Empowering – Today’s Quote

When you rob someone of their incentive to go out there and improve themselves, you are not doing them any favors…  When you take somebody and pat them on the head and say, ‘There there, you poor little thing… Let me give you housing subsidies, let me give you free health care because you can’t do that.’”

“What would be much more empowering is to use our intellect and our resources to give those people a way up and out…

Dr. Ben Carson via Hollywood Actor Couldn’t Help But Start Clapping After Hearing Dr. Ben Carson’s Take on Welfare During ‘The View’Dr. Ben Carson

This Is How Empires Collapse – Today’s Quote

Politicians cannot get this through their head that the economy functions always in anticipation of future events. They are just crazy – although not out of their mind entirely just yet. They can read a script, but they are incapable of understanding the people or math.

These people are simply beyond control. All they can see is the immediate issue to survive day-by-day. They have absolutely zero comprehension of what they are doing and even less understanding of what happens when there is no more money they can raid. Those at the helm of the world need no elite-conspiracy. They are too stupid to have long-term plans beyond 30 days. This is how Empires Collapse – they are following the precise step-by-step guide for total chaos.

Martin Armstrong via What is Your’s Ain’t Yours | Armstrong Economics

Andrew’s Note:  Armstrong is commenting on British Prime Minister David Cameron’s expressed desire to raid British bank accounts and the anticipated bank run that will proceed it.  If you think that wealth confiscations can’t happen in Europe than ask the people of Cyprus.  Makes you a little nervous that we’ve embraced European socialism in the U.S. doesn’t it…

Minimum Wage Causes Unemployment – Today’s Quote

It is astounding that after decades of empirical evidence, there continues to exist misguided minds who fail to understand simple supply and demand and how these forces shape the minimum wage debate.

Numerous studies across different times and locations have shown overwhelmingly that higher mandatory wages equals higher unemployment for low skilled workers. This is a fundamental economic law, like gravity.

The Keynesians out there have always argued that you can have your cake and eat it too just don’t pay attention to the accompanying debt and inflation. Their emotionally biased way of thinking has distorted the playing field for low skilled employees by creating artificial price levels. Instead of allowing the invisible hand of the market to function, these authoritarian policy makers prefer to interfere and dictate like the old Soviet Politburo and we all know how that turned out.

Jason Scheurer via Minimum Wage and Unemployment: A Zero-Sum Game

Unemployment For The Employed? – Today’s Quote

Let us vote to provide for unemployment insurance for working men and women so that faces across America will not have the tear of desperation on their face… we cannot allow this to happen this season of joy and giving.

Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee

Andrew’s Note:  What are you thinking Houston, Texas?  You’ve given this self described “influential and forceful voice in Washington” nearly two decades to implement her great ideas…like this one to give unemployment insurance to employed people.  As you may recall, this is the same public official that once asked NASA workers involved with the Mars Pathfinder program if the rover had taken a picture of the flag planted by the Apollo astronauts.

Shield Us From EMP & CME – Today’s Quote

It is critical that we protect our major transformers from cascading destruction. The Shield Act encourages industry to develop standards necessary to protect our electric infrastructure against both natural and man-made EMP events…

Rep. Trent Franks via Lights out: House plan would protect nation’s electricity from solar flare, nuclear bomb | WashingtonExaminer.com

EMP Threat – Today’s Quote

If terrorists do obtain a nuclear weapon, it will likely not be a one-kiloton weapon but a far more sophisticated one from Russia or a rogue state…

The “brain drain” from Russia enabled North Korea to make (and potentially test) “Super-EMP” low-yield nuclear weapons that can generate very powerful EMP fields over wide geographic areas…

Even a low-yield weapon could knock out the [electronics and electrical grid on the] entire Eastern seaboard if detonated from a higher altitude…

Jordan Harms via EMP Attack: The Threat Is Real

A Brief Introduction to EMP

Prepography reader BlueShark recently wrote me to ask what an EMP is.  What follows is a very brief introduction to EMP and here’s a hint…it’s not the name of the latest rap star to make it big.

Simply put an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) is an immense charge of electricity created by a nuclear detonation exploding just above the earth’s atmosphere.  This electrical pulse will have an effect similar to a lightning strike on all electronics within a line of sight (LOS) that are not specifically shielded from EMP.  A single weapon high detonated high enough above the Earth would have LOS to most of the continental U.S. and two weapons launchable from container ships off our shores  (Atlantic & Pacific) could easily create an EMP big enough to cover the continental U.S. as well as sizable portions of Canada and Mexico.  Think of an EMP as a single event that could send the entire U.S. over a hundred years into our past…no electricity (except batteries), no electronics, no modern communications, possibly (almost) no motorized transportation.

Things to know about an EMP: (more…)

EMP Commission on EMP Vulnerability – Today’s Quote

Several potential adversaries have or can acquire the capability to attack the United States with a high-altitude nuclear weapon-generated electromagnetic pulse (EMP). A determined adversary can achieve an EMP attack capability without having a high level of sophistication.

EMP is one of a small number of threats that can hold our society at risk of catastrophic consequences. EMP will cover the wide geographic region within line of sight to the nuclear weapon. It has the capability to produce significant damage to critical infrastructures and thus to the very fabric of US society, as well as to the ability of the United States and Western nations to project influence and military power.

The common element that can produce such an impact from EMP is primarily electronics, so pervasive in all aspects of our society and military, coupled through critical infrastructures. Our vulnerability is increasing daily as our use of and dependence on electronics continues to grow. The impact of EMP is asymmetric in relation to potential protagonists who are not as dependent on modern electronics.
The current vulnerability of our critical infrastructures can both invite and reward attack if not corrected. Correction is feasible and well within the Nation’s means and resources to accomplish.

