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There are two ways to sleep well at night ... be ignorant or be prepared.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Swine Flu: 10 Things You Need to Know

ATLANTA – Since it first emerged in April, the global swine flu epidemic has sickened more than 1 million Americans and killed about 500. It's also spread around the world, infecting tens of thousands and killing nearly 2,000.

This summer, the virus has been surprisingly tenacious in the U.S., refusing to fade away as flu viruses usually do. And health officials predict a surge of cases this fall, perhaps very soon as schools reopen.

A White House report from an expert panel suggests that from 30 percent to half the population could catch swine flu during the course of this pandemic and that from 30,000 to 90,000 could die.

So how worried should you be and how do you prepare? The Associated Press has tried to boil down the mass of information into 10 things you should know to be flu-savvy.

1. No cause for panic.

So far, swine flu isn't much more threatening than regular seasonal flu.

During the few months of this new flu's existence, hospitalizations and deaths from it seem to be lower than the average seen for seasonal flu, and the virus hasn't dramatically mutated. That's what health officials have observed in the Southern Hemisphere where flu season is now winding down.

Still, more people are susceptible to swine flu and U.S. health officials are worried because it hung in so firmly here during the summer — a time of year the flu usually goes away.

2. Virus tougher on some.

Swine flu is more of a threat to certain groups — children under 2, pregnant women, people with health problems like asthma, diabetes and heart disease. Teens and young adults are also more vulnerable to swine flu.

Ordinary, seasonal flu hits older people the hardest, but not swine flu. Scientists think older people may have some immunity from exposure years earlier to viruses similar to swine flu.

3. Wash your hands often and long.

Like seasonal flu, swine flu spreads through the coughs and sneezes of people who are sick. Emphasize to children that they should wash with soap and water long enough to finish singing the alphabet song, "Now I know my ABC's..." Also use alcohol-based hand sanitizers.

4. Get the kids vaccinated.

These groups should be first in line for swine flu shots, especially if vaccine supplies are limited — people 6 months to 24 years old, pregnant women, health care workers.

Also a priority: Parents and caregivers of infants, people with those high-risk medical conditions previously noted.

5. Get your shots early.

Millions of swine flu shots should be available by October. If you are in one of the priority groups, try to get your shot as early as possible.

Check with your doctor or local or state health department about where to do this. Many children should be able to get vaccinated at school. Permission forms will be sent home in advance.

6. Immunity takes awhile.

Even those first in line for shots won't have immunity until around Thanksgiving.

That's because it's likely to take two shots, given three weeks apart, to provide protection. And it takes a week or two after the last shot for the vaccine to take full effect.

The regular seasonal flu shot should be widely available in September. People over 50 are urged to be among the first to get that shot.

7. Vaccines are being tested.

Health officials presume the swine flu vaccine is safe and effective, but they're testing it to make sure.

The federal government has begun studies in eight cities across the country to assess its effectiveness and figure out the best dose. Vaccine makers are doing their own tests as well.

8. Help! Surrounded by swine flu.

If an outbreak of swine flu hits your area before you're vaccinated, be extra cautious.

Stay away from public gathering places like malls, sports events and churches. Try to keep your distance from people in general. Keep washing those hands and keep your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth.

9. What if you get sick?

If you have other health problems or are pregnant and develop flu-like symptoms, call your doctor right away. You may be prescribed Tamiflu or Relenza. These drugs can reduce the severity of swine flu if taken right after symptoms start.

If you develop breathing problems (rapid breathing for kids), pain in your chest, constant vomiting or a fever that keeps rising, go to an emergency room.

Most people, though, should just stay home and rest. Cough into your elbow or shoulder. Stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever breaks. Fluids and pain relievers like Tylenol can help with achiness and fever. Always check with a doctor before giving children any medicines. Adult cold and flu remedies are not for them.

10. No swine flu from barbecue.

You can't catch swine flu from pork — or poultry either (even though it recently turned up in turkeys in Chile). Swine flu is not spread by handling meat, whether it's raw or cooked.

Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.



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Sunday, August 30, 2009

"Swine Flu" at the Doorstep

Back to school and here comes the "Swine Flu."

Swine flu spreading at 'unbelievable' rate: WHO

PARIS (AFP) – Swine flu spreads four times faster than other viruses and 40 percent of the fatalities are young adults in good health, the world's top health official warned in an interview appearing Saturday.

"This virus travels at an unbelievable, almost unheard of speed," World Health Organisation Director General Margaret Chan told France's Le Monde daily in an interview.

"In six weeks it travels the same distance that other viruses take six months to cover," Chan said.

