Staying Warm

Winter is just around the corner, and that should be a reminder to all that staying warm in an emergency situation is a key to survival.

People stay warm by generating and retaining heat and/or gaining it from an outside source. Heat is lost through radiation, conduction, convection and evaporation.

Proper clothing is essential to minimizing the effects of heat loss. Most thick outer garments, such as heavy coats or layers of lighter-weight clothing, minimize radiation loss. Radiant barriers constructed of shiny material and sandwiched with nonconductive layers will reflect body heat inward.

Conduction can be prevented by separating two extremes — the cold air outside from the warm air near your body — with an insulative layer. Most coats, natural and synthetic, offer resistance to conduction through air pockets in the insulation.

Convection transfers heat via air currents. Convection is experienced when one opens his jacket, allowing the heated air from the body to escape through the opening.

Heat loss also occurs when water evaporates. Our bodies continually give off moisture in the form of perspiration. If our clothes become damp with perspiration or from another source, evaporation quickly removes heat from our bodies.

In an emergency situation, try not to work so hard your clothes become wet with perspiration. Remove layers and work more slowly.

If it’s raining, avoid the chore that would put you in the rain, if possible, or don a raincoat or poncho and do all you can to avoid getting wet.

Finally, starting a fire can help both physically and emotionally. Keep some strike-anywhere matches in a waterproof container, or be sure you have some other fire starter handy. Good choices are butane lighters, flint and steel, 9-volt battery and steel wool or a magnesium fire starter.

It’s also a good idea to have some type of tinder in a waterproof container. Cotton impregnated with petroleum jelly and kept in a 35-mm film canister is a great tool.

Source: Emergency Essentials’ Tips For Preparedness, edited by Larry Barkdull.

Fighting TSA Thugocracy

There is growing resistance to the Transportation Security Administration’s airport porn show /grope fest, where TSA agents give airline passengers a choice of being irradiated while having nude photographs taken or being sexually assaulted in order to fly. And there are a few signs Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano may be backing down in the face of the growing resistance.

Already, talks are underway with pilots unions over pilot screening, and the TSA has decided that children under 12 should not receive the pat down.

But this is not enough, and airline passengers need to continue fighting the totalitarian thugocracy that is the TSA. For an example of how the TSA works, watch the video of Meg McLain, or go here to learn what happened to John Tyner, who is now being investigated by the TSA for refusing to be scanned or groped.

National Opt-Out Day is scheduled for Nov. 24, and travelers are being encouraged to declare they opt of the naked body scanners and submit to the enhanced pat down. This will muck up the system and allow the traveling public to see how innocent Americans are treated by TSA goons. But this should only be the beginning.

We encourage anyone going through airport security to record the experience. Video and audio of the TSA thugs at work is one of the best tools we have against the growing totalitarianism. And if you do make a recording, please send it to freedomwatch@personalliberty.com. We’ll post any we receive on the site, and we guarantee your anonymity.

Airports actually have the right to their own opt-out. The 2001 law that created the TSA gave airports the right to opt out of the TSA program in favor of private screeners after a two-year period. Representative John Mica (R-Fla.), who will chair the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure in the new Congress, reminds airports they have that choice.

It’s time for Americans to remind the airports, the airlines and the government that the choice actually belongs to the American people — and we choose freedom.

 

A Simple Way to Tell if Your Produce is Organic

You’ve probably noticed those tiny stickers that appear on almost all fruits and vegetables. These stickers contain bar codes for the checkout clerk, but they also contain a secret the store might not want you to know.

Nutritionist Karma Metzgar of the University of Missouri writes that these stickers also tell you if the fruit is organic or genetically modified. On conventionally grown, non-organic fruit, the sticker has only four numbers. Organically grown fruit has a five-numeral code, which begins with the number nine.

Since organic fruits and vegetables now have to be in separate areas in grocery stores, this confirms that your apple hasn’t ended up in the wrong pile. The store does not have to reveal which fruits and vegetables are genetically modified, but you can find out by looking for the stickers that begin with the number eight.

According to Metzgar, this means a regular banana would have a sticker saying 4011, an organic banana would say 94011 and a genetically modified banana would say 84011.

Some people complain that the stickers are too hard to peel off, so it may be a relief to know that the sticker actually contains important information. And, the adhesive is completely safe to eat.

