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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Gun Grabbers: THIS is why we have guns

I will just love to hear some feedback on this from the gun grabbers.

The situation:  Next door neighbor has spun out of control in the past.  The person who has been abused decides to set up a camera facing his front door just in case the crazed neighbor - once gain - kicks in his door.

Crazed neighbor spins out of control, and as you'll see, kicks in the door, WIELDING A MACHETE.


Thank God the guy in the apartment had the forethought to arm himself.  Otherwise, he and his girlfriend would have likely been HACKED TO DEATH.

I'm guessing that in the eyes of the gun grabbers, that would have been "acceptable losses" in their crusade to disarm all Americans.

I'm guessing the families of the two survivors have a different opinion.


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Copyright 2015 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates. www.BisonRMA.com

Monday, January 19, 2015

Gold's Wild Ride: Trend or Dead Cat Bounce?

 We're doing a lot of head-scratching - and fielding TONS of phone calls - in our precious metals shop over this recent surge in gold prices.  Since the close of business on January 2 (the first full day of trading this year), gold has surged $100 an ounce in a bit over two weeks (from $1172 on 1/2/15 to $1273 on 1/19/15).

On a percentage gain, silver has actually outperformed gold in this same time frame (8.6% for gold and 12.4% for silver).

Will it last?  Is this just a "dead cat bounce" and the market will crash again?  Are better days ahead for gold and silver?  Should I buy?  Should I sell?

I wish I knew.

The paper precious metals markets - shorts, longs, etc. - are wildly manipulated.  Last I saw, for every 1 ounce of physical silver, there were 92 paper contracts. 

In other words, if less than 1% of the paper contracts were held and demanded physical delivery, the silver commodity market would go up in a mushroom cloud.  The physical silver just isn't there to fill the contracts!

Here's what I do know - 

So what does this all mean? 

The governments of the world are on a tear to devalue their currencies, while at the same time, they are buying up gold like there's no tomorrow.

Their actions are screaming, "FIAT CURRENCY IS WORTHLESS!" and are buying the tangible assets.

Here in the US - at least for the time being - we've stopped our dollar-devaluing Quantitative Easing program, so the dollar should get stronger against the currencies of the world.  "Should" being the operative word.

Technically, that would force down the price of precious metals here in the US (since the dollar and precious metals generally go in opposite directions).

At least at this minute - despite all of these currency wars - the world seems to be regaining some sanity, with the price of precious metals going in the right direction, and getting closer to reflecting true market conditions (although it still has a LONG way to go, IMO).

So, I'll tell you what I've been telling my customers and callers:  I buy precious metals every month.  Some months, more than others.

I'm looking to buy some real estate in the medium-term future, and will definitely be selling some to finance the purchase.  As that time nears, I'll stick my finger in the wind, see which way it's blowing, and make my decision based upon the trends at the time.

If I personally needed cash within the next month, I'd probably be selling right now.  This recent upward trend may continue, but it may not.  I'd be banking the $100 per ounce jump we just got.  When you get greedy waiting for more "upside", you tend to get burned.

I am in PMs for the long haul. Market forces have always corrected manipulated markets in the past.  It will happen again.

I just don't know when.  No one does for sure.

Clear as mud, huh?



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Copyright 2015 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates. www.BisonRMA.com

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Terrorists - Again - Didn't Get The Memo

 From the website of the French embassy in the US:
France has stringent regulations on firearms and ammunition. As a rule, firearms which have no legitimate sporting or recreational use are not permitted entry into France.
Yeah, how's that law working out for you?



Hmm.  Doesn't much look like a deer rifle or sporting clays shotgun.  Those little rascals broke French law!

Again.


This scenario could just have easily played out in a gun-restricted state like California, New York, Massachusetts, or Connecticut.

If a bad guy wants a gun, they'll get it.  Taking guns away from good citizens won't make them any safer, it just makes them more likely to end up dead.

Seriously, if you were a terrorist in America, where would you attack?  Just like with other criminals, you'd attack where you have the least likely chance of resistance.