"Sixty percent of the deaths cover those who have underlying health problems," Chan said. "This means that 40 percent of the fatalities concern young adults -- in good health -- who die of a viral fever in five to seven days.

"This is the most worrying fact," she said, adding that "up to 30 percent of people in densely populated countries risked getting infected."

Chan's warning came a day after the WHO said the virus had overtaken others to become the most prevalent flu strain.

"Evidence from multiple outbreak sites demonstrates that the A(H1N1) pandemic virus has rapidly established itself and is now the dominant influenza strain in most parts of the world," the UN agency said in a statement.

"The pandemic will persist in the coming months as the virus continues to move through susceptible populations," it added.

Chan underlined that emergency and healthcare services in several countries had come under strain and stressed that resources allocated for cancer patients and those suffering from heart disease should not be diverted.

"One must not rob Peter to pay Paul," she said. "All governments must prepare for the worst."

She said the most important thing in the battle against the virus was "political leadership."

More than 2,180 people around the world have died from the virus since it emerged in April, according to the latest WHO figures.

Chan also said that it could be months before sufficient vaccine is available to combat the pandemic.

She put world production capacity at 900 million doses a year, for a global population of 6.8 billion people.

Even if this was an unprecedented effort, and authorities were speeding up procedures for getting vaccines to the market, there should be no question of compromises on their safety and effectiveness, Chan said.

Britain and France received their first batches of swine flu vaccine this week. Australia on Friday said a massive swine flu vaccination programme would start in October and Turkey hopes the first supplies of the vaccine will come by that time.

While 90 percent of severe and fatal cases occur in people aged above 65 in seasonal flu, most of those who die from swine flu are under the age of 50.

A "very severe form of disease" affecting the lungs and causing severe respiratory failure among young and healthy people was being reported, WHO said Friday, adding that highly specialised care was required.

Large numbers of such patients could therefore "overwhelm" intensive care units and disrupt the provision of care for other diseases, it warned.

In the southern hemisphere where the flu-prone winter season is tailing off, the WHO said cities in several countries had reported that nearly 15 percent of hospitalised cases required intensive care.


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Friday, August 28, 2009

New Website, a "Pillage the Castle" Sale, and More

We're rounding the final turn and coming into the homestretch ...

1. Next week the plan is to launch our totally brand new buyers club site. It's really very spiffy and a big step up over our current store site. Of course, you know how plans go--it MAY be that something will cause a delay, but right now we are on schedule.

2. We will possibly keep both store sites running for a short time to ensure all is well with the new store before we close the drawbridge on the old site.

3. We are working up a very cool and unusual sale to celebrate the new site. It will be called the "Pillage the Castle Sale" because club members will have the chance at a lot of FREE products (we're not talking knick-knacks here) that we are going to unload to clean up the "warehouse" here, not to mention offering sale prices on some stuff as well.

4. Since the buyers club's inception, the one-time lifetime membership fee has been $19. We are now raising that one-time fee to $29, and of course that only applies to folks who decide to join the club when that change goes into effect, and on into the future. I mention this because this increase will go into effect with the launch of the new website. So if any of you have been contemplating joining, now would be the time, before the price hike and in order to qualify for the FREEBIES that will be given away.
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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

USPS Glorifying Anti-American, Communist Racist on a Stamp!

I am disgusted. Every day it's something new and appalling.

I send out 2-ounce shelter brochures daily. Not enough to make postage metering necessary. So I buy sheets of the appropriate postage at the local Post Office.

Since the latest postage price hike, I've been given sheets of 61-cent wedding cake stamps. Not really my favorite for what I mail out, but OK--whatever.

But yesterday, I asked for sheets of $.61 cent stamps and I was given a new stamp. The person on the stamp is Richard Wright. It shows a picture of him--a black man in front of what appears to be an inner city-scape.

The name rang a bell for me right away but I could not place it. I just researched him and found that he was an avowed, card-wielding Communist Party member who wrote widely recognized black-power types of novels back in the 40s and 50s. In fact, he left America and disavowed his American citizenship.

Now what the hell kind of message is this? We put all kinds of mindless stuff like comedians, movie stars, wedding cake, cheeseburgers, and whatever on our stamps--and OK. No big deal.

But if the United States Postal Service is going to start promoting and celebrating anti-American, communist, racists on stamps, that is well over the line.

I called the US Postal Service to express my displeasure and couldn't get anywhere of course. And no, I won't use those stamps even of I have to put sixty-one one-cent Lincoln stamps on each brochure.

