Safecastle | One Shop For All Emergency Essentials: October 2008

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

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Any Honest Journalists Left?

Orson Scott Card is well-known as a sci-fi novelist (whose books are great reading for preparedness nuts). He is also a newspaper columnist who declares himself to be a Democrat.

But given his party affiliation, and judging from his two most recent columns, he may be the LAST American journalist out there with some integrity.

VERY important reads here:

Would the Last Honest Journalist Please Turn On the Lights?

Upholding the Constitution
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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

In a Storm, You've Gotta' Be Tied Down

What are your anchors in life?

In other words, what is it that you absolutely rely on, believe in, and live for?

In major crisis those anchors are hopefully going to be solid enough to keep you from being swept away in the madness and chaos.

God, family, home, country, money, liberties, work, booze, drugs, sex ... the possibilities are many. Some of them obviously are going to be more effective than others in getting you through tough times.

Time to Reassess and Batten Down?

Make your own judgment as to where we are headed, but it seems to me that we are at an auspicious point in history. We who are here to sail through these increasingly turbulent seas are not all going to make it to shore.

You want to get there, I suggest right now looking very carefully at what it is that you want to live for and what it is you think will help you make it.

Consider too that a few of those "givens" on my short list may just disappear suddenly. Or they may be transformed into unrecognizable shadows of themselves. If that happens, you might find yourself confusingly adrift.

Tie-down to more than one solid mooring. Get yourself right with God and your family in particular. All else may be little more than shifting sands.
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Friday, October 17, 2008

Prepare for an Unchecked Liberal Mandate

What does it mean to look into a not so murky crystal ball and see a government fully liberalized after this upcoming election? ... With both houses of Congress brimming over in Democratic majorities and the most liberal president ever in the White House?

I could weave a a prediction or two, but then that would make this blog a bit more political than I want to have it.

Nontheless, from a preparedness standpoint, it's important to understand what in all likelihood our new America will look like very soon.

Read all about it here in a WSJ piece:

Get ready for 'change' we haven't seen since 1965, or 1933.
Though we doubt most Americans realize it, this would be one of the most profound political and ideological shifts in U.S. history. Liberals would dominate the entire government in a way they haven't since 1965, or 1933. In other words, the election would mark the restoration of the activist government that fell out of public favor in the 1970s. If the U.S. really is entering a period of unchecked left-wing ascendancy, Americans at least ought to understand what they will be getting, especially with the media cheering it all on.
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Monday, October 13, 2008

Panic, Food-Run in Iceland

Is Iceland perhaps a telescope into our own future?

Icelandic Shoppers Splurge as Currency Woes Reduce Food Imports
By Chad Thomas

Oct. 13 (Bloomberg) -- After a four-year spending spree, Icelanders are flooding the supermarkets one last time, stocking up on food as the collapse of the banking system threatens to cut the island off from imports.

``We have had crazy days for a week now,'' said Johannes Smari Oluffsson, manager of the Bonus discount grocery store in Reykjavik's main shopping center. ``Sales have doubled.''
Bonus, a nationwide chain, has stock at its warehouse for about two weeks. After that, the shelves will start emptying unless it can get access to foreign currency, the 22-year-old manager said, standing in a walk-in fridge filled with meat products, among the few goods on sale produced locally.

Iceland's foreign currency market has seized up after the three largest banks collapsed and the government abandoned an attempt to peg the exchange rate. Many banks won't trade the krona and suppliers from abroad are demanding payment in advance. The government has asked banks to prioritize foreign currency transactions for essentials such as food, drugs and oil.

The crisis is already hitting clothing retailers. A short walk from Bonus in the capital's Kringlan shopping center, Ragnhildur Anna Jonsdottir, 38, owner of the Next Plc clothing store, said she can't get any foreign currency to pay for incoming shipments and, even if she could, the exchange rate would be prohibitively high.

``We aren't getting new shipments in, as we normally do once a week,'' Jonsdottir said. ``This is the third week that we haven't had any shipments.''


