More on poppies, budget tactical flashlights, and AR vs. AK

by Evan on May 17, 2010

In today’s edition of the Urban Survival Newsletter, I’m going to
talk briefly about some unintended consequences of the healthcare
bill that were announced today, cover a little more on poppies,
tell you about a tactical flashlight you can buy for under $8!
and point you to a great AR vs. AK resource.

I’ve had quite a bit of feedback on Wednesday’s newsletter about
using the current focus on healthcare as a spark to get more
self-reliant when it comes to medical and trauma self-care.
Again…regardless of your political beliefs, PLEASE use this
opportunity to become more prepared.

If you haven’t read Wednesday’s newsletter yet, it’s posted at:

I’ve also added some of the emails that I received back as
comments after the article…good stuff. We’re making it easier
for you to join the conversation, so let me know what you think
while you’re there.

One of the biggest questions I received was on poppies. What
kind? Where to get? Tell me more!

The seeds themselves are cheap, legal, and you probably actually
eat them a few times a month (think ‘poppy seed bread’) and you
can buy them MANY places, including local nurseries, and You want to search for one particular variety,
called “Papaver somniferum.” There are SEVERAL really pretty
color options within that variety.

As you can probably imagine, a LOT of the literature surrounding
poppies come from the “drug culture”, “hippie culture”, and
“far-out culture.” That being said, one book that you might want to get is,
“Opium for the Masses.” You can find it on Amazon at

Again, I am not advocating illegal drug use, harvesting, or
processing…Several of my friends and some close relatives
are in law enforcement and they risk their lives fighting illegal
drug use. I’m simply including this as something for you to
consider if you are concerned about a long-term complete
breakdown in civil order. In fact, one rule of thumb that you
could follow is that you shouldn’t harvest or process the sap
from the poppy unless things have broken down so completely that
you feel comfortable asking local law enforcement to guard your
garden and come over to help you harvest.

If you want to really get into the botanical specifics, like the
specific variety, soil type, plant spacing, fertilizer, and other
techniques for optimum morphine yield, check out:

We’re planting some this year. They’re really nice flowers to
look at and I don’t want to wait until I NEED the skill to learn
it. Who knows…we may even bake a couple batches of poppie seed

Healthcare=phone surcharges?

Amazingly enough, we’re already getting fallout from the passing
of the healthcare bill…AT&T announced today that it will take a
$1 BILLION charge for THIS QUARTER because of changes to the
Medicare-subsidy tax treatment. We can expect similar
announcements from most major companies and we can expect all of
these costs to get passed on to the consumer. Look for these
charges to start showing up on our receipts as “surcharge” fees
and higher prices across the board. In other words, your dollar
is about to get devalued…If you’ve been waiting to stock up on
essentials, I think now would be a good time.

CHEAP tactical flashlights:

My amazing wife found a tactical flashlight this week that is
affordable AND pretty darn cool. She found it at Costco, of all
places! They’re currently selling 2 for $15. It has a low, high
(160 lumen) and strobe setting. It’s not as high quality as my
Surefire lights, but I can afford to buy a few of these so I have
good backups to my Surefires and so I can have more tactical
lights handy. I’m going to be doing a video review of it this
week…including dropping and throwing it to see what damage it
will take. I’ll let people know on and when I post it and I’ll include a link
in next week’s newsletter.

AR vs. AK?

If you’ve been thinking about buying a high-caliber rifle, but
have been torn between an AR or an AK, buy both. (Joking
GIJeff has written a great piece about his experiences with the
two systems and how he purchased both at VERY reasonable prices.
To read it, head on over to Jeff’s blog at

Until Next Week,

David Morris

P.S. If you haven’t signed up for the Urban
Survival Course, you really need to. In addition to covering
alternatives to prescription medications, we go over improvised
trauma strategies, and tactical considerations you need to know
before you are forced into a survival situation. To see the
complete course description, please go to

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Vote -1 Vote +1Evan
May 18, 2010 at 2:51 pm

Somehow I don’t believe I am getting all of your email letters. I did not
receive a Wednesday email. Can you help ? I check my spam box but there is
nothing there


Vote -1 Vote +1Evan
May 18, 2010 at 2:52 pm

Long story short, email is not really all that reliable for emails to a large audience. It’s safe to say that 500-1000 subscribers miss every newsletter I send out.