This is one of those things that I suppose some liberal genius in the USPS bureacracy thought would be funny, but here's hoping more folks will pick this up. In fact, I also just forwarded this on to Glenn Beck. I bet he'll chew on it a little and spit out some interesting commentary.

Edited to add: See follow-up post here.


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Monday, August 17, 2009

Worst Hiring Rate Ever!

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words (or a few million jobs). To read the accompanying article from National Review Online, click here.
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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Jim Baxter: "Peace is not a cause - it is an effect"

I received a rather profound email today from a gentleman by the name of James Baxter. Mr. Baxter is about 83, I believe. He is a WWII and Korea USMC combat vet, is a "point-man/follower of The Lion of Judah," and he has a great deal of understanding and wisdom to impart, based not only on his life experiences but more importantly on the Word of God.

Mr. Baxter's website is:

The essay James Baxter is presenting as crucial today is entitled ...
"WHAT IS MAN...?" God asks - and answers:

I encourage you to go to the linked essay and read it through. The man has some thought-provoking words of wisdom that apply today like a boxing glove to a fist.

That said, I was especially moved by his email's introduction:

Every September, I recall that is more than half a century (63 years) since I landed at Nagasaki with the 2nd Marine Division in the original occupation of Japan following World War II. This time every year, I have watched and listened to the light-hearted "peaceniks" and their light-headed symbolism-without-substance of ringing bells, flying pigeons, floating candles, and sonorous chanting and I recall again that "Peace is not a cause - it is an effect."

In July, 1945, my fellow 8th RCT Marines [I was an ARman] and I returned to Saipan following the successful conclusion of the Battle of Okinawa. We were issued new equipment and replacements joined each outfit in preparation for our coming amphibious assault on the home islands of Japan.

B-29 bombing had leveled the major cities of Japan, including Kobe, Osaka, Nagoya, Yokohama, Yokosuka, and Tokyo.

We were informed we would land three Marine divisions and six Army divisions, perhaps abreast, with large reserves following us in. It was estimated that it would cost half a million casualties to subdue the Japanese homeland.

In August, the A-bomb was dropped on Hiroshima but the Japanese government refused to surrender. Three days later a second A-bomb was dropped on the city of Nagasaki. The Imperial Japanese government finally surrendered.

Following the 1941 sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, a Japanese admiral said, "I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant..." Indeed, they had. Not surprisingly, the atomic bomb was produced by a free people functioning in a free environment. Not surprisingly because the creative process is a natural human choice-making process and inventiveness occurs most readily where choice-making opportunities abound. America!

Tamper with a giant, indeed! Tyrants, beware: Free men are nature's pit bulls of Liberty! The Japanese learned the hard way what tyrants of any generation should know: Never start a war with a free people - you never know what they may invent!

As a newly assigned member of a U.S. Marine intelligence section, I had a unique opportunity to visit many major cities of Japan, including Tokyo and Hiroshima, within weeks of their destruction. For a full year I observed the beaches, weapons, and troops we would have assaulted had the A-bombs not been dropped. Yes, it would have been very destructive for all, but especially for the people of Japan.

When we landed in Japan, for what came to be the finest and most humane occupation of a defeated enemy in recorded history, it was with great appreciation, thanksgiving, and praise for the atomic bomb team, including the aircrew of the Enola Gay. A half million American homes had been spared the Gold Star flag, including, I'm sure, my own.

Whenever I hear the apologists expressing guilt and shame for A-bombing and ending the war Japan had started (they ignore the cause-effect relation between Pearl Harbor and Nagasaki), I have noted that neither the effete critics nor the puff-adder politicians are among us in the assault landing-craft or the stinking rice paddies of their suggested alternative, "conventional" warfare. Stammering reluctance is obvious and continuous, but they do love to pontificate about the Rights that others, and the Bomb, have bought and preserved for them.

The vanities of ignorance and camouflaged cowardice abound as license for the assertion of virtuous "rights" purchased by the blood of others - those others who have borne the burden and physical expense of Rights whining apologists so casually and self-righteously claim.

At best, these fakers manifest a profound and cryptic ignorance of causal relations, myopic perception, and dull I.Q. At worst, there is a word and description in The Constitution defining those who love the enemy more than they love their own countrymen and their own posterity. Every Yankee Doodle Dandy knows what that word is.

In 1945, America was the only nation in the world with the Bomb and it behaved responsibly and respectfully. It remained so until two among us betrayed it to the Kremlin. Still, this American weapon system has been the prime deterrent to earth's latest model world- tyranny: Seventy years of Soviet collectivist definition, coercion, and domination of individual human beings.