Iceland's 320,000 inhabitants have enjoyed four years of economic growth in excess of 4 percent as banks and businesses expanded abroad, buying up companies from brokerages to West Ham United soccer club. Now, the three biggest banks, Kaupthing Bank hf, Landsbanki Island hf and Glitnir Bank hf have collapsed under the weight of about $61 billion in debts, 12 times the size of the economy, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The central bank, or Sedlabanki, ditched its attempt to peg the krona to a basket of currencies on Oct. 9, after just two days, citing ``insufficient support'' in the market. Nordea Bank AB, the biggest Scandinavian lender, said the same day that the krona hadn't been traded on the spot market, while the last quoted price was 340 per euro, compared with 122 a month ago.

``There is absolutely no currency in the country today to import,'' said Andres Magnusson, chief executive officer of the Icelandic Federation of Trade and Services in Reykjavik. ``The only way we can solve this problem is to get the IMF into the country.''

Imports Dependency

The International Monetary Fund sent a delegation to the island last week. Prime Minister Geir Haarde said on Oct. 9 his country may ask it for money after failing to get ``the response that we felt that we should be able to get'' from European governments and central banks. The state will also start talks with Russia over a possible 4 billion-euro ($5.5 billion) loan.

Iceland's rugged, treeless terrain, a barren stretch of volcanic rock, geysers and moss, means the country imports most food, other than meat, fish and dairy products.

Magnusson said last week that one of Iceland's largest supermarket chains was unable to get any foreign currency to make purchases abroad and another retailer's electronic payment didn't go through. Iceland will begin to see shortages of ``regular goods'' by the end of the week if nothing changes, he said.

``We are struggling to make the economy survive from hour to hour,'' Magnusson said. ``There is an enormous amount of capital that wants to get out of the country.''

Sedlabanki told lenders on Oct. 10 that residents who want foreign currency should first prove they need the money for traveling by providing documentation for their trip.

Essential Goods

Wholesalers are demanding that importers pay before any goods are shipped, said Knutur Signarsson, head of the Reykjavik-based Federation of Icelandic Trade. Under normal circumstances, wholesalers abroad would extend credit for 30 to 90 days, he said.

``Many of them ask us to pay cash before they send the goods to Iceland,'' Signarsson said.

``Because of the situation, Iceland has become a country that no one trusts any longer.''

Bogi Thor Siguroddsson, owner of Johan Roenning, an import and retail business which has about 7 billion krona ($71 million) in annual sales, says he's instructed his purchasing managers to only import the core goods, including light bulbs, lamps and electrical cables, they need to serve their customers.

``It's enough to have the credit crisis,'' he said.

``Then you have the currency crash. Unfortunately, we have shown that we can't handle it ourselves.''

Food Inflation

Icelanders, whose per capita gross domestic product is the fifth highest in the world, according to the United Nations 2007/2008 Human Development Index, will have to tighten their belts.

Shoppers are paying more for the goods they do get. The cost of fruits and vegetables, nearly all of which are imported, have gone up about 50 percent in recent months, said Steinunn Kristinsdottir, a 33-year-old Reykjavik resident who was leaving the Bonus store with her cart full.

``This situation really has been a bit troubling for people,'' she said. ``They don't know what's going to happen.''
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Friday, October 10, 2008

What a Week! ... and It's Only the Opening Act

I think we all probably feel a little punchy after enduring the week the markets dragged us through. Thing is, at this point it all means so much more than just economics and living standards.

Look around and you will see that nations and alliances are recalibrating all over the world. Everything's different now. Some recognize it already, more will soon.

J.R. Nyquist today posted a provocative commentary on a budding potential partnership between Germany and Russia. In fact, he references STRATFOR's George Friedman as having introduced the facts a few days earlier. This is an ABSOLUTE-MUST READ. The link is below (click on his title) along with a short excerpt.

My comment--If geopolitical history teaches us one thing, it it that nation-states are fickle in their loyalties. And unfortunately that is out of necessity.

National survival is a complex and delicate operation. Interacting international economies, competing military maneuvers, ethnic mixing and/or segregation, cultural head banging, and elitist puppeteering are just a few of the upper level gears that grind and quake.

Eventually, it all seizes up, breaks down, and demands demolition before reconstruction can take place.

