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News to Know

Situational awareness is a key element of survival and today, situational awareness must be global.  Today we present news to know from the past week (or so) with a dab of commentary: Security Threat News: An electromagnetic pulse attack — the ‘other’ Iranian nuclear threat:  EMP is a game changer…a nuclear strike on a major city could be less damaging to the U.S. than a well executed EMP attack on the homeland in terms of lives lost and property damage and financial loss. Russia says it will not renew arms agreement with U.S. al-Qaeda-linked group could have advanced weapons after joining Syria rebels in seizing missile defence base:  Iran Strikes Back:  Iranian cyberattack on the U.S. financial system.  Let’s face it folks, we’re now in a perpetual state of war even when we pull out of Afghanistan. Enter At Your Own Risk: Police Union Says ‘War-Like’ Detroit Is Unsafe For Visitors:  How did Detroit get here…read this excellent article by Porter Stansberry…there but for the grace of God go the rest of U.S. Ripped From The Pages of An Ian Fleming Novel: The Danish agent, the Croatian blonde and the CIA plot to get al-Awlaki:  You just couldn’t make this stuff up! Economic News: The Inflation Rate Is A Lie Too:  How can an inflation rate mean anything when you exclude most of what the average Joe spends.  Check out Shadowstats too. Exclusive: Study shows $1.2 trillion gap for public pensions:  Can you say Pension Bubble California Governor Orders Winter Gas Switch:  If the formulation doesn’t make a noticeable difference and the Winter formulation is cheaper…than why a Summer formulation. Student loans, backed by government, crush many families:  Let’s get this straight…you’re now a victim if you voluntarily enter into a contract to borrow money and buy something you want…like an education.  Next thing we’ll have to go after those bastards...

News to Know

Situational awareness is a key element of survival and today, situational awareness must be global.  Today we present news to know from the past week with a dab of commentary: News that could be ripped from the pages of an Ian Fleming Novel: China unveils first aircraft carrier to enter service:  That aircraft carrier is the former 33,000 ton Admiral Varyag, a late Soviet era Russian, Admiral Kuznetsov class aircraft carrier.  The Soviets never finished the thing and the Russians wanted the quick cash so they sold it to a Chinese front company who claimed that they were going to make it into a floating casino anchored off Macau.  The only games the newly redesignated Liaoning aircraft carrier is going to see played are geopolitical. Spy device disguised as rock blown up near Iran nuclear site:  Rock beats scissors. Security Threat News: Ahmadinejad Meets With Louis Farrakhan, New Black Panther Party While in NYC:  Maybe the after-party was at the Legion of Doom’s clubhouse & lair…  Iran could launch pre-emptive Israel strike-commander:  This according to an Iranian Revolutionary Guards (Quods) force commander. Health News: Mysterious Virus Emerges in the Middle East:  Just one of a number of S.A.R.S. articles and alerts from around the world that have been in the new recently. Financial News: Dow drops 100 after Fed official’s warning:  Warning from Fed official sends stocks lower; fourth straight decline for S&P Unlimited Funding Equals Unlimited Problems for Fed:  Is it well meaning ineptitude, a plan to weaken the dollar to make it easier to repay debt (repay…yeah right) or a high stakes gamble to ‘show’ improvement in the economy between now and November 6th? Fed Virtually Funding the Entire US Deficit:  Key quote “… risky and leaves little room to maneuver should another crisis hit.” Nature’s Fury in the News: Magnitude 6.2 quake hits near Mexico’s Baja...

Nature’s Fury, Natural Disasters Today

A few stories involving Nature’s Fury currently in the news…Earthquakes & Droughts & Hurricanes & Typhoons, oh my!  Earthquake Swarm “A swarm” of several hundred earthquakes, the strongest measuring a 5.5 magnitude, were centered east of San Diego near California’s border with Mexico on Sunday afternoon but caused little damage, seismologists said. Sunday’s shaking in Southern California’s Imperial Valley was the most activity recorded there since the 1970s, according to U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Lucy Johnson. “We are having a swarm,” Johnson said. “We expect thousands of events (like this) over several days.” via CNN Drought The insurance industry faces its biggest ever loss in agriculture as the worst drought to hit the US in more than half a century devastates the country’s multibillion-dollar corn and soybean crops, triggering large claims. …Agricultural economists at the University of Illinois estimate the drought will trigger this year gross indemnities of roughly $30bn, with an underwriting loss of $18bn. Of that, the US government would shoulder around $14bn, while private sector insurers are likely to face a loss of $4bn, they said. Standard & Poor’s, the rating agency, put the losses of the private sector a notch higher at $5bn. “The US drought is indeed a ‘catastrophic’ event,” Gregory W Locraft, insurance analyst at Morgan Stanley in New York, wrote in a recent note to clients, adding that it “is likely the largest [insurance] crop loss in history.” via CNN Tropical Storm / Hurricane “The best thing to do in a storm like this is get out of its way,” said Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, who urged residents to prepare for the worst. He, along the governors of Louisiana and Alabama declared states of emergencies to help cope with the storm, which could make landfall near or on the August 29 seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. …A day after slamming Haiti, where...