The message is this: Trust Freedom. Remember, tyrants never learn. The restriction of Freedom is the limitation of human choice, and choice is the fulcrum-point of the creative process in human affairs. As earth's choicemaker, it is our human identity on nature's beautiful blue planet and the natural premise of man's free institutions, environments, and respectful relations with one another. Made in the image of our Creator, free men choose, create, and progress - or die.

Free men should not fear the moon-god-crowd oppressor nor choose any of his ways. Recall with a confident Job and a victorious David, "Know ye not you are in league with the stones of the field?"

Semper Fidelis
Jim Baxter
WW II and Korean War
point-man/follower of The Lion of Judah


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"Inside the Revolution" DVD to Be Released September 11

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Fabian Socialists Now in Power and Purposefully Destroying Our Economy

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

"How to Survive the End of the World As We Know It" is a Great Resource Guide

I'm fortunate to have been provided a pre-publication review copy of James Wesley, Rawles' new book, "How to Survive the End of the World As We Know It." The book is due out September 29.

In a nutshell, it's an excellent, well-organized handbook for the thinking man (or woman) who wants to be absolutely ready for uncertain times. Rawles is preeminently known around the world as an expert in many of the related fields surrounding survival in the 21st century. His blog, is number one in an increasingly crowded field, and for good reason.

The man has demonstrated impeccable character and judgment and encyclopedic cognizance through the years. His background and training were years in the making, but his expertise was quickly recognized in his first best-seller, "Patriots, a Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse." Since then, Rawles' blog has exploded in application and acclaim as people struggle to come to terms with a threatening world increasingly discouraging and unfamiliar. In fact, his following is as loyal, respectful, ardent, and eager to contribute as an online audience comes.

In this latest major contribution to the survival genre, Mr. Rawles has put together some of the best advice and guidance for beginners and experts alike that can be found in one place. Can anyone today actually feel in control without having consulted the extensive knowledge base of THE guy who hundreds of thousands of like-minded individuals rely on?

I too am in the field of survival. With a similar background to Jim Wesley, Rawles, my calling was to find a way to get people needed supplies and gear in the most economical and trustworthy ways I could arrange. There are a fast-growing number of people like us who understand that our future will likely call upon people everywhere to fall back on traditional skills and habits and draw upon resources that today most would see as quaint, remote, and even disagreeable. To get a clear view of the future, one should take an unbiased look into the past.

We have built up a complex, fragile society relying upon technologies that literally provide most of the population with crucial life support. Any leg holding up that immense infrastructure that supports modern life can suddenly give way. If that happens, it could bring about a total, irreparable collapse of the whole shootin' match ... in dramatic fashion. We know from events like the Hurricane Katrina aftermath that rescue and rehabilitation initiatives from the great I-AMs in federal high places will be sorely inadequate. Lesson learned--be personally ready or suffer greatly.

I like to give practical gifts away to my customers, friends, and relatives. Sometimes, these gifts are potential life-savers. Eye-opening books such as "How to Survive the End of the World As We Know It" are perhaps the most popular and well-received gifts I give away. I know this title will change some lives, so I already have my initial order in for several dozen copies. That is the best way I can express my appreciation and endorsement for a product--and this book is worthy.
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Sunday, August 09, 2009

Public Discourse Ultimately Being Fanned Into an Inferno?

In the last week or so, we have all been watching the media reports and YouTube videos clearly detailing the anger and frustration being brought to a boil in America.

The health care debate and the way it is being fast-tracked by congress is seen potentially as an emotional tipping point for a majority of the U.S. population. Hard-working, law-abiding citizens had been stunned incredulous up to this point by the arrogance of an over-the-top control-grab and series of financial misappropriations by the new sheriff in town.

But the wake-up call has been sounded.

Tempers everywhere on all sides are quickly ascending to levels not seen in a long time in most circles. It's more than just political gamesmanship. The personal, class, and ethnic accusations and contempt going around and around are stoking the flames to a point where you know something is going to have to happen soon to release building pressure.

In the past, government officials have largely succeeded in managing and venting similar polemics before they blew out of control. This time however, the barrage of confrontational issues on the sensibilities and values of traditional America seem to be obviously contrived and directed by certain political leaders to bring about conflagration.

Those pumping the bellows are not backing away. And there are plenty of anxious, angry, and hateful manipulatees getting motivated by the tense dynamic.
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Sunday, August 02, 2009

Dehydrating the Harvest is a Snap

This spring I wrote a blog entry or two about our new vegetable garden. A LOT of people around the country are gardening for the first time in years, and in our case, it was our first bonafide garden in about 25 years!