These Islamic bastards knew with absolute certainty that not a single person in the offices of the magazine where they were attacking had a gun.  At worst, there may have been a knife for slicing their brie.

France, and its people, have chosen to make themselves vulnerable.  The states listed above - and a handful more - have done the same.

They willingly make themselves defenseless in the hopes that their "example" will somehow convince the bad guys that Guns Are Bad.  Gimme a hug!

So, what kind of example do you want to set?  One where the mindset of the populous is that of appeasement and helplessness, or one where bad guys get hit back hard.  Deadly hard.

Which do you think will keep you - and your whole community - safer?



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Copyright 2015 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates. www.BisonRMA.com

Saturday, December 20, 2014

7 Shooting Incident Mistakes

Recently joint-published on BoomerPreps.com

I'm a big adherent to the right to keep and bear arms. I live that belief every day, without exception. I believe that armed citizens are the best deterrent to armed bad guys. It's simple math: There are more of us than there are of them.

But for us good guys, gun ownership and usage comes with a heavier burden than that imposed upon the bad guys. Being honest citizens, we willingly submit ourselves to the American justice system.

If some bad guy breaks into our home, and we shoot him in self-defense, we don't drag the body into the backyard and bury it along with all of the evidence. No, we call the police, report the incident and subject ourselves and our actions to the scrutiny of the law.

And there's the rub. Voluntarily subjecting ourselves to legal scrutiny. Regardless of the legitimacy of our actions, we can end up being detained, prosecuted and convicted.

To add insult to injury, the cost of defending ourselves against the initial criminal complaint and the subsequent civil complaint can ruin you financially.

Most folks have heard of the case of George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin. I'm not going to go into the specifics of the case - that's for you to do if you wish. SecondCall Defense - an organization that provides, "Complete legal protection for armed self-defense" recently published an article titled, "7 Critical Lessons From America's Most Notorious Gun Owner".

Self-inflicted shooting incident mistakes can land you in prison.

Here is my take on these 7 shooting incident mistakes Zimmerman made (FYI - in a recent article, Zimmerman noted that his cost from the state of Florida alone - for paperwork requests, etc., amounted to more than $360,000) -

Don't Get Out of Your Car

The entirety of the case against Zimmerman was that he "pursued" or "stalked" Martin, not that he was a Neighborhood Watch participant, and was being a good citizen looking out for his community.

Any situation can be twisted in any way.

The lesson from this is to not to put yourself in the position of being perceived to be the aggressor in any way, shape or form. This includes initiating contact with your bad guy.

If you see a bad guy in your backyard, get a gun, load it, disengage the safety, and call the police. Don't do a "sweep" of your backyard and shoot the guy. You were not in imminent threat of physical harm or loss of life while you were in your home and the bad guy was in the backyard - which is the standard for self-defense in most states.

Someone trespassing on your property is not legal grounds for lethal defense in most states. Like it or not, that's the law. Think before you act.

How will it look when you're on trial for murder and the family of the "good boy, with such a bright future, who had his life tragically extinguished" is weeping in the gallery as you testify?

Don't Rely On Cheap Equipment

I guess Zimmerman fumbled with a cheap flashlight. I don't recall that being an issue.

The point is well taken, though. When your life is on the line, don't expect junk to perform like premium equipment.

Don't Take Your Eyes Off The Threat

Amen to that!

An aggressor is always looking for a point of vulnerability or a moment of weakness. You averting your eyes from the potential threat - even for a second - is the opening they're looking for.

Arm yourself (but don't brandish your weapon) back up, keep moving, locate cover, but NEVER lose eye contact with your aggressor.

Zimmerman erred by allowing Martin to sucker punch him from behind - and this mistake could have easily cost Zimmerman his life.

A related "rule" is to not allow your aggressor to enter your personal "safety zone". If they are within arm's length, you've made a huge mistake allowing them in that close.

Educate yourself regarding your "reactionary gap" - sufficient distance for you to be able to stop injury or to save your life. Seriously, this is something your need to consider and incorporate into your self-defense plans.

