released by the agency."

So what the article should be titled is "Food prices up 37% over same month last year".  Isn't it interesting to see how the media tries to manipulate us?  This article is a perfect example.

NY Post: Scary truth behind the new jobs numbers

Scary truth behind the new jobs numbers

I'm not an economist, nor do I play one on the internet, but I've never been a fan of how job numbers are calculated.  The whole Birth/Death model seems like a joke at best and a complete fabrication at worst, but apparently nobody in the media ever thinks to question it.  If you take a step back and try to look at what's transpiring with the economy in an apolitical way, you have to recognize that the current administration's policies have completely failed and we're heading off a cliff.  It is for this reason that I think economic collapse should be the #1 crisis we're prepping for, along with the random natural disasters that can occur unexpectedly at any time. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

CNN: 3 nuclear reactors melted down after quake, Japan confirms

QUOTE: "Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant experienced full meltdowns at three reactors in the wake of an earthquake and tsunami in March, the country's Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters said Monday. The nuclear group's new evaluation, released Monday, goes further than previous statements in describing the extent of the damage caused by an earthquake and tsunami on March 11."

So what can we believe now about any of these "official reports".  I just hope we don't see a massive increase in birth defects, premature death, etc. in Japan, along the West Coast of the US and Canada, and any other areas where this fallout may have been worse than previously thought.  

CBS: Chronic unemployment worse than Great Depression

QUOTE: "About 6.2 million Americans, 45.1 percent of all unemployed workers in this country, have been jobless for more than six months - a higher percentage than during the Great Depression."

I guess Recovery Summer 2.0 isn't working out so well either, huh?

Researcher: Iran could produce a nuke within 2 months,7340,L-4078778,00.html

I didn't really believe that 2007 Intelligence Assessment myself, did you?  Remember the politically-charged document saying that Iran was years and years away from developing nuclear weapons?  I've been saying that this summer could be fairly wild and this could be part of it.  After watching what has happened with Qaddafi (who "gave up" his WMD programs in 2003) I'm guessing every tyrant is racing to develop nukes ASAP.

Decline and fall of the American empire

QUOTE: "America clocked up a record last week. The latest drop in house prices meant that the cost of real estate has fallen by 33% since the peak – even bigger than the 31% slide seen when John Steinbeck was writing The Grapes of Wrath.  Unemployment has not returned to Great Depression levels but at 9.1% of the workforce it is still at levels that will have nerves jangling in the White House. The last president to be re-elected with unemployment above 7.2% was Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The US is a country with serious problems. Getting on for one in six depend on government food stamps to ensure they have enough to eat. The budget, which was in surplus little more than a decade ago, now has a deficit of Greek-style proportions. There is policy paralysis in Washington."

It's unfortunate that the various government agencies releasing economic statistics are fudging the numbers and massaging the data (compare how unemployment is calculated now vs. 30+ years ago as one example) as it's difficult to see how bad things really are.  Which is probably the point.  My concern (and one many of my listeners have shared with me) is that this means if/when things really do collapse it is going to be a systemic shock.  People have been hearing from the media "It's not that bad, things are getting better" but if the economy continues off a cliff people are not going to be ready for that eventuality because they've been told not to worry.  As always, all you can do is try to educate those you love, prep for the worst, and hope that things don't get as bad as many fear they might.

Friday, June 3, 2011

China Has Divested 97 Percent of Its Holdings in U.S. Treasury Bills

QUOTE: "China has dropped 97 percent of its holdings in U.S. Treasury bills, decreasing its ownership of the short-term U.S. government securities from a peak of $210.4 billion in May 2009 to $5.69 billion in March 2011, the most recent month reported by the U.S. Treasury."

For the past few years I've been keeping an eye on this very issue as a possible precursor to a significant economic collapse.  Just thought I'd share the above-linked article with my listeners.  

James Rawles explaining firearm metric and inch bore diameters

I endeavored to explain this a while back in my podcasts about various calibers and their uses, but this is a clear and concise table that might clarify things a bit so I thought I'd link to it. 

Moody's: US debt rating faces downgrade

Quote: "
Moody’s ratings agency warned Thursday that it probably would have to downgrade the U.S. government’s debt rating unless the White House and Congress work out a “credible agreement on substantial deficit reduction” by the middle of next month. In its stark statement, Moody’s - one of the three big ratings agencies that help determine how easy it is for the government to borrow money - said the fight over raising the debt ceiling is worse then expected, and that’s increased the risk that the government will default on its debt. Just as significantly, the agency said if lawmakers miss this chance to lower deficits, then no deal will get done before the 2012 elections. So Moody’s set a mid-July deadline for progress on a deal, or else it said a downgrade of the U.S. rating “is likely.” The warning follows the decision by Standard & Poor’s in April to lower its outlook on U.S. debt from stable to negative."

 Is the US the next Greece?  And if so, could we see what is happening there (civil unrest, etc.) transplanted here? Stay tuned....

U.S. Economy continues to sputter

QUOTE: "Employers hired far fewer workers than expected in May and the jobless rate rose to 9.1 percent, raising concerns the economy might be stuck in a painful slow-growth mode."

Considering the fact that the economy has to generate far more jobs than this just to provide work for people entering the work force, and the fact that summer is usually the time when many places are hiring I would say that this is cataclysmically bad news.  Worse in nine months, the article states. The truth is, folks, the Great Recession never ended and by all indications the risk of a Greater Depression is still abundantly clear to anyone honest enough to look beyond their ideologically paradigm. 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Superbug in Europe: The New Outbreak

This is a story I have been following for the past couple of days, in part because my niece is in Germany on a college band tour.  So far, the news has not been good about this new strain and the devastation it is wreaking on people infected with it.  Below are several links to news articles detailing this threat if you would like more information:

Essentially it appears to be a drug-resistant superbug form of E. coli and a very deadly one at that.  As I'll talk about in an upcoming episode next week, yet another reason to grow your own food.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Tornado watch.... In New York?

Talk about strange weather.  Looks like it is in effect until 8pm tonight.  Stay safe New Yorkers (I know for sure that a few of you listen to this podcast).  :)


If you follow this blog you will notice that I link to a lot of current news stories as I believe those are the developments that demonstrate many of the threats people need to prepare for.  When carries a headline it impacts a lot of other news coverage.  With the Dow plummeting 200 points already today and some of the other news out there it seems to be getting worse by the day.  What to do?  What do I always say?  Stock extra food, make sure you have a way to provide water for you and yours, have a backup means of shelter (or two) and if you think things could get dangerous (societal breakdown, police strikes, etc.) plan accordingly.