What Keeps The Assistant Secretary for Homeland Defense Awake At Night?

Ever wonder what perils and threats keeps senior defense officials up at night?  Well you don’t have to guess anymore what keeps the Department of Defense’ Assistant Secretary for Homeland Defense and Americas’ Security Affairs (how does that title even fit on a business card?), Paul Stockton up because he told us.  Speaking candidly at the Aspen Security Forum, one defense department official (Stockton) expressed great concern about the possibility of a terrorist attack on the U.S. electric grid that would cause a “long term, large scale outage.” …The concern, Stockton continued, was that America’s adversaries would avoid attacking “the pointy end of the spear,” meaning combat troops, and would instead look for homeland, possibly non-military, targets.“Our adversaries, state and non-state, are not stupid. They are clever and adaptive,” Stockton said. “There is a risk that they will adopt a profoundly asymmetric (including cyberattack) strategy, reach around and attack us home… via DoD official: Vulnerability of U.S. electrical grid is a dire concern – CNN Security Clearance – CNN.com Blogs. Stockton’s worries for the electrical grid weren’t just from terrorism but also from magnetic storms, earthquakes and other natural disasters. “According to Stockton, a recurrence of a massive earthquake, like the New Madrid earthquake(s) of (1811 and) 1812, would cause a power outage for weeks to months across a multi-state area, (and) rolling blackouts in the East Coast…” In response to a scenario like this, Stockton told the crowd that the Department of Defense is working with power companies in the Washington area – namely Pepco, Baltimore Gas and Electric and Virginia Dominion – and giving these companies “a new design basis for the grid of the future that takes into account cyber threats and other emerging threats.” via DoD official: Vulnerability of U.S. electrical grid is a dire concern – CNN Security Clearance – CNN.com Blogs.   I...

Why Prep, Part 2 Historical & Current Examples

Note from Andrew: The complete Why Prep Series has now been consolidated HERE. Last week in Why Prep, the Introduction we briefly discussed the fragility of the status quo and clarified that preparedness is not about getting ready for the ‘end of the world’… it’s about building the skills, resources and resilience to endure the transition periods following dramatic financial, environmental, societal or individual life changes.  If you haven’t read the introduction yet, I recommend that you read it before continuing by clicking on the hyperlink near the start of this paragraph.. Today we’re going to take a look at some current and historical situations and events that are/were much more survivable (financial and otherwise) for those that took the time to prepare.  For brevity’s sake I have chosen a small sampling of the historical examples available and have chosen not to include many areas of perpetual warfare (Cyprus, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Palestine/Israel, Northern Ireland, etc.). Note:  The links included go to articles or preselected internet searches (to make results more timely) in case you’re interested in doing additional reading on that subject.  For convenience, these examples are listed by continent although many of the events/situations spanned multiple continents. Europe: 1917 Bolshevik Revolution in Russia Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia Rapid fall of the Soviet Empire and post-Soviet Russian Anarchy and Corruption The breakup of Yugoslavia Recent European Rioting France, England, Italy, Russia, Greece, Germany, Ireland Weimar Republic – economic collapse that led to the rise of the National Socialist German’s Worker Party (NAZI) Chernobyl Nuclear Accident Ireland’s 19th century potato famine Fall of the Roman Empire due to internal rot and external ‘Barbarian’ pressure Fall of the Italian City States Anti-Monarchy wars or movements (French Revolution, War of the Roses, etc.) Spanish Civil War Napoleonic Wars World Wars Recent economic collapse of Greece Ottoman Invasion Moorish Invasion of Spain...

Earthquakes Hit 22 States in 30 Days

In the past 30 days earthquakes (with a magnitude of 1.0 or greater) have been detected with their epicenters in the following 22 states:  Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wyoming While the U.S. quakes this past month have not been particularly damaging (only 11 of the quakes in the lower 48 states were 4.0 or greater) the sheer number of quakes is a reminder that the Earth isn’t particularly quiet and as you can see from the list above this isn’t a peril you only have to worry about if you live in California, Alaska or Hawaii. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has a number of tools to allow you to assess the earthquake risk in your backyard or make cool maps like the one below.  This map shows the epicenter of 900 of the 2,066 earthquakes (mostly in California & Baja Mexico) that have occurred in the map area in the last 30 days.  It also shows through color coding (dark blue to light blue to yellow to red) from the least risk to the highest earthquake risk.   Looking at the past 12 years of USGS data (not including 2012) shows us that the U.S. is hit by 2,261 to 8,497 earthquakes per year with an average of 3,823.  Eight of these earthquakes have been 7.0 or greater and there have been 2 deaths. In case the statistics above have given you a false sense of security take a look at the following Map of magnitude 6 or higher earthquakes the lower 48 states have suffered from 1750 to 1996.  The USGS also has a tool where you can check out the earthquake risk by state.   Now that you’re armed with the earthquake facts…especially that last...

114 Years of Earthquake Epicenters

via Map Shows Earthquake Activity Since 1898 | Video | TheBlaze.com. FacebookPinterestGoogleRedditTwitterTumblrEmailPrintPocketMoreLinkedInLike this:Like...

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