This weekend is Memorial Day weekend. I’m so thankful to all of you who served our country, and thankful to those of you who lost friends and loved ones in the service of our country.
We’re doing something special for Memorial Day that I’ll tell you about in a minute, but first…
On Saturday, we had another massive tornado go through a populated area. This time it was Joplin Missouri and there were 124 fatalities and 8,000 buildings destroyed. Although we’ve had a very bad run of fatalities from tornadoes this year, we’ve only had 100 so far this month when the average for May over the last 10 years is 298. In any case, our thoughts and prayers go out to those affected.
I want to quickly touch on one of the things you should consider if you have preparedness supplies and live in tornado country. Caches. I’m doing a series of articles on caching in my monthly print newsletter called the Lamplighter Report. In short, if there’s a chance of your house getting completely wiped out by a tornado (or other disaster), you might want to think about keeping some of your preparedness supplies away from your home.
This could be as simple as keeping some in a cellar, at your work if you own a business, at a relative’s house, or in a storage unit. You do have more risk of loss because of having more locations, but you lower the chances of being completely wiped out by a single event. To learn more and get signed up for the Lamplighter Report, go to www.LamplighterReport.com.
“You may all go to hell…I’m going to Texas” (Davy Crockett after losing a reelection bid to the US House as a representative from Tennessee.)
Texas as a state and Texans as individuals have always had an ornery streak. They are rugged individualists, don’t want other people telling them how to live their lives and, in the spirit of the Alamo, are willing to take up a righteous fight no matter how bad the odds.
This week marked a sad event in the battle between states trying to preserve individual and state’s rights and the Federal Government. I want to give you a brief overview of this and let you know why I see it being important for people concerned about preparedness.
The Texas Legislature had a bill that would fine TSA agents up to $4,000 and jail time for groping passengers in airports in the name of security. It passed the state House, but died a death of expiration when the Justice Department threatened to cancel all commercial flights out of Texas if the bill passed.
Wow! It’s bizarre. Simply bizarre.
The DOJ threatened to shut down air transportation from the 14th largest economy in the world because they are attempting to defend their citizens from having their 4th amendment rights violated by a government entity.
You probably already know, but here’s the back story. TSA reserves the right to do one or more full body hand patdowns if you refuse to go through one of their backscatter x-ray machines. They can go inside your undergarments, touch breasts, and “touch your junk.” Many think that this crude, rude, and unnecessary treatment is simply a way to punish people who don’t want to go through the back scatter machines.
These machines were first tested in 2006 & 2007 and officially deployed at 11 US airports in early 2010 and have raised both safety and privacy concerns. There are now hundreds of them around the country and it’s hard to avoid them.
Many people in forums wax eloquently about how outrageous the machines are and how they are no longer going to fly because of them. Personally, I wonder if ANY of the people saying they’ll never fly again flew anywhere in the first place.
My income has depended on flying multiple trips and several thousand miles a month for years. There isn’t a viable option for myself or others who travel often…which means that we simply have to suck it up and take the abuse if we want to travel back and forth across the country. It’s not fun. I really dislike flying now and constantly wondering whether or not I’m going to be treated like a criminal or not when approaching airport security.
Osama had to be laughing right up until the bullet that shut down his central nervous system wiped the smile off his face about how much he was able to disrupt our day-to-day lives. We’re almost 10 years after he spent less than $500,000 to pull off the 9/11 attacks and the effects are compounding rather than easing over time. The fact that Al Qaeda can cause me, and other law abiding first responder/sheepdogs so much frustration and discomfort has been a huge victory for them.
**Important note to all of the 9/11 and Osama conspiracy believers…you may be right, you may be wrong, but if civil order breaks down and/or the dollar crashes, one of the few things that’s going to matter is whether or not you’re prepared, which is why I focus on preparedness and not conspiracy theories. Not to say that I don’t like or agree with some conspiracies…I just don’t want them to distract from preparedness issues and questions.**
Back to the pat downs…they’ve been ridiculous. Babies get patted down. At least one TSA agent has been caught on a camera phone with their hands down a young girl’s panties. At least one lady had her breasts exposed in front of other passengers. TSA’s response? Laughter, joking, and comments about how they’d have to watch the video later on. They paid for that one with a legal settlement, but it didn’t get rid of the underlying problem.
If the pat-downs are really as vital as TSA says they are, then I’m completely baffled at why we haven’t had numerous airline hijackings between 2001 and when they started increasing the number of pat downs over the last year or so.
Finally, Texas had enough and decided to stand up for the rights of their citizens and fight the TSA on it…and they got crushed.
The battle between Texas and the Federal Government has intensified since Perry threatened to invoke Texas’ right to secede in 2009 when he said, “There’s absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that.”
Since then, the Federal Government, and Obama in particular, have actively engaged in a campaign to punish Texas for daring to believe that the state and their people have Constitutional rights.