That long period of down time did not mean that we were going to be tentative about jumping back into the dirt. Our new garden was to end up bigger than I initially figured I should try. It was carefully and lovingly designed and prepared. And yes, I invested more money than made obvious sense (figuring that through the years ahead, those investments in a new tiller, tools, bird netting, and fencing WOULD be looking better and better).

We planted all organic, non-hybrid varieties, used organic techniques through the summer, and tried to keep up with the weeding (to varying degrees of success), watering, and harvesting.

One of the better decisions I think we made along the way was to go with dehydrating most of our crops. This decision was the best available option since we have a newer model glass-top stove. The stove manufacturer recommends not to use it for canning as it may break the glass-top. So I purchased an Excalibur Dehydrator and have become quite enamored with it.

Bottom line--a first-rate food dehydrator makes relatively quick work of putting away the harvest. The dried food is lightweight, takes up little space, and stores for years in a cold dark area if you keep air and light away from the food.

I just came across this excellent article on dehydrating food (with some talk about canning as well). If you are new to gardening this year or have not dried your crop before--read and enjoy: "Dry it. You'll like it!" by Jerry Cook.
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Saturday, August 01, 2009

Peter Schiff: "Happy Days Aren't Here Again"

If you are overly exposed to the pre-programmed media, it's time to recalibrate ...

Happy Days Aren't Here Again

by Peter Schiff, Euro Pacific Capital | July 31, 2009

Have you heard the great news? The recession is over! It’s true; I saw it on TV. Why fret about growing unemployment lines when banks are paying big-time bonuses again?

Proof of the turn was apparently revealed by the 2nd quarter GDP figures that showed that the economy declined by only 1%. After four consecutive quarters of negative GDP, the green shoots now assume that growth will resume over the summer. But before we pop the corks, it may be worthwhile to ask, “what really has changed, and what is responsible for our new lease on life?”

In truth, because of the continued profligacy of the government and Federal Reserve, the imbalances that caused the current recession have actually worsened. We are now in an even deeper hole than when the crisis began. Rather than wrapping up a recession, we are actually sinking into a depression. If things look better now, it’s just because we are in the eye of the storm.

We must remember that recessions inevitably follow periods of artificial growth. During these booms, malinvestments are made which ultimately must be liquidated during the ensuing busts. In short, mistakes made during booms are corrected during busts – and in the recent boom we made some real whoppers. We borrowed and spent too much money, bought goods we couldn’t afford, built houses we couldn’t carry, and developed a service sector economy completely dependent on consumer credit and rising asset prices. All the while, we allowed our industrial base to crumble and our infrastructure to decay.

In order to lay the foundation for real and lasting recovery, market forces must be allowed to repair the damage. However, current policy is counterproductive to this end. Trillions in stimulus dollars have kept the party going, but now what? How does deficit spending by the government address the problems that brought about the crash? It doesn’t; it just delays and worsens the hangover – and we have to hope we don’t die of alcohol poisoning.

By interfering with the unpleasant forces of the recession, we simply trade short-term gain for long-term pain. By propping up inefficient companies that should fail, we deprive more effective companies of the capital they need to grow. By holding up over-valued asset prices, we prevent the prudent or less well-off from snatching them up and, in doing so, creating a new price equilibrium based upon reality. By maintaining artificially low interest rates, we discourage the very savings that are so critical to capital formation and future economic growth. In addition, the false economic signals the Fed sends the market prevent a more efficient re-allocation of resources from taking place and leads to even more bad economic decision being made. By running such huge deficits, we further crowd-out private enterprise by making it harder for businesses to invest or hire.

The recently passed “cash for clunkers” program (currently on-hold, as it ran out of funding in one week) is a perfect example of how government policy can make the economy worse. By incentivizing Americans to destroy fully paid-for cars so they can go deeper into debt buying brand new ones, the government weakens an already crippled economy. The last thing we want to do is subsidize Americans to go deeper into debt by buying more stuff. Don’t they realize that is precisely the behavior that got us into this mess?

Think about it this way. If your friend were in trouble because he had too much debt, would you encourage him to take on even more? Wouldn’t a real sign of progress be a reduction of debt, even if he had to cut back on his everyday expenses? What is true for an individual is also true for a collection of individuals, even if they call themselves a ‘government.’ If, as a country, we are even deeper into debt now than we were before, we are worse off. Period. The fact that the additional debt enabled better short-term GDP numbers is a long-term negative.

