Safecastle | One Shop For All Emergency Essentials: July 2008

Food Storage, Emergency Preparedness, MRE's, Freeze Dried Food, Water Storage, Dehydrated Food, Survival tips

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Impact of EMP Attack Could Be Catastrophic

In theory, an EMP attack is straightforward. However, it is not as easy as it sounds. Still, IF ... U.S. Intel: Iran Plans Nuclear Strike on U.S. Tuesday, July 29, 2008 9:00 AM By: Kenneth R. Timmerman Click the title above to view the whole article. Excerpt:

If even a crude nuclear weapon were detonated anywhere between 40 kilometers to 400 kilometers above the earth, in a split-second it would generate an electro-magnetic pulse [EMP] that would cripple military and civilian communications, power, transportation, water, food, and other infrastructure, the report warned.

While not causing immediate civilian casualties, the near-term impact on U.S. society would dwarf the damage of a direct nuclear strike on a U.S. city.

“The first indication [of such an attack] would be that the power would go out, and some, but not all, the telecommunications would go out. We would not physically feel anything in our bodies,” Graham said.

As electric power, water and gas delivery systems failed, there would be “truly massive traffic jams,” Graham added, since modern automobiles and signaling systems all depend on sophisticated electronics that would be disabled by the EMP wave.

“So you would be walking. You wouldn’t be driving at that point,” Dr. Graham said. “And it wouldn’t do any good to call the maintenance or repair people because they wouldn’t be able to get there, even if you could get through to them.”

The food distribution system also would grind to a halt as cold-storage warehouses stockpiling perishables went offline. Even warehouses equipped with backup diesel generators would fail, because “we wouldn’t be able to pump the fuel into the trucks and get the trucks to the warehouses,” Graham said.

The United States “would quickly revert to an early 19th century type of country.” except that we would have 10 times as many people with ten times fewer resources, he said.

“Most of the things we depend upon would be gone, and we would literally be depending on our own assets and those we could reach by walking to them,” Graham said.

America would begin to resemble the 2002 TV series, “Jeremiah,” which depicts a world bereft of law, infrastructure, and memory.

In the TV series, an unspecified virus wipes out the entire adult population of the planet. In an EMP attack, the casualties would be caused by our almost total dependence on technology for everything from food and water, to hospital care.

Within a week or two of the attack, people would start dying, Dr. Graham says.

“People in hospitals would be dying faster than that, because they depend on power to stay alive. But then it would go to water, food, civil authority, emergency services. And we would end up with a country with many, many people not surviving the event.”

Asked just how many Americans would die if Iran were to launch the EMP attack it appears to be preparing, Dr. Graham gave a chilling reply.

“You have to go back into the 1800s to look at the size of population” that could survive in a nation deprived of mechanized agriculture, transportation, power, water, and communication.

“I’d have to say that 70 to 90 percent of the population would not be sustainable after this kind of attack,” he said.

America would be reduced to a core of around 30 million people — about the number that existed in the decades after America’s independence from Great Britain.

The modern electronic economy would shut down, and America would most likely revert to “an earlier economy based on barter,” the EMP commission’s report on Critical National Infrastructure concluded earlier this year.


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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Food Prices to Jump Steeply

In my last post here, I indicated that food prices are about to jump about 10% across the board. According to this article, that would be quite a conservative estimate. (I was basing my warning on near-term price hikes I have been notified of already.)

I say again--the smart money today is going into storable food that you buy at today's prices. It's a lock ... you can count on that money invested in something essential to your survival appreciating in value in short order.

US food groups plan hefty price rises

By Elizabeth Rigby in London and Hal Weitzman in Chicago
Published: July 20 2008 17:15 | Last updated: July 20 2008 17:15

US food companies are preparing another round of hefty price increases as soaring commodity costs force them to pass on rises to consumers.

Sara Lee, maker of meat products such as Jimmy Dean sausages, said costs would compel it to push up prices on meat lines by up to a fifth later this year.

“We will be taking price increases on the vast majority of the protein products in this calendar year,” said C.J. Fraleigh, Sara Lee’s chief operating officer for North America, in a recent interview.

“Price increases vary a lot by type of products but the increases will be as low as zero and some products we will decrease on and other increases [will be] in excess of 20 per cent.” Kraft Foods, Kellogg’s, ConAgra and Tyson are also pushing through increases, which are expected to contribute to inflationary pressures in the US.

US food prices have jumped 5.3 per cent for the year ending in June, the Department of Labor reported last week, adding to the pressures on Americans from rising unemployment, a slumping housing market and higher petrol prices.