Don't Assume Police Are Your Friends

As a law abiding citizen, the police are not your enemy, but you certainly should not assume they're your friends. They're doing a job.

They are investigating a death or serious injury, and you're the one who is unharmed, and has a gun in his hand.

Obviously, that is the goal of self-defense, but someone is dead or injured, and the police gather evidence for the county prosecutors. They gather ALL evidence, including physical evidence at the scene and statements made by any witnesses and by you.

That takes us to the next rule -

Don't Forget To Assert Your Fifth Amendment Right

Other than calling the police to report the shooting, and to request medical service for the bad guy, you need to keep quiet. It doesn't matter how justified the shooting may have been.

It is incredibly easy to say something that can be twisted and shredded - and used against you - at your trial.

Think about how "pumped" you would be after a shooting: An unknown assailant entered your home, threatened your life and forced you to defend yourself. Your heart will be pumping a mile-a-minute, and the adrenaline will be gushing into your bloodstream.

As a result of recent court cases, you are now required to verbally assert your fifth amendment right to silence. They can actually use a simple refusal to speak as an admission of guilt against you in court!

"Officer, I refuse to answer based upon my fifth amendment rights under the United States Constitution."

Once you do this, you must expect to be arrested. Get this in your head right now! Do not speak with anyone until you have spoken with an attorney that specializes in self-defense.

Don't Give Interviews Without Your Attorney

Do you see a theme here?

We non-attorneys have little knowledge of what can be damning self-incrimination. We cannot be compelled to make a statement, but if we voluntarily do so - say to reporters and cameras - our recorded statements can be used against us.

If you fall for the, "If you're not guilty, you should have no problem speaking with the police," garbage, you are sadly misinformed and naive.

This is doubly so in anti-gun states such as California, New York, Massachusetts, etc. Prosecutors in those states want to make examples of gun owners. It's as simple as that.

Don't help them ruin your life.

Don't Be Surprised If A Civil Suit Comes Next

It's the American Way, right? Everyone looks to make another buck.

I've never understood how this works, though. You've got a guy like OJ Simpson who is found not guilty (BTW, I think he was guilty as all hell, but I wasn't on the jury). The Brown family was then able to successfully sue him in civil court and win damages.

How can that be? Not guilty in one court, and guilty in another - all concerning the same incident.

I'd bet top dollar that the police officer in Ferguson will be facing a similar civil trial. It's going to be huge dollars.

Plain and simple, you have to assume it will happen if you're involved in a self-defense shooting.

Yes, SecondCall offers protection for this - up to Unlimited spending for your defense.

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I can think of few things more horrible than taking the life of another human being - even the life of a dirt-bag threatening my life. It's unsettling, to say the least.

But if it comes down to the life of a good guy versus the life of a bad guy, I will not hesitate to exercise my right to self-defense. Not ever.

But you MUST think out your various responses to various situations. In my precious metals shop, we discuss - on a regular basis - how we will react to different types of aggression and threat.

My wife and I do the same for our home.

Plan, anticipate, train. Then do it all over again. And again.

Chief Instructor is an NRA Certified Pistol Instructor. He is a recruiter for the SecondCall Defense membership program. He proudly, and unapologetically supports both organizations. He receives compensation if you take a firearms instruction class from his company, or if you purchase a membership from SecondCall Defense through this website (please do so!).
 
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Copyright 2014 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates. www.BisonRMA.com

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Death By Fiat



Most people will tell you that they think laws are in place to keep you safe.  They're kind of right.

Written laws originated to protect the citizens from violence, theft and to secure the sanctity of business transactions (not surprising - taxes were levied based upon amounts traded, grown or built).  The act and the punishment were spelled out for all to see.  Not much else was covered by the laws.

America was similar  -
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

We started out with a single piece of paper that directed the government to protect us from violence and invasion, run a court system and pretty much leave us be (that's the Blessings of Liberty part).

Oh, how we've strayed.  I heard this quote during the week -
Every law is a point of conflict between the citizens and the government.

Amen, brother.  Most laws now direct us how to live, what and how to buy, and attempt to persuade or command our actions.
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Think about something as seemingly innocuous as building codes.  They're there to protect you, right?  So says they government official getting paid to enforce the laws written by other government officials.