- The U.S. Department of Education denied Texas’ application for $830 million in funding because they decided that Texas needed to have stricter requirements than the other 49 states. In an incredible twist of irony, the representative that added the amendment that created the additional requirement was from Texas. The amendment
- FEMA denied Texas’ request for disaster assistance after 2.2 million acres burned in wildfires this spring. Obama added to the snub by refusing to fly over the damage and asking instead that Governor Perry fly out to El Paso to join him at a grand-standing event.
- The EPA is considering adding the sagebrush lizard to the endangered species list and declaring the Permian Basin in west Texas as their habitat. This would shut down oil drilling in the Permian Basin, which is the largest onshore source of oil in the US. This decision is being made after surveying less than 1% of the area in question and the scientists doing the surveying supposedly didn’t see ANY lizards during their search.
- NASA decided to retire 3 working and one prototype space shuttle in Virginia at the Smithsonian, Cape Canaveral, FL at the Kennedy Space Center, LA at the California Science Center, and New York at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum on the west side of Manhattan. Houston, also called Space City, USA, didn’t get any of the 4. Cape Canaveral and the Smithsonian make sense, but choosing LA and NYC over Houston seems to lack reason and logic.
- One of the claims Obama made while he was in El Paso in early May was that the 700 mile double layer border fence with Mexico was “basically complete” and mocked people who claim otherwise saying that many people wouldn’t be satisfied until there was a moat with alligators in it.
This “700” number is interesting since the border with Mexico is 1,969 miles long. The 700 number comes from the Secure Fence Act of 2006 that called for 700 miles of 2 layer high security fencing with enough space between the fences for border patrol to drive in.
In reality, only 36.3 miles of the double layer fence have been completed. The rest of the fence is either single layer fence or vehicle barrier. Vehicle barriers are 2′-6′ tall poles spaced so that people can walk through them. This is what Obama calls “basically complete” and mocks people for challenging.
Meanwhile, Texas is left to spend millions on defending it’s borders from drug smugglers, illegal immigrants, and terrorists.
- And, this week, Texas backed down on the defense of their citizens from the TSA after being coerced by the DOJ.
All of these could be coincidental. To me, it looks like a bully flexing his muscle at a kid who dared to stand up to him. In any case, it’s not healthy for the country, and it’s discouraging for people like me who believe in personal responsibility and limited government.
Why do I see it as important? Because these incidents highlight how important it is to be prepared to weather disasters without the help of fickle outside help. Because when disaster strikes, the Federal Government may not be able to help or choose not to help.
What matters is that you’ve taken steps to insulate yourself and your family from these decisions by preparing yourself for interruptions in commerce, the supply chain, and utilities.
And one of the ways that you do this is to imagine what would happen if the disaster you are most concerned about happened tomorrow. What would you need to have in place so that you wouldn’t be a burden on your community? For 72 hours, 7 days, a month, 6 months, or even a year.
What skills and items would you need to have in place to be able to stabilize your neighborhood? I’ll tell you right now that you probably won’t be able to have enough food, water, or medical supplies on hand to support much more than yourself. But you CAN have skills that you could use and/or teach other in a time of emergency to take the load off of your fire/EMS/police.
How do you accomplish this? One of the best ways is by going through the SurviveInPlace.com Urban Survival Course. More than 10,000 people have completed the course over the last two years…many of them being career military, law enforcement, and first responders looking for a way to organize a lifetime of training for themselves and their family. If you haven’t gone through the course, I suggest that you read more about it by going to www.SurviveInPlace.com.
This weekend, in honor of Memorial Day, we’re going to donate 10% of all sales on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. The Warrior Foundation has a two part mission…The first is to pay for college for the children of members of the special operations community who die on a mission or training accident. The second is to provide financial assistance to make sure that family members can travel to and stay with operators who are wounded in action or training.
Why the Warrior Foundation? Simple. One of my best friends and another good friend just got back from being deployed with a SF unit. My brother is SF, and the Warrior Foundation helps the kids of one of his teamates who was killed during an ambush while in a truck with my brother a couple of years ago in Afghanistan. There are hundreds of worthy charities out there, but this one has personal meaning for me.
This 10% is on sales of everything I’ve got, including the www.SurviveInPlace.com course, www.UrbanSurvivalPlayingCards.com and my print newsletter, the www.LamplighterReport.com and you don’t have to designate anything special. 10% of ALL sales for the weekend will go to the Warrior Foundation.
What are your thoughts on tornado preparedness? On caches? How about the Federal Government’s treatment of Texas? Do you think it’s personal between Obama and Perry? There are several full time and guard SF guys that I know of in the audience. If you’ve got any stories of the Warrior Foundation helping the families of buddies, please share (anonymously) by commenting below:
God Bless and stay safe,