One thing you can do is add to your email address book. This will tell some email providers that you REALLY want the email to come through…otherwise, companies like Yahoo “throttle” emails to their users.

The best way around this is to follow me on twitter (, facebook (

We’ll be adding RSS options as soon as we figure out how to do it on VBulletin.



Vote -1 Vote +1Evan
May 18, 2010 at 2:51 pm

I really enjoy your emails, David!
Your practical approach to this subject keeps us relaxed and your humor hits right on time.
Keep up the great writing!



Vote -1 Vote +1Evan
May 18, 2010 at 2:51 pm

Read it twice. Thanks


Vote -1 Vote +1Evan
May 18, 2010 at 2:51 pm


In reference to the Costco tactical flashlights – I bought a pair and really like them except for the fact that the power switch is ultra sensitive. I normally wear cargo pants and carry my flashlight in one of the cargo pockets. I have never had a problem with my end cap lights coming on in my pocket – at least until now. The switch is so sensitive that I have had the light come on in my pocket several times. And with the hi output power of these lights it doesn’t take long for the batteries to go dead. I have been meaning to write the company about this problem, but I just haven’t done it yet. Bottom line is I have gone back to my Leatherman flashlight (which I also got at Costco!) even thou it is stainless steel and much heavier. If you come up with a fix for the switch let me know.


PS I really appreciate the info you put out.


Vote -1 Vote +1Evan
May 18, 2010 at 2:51 pm

Oh my God, David!

We taxpayers were subsidizing AT&T, with its $30 billion in profits every year, to the tune of $1 billion dollars!!! How did that happen? My phone bill is sky high and we tax payers were paying a part of their employee benefits???

Wow. Who cut that deal? $30 billion a year in profits is more than enough to pay all your bills. Now, with healthcare reform, they’ll have to survive on $29 billion.

Lucky their stock went up by nine cents today with this announcement. It won’t take them long to raise the extra cash.

I would have never researched this had it not been for your newsletter. You might have included a little more fact in your rendering of this tale (and I thought you really liked facts.)

Here’s more detail below. Liberal or conservative, people just want the truth. Line yourself up on that side and you have integrity no matter what the political people are doing.



Vote -1 Vote +1Evan
May 18, 2010 at 2:52 pm

(Copyrighted material was included in original email…I can’t include it here.)

Thanks for your email, G. (name withheld)

You’re right…we were/are subsidizing AT&T, and hundreds of other companies who include Medicare and Social Security in their retirement projections for their employees. I depth into this point because, while it IS the truth, it wouldn’t have done anything other than make people angry.

The intent of my newsletter was/is to get people to take action…IMMEDIATELY! There are plenty of sources of information that get their audiences all riled up and frothing at the mouth with no way to respond, and I just don’t want to use the newsletter for that purpose. Frankly, most people are already riled up and just want to figure out how to help their families survive what’s coming.

The other reason that I didn’t frame the argument as the taxpayers subsidizing AT&T is that in reality, we aren’t just subsidizing AT&T…we’re subsidizing every person who uses Medicare. AT&T simply based their retirement plans on what the government promised…when the government went back on their promise, AT&T filled in the gap for their retireees and is going to take a loss as a result.

Also, I need to clarify that there is a difference between REVENUE and PROFIT. You stated that AT&T has $30 Billion a year in PROFITS, but the very article that you referenced stated that the company has QUARTERLY REVENUES of $30 Billion. That would be like agreeing to buy an ice cream stand that has $200 in sales per day without finding out what the expenses are.

In reality, the $1 Billion chargeoff amounted to 1/3 of their profit. Any company or individual that has their bottom line (take home pay) cut by 1/3 is going to feel pain and pass that pain on in the form of spending less (individuals) or by passing costs on to the consumer (companies).

Finally, what’s wrong with AT&T providing a service that people choose to buy and then making a profit and increasing the value of millions of individual’s IRA’s, Pensions, 401(k)s, and stock accounts?

I HOPE AT&T is able to provide a service that people want at a price people are willing to pay and still be able to increase the value of every retirement account in the country that holds an index fund or AT&T stock.

Regardless of what you or I think, the end result is the same…the government backed out on paying a promised entitlement that was a sham to begin with, companies structured pensions based on the government keeping it’s word, our taxes aren’t going to go down as a result of less money being paid out (per person), and stuff that we buy is going to cost more.


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