Why should anyone be able to tell me what and how I can build on my own property?  Unless I've agreed to certain standards (via Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions when I buy the property) who has the right to tell me I can't make a home out of mud and grass, river rocks or 2x4's to MY specifications?

When I go to sell my property, the buyer inspects the property and structures and determines their value.  If I misrepresent the quality of the structures, I get sued by the new owner for theft (fraud).

The buyer and I are the parties in the transaction, not the government.  Yet they granted themselves the right to tell me how to act.

If I try to build my structure to my standards and .GOV finds out, they'll fine me for non-compliance.  If I don't pay and comply, they'll come and tear down the structure.  If I defend my property, I'll be killed by government employees.
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Look what recently happened in Seattle.  They passed a law making it illegal to have more than 10% of your garbage be, "compostable material" - fruit, vegetables, paper.  Someone is actually paid to monitor compliance.

The law "protects the environment".  Bullshit.  It protects and builds government paychecks.

Like the zoning laws, some bureaucrat knows better than you on how you should behave.  You have no choice in the matter.

Don't comply, you get fined.  Don't pay and comply - and resist - you can get dead.
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And that brings us to New York City.  The spawning ground for the, "We Know Better Than You" crowd.

A man is selling cigarettes one at a time.  In what is stupefying, even for New York, that, too is - amazingly - against the law.

NYC knows better than you.  You see, if you can't buy smokes one at a time, you'll quit smoking.  They're doing it for you!  You're too stupid to see the light, so it gets shoved up your ass.  You'll then be happy and healthy and a contributing member of NYC society.

Apparently many don't agree with this line of thinking, as many people sell these one-off cigarettes. They even have a name:  Loosies. The seller in question had actually been harassed, detained and arrested numerous times for doing this.

But he chose not to comply - in fact he chose to resist.  He resisted against the enforcers of a law designed to regulate the actions and decisions of the supposedly free people of New York.  Actions and decisions which would not infringe on the rights of any other New Yorker.

And now he'd dead.

The law was the reason for his death, the police officer was just the weapon.  He was a victim of the Nanny State in the truest sense of the word.
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Living in California, I have many such similar opportunities to not comply with "the law".  And I do so every day.

Would I resist if I were caught not complying?  I guess it would depend on which law I was blowing off.

I have no desire to die, but I also have no desire to live like a caged, brain-addled pet.  Let's hope it never gets to that point.


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Copyright 2014 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates. www.BisonRMA.com

Friday, November 28, 2014

The War On Men

Let me say right up front, this post isn't about being a victim.  In fact it's the exact opposite. 

It's a cold bucket of water to the face of men (and the women who love and support them) to wake the hell up and to start pushing back - on a regular, consistent basis - when ideology like that which follows, is published or broadcast.

It's the slippery slope, the camel nose under the tent,  or the thin edge of the wedge.  Do not let this stand unchallenged.

It's crap like this that I'm talking about (from an article titled, "The New York City Subway Is Taking a Stand Against Ridiculous Male Privilege") - 
The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) announced on Monday that a new campaign addressing courtesy on public transportation will come into effect by January. One of the targeted behaviors is "man-spreading" — the act of spreading one's legs so far apart that other passengers are forced to squish their own together.

Or, if you prefer a more nuanced description, one of the most infuriating and outright ridiculous display of male privilege and machismo in existence today. As Mic's Derrick Clifton succinctly put it, "Hey, bro, you're not that well-endowed."
Wow, where to begin?  From the city that gave us laws against feeding the homeless, large sodas and the liberal/progressive approach to policing that involves deeming the color of your skin as probable cause for a search, we now have this.

Squish your nuts or go to jail.  Or better said, "If you can't sit like a woman, we'll make you one."

Notice the technique used in the last sentence up there in the article?  Get one of the privileged men to agree with the law, and toss in a pinch of humiliation for good measure.

Straight out of Alinsky's,  Rules For Radicals -
“Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions.
Get a couple of guys fighting over the size of their junk, and the man-haters shriek with glee.