I suspect that where we really are now is a point where nations are going to have to make a clear choice as to what side of the battlefield they will line up for the great demolition derby.

The Monster at the Bottom of the Abyss
by J. R. Nyquist
Weekly Column Published: 10.10.2008

In an October 6 article titled The German Question, STRATFOR’s George Friedman poured a pitcher of cold logic on America’s plan for NATO’s future. It appears that Germany is determined to block NATO membership for Ukraine and Georgia. The long-term implications of this decision are stunning. “Since NATO operates on the basis of consensus,” wrote Friedman, “any member nation can effectively block any candidate from NATO membership.” The Russian invasion of Georgia has forced Germany into this position. The conflict in Georgia has forced the Germans to clarify their geopolitical thinking. What we see now, quite clearly, is Germany turning away from NATO. They can call it whatever they like. They are thinking as Germans. Russia’s thrust into Georgia was a masterstroke because it successfully redirected Germany’s political sensibility from a NATO-centered view to a German-centered view. In Europe there is one question that stands above all others, and the Germans must give the answer. Either Europe will confront Russia in a new Cold War, or Europe will become Russia’s partner. According to Friedman’s logic, Germany has already decided on partnership with Russia.

Imagine a partnership between Russia and Germany. The Russians supply the military muscle, the natural resources, and cheap labor. The Germans supply the technology, the money, and European finesse. Friedman says that Germany’s energy situation is “desperate,” and that German leaders are merely looking after their country’s national interest.

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Sunday, October 05, 2008

NORAD Now Vulnerable

Frickin' bureaucratic, bean-counting, dimwits! Read it and weep:

Dangerous move for NORAD?
Relocating facilities fraught with security risks
Michael de Yoanna and Bill Gertz

THE WASHINGTON TIMES, Sunday, October 5, 2008


Critics say a decision two years ago to move the operations center of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) to the basement of an office building on Peterson Air Force Base in nearby Colorado Springs and to disperse other missions at the mountain could undermine U.S. national security.

According to military and defense sources familiar with the missions and U.S. government documents obtained by The Washington Times, the move — billed as a cost-cutting measure — received insufficient government review, violated previous Pentagon directives, may have broken U.S. law and has left the United States less able to track potential threats and the operations center more vulnerable to attack.

"We see decisions like closing Cheyenne Mountain that are driven for cost purposes only, not military requirements," said Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas G. McInerney. "Cheyenne Mountain should remain an active facility but cost pressures are driving combatant commanders to make riskier decisions."
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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

For Two Weeks Only: 25% Off All Mountain House Cans (and Free Shipping ++)

We asked our buyers club members for input yesterday on whether this was the right time for a big Mountain House sale. A strong majority want this opportunity now, so here it is.

From October 2-15 Only ...

A two-week sale on all our Mountain House can listings.

Not just a little sale, but a 25% OFF sale!

Our listings will reflect the sale price starting tomorrow ... both in our buyers club store and in our eBay store ... for buyers club members and non-members alike!

As always shipping is FREE to the lower 48.

Remember, you have the option of interest-free financing if you make an 8-case package or 35-case package purchase in our eBay store. You must apply for the eBay credit card there to get that deal. If that credit card offer is not something you want, we ask that you make your purchase in our buyers club store (membership not required for these sale prices).

Buyers Club Members Are Issued High-Value Vouchers for Volume Purchases!

As always, membership does have its privileges. Buy ANY 8-cases of Mountain House cans and receive a $120 Safecastle voucher good for a subsequent purchase of anything in our store (other than Mountain House cans).

Buy any 35 cases of Mountain House cans and receive a $500 voucher! (Same terms as above.)

Yes, you can use any or all of these offers together as a member. That's quite a deal.

The 25% off is good only till Oct. 15, so don't delay.

MH is the world's premier storage food, good for 30 years! At today's prices! ... lock it up--it's money in the bank.

Stay safe (and invest your money wisely)!


Oh, and of course you'll want to know how quickly you will take delivery of your order. Mountain House is right on top of their orders at the moment. They will ship your food fresh directly to you and you'll have it within two to three weeks.
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