Since we have learned nothing from past mistakes, we are condemned to repeat them. As if we have not already suffered enough as a consequence of the Bush/Greenspan stimulus, Obama/Bernanke are giving ever larger doses, which will prove lethal to any recovery. The recession is over; long live the depression!

Copyright © 2009 Peter Schiff
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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

'Before the Fall' Sale - 18-can Mountain House kits PLUS 33%-Off Add-ons

Years ago, Safecastle emerged online doing special Mountain House group buys--especially 3-case variety packs. The popularity of those 18-can / 18-variety kits has never waned.

This year's special buy, for which we purchased the most popular Mountain House freeze-dried varieties and sorted them into 3-case kits, is now underway.

But there is much more ...

This year, we are expanding the sale and calling it the "Before the Fall" sale. Suffice it to say, we believe it is critical right now that we are all as prepared as we can be. Just for this sale, we have added some new products and selected some other very important popular items and posted them at 33% discounts for anyone and everyone who purchases at least one 3-case Mountain House kit. You do not need to be a buyers club member to take advantage of this.

And remember--everything always ships free to the lower 48!

Check it out ... act decisively ... be ready.

Buy at Least One 3-Case MH Kit at $553.96 and Opt for Any or All of These Items for $335.00 Each ...
  • The brand new Safecastle QUEST Mission Rig, available in hard case or soft case, contains an array of must-have resources if you are to feel ready to deal with either day-to-day challenges or major crises that may befall you. Examples: first-aid gear to include a pouch of CELOX hemostatic agent, a K8 Nuke Safeguard Mini Alarm, a Streamlight Scorpion xenon-bulb lithium-battery flashlight, and much more.
  • A unique and complete, award-winning collection of survival DVDs by expert Ron Hood, including his Woodsmaster and Urban Master series.
  • A four-case Yoders wet-pack meats assortment of your choosing out of these available options: Beef, Ground Beef, Chicken, Pork, Pork Sausage, Turkey and an assorted variety case.
  • The hospital-grade HAZARiD decontamination kit / Venus Gas Mask bundle. The HAZARiD is just about the best tool available to protect your household or business from infectious dangers such as mold, staph bacteria, flu viruses, and mildew. The Venus Gas Mask is an excellent, reliable, NBC-grade mask with a very comfortable fit.
You may opt for any, all, or none of the 33% off add-ons when you purchase a Mountain House 3-case variety pack. (If you just want an add-on, but not the Mountain House package, be advised that buyers club members do get 20% off the list prices for those items in our store!)

Quantities are limited. Act quickly.
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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Most Important Steps to Calamity Preps

A quick follow-up to Monday's post, "Various Brands of Violence in the Queue" ...

If we assume that some grand combination of circumstances will soon inflict a macro-chaotic dynamic upon our reality, then it follows we are now in the mode of doing our utmost to complete our preparations for potential societal upheaval.

This is not to say that we are packing up all our belongings and heading for the hills, calling up the boss (or not) and quitting our jobs, or even bolting down the hatch from inside the backyard bunker.

Life will go on ... before the worst happens, if it does ... as well as during the worst and afterwards too. The whole objective of preparedness is to be able to deal with it, no matter what the future holds. That means, don't run before the balloon goes up. Likewise, it would almost always be a bad idea to razor-wire the perimeter and fire potshots at trespassers (at least until the need becomes more than obvious).

Seriously--what you SHOULD be doing right now if you believe there is a fair chance of social calamity in your neck of the woods at some point soon, in the simplest terms possible ...

  • Get thee arms and ammunition. Take training and get familiar with your weapons. If you have kids, keep the weapons safely out of reach from those curious, busy hands. My personal favorite for safe but quick-access handgun storage is the Gun Vault. My guess is most folks are squared away with guns and ammo by now.
  • Although some of my peers say the weapons are priority number one in prepping for major crisis, I believe having adequate stocks of storable, useable food (not to mention seeds) is more important. In this same area, we need to assure we have the ability to independently access and purify water. If you can hole up and provide yourself with food and water for an extended period of time, you create the smallest target and minimize your vulnerability. Of course, you do want to be able to secure and defend your area of operations.
  • Just as important, if not most important of all (and yet probably the task most ignored by those who prepare) is the need to bond with others in your community. You should be talking with neighbors and others you trust who live fairly close about contingencies and how you can each contribute to a cooperative survival effort should local emergency services and commercial enterprises fail to any degree. Senseless and desperate acts of violence WILL be a reaction to worst-case systemic failure in our modern, entitled society. Few if any can really expect to be able to endure alone a violent upheaval in our communities. On the other hand, those who cooperate to support and defend each other, who trust each other, who share resources and capabilities--they are the ones who will do OK.
In my business, I do have the opportunity to interact with small groups who are coming to these same conclusions. These are not militant survivalists with compounds in the wilderness. These are neighborhood, family, and church-based groups all over the USA. They are making common-sense preparations for food shortages, energy crises, and now economic collapse.