The increase in food prices was steep in June, when they moved up 0.8 per cent compared with 0.3 per cent in May.

Crop prices have boomed in recent months on the back of strong demand from emerging economies and supply concerns following floods across the agricultural lands of the US Midwest.


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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Inflation Hitting Food and Gear Across the Board

Best Prices on Crisis Devices

These are turbulent seas we're sailing, mates. And just like everyone else, we at Safecastle are working as hard as we can to keep our stocks tight and our powder dry.'

The next big onslaught to hit us broadside looks to be a surging wave of inflation. Prices are already taking a toll, of course, but now we are seeing that recent oil-price and transportation-cost hikes, and all the rest are working their way through the entire system, and in some ways being magnified. Really, few products on the market can escape the upward pricing pressures that continue to build.

We're holding the line as best we can for our buyers club members on our preparedness listings. We don't always have the very lowest prices on every item, but as a matter of practice, we do our best and then try to do a little better. Right now, that means delaying the inevitable price hikes for as long as possible, even when we have to start taking losses.

Please consider this email as a friendly advisory to those of you trying to still top off your ship's stores ...

Wholesale price hikes of at least 10% on many storage foods and gear are on the immediate horizon. Beyond that, the skies look dark. All any of us can do for our households is: lay aside the supplies and gear that make sense and that are within our budget today; increase our practical-knowledge base and broaden our living-skill set; and of course we can pray.

Lock In Today's Prices

This much is certain--overall, prices will NOT be coming down for food or equipment. As a customer mentioned, "Today's prices will seem to be too low to believe, tomorrow."

My advice--invest any discretionary funds today in tangible necessities that will store well. Do it with us or somewhere else, but if you want to weather the gales in front of us, you'd better be tying down soon.

As an aside--I am in the middle of reading a book entitled "Wealth, War, and Wisdom" by Barton Biggs. Check it out--it provides authoritative, practical, historical insights into surviving the darkest of days. We don't sell the book, but I suggest you give it a read.

Lastly--lest you come to the conclusion that I am assuming the doom position, I do remain optimistic and hopeful. But for context, that means that I am looking for the world as we know it to still hold water when we come out on the other side.
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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Were You REALLY Thinking You Could Survive Without Coffee?

What larder is complete without some good long-term storage coffee from Costa Rica?

And what about bacon and/or pork sausage?

Can you smell those breakfasts already?

Of course, a variety of spices are needed to keep the palate piqued.

Not to mention some good old American ground beef in cans.

These items make up the very latest additions to our Safecastle storage food pantry.

As always, 20% off to our buyers club members and FREE shipping to the lower 48. All of these food items and most everything else in our store are shipping the same or next business day!

Browse our latest, ready-to-ship foods right here:
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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Back to the Future - Russia Rattles Old Sabers Over U.S.-Czech Missile Defense Deal

This is turning back the clock for me ... back to the day when it was good to be red, white & blue and it was NOT good at all to be communist.

The Russians and their satellites were the enemy. We knew it. They knew it. Everyone else held their breath.

Now our wobbly planet is layer upon layer of misdirection. "They" know what they're up to, we don't seem to have a clue what WE'RE up to.

This saber-rattling (see below) may be scary to some, but in my view, we need to be able to delineate who the enemies are and where they are. If they want to roll up their sleeves and get dirty, we are well-equipped to join them in the box. Re-draw the borders, contain the hostiles in their own lands. Fight over the contested areas and support those who want to be free.

It really should be that simple. We let it become something totally different and we're paying hell for it across the board now.

Might need to take a few steps back to get ahead of the game.

July 8, 2008
Russia threatens military response to US missile defence deal
David Charter, Europe Correspondent

Russia tonight threatened to retaliate by military means after a deal with the Czech Republic brought the US missile defence system in Europe a step closer.

The threat followed quickly on from the announcement that Condoleezza Rice signed a formal agreement with the Czech Republic to host the radar for the controversial project.

Moscow argues that the missile shield would severely undermine the balance of European security and regards the proposed missile shield based in two former Communist countries as a hostile move.

“We will be forced to react not with diplomatic, but with military-technical methods,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

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Monday, July 07, 2008

WSJ: Price of Gas COULD Exceed $6 a Gallon by the End of THIS Year

Looking like our resiliency is about to be severely tested over the next several months. Got preps?

Oil's Rapid Rise Stirs Talk of $200 a Barrel This Year

Long List of Factors Keeps Prices High; Releasing Reserves?
July 7, 2008; Page A6

Oil's historic ascent from $100 to nearly $150 a barrel in just six months is lending weight to a far grimmer prediction: Crude could reach $200 a barrel by the end of the year.