Planning For The Worst

If you’re going on a vacation, you plan your trip. Especially if a family is involved, hours are spent determining where to go, what to do, how to get there, how much you can spend and what to do with the mail and the pets while you’re gone. If you’re getting married, you not only spend countless hours planning every detail of the ceremony, but you’ll often hire a wedding planner to help with that planning.

Planning for daily lives can involve a desk calendar, smartphone with calendar apps and email notifications of important events, daily Internet reading of planning blogs and attending periodic planning seminars.

But for some reason, the thought of being in the wild (or a wild situation), either by choice or necessity, doesn’t always trigger such planning efforts. That’s a confusing conundrum, because outdoors, away from constant electronic support and contact and with your own life and possibly the lives of others at risk, the lack of planning can be catastrophic.

Cody Lundin, survivalist and co-star of Discovery Channel’s Dual Survival, listed five steps of planning for outdoor excursions in his book, 98.6 Degrees: The Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive! In a chapter that deals with the “Seven Ps” of the military saying, “Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance,” Lundin stresses the need for Physical Preparation, Mental and Emotional Preparation, Materials Preparation, Dangerous Scenario Preparation and Spiritual Preparation.

  1. Physical Preparation: Outdoor activities are synonymous with physical stress and unique sanitary conditions. Maintaining a proper level of physical fitness, health and hygiene is strongly recommended.

This is one of those truths you encounter in life that is so obvious, you forget about it. It’s clear that if getting up from the easy chair for a refrigerator run tires you out, there’s no hope in a situation that requires extreme or prolonged physical exertion. It’s just so much easier to tune to another channel and put off conditioning until another day. Peter Drucker, also known as “The Man Who Invented Management,” said, “Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes, but no plans.”  Make a commitment to get in shape and stay in shape.

  1. Mental and Emotional Preparation: Self-confidence is the key and is the result of proper prior planning, skills practice, personal belief systems and your overall backcountry experience.

Drucker also said, “Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately generate into hard work.” Pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone during training results in a mental and emotional attitude that will recognize a dangerous situation and act accordingly. Your attitude changes from that of panic to that of, “I can handle this.”

  1. Materials Preparation: Pack the right equipment for the job (maintained and in proper working order) and know how to use it. Having back-up equipment for critical goods is wise in case of loss or failure.

The noted philosopher Winnie the Pooh once said, “Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.” No matter how much training you do or mental fortitude you possess, you’ll do much better in an emergency with an organized supply of survival gear.

You can buy a ready-made kit, start with a purchased kit and add to it or construct your own from scratch. Amazon has a great source list of survival supplies, hurricane survival supplies, and an emergency disaster kit. In addition, Popular Mechanics has a guide on “How to Disaster-Proof Your Life.”

  1. Dangerous Scenario Preparation: Weird stuff happens. Play out possible nightmare scenarios with others in your party, including travel routes, leadership roles and relevant environmental emergencies.

General Dwight D. Eisenhower had this to say about battle plans: “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” In most emergency situations, the plans you’ve made won’t unfold exactly the way you expect (an emergency is a series of extreme variables), but preparing for worst-case scenarios will allow you to deal with the inevitable snags that do arise. Don’t allow yourself to go into a “doubt spiral” of increasingly worse scenarios, but do plan how to deal with scenarios unique to your situation. If you’re in a hurricane-prone area, you’ll prepare differently than someone who lives in the mountains.

  1. Spiritual Preparation: A strong grounding in a presence larger than oneself is an extremely powerful force and imparts the gift of a positive, holistic eagle’s-eye view of the current situation and life in general. I have been fortunate enough to witness “atheists” praying during a compromised wilderness scenario, and it is a profound sight to behold.

King Canute (c. 994-1035) once ruled England, Denmark and Norway. It’s said that Canute, fed up with fawning members of his court who claimed he was so powerful that even the tide would obey his command, had his throne carried to the edge of the sea. There, he commanded that the advancing tide stop in its tracks. When it didn’t, he told his courtiers that, “the power of kings is vain and trivial, and that none is worthy of the name of king but He whose command the heaven, earth and sea obey by eternal laws.”

Canute couldn’t command the waves, and you can’t command your circumstances. You’re not in control, and you don’t have to be. The sooner you realize this, the more likely you’ll be to remain calm when things get out of hand.

The Boat Is Sinking Fast

The United States financial system is a rickety, leaking boat, and rather than bailing it out, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is pouring more water in.