It's the absolute smartest thing any of us can be doing today--building good relationships with those around us so that if and when push comes to shove, we actually know who we can turn to for help.
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Monday, July 20, 2009

Various Brands of Violence in the Queue

In this blog I typically try to blunt the thorniest alarmism, attempt to moderate the crescendos of the most craven pessimists, and strive to sooth those giving in to panic in the face of the media's disaster-of-the-week scenarios.

Admittedly today, temperance in conduct and expression is really but a quaint effort at historical re-enactment.

Still, the bottom line for me day in and day out is that preparedness is about peace of mind. Yep, bad things happen every day to someone out there. I aim to help folks who want to be ready for their turn on the rack.

As Ugly as You Are Willing to Admit

However, of late, I have been sparring with and sometimes retreating from visions of the future that seem to be as dangerous as one can come to grips with in advance of a fearful new dawn.

With each passing day and the advent of weightier repercussions of past governmental misdeeds, not to mention a subnormal executive and legislative approach to crisis management, I see fewer and fewer possible escape routes for America's good citizens.

Disaster resulting in immense pain and suffering at the hands of vile evil seems to be bearing down on us from any number of directions.

Am I predicting calamity? I don't know. It really doesn't matter what I think is going to happen. I can say this much with certainty ... there are so many malignancies, villains, and stooges on the stage, chaos may be the best we can hope for.

Violent Outcomes

What might be playing at your neighborhood soon? I suspect it will be different for each locale over time. Possibilities you might want to mull over for purposes of personal defense planning ...

1. Opportunistic crime - I believe we are seeing increases already in the number of individuals "snapping," failing to endure increasing economic hardships and the stresses that brings on. The result is more folks committing violent crimes of passion and desperation. Of course, we also have our core group of 20% of the population who have no morals to begin with and who are always on the prowl. But now we've got an enlarging subset of "victims" eventually frantic to turn the tables, lashing out at innocent bystanders--sometimes with tragic effect.

2. Organized crime - Gangs are and have been a growth industry in America for many years. Illegal immigration has played a part in bringing the worst from various cultures to our land of opportunity. Law enforcement efforts in this area are too little and getting less daily, due to shrinking budgetary boundaries and ever more charitable legal protections for the guilty. Moreover, as legitimate avenues to personal growth and/or survival dry up for young people, gang affiliation becomes the only real option. In the business of blood and intimidation, fear feeds the beast. This monster is only beginning to emerge given the conditions of the new dysfunctional economy.

3. Ethnic and political polarities - Who do you trust in times of real crisis? Family probably. Longtime neighbors and friends. Members of your congregation ... maybe. In a real pinch, others who look and talk like you. But when bullets fly, those who aren't wearing your brand of camo or speaking your lingo are not likely to easily gain your trust. In times of trouble, politics and ethnicity are quick differentiators. It's possible that terror operatives (or other scoundrels) today could work this angle, especially taking advantage of economic depression. If political upheaval or ethnic unrest erupts, and if frustrations are already widespread and emotions are high, well ... things can and will quickly get out of control.

4. Governmental intrusions and heavy-handedness - This is already a bone of contention and a rallying cry for a growing number of Americans. It is not reassuring to learn that the current administration's leaders, our nation's top law enforcement officials, and military training commands are characterizing law-abiding Americans as dangerous and presumably in need of some kind of re-indoctrination. Those of us who exercise various traditional rights of expression and political choice, who are knowledgeable and appreciative of the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights, or are religious adherents who believe in God, and even military veterans who have been willing to sacrifice themselves for this country--all have been openly painted as being potentially dangerous extremists. Clearly, the Second Amendment to the Constitution, which protects our right to keep and bear arms has held back a radical wave of power-hungry bureaucrats at this point. It certainly has not been the judiciary that has been an obstacle. Watch this very carefully. There is a growing, vocal mass of Americans who are at least making noises like they will not put up with much more. I have to think there is "explosive" potential here for violent acts, IF righteous cause for collective outrage surfaces.

