Domestic terrorists, Twitter & OPSEC, Volcanoes & air quality

by Evan on May 17, 2010

Welcome to this week’s Urban Survival Newsletter.

We’re going to briefly touch on the FBI’s stance on domestic terrorism and a few of the groups that they’re identifying as domestic terrorists. I’ll also give you a quick update on OPSEC and Twitter, take a look at a lesson on air quality that we can glean from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano eruption in Iceland, and link you to an article about how the fear of paperwork & lawyers can kill you.

FBI & Domestic Terrorists:

Talk about opening a can of worms. I’m not sure if there are too many other topics that preppers are more sensitive about than government databases, the fear of illegal confiscation & seizure of assets, and being put on dreaded “lists” and labeled as an extremist.

I’m not going to talk a lot about this today, but I am going to direct you to 3 SHORT articles that the FBI has on their website about what they say publically about the groups of people that they consider domestic terror threats.
I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised—there are no cracks about returning soldiers/marines being a threat, people who agree with the Constitution being a threat, or people who own a Bible being a threat like we’ve see from some other government organizations recently:

Although this could change, right now FBI agents take an oath to defend the Constitution and I feel that preppers and survivalists in general face a MUCH greater threat from these groups than from the FBI. There’s no doubt that this could change in the future as the leadership and staff cycle out. I pray that it doesn’t.

I’m friends with a handful of current and former FBI agents. There are others who have gone through the course to get their family up to speed on preparedness. They are in no way representative of everyone who works for the FBI, but they are all guys that I would want near me in a post disaster breakdown in civil order. They’ve got families, kids, and pets. I’ve drank beers with them, talked guns and training with them, and shared concerns about the future with them. In fact, if you look at the guys I know and take away their FBI titles, they look pretty much exactly like Mr. & Mrs. Suburban Prepper.

Don’t get me wrong…I’m not saying that the FBI is perfect. Like any organization of more than 10 people, they’ve got employees who think that ordinary people aren’t capable of being mature and responsible.

Oh…and personally, I don’t like ANYONE knowing ANYTHING more than necessary about me. (You’d be surprised at how difficult it is to write these newsletters without saying more about myself than I want to.) That includes the very FBI that my friends work for.

I willingly, although reluctantly, fill out insta-check forms when I buy guns, and I’ve submitted fingerprints for a dozen or more FBI background checks through the years for getting and renewing various licenses, but I always feel a little “dirty” when I do…like I’m being forced to get intimate with a stranger. My friends who get polygraphed regularly for their clearances tell me they feel the same thing. It’s just not a comfortable feeling to share personal information with someone you’re not choosing to be intimate with.

My personal approach to the whole situation is to encourage my friends who work for the FBI so that they know their Constitutional approach is appreciated. I also support candidates and organizations who fight for Constitutional laws in Washington. In the meantime, I answer their questions truthfully.

Do you work for or with the FBI? Have you had any experiences with the FBI that other law-abiding preppers would benefit from knowing about? If so, let me know by replying to this email or posting your comments below. You can post anonymously by simply leaving the username as “Unregistered”

OPSEC (Operational Security) and Twitter

This week the Library of Congress acquired the entire Twitter archive. Almost everyone reading this newsletter knows that posting too much information on Twitter and other social media sites makes it very easy for potential thieves to identify you, your assets, and your weaknesses. You should have no expectation that you own or control anything that you put on a social media site.

This announcement should simply serve as a warning and as a reminder to be VERY careful about what you put online. As I say in the Urban Survival Course, you need to assume that everything you put online will never go away and can and will be used against you in dating, interviews, and court for the rest of your life.

Eyjafjallajokull Volcano

Eyjafjallajokull Volcano blasted TONS of ash into the air on Wednesday shutting down air travel over all of Britain, Ireland, and Scotland and Northern Europe, negatively affecting air quality for residents.

This brings up two points that I want to mention:

1.     While the Eyjafjallajokull eruption doesn’t appear to have the potential to have a global effect on climate, the neighboring Katla volcano does. Katla is much larger and has erupted shortly after Eyjafjallajokull in the past. A major Katla eruption could easily shoot dust high enough into the atmosphere to cause global cooling of a few degrees. This isn’t anything to worry about. It’s just another validation for your decision to become more self reliant and prepared for disasters.

2.    The air quality issue reminded me of something I’ve wanted to mention for a few months. In a long term breakdown in civil order, you can count on air quality dropping considerably. For one, people won’t have the money to maintain their cars as well as they do today. An even bigger consideration is that if just 10% of the houses in a city decide to start using their fireplace for heat and/or cooking, we’re going to see a HUGE drop in air quality. Probably not enough to have a big effect solar systems or gardens, but it will be noticeable for breathing.

Paperwork and Attorneys CAN kill you

Retired Police Officer B Luedeman has written a great article on how fear of paperwork and attorneys can kill you. To read it, go here:

Henre’ Neville has also written a very grounded article on gold. If you have gold/silver or are thinking about buying some, you should read his article here:

A 4.9 earthquake hit as I was writing this!

Talk about ironic. Last week I mentioned how Utah averages 700 earthquakes a year, even though few are ever felt. I am back in Salt Lake City this week and as I was finishing up the newsletter a 4.9 earthquake hit. Definitely not “the big one” but it did feel like I was sitting in one of those massage chairs from Brookstone. As a bonus, we used it as a great opportunity to review our post-disaster meet-up planning.

Volcanoes, Earthquakes, EMPs, Terrorist attacks, Economic collapse…why are you getting prepared? The Urban Survival Course covers them all, but let me know your particular concerns by posting your comments below. Again, to post anonymously, simply leave the username as “Unregistered”.

Until next week,

David Morris

P.S. Yes, I sell stuff to help you get prepared. Just like with TV, radio, and newspapers, this free weekly newsletter is supported by paid advertisements. In this case, it’s supported by my own products. In case you didn’t know what all I offer, here’s a quick summary:

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