The signs of the sinking system are coming on furiously now. The price of gold tells the story. The state of the “too big to fail” banks is another sign.

Saved from the fate it deserved by former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson’s infusion of $45 billion from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, Bank of America sucked up the criminal enterprise Countrywide Financial and claimed all was well. Just over a year later it paid back the loan. That was last December.

But since mid-April the bank’s stock price has dropped more than 40 percent. And the value of its outstanding stock is currently at around half of what it should be based on its “book value” — what the company says its holdings are worth, according to the website AlterNet.

Bloomberg columnist Jonathan Weil writes that mortgage-bond investors are demanding untold billions of dollars in refunds, the foreclosure fiasco is metastasizing and a member of the TARP oversight panel is openly worried that BoA may need another bailout.

In other words, the bank is on the brink of another collapse. And it may not be alone.

At 1 a.m. on Nov. 8, ATMs across the country shut down. The problems affected the larger financial institutions like BoA, BBVA Compass, Wells Fargo, US Bank, SunTrust, American Express, BB&T and others. While the excuse given blamed the change from Daylight Savings Time, many in the blogosphere wondered if it wasn’t a prelude to a rumored coming banking holiday to allow for a devaluation of the dollar.

Coming just days after Helicopter Ben announced he wanted to dump another $600 billion into the system in order to spur inflation, the bank holiday/devaluation threat is not farfetched.

In fact, there are reports that a person was told by a bank manager that banks would close for an undetermined amount of time, and that when the banks reopened withdrawals by checks would be limited to $500 per week regardless of the balance in the account.

The last bank holiday in the U.S. occurred on March 9, 1933. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt closed the banks and Congress passed the Emergency Banking Act of 1933 under the guise of reorganizing insolvent banks and reopening those strong enough to survive. FDR used the holiday to confiscate gold from the citizenry and devalue the dollar. The Federal Reserve committed unlimited amounts of currency to reopened banks.

The Act gave the Treasury Secretary the authority to order any individual or organization in the U.S. to deliver any gold they possessed to the U.S. Treasury. Also the Fed was authorized to steal 10 percent of any “check, draft, banker acceptance, etc.”  by converting them into cash at 90 percent of their value.

It was out-and-out theft. Today the theft continues.

The dollar is crashing and inflation is ramping up. Anyone buying groceries knows this. Even former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin knows it. But the ruling elite — including Helicopter Ben — want to hide it from you. And they try to do it by lying to you.

Sarah Palin on Monday [Nov. 8] made a speech at a trade-association convention in Phoenix urging Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to “cease and desist” his “pump priming”.  Palin said the United States, “shouldn’t be playing around with inflation.” She went on to say, "All this pump priming will come at a serious price. And I mean that literally: everyone who ever goes out shopping for groceries knows that prices have risen significantly over the past year or so. Pump priming would push them even higher."

After obtaining a copy of her speech, the Wall Street Journal’s Sudeep Reddy wrote an article criticizing Palin’s comments about food inflation, saying that, "Grocery prices haven’t risen all that significantly, in fact. The consumer price index’s measure of food and beverages for the first nine months of this year showed average annual inflation of less than 0.6%, the slowest pace on record." NIA [National Inflation Association] finds it unfortunate that Reddy has been brainwashed into believing the government’s phony consumer price index (CPI) numbers.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)’s CPI is not a reliable indicator of U.S. food inflation or any type of price inflation. NIA estimates the real rate of annual food inflation in the U.S. to already be 5% and projects that this rate will rise above 10% in early 2011. NIA believes the BLS has been using both geometric weighting and hedonics to artificially manipulate the CPI downward. The U.S. government has a strong motivation to keep CPI increases as low as possible because since the year 1975, retired Americans receive annual Social Security payment increases that are tied to the CPI. NIA calculates that based on the way the BLS’s CPI has understated the real rate of price inflation, Americans on Social Security should be receiving payments that are more than double what they receive today. Unfortunately, the government just announced last month that Americans on Social Security will receive no payment increase in 2011, despite the fact that food inflation will likely become the biggest crisis of the year, much larger than the mortgage crisis we have today.

When calculating food inflation, the government uses deceptive geometric weighting, which gives a lower weighting to goods that are rising in price and a higher weighting to goods that are falling in price. If the price of steak is rising while the price of hamburgers is falling, the CPI will give a lower weighting to steak and a higher weighting to hamburgers. The government justifies this by saying that expensive steak prices mean Americans are more likely to eat hamburgers. Therefore, the CPI no longer accounts for the price to maintain the same standard of living. The CPI is now calculated based on the realization that America’s standard of living has been in decline and the expectation that it will continue to decline in the future. — National Inflation Association.