The real issue - the government actually dictating how you may now sit - becomes an afterthought, and the law stands.

I guess in NYC, if you're a black guy that works at an ad hoc soup kitchen who's on a bus holding a Big Gulp between your legs, you can be tazered on the spot.  Hey, connect the dots.


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Here's the headline:

Male TV presenter wears same suit for a year – does anyone notice?  


And the sub-head:

Australian TV anchor Karl Stefanovic has been wearing the same blue suit to make a point about the ways in which his female colleagues are judged. What we learned hardly came as a surprise – but it can’t be said enough

When you read the headline and sub-head, who is the victim and who is the sexist?  The female host is the victim, because she's apparently being unfairly "judged".  And since a man got away with Fashion Murder, men and the whole "male privalege" gig were the aggressors, the judges and the sexists.

When I was in banking - for the entire period I was in management (27 of my 31 years) - I wore 3 suits to work.  A black one, a gray one and a blue one.  In dim lighting, they all looked the same color. 

I think back in the 1980's I had a brown one. 

Each day I'd rotate between the suits, so two days a week, I'd wear the same colored suit (on Monday and Thursday, and on Tuesday and Friday).

I wore a white shirt every day, and owned perhaps a dozen ties.  I'd mix and match the ties with the suits.

I never - not once - got a visit from the Fashion Police for my violation of the dressing laws.

The women, though, were another story.  If a woman dared to wear the same thing within a 2 or 3 week period, she got derided.  A snicker here, a disapproving glance there.  And the occasional backhanded compliment.

"I absolutely loved the shoes you wore with that same outfit last week!"

The derision was always, without exception, by other women.

I swear on all that is Holy to me, I NEVER thought more or less of the capabilities of a woman because of what she was wearing.  I can say with high confidence that other men felt the same way.

Why?  Because I didn't give a shit.  As long as you were wearing "business attire" I could not have cared less if it was from Nordstom's or Walmart, if you wore it yesterday or the day before that, or if the shoes clashed or not.


Apparently, just as blacks can't be racist, women can't be sexist.  Everyone knows that all racism is only directed towards blacks by non-blacks, and all sexism is only directed towards women by non-women, right?

So, who does that leave - by default - as the sexists?  Men.

I had to look hard to find a single online article that suggested that the Fashion Police and their heavy-handed approach is made up overwhelmingly by women.

In the article linked above, the last half of the very last paragraph of the article touches on this -
According to Wilkinson, most of the emails commenting on her on-air sartorial decisions have come from women. “I don’t know how we’ve got into that space,” she said on Today. 
Most of the emails?  I'd guess ALL of the emails.  Seriously, can you see a man taking the time to write an email that says, "Girl, those shoes just DID NOT work with that pantsuit you wore on Thursday!"
It’s not too hard to figure out: in a toxic climate, where a woman’s appearance is often deemed the only noteworthy thing about her, it is inevitable that the harshest critics may also be women. 
What "toxic climate" would that be?  That women trash other women's appearance?  Why is it "inevitable" that the worst critics would be women?  If that's true, then why isn't THAT the focus of your article?

Because it doesn't further the male-privilege, women-victim ideology.
Unlearning sexist behaviour is a job for us all, men and women alike.
There ya go - save the last sentence in a victimhood-promoting article to throw men into the mix of a clearly women-only issue.

If the author really, truly wanted to focus the article where the problem lies, her headline would have read -

Listen Up, Ladies - Stop This Fashion Police Assault On Other Women


The sub-head would have read -

Seriously.  It makes us look weak and stupid and shallow, instead of strong and capable.  Stop it now.

Sure, that'll happen right away.  I just checked with the weather station in Hades, and the forecast for the foreseeable future is hot 'n toasty...

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And then there are the boys.  You know, "little men" that must be neutered and groomed to be nice little girls.

Boys point their finger like a gun, and say, "bang bang".  The school administration goes into an uproar, killer-drones are put on high alert, the boys are labeled a terrorist wannabes, and promptly medicated for the rest of their lives.