Abstract from Executive Summary of the Report of the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack 2004

Waterbath Canning, First Attempt

Dad, are you conducting some kind of science experiment in the kitchen?

Sparky (Daughter #3)

I should have realized that I was over my head when when my daughter said this after walking into the kitchen when I was less than halfway through my first attempt at waterbath canning…first attempt at any canning really.  First off you should know that I come from a family of avid canners.  My grandparents, God rest their souls, survived the depression and always had a large garden and a deep larder in a root cellar under the house even after they moved to town.  My uncle, whom I’m quite close with lives the same way and my father (who married the city girl) doesnt’ practice canning every year but will show up with a jar of the most incredible jam every now and then.

With all this experience in the family…how did I learn to can?  I chose to learn from a hand scribbled recipe, the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving and a YouTube video.  I won’t cover canning in this post because I certainly don’t know what I’m doing after my first attempt and there are lot’s of great references (like family), but I will tell you a few of the things I learned from my first attempt.

  1. Start with a clean kitchen.  At least I did this one right
  2. You’ll get about 1 quart jar of pickled beets per pound
  3. A 33 Quart Waterbath Canner is huge and may not sit level on your stove burners
  4. If your 33 Quart Waterbath Canner doesn’t sit level on your stove than you will have a lot of water condensing off the lid and running all over your stove
  5. Did I mention not overfilling the Waterbath Canner?
  6. Lots of water on a 220v electric stove is not a good thing
  7. Ladling water out of the Canner won’t help because it’s condensed water coming off the lid
  8. Taking the lid off might mean that you can’t keep the water boiling…did I mention it takes a lot of heat to keep a 33 Quart Waterbath Canner boiling.
  9. An upside down Canner lid can solve wet stove problems caused by dripping condensation (the water drops back into the center of the pot from the handle)
  10. Plan to eat cold meals while canning to keep your stove area clean
  11. Don’t trust recipes to leave you with enough liquid to get the right headspace…make extra…still not sure how I screwed this one up but I’ll hedge my bet next time
  12. That microwave that’s so conveniently placed over the stove…isn’t… for canning with a 33 Quart Waterbath Canner

Storing food takes a lot of work…and heat…and space…and gear.  I think I understand the concept of a summer kitchen for the first time.  I’ll let you know how the beets turn out…I’m not hoping for perfection with this first batch…just hoping not to get food poisoning.


Run, Hide, Tell

77 Years ago this week the Prime Minister of Great Britain, Winston Churchill delivered a speech to their House of Commons remembered as the ‘We Shall Fight’ speech. You may remember this speech from your history classes but you may not remember that it was in response to the ‘Miracle at Dunkirk.’

In late May and early June 1940 over 300,000 British, French, Belgian and Canadian troops were surrounded by a massive German force in and around the French port of Dunkirk.  They were low on ammunition, almost out of food and the British Navy lacked the sealift capability to rescue even a small percent of the stranded.  The entire British Expeditionary Force was about to be destroyed.  Imagine the bravery of the British Navy and Merchant Mariners risking everything to rescue this force…now think back to your history lessons and you may remember the other force that made the ‘Miracle’  possible…  If you said, everyday Brits, civilians, amateur boaters, or fisherman then you remember your history.  That’s right, British civilians went to sea, into war-ravaged waters in every imaginable type of watercraft and rescued their soldiers and allies.  The greatest defeat in British military history was averted largely through the actions of the last minute civilian volunteers.

In his speech to the House of Commons on that day in June, 1940 Churchill declared:

…we shall prove ourselves once again able to defend our island home, to ride out the storm of war, and to outlive the menace of tyranny, if necessary for years, if necessary alone. At any rate, that is what we are going to try to do. That is the resolve of His Majesty’s Government – every man of them. That is the will of Parliament and the nation.

The British Empire and the French Republic, linked together in their cause and in their need, will defend to the death their native soil, aiding each other like good comrades to the utmost of their strength. Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be.

We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender…

It’s with great sadness  that we realize in 77 short years elements of Her Majesty’s government has a different approach to those who would subjugate our British cousins.  This approach is called Run, Hide, Tell and is counter-terrorism policy at both the local and national levels.

Now don’t get me wrong.  There are times when running, hiding and telling are the appropriate responses to violence but those are not the only appropriate responses.  The British Expeditionary Force ‘ran’ from certain defeat in 1940 so that they could return better prepared to fight and eventually defeat the fascists.  When confronted with those determined to kill or enslave us, we must be willing to fight.  We saw the differences between these two approaches on 9/11/01.  For decades we’d been schooled as a populace to be non-confrontational and wait for negotiation or rescue when confronted by hijackers.  Three planes full of civilians likely followed that advice and stood by while their planes were used as weapons against important financial and military targets…but that fourth plane, Flight 93 held brave souls who were armed with nothing more than the knowledge of what had happened to the other hijacked flights.  These hardy souls didn’t follow their training… they determined that they could no longer Run, Hide, & Tell…they fought back and by fighting back they saved untold numbers of their fellow citizens.

Toward the end of my military career the Department of Defense came out with a policy not much different than Run, Hide & Tell.  The warriors I served with and I resolved never to abandon the option to fight.  One of the few fates that I can conceive of worse than becoming a murder victim…is being an accomplice to your own demise or, through my inactions, allowing others to die.  To paraphrase a great orator:  We shall fight in the streets and alleys, we shall fight in the halls and the work places, we shall fight in the markets and we shall fight in the halls of government when confronted by those determined to suppress us under the odious apparatus of Sharia law or any other form of fascism.

To read or listen to the full text of Sir Winston Churchill’s ‘We Shall Fight’ speech click here.


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