5. War - None of the above really compares to this last category of catastrophic oppression. That is, a military attack on the United States by a well-equipped enemy. Technologies and weapon systems of immense power and impact are proliferating through the world. In years gone by, America held a position of superior strength. We maintained an unpopular position among many as we took on the responsibility of global cop when no one else was willing or able to step in to keep regional differences or difficulties from becoming a conflagration. Today, a new America has apparently relinquished that role. Sure, we're trying to mop up (or who knows what is really going on) in Afghanistan. But obviously there is now a void in the world in that regard and we are in fact embracing those who aim to destroy us. Our shields are being lowered as a show of misguided trust and friendship. Or perhaps even as a willful surrender to other political entities. Will new or traditional enemies move in to take advantage? Will foreign militaries come in unopposed and violently disarm America, occupy us, and neutralize us as a force for justice and fair opportunity? I for one, believe that this could easily be our fate, and it may be at our doorstep sooner than later. If it happens, we cannot expect any kind of mercy at the hands of our conquerors. It will be a nightmare that no one will awaken from.

Toxic violence in our streets is already a given. It's real. It's ugly. It's tragic. But it can and probably will get worse. Chances are strong that near-term or within the next few years, at least some of us are going to have to deal with some very different circumstances in life.

Think it through now. It's change you better believe in.
Get Ready ... Seriously -

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Important Read: "Boomers-Winter is Coming"

The article linked below provides an excellent perspective on where we are presently in ongoing, historical global cycles. This commentary by James Quinn leans heavily on Strauss & Howe's "Fourth Turning," while framing it in the timely context of today's headlines. Mr. Quinn is a senior director of strategic planning for a major university.

Spend a half an hour reading through this and you will be far better equipped to prepare for what lies immediately ahead:
Get Ready ... Seriously -

Sunday, July 12, 2009

A Word from One of Our Sponsors ...

Actually, a public service reminder about a topic central to our nation's history and its future ...

Saturday, July 11, 2009

New Preparedness Products Available Now, and More Coming Soon

Busy times here at Safecastle world headquarters. New products, a new website in the works, and of course a continuing upward demand trend for preparedness products of all kinds are keeping me hopping.

You don't need me to point out that world "leaders" seem to be content flushing their citizens all down into the tank, while they nobly endeavor to remedy the situation for a select chosen few.

Times are not going to be getting better, folks. The best advice being offered out there these days is to get your loved ones and households situated for some needy years ahead. I'm not disposed to scare-mongering and indeed am an optimistic sort generally. But I have not found anyone anywhere of late singing "Don't Worry, Be Happy." Have you?

We're doing our best to give our members and friends the best offerings we can swing. Our biggest challenge today is with suppliers who are often out of stock of certain items--often for lengthy times. The biggest reasons? ... supply lines, international manufacture and transport difficulties--the general domino effect that takes place when the global economy is claiming victims everywhere on a daily basis. So we continue to adjust for those hiccups as they occur. The good news is that our biggest selling products and primary products line suppliers are continuing to deliver in reliable fashion. If and when we become aware of supply issues with a given product, we remove them from our site immediately.

All that said, we ARE very excited about some new developments around here. New products already listed and also others in the pipeline, as well as a much-improved buyers club website that should be launched in the mid-August timeframe are what I'm here to tell you about today.

New Products at Safecastle Royal

This week we added several new listings to our store, including ...

Around the Corner

We've got more product offerings in the works. A couple of them I want to mention here ...

  • A brand new Safecastle "Quest Mission Rig" -- a quality, pre-assembled resource bag that you'll want to have with you most anywhere you go, especially in times of crisis.
  • A line of bicycle cargo trailers that, down the road, just may prove to be one the better small investments in our future any of us make today. In fact, when we are able to make those available, we plan to put together a little sale, offering package deals for those trailers and our ever-popular Montague folding bikes.

More News

We are going to have to raise our membership fee a bit when we launch the new website. Of course that does not affect any current members since the one-time fee members paid was/is good for a lifetime. But new members will need to pay a bit more for their memberships. If you know anyone who might want to join, give them a heads-up that now is the time.

Finally, I just want to refer you to a few great survival-related resources that we support and frequent, and that you will find helpful in your own personal preparedness and awareness efforts:

Stay safe!
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Get Ready ... Seriously -

Friday, July 03, 2009

Roubini Warning of Double-Dip Recession--Things are Worsening

Sage economist Nouriel Roubini has been one of very few economists on the planet in front of the global economic crisis for the last couple of years.

Heed his warnings or suffer the consequences.

His most recent posting linked below is particularly eye-opening. It is clearly enunciated and spelled out to reach everyone from the technical investor pacing in his penthouse to those enduring in their cul-de-sac rambler through the unfolding catastrophe ...

U.S. Job Report Suggests that Green Shoots are Mostly Yellow Weeds
Get Ready ... Seriously -