The NIA is predicting massive inflation very soon as a result of Helicopter Ben’s latest escapade. It says that grocery stores will soon charge $11.43 for an ear of corn, $23.05 for a 24-ounce loaf of wheat bread, $62.21 for a 32-ounce package of Domino Granulated Sugar, $24.31 for a 32-ounce container of soy milk, $77.71 for a 11.30-ounce container of Folgers Classic Roast Coffee, $45.71 for a 64-ounce container of Minute Maid Orange Juice and $15.50 for a Hershey’s Milk Chocolate 1.55-ounce candy bar. NIA also projects that by the end of this decade, a plain white men’s cotton t-shirt at Wal-Mart will cost $55.57.

The dollar is on its way out as the world’s sole reserve currency. According to the Financial Times, “Almost everyone involved in the international financial system agrees long-term change is inevitable: the rise of China will surely mean that the dollar cannot continue to be the world’s sole reserve currency.”

The elites are doing all they can to prop up the current failed system. It won’t work.

The American middle class is being impoverished by U.S. dollar depreciation. Will they realize it before Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner begins adding zeros to the currency, or will it be after?

Caught In Another Lie

To absolutely no one’s surprise, an inspector general concluded that the White House edited a drilling safety report in a way that made it falsely appear that scientists and experts supported the administration’s six-month ban on new deep-water drilling.

The Associated Press reported that the inspector general concluded the White House’s changes “resulted ‘in the implication that the moratorium recommendation had been peer reviewed.’ But it hadn’t been. Outside scientists were asked only to review new safety measures for offshore drilling.”

In other words, the Administration lied about the need to halt offshore drilling in order to push its “Green” agenda. The result has been crippling job losses along the Gulf coast and increasing oil prices — up about $7 a barrel since the spill and still climbing.

Barack Obama and his minions claim to be on the side of the “working people.” But oil workers apparently don’t count. Nor do those in the coal industry. Nor does anyone else, who must deal with a falling dollar and rising prices resulting from the Administration’s feckless energy policies.

But he’s all for the government subsidizing inefficient, ineffective and unproven Green jobs. And he apparently has no problem with the United States becoming increasingly dependent on foreign oil.

That the Administration lied to achieve its ends is no surprise. It’s not the first Administration to do that. But that so many on the Left would sit silently by while it destroys an industry and continues to cripple the U.S. economy is a surprise.

Apparently, when it comes to going Green, the Left believes the end justifies the means.

Eat Little, Drink Little, Sleep Little And Think Much

As new House Republicans meet to divide the spoils of their victory over the Democrats and elect leaders to run the House of Representatives the next two years, some divisions between the old guard and those representing the new Tea Party wing have emerged.

It appears that John Boehner of Ohio is set as Speaker, and Eric Cantor of Virginia seems to be a lock for Majority Leader. But a battle is brewing between Tea Party favorite Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota and Jeb Hensarling of Texas, who both want the job of Caucus Chair.

The old guard of the GOP — while happy with the victories that gave it a majority — is not content to let the Tea Party waltz in and take over. So it’s going to be difficult sledding for Tea Party-backed candidates to obtain leadership positions.

If that’s the case, they need to turn to the example set by Samuel Adams during the first Continental Congress.

Adams lived modestly by choice. His figure wasn’t imposing. He wasn’t considered a grandiloquent speaker. But his writings inspired and he was great at forming coalitions.

Writing to his friends, Joseph Galloway — a delegate to the Congress from Pennsylvania who left in disgust after the Assembly denied his request to withdraw from a defiant stand against Great Britain — said of Adams, “Samuel Adams eats little, drinks little, sleeps little and thinks much. He is most decisive and indefatigable in the pursuit of his object. He is the man who, by his superior application, manages at once the faction in Philadelphia and the factions of New England.”

When Galloway — a friend of Britain — wrote it, he wasn’t writing to compliment Adams. But Adams’ tireless work before, during and after the Congress kept the liberty movement alive.

It may be that Tea Party-backed candidates aren’t able to lead the parade from the front. But if they emulate Adams with their work behind the scenes, they can steer the GOP in the right direction and move America toward greater liberty.