Oil at that price would wreak deeper havoc on the world's airlines and automobile industries.

In the U.S., $200 crude would push the price of gasoline to well over $6 a gallon, causing commuters to alter their driving habits more sharply than they have already, while putting extreme strains on large sectors of the U.S. economy. In Europe, it would stir more political unrest and increase the clamor to cut the continent's stiff petrol taxes. In Asia, governments would be under pressure to cut fuel subsidies and risk a popular backlash.

U.S. benchmark crude prices leapt 3.6% last week, closing before the Independence Day holiday at a record $145.29 a barrel. Roughly halfway through the year, oil prices have soared 50% since Jan. 1 and have doubled since the same time last year. (See related article.)

Few oil watchers are now ready to bet that oil will hit $200 a barrel by New Year's Eve. But nearly all are wary of predicting how and when oil's upward stampede will be reversed.

What makes the market so unpredictable, analysts say, is that prices are being pushed by such a wide array of factors, while no single force has emerged with the power to throw them in reverse.

"Crude is going up," said Dave Pursell, an oil analyst at Tudor Pickering in Houston, "because there is nothing strong enough yet to push it down."


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Friday, July 04, 2008

Independence Day, 2008

No apologies from this quarter. The people of the United States of America enjoy the liberties and opportunities others covet.

Freedom is not free. Generations of sacrificing Americans have hoisted this country into the position of global leader. But it is God who has blessed our nation.

Until a greater, more just and deserving representative of civilized progress emerges, we are wholly responsible to maintain the moral and spiritual high ground in order to hold off the forces of evil and oppression.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Why Gun Control Flopped in America

Legal contrarians challenged prevailing views. But perhaps more importantly, the bans just didn't help.
By Steve Chapman , Chicago Tribune
Last update: July 2, 2008 - 7:18 PM

Thomas Jefferson once wrote pessimistically, "The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." He would probably not have been surprised to see the proliferation of gun-control laws in our time. But he might not have anticipated that the water would run back uphill.

Last week's Supreme Court decision affirming that the Second Amendment recognizes an individual right to own firearms for self-defense was a vindication of those who have long argued that position. But it was an even more stunning defeat for advocates of gun control, who not so long ago seemed to have history, law and public sympathy on their side.

In the 1980s and '90s, as violence raged at epidemic levels, the preferred remedy of policymakers was to restrict the manufacture, sale and ownership of firearms. Washington, D.C., had banned handguns in 1976, and in 1982, Chicago did likewise. Meanwhile, the federal government and several states outlawed "assault weapons" -- semiautomatic guns with a military appearance.

It looked as though ever-stricter gun control was the wave of the future. But the future had different ideas. What happened? Three main things:

• Gun control didn't work. In the 1990s, despite its draconian ban, Washington became the murder capital of the United States. Chicago's homicide rate, which had been declining in the years before it banned handguns, climbed over the following decade.

During the time the federal assault weapons law was in effect, the number of gun murders declined -- but so did murders involving knives and other weapons. When the law was allowed to expire in 2004, something interesting happened to the national murder rate: nothing.

• Laws allowing concealed weapons proliferated -- with no ill effects. In 1987, Florida gained national attention -- and notoriety -- by passing a law allowing citizens to get permits to carry concealed handguns. Opponents predicted a wave of carnage by pistol-packing hotheads, but it didn't happen. In fact, murders and other violent crimes subsided. Permit holders proved to be sober and restrained.

People elsewhere took heed, and today, according to the NRA, 40 states have "right-to-carry" laws. As those laws have spread, the homicide rate has fallen sharply from the peak reached in 1991.

• The Second Amendment got a second look. In 1983, a San Francisco lawyer named Don Kates published an article in the University of Michigan Law Review arguing that, contrary to prevailing wisdom in the judiciary and law schools, the Constitution upholds an individual right to keep and bear arms. Numerous legal scholars, spurred to examine the record, reached the same surprising conclusion. Before long, even some liberal law professors were coming around.

The majority opinion last week, written by Justice Antonin Scalia, drew heavily on this stack of scholarship to argue that the framers did not limit the right to the context of service in a state militia. Without the stimulus provided by these contrarian thinkers, the decision would never have come to pass.

Instead, the right to keep and bear arms has finally taken its rightful place with our other fundamental liberties. It may be the natural course of things for government control to expand and freedom to shrink. But as Jefferson knew, America was founded to reverse that process.

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