Just as disgusting is the treatment they receive from the largely female teaching corps of the government schools.
We extend the analysis of early-emerging gender differences in academic achievement to include both (objective) test scores and (subjective) teacher assessments…we show that the grades awarded by teachers are not aligned with test scores, with the disparities in grading exceeding those in testing outcomes and uniformly favoring girls, and that the misalignment of grades and test scores can be linked to gender differences in non-cognitive development.

…Boys in all racial categories across all subject areas are not represented in grade distributions where their test scores would predict. Even those boys who perform equally as well as girls on reading, math and science tests are nevertheless graded less favorably by their teachers.
Why is that?  Why would boys who get the same scores as a girl get a lower grade?
Despite having higher scores on standardized tests, boys get lower grades than girls. Why? Because teachers are basing grades at least partly on classroom behavior, and the standards are very much geared to female norms.
Translation?  The little boys are acting like little boys, and NOT like little girls.  And that's just not acceptable.
Another interesting finding was that boys who adhere to female norms on non-cognitive skills were not penalized. Effectively, the more female behavior was rewarded with a grade “bonus” for males.

The implications of this are obvious. Masculinity, even normal maleness, is being punished in schools from a very young age. Only the most female-acting boys are rewarded with a fair assessment. Cornwell notes that this practice may permanently affect a boy’s educational prospects.
Of course it will affect their educational prospects.  That's the plan.  Fewer mean, nasty, gross, aggressive boys will be able to obtain advanced degrees and training, so there are fewer similarly-disgusting eligible men to compete with women for advanced paying jobs.

Victimhood pays well.
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So what to do?

Ignoring this - not addressing the unfair and unequal treatment - has got to stop.  This is just like the "mission creep" we saw with building a welfare state.  Don't pay attention, and you now have half the nation getting money from The State.

The difference between us and the male-haters is that we don't want special treatment for boys and men.  We don't have hate and loathing for someone based upon their gender. That would be stupid.

We don't want a "helping hand" or a "leg up" or a "special dispensation".  That would be admitting we don't have the ability to compete on a truly level playing field.

What we need to do is to fight the good fight when we see it.  If we see a story of a boy or man being blamed for being a boy or a man, write a letter or make a phone call.  Do it now.

If we see a local story in a government school where a boy has been mistreated for being a boy, go to the school board meeting and make a stink.  And bring some friends.

If we see a story where the local supervisors or council members are considering a man-bashing law such as the seating requirement on buses, go to the next meeting and make a stink.  And bring some friends.

Use technology to reach larger groups.  Forward links to articles showing the abuses to your friends.  This is one of the easiest ways to "spread the word".  If the subject comes up, your friends are now "armed" to deflect the "we're just victims" assault that will follow. 

The bottom line is, we must become active about this.  Don't be brow-beaten and guilt-tripped for being male. 

If we've learned one thing, it's that once a law becomes enacted, it's rarely reversed.  The statists and their minions just keep coming back for more.

Look at Obamacare.  They've now admit they lied, hid facts, and fudged numbers.  It doesn't matter now, because nothing will change.  The key is to not allow a bad law, practice or regulation to become enacted.

Understand their tactics.  They will paint themselves as victims in one way or another.  Who can hate a victim, right?  Point out that they're not victims, they're in stations of authority, and are abusing their power.  Flip the conversation around to THEM being the aggressor and bully.

Use their own tactics ON THEM.  Again, from Alinsky -
“Keep the pressure on. Never let up.” Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new.
Never let up.

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Copyright 2014 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates. www.BisonRMA.com

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Precious Metals Conundrum

Interesting goings-on with gold, silver and platinum right now.

We saw spot prices drop big-time a couple of weeks ago after Japan said they were going to "kick it up a notch" with their flavor of Quantitative Easing.  It just so happened - entirely by coincidence, I'm sure - their announcement coincided with the Fed's notice that they were going to stop QE.

The result was an artificially stronger dollar (when compared to other world currencies), which resulted in lower precious metals prices.

Then the rush happened.

In my PM store, we essentially have no silver.  Both the US Mint and the Royal Canadian Mint have announced they're out of silver, and won't be producing any coinage for the rest of the year.  The major private mints are in the same predicament.  The only stuff available is that which is already in the pipeline.  And it ain't much.

My primary wholesale dealer has posted delivery dates of private mint silver going out into January 2015! 
 
If someone comes in to sell some, it's gone inside a matter of hours, usually sooner.  I've literally had customers queued up waiting to buy what the guy in front of them doesn't buy.

Gold sales are similar, but not quite as frantic.  Yet.

Since these spot price drops are a result of paper markets and not physical markets, the premiums on silver, in particular, have soared.  For the first time in the past 5 years (maybe ever), the premium per ounce on good old "junk silver" (Pre-1965 90% silver US coins) is higher than the premium on silver rounds.

Supply and demand, baby!  Unreal.

So, is now the time to buy?  That's really a tough one to answer.

The EU has announced that they are going to take another swing at the whole QE shell game.  If they do this, we'll see a drop in spot prices again, just like we saw with the Japanese QE.  The rub is, there still isn't any silver to buy!  The product that is available will have a migraine-inducing premium.

On top of all of this, a number of silver and gold mining companies have made rumblings of shutting down some of their mines.  At these spot prices, they lose money on every ounce produced.  Not a sound business plan.  So they'll wait out this paper vs physical war by idling production.

For me personally, I'm still buying gold and silver (when I can get it) - just like I do every month.  My gut says that we will see further lowering of spot prices because of the QE nonsense - how low, I don't know - but the lower spot prices will be temporary in nature. 

How temporary?  Again, I don't know.  I continue to believe that the spot price manipulation will eventually collapse under its own weight, and market economics will return to play.

When you have 92+ paper contracts for every 1 ounce of physical silver, you need less than 1% of the contract holders to demand physical delivery - as is their right - and the whole thing blows up.

Maybe that happens tomorrow, maybe next quarter, maybe in 5 years.  The folks in the Market Manipulation Syndicate (TM) have a vested interest in keeping commodity prices low.  And they have a whole lot of power and money behind them.

But economics always prevail.  Eventually.

If you're going to jump into the PM pool:

  • Don't go into debt to obtain PMs.  Bad economic choices lead to bad economic outcomes.

  • Understand that your PMs may lose "value" in the short run.  If you can't mentally bury the PMs in your backyard, don't buy them.  PMs are not a "get rich quick" investment.  They're a long-haul deal.

  • Have your bills paid, your cash emergency reserves funded, and some cushion for other unexpected events.

  • Get educated.  Understand what you're buying, and how to eventually sell it.

  • Go slowly, set a budget, and stick to it.  PLEASE don't go, "all in" with your first purchase.  That's a bad investment strategy, whether it be stocks, bonds or PMs.


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Copyright 2014 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates. www.BisonRMA.com

Saturday, November 8, 2014

I'm A 66 Percenter!

Still, as president, I have a unique responsibility to try and make this town work. So, to everyone who voted, I want you to know that I hear you. To the two-thirds of voters who chose not to participate in the process yesterday, I hear you, too.--President Obama 11/5/2014

I used to be a believer in our electoral system.  I fell for all of that pseudo-patriotic pablum.

One person, one vote.
People died for your right to vote.
It's your duty as an American.

I fell for their trap.  It's friggin' brilliant.

It's the belief that the people who are elected to office will fulfill their sworn pledge to uphold the Constitution.  More importantly, if they don't uphold their pledge, they can be removed, and someone of integrity and honor can replace them.

It sounds great on paper, but is an abysmal failure in practice.

I've been on this planet for over half a century now.  I've seen Democrats and Republicans in every federal office in this land.  They all say the same thing:  Vote for me, and I'll change the way things are run.

In they're voted, and nothing changes.  Not some of the time, all of the time.  The only difference between the Ds and the Rs is which special-interest group gets our largess.

Our vote does one thing, and one thing only:  It give legitimacy to the elected.  The people have spoken!

Stalin, Saddam Hussein, and that whack-job in North Korea all got 98+% of the "vote".  It's absurd on its face.

Here in America, the winner is usually in the mid- to upper-fifty percent range of the "popular vote". These are the people that actually got up and voted.

But, as Barry so accurately noted, last time around, two-thirds of those eligible to vote chose not to do so.

That whole popular vote badge of honor is beginning to carry the same gravitas as a "lower unemployment rate".  The calculation is irrelevant when the entire eligible population is not included.

The people have indeed spoken.  By greater and greater numbers they're not participating in the ruse.  By not voting, they're lessening the legitimacy of the elected.
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Certainly, a large percentage of mid-term election non-voters is simply apathy.  They can't be bothered.

But in the last presidential election in 2012 - a hotly contested and emotional event - the trend was still down, and particularly disturbing to the politicians -
In swing or battleground states, [...] the average turnout in this year’s [2012] election was 62.7 percent of eligible voters. Across the rest of the nation, average turnout was 54.8 percent.
In most of America, about half of registered voters didn't vote.  Nearly 100 million eligible Americans decided not to play the game.
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"But Chief, we're a Constitutional Republic.  If you don't vote, the Constitution can't be preserved."

Really?  A Constitutional Republic means that the country is republican (small R) in nature - the citizens vote in other people to represent them - and is guided and restrained by a legal document called a Constitution.

The elected can only act within the confines detailed in the legal document.  If the elected wish to change the scope of their powers and duties, the People must agree to these changes via the amendment process that is contained in the Constitution.

We've done it lots of times, and the process works.

If you think that's where we are - that our country is still a Constitutional Republic - here's what I want you to do:  I want you to take an hour, go on the Internet and find the names of every federal department, agency and service you can find.

There are a lot of them, so you won't find them all in an hour.  Stop at that point, though, or you'll go nuts.

Then take out a copy of the Constitution, and jot down the article or amendment that allows the existence of that department, agency or service.

Keep in mind that unless something is specifically granted in the Constitution, the federal government cannot do it.

The founders made this crystal clear with Amendment 10:
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.
So, let's take the Department of Education for example.  Is the federal government constitutionally empowered to have anything to do with education?  No.  Does anything in the Constitution prohibit a state from establishing a Department of Education?  No.

Only a state - if it so chooses - could have a DOE.  That means that the federal DOE is unconstitutional.

It's a $141,000,000,000 a year (that's 141 billion dollars) sucking hole.  An unconstitutional sucking hole.

And that's just one department.

It was established under Jimmy Carter - a Democrat - in 1979.

The tally -

Carter - Democrat
Reagan - Republican
Reagan - Republican
Bush - Republican
Clinton - Democrat
Clinton - Democrat
Bush - Republican
Bush - Republican
Obama - Democrat
Obama - Democrat

Hmm.  Looks pretty evenly split.  Both sides had the ability and opportunity to show their constitutional stripes and abolish this department.

It is perhaps the easiest, most grotesque, most obviously unconstitutional federal department we've got.  It's a "sitting duck" for elimination.

Yet there it sits.  For the last 35 years.

So, those of you who say we must vote to protect the Constitution and the country are delusional.  You too have fallen for the trap.

It's done.  Put a bow on it.  Say a prayer for its passing, 'cause it's gone.
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It's time to deal with what we've got, not what we had.

History has shown us that as tyranny - uncontrolled and unaccountable government - grows, things like food, money, personal freedom and the ability to protect ourselves are used against us to control the population.

Dissidents are imprisoned.  Food is controlled by the State, as is the medium of financial exchange.  No one but government forces are allowed arms - and those are not used for self-defense, but for control of the population.

These tyrannical governments always end in one of two ways:  They simply crumble under their own weight (i.e., Roman Empire, USSR) or there is revolution (i.e., France, USA).  Usually a combination of both.

Take a couple of minutes and read this short summation on the fall of the Roman Empire.  Tell me you can't see the identical things happening here in America.

We're repeating history.  And not in a good way.

It always comes back to the basics:  Ensure food security, financial security, self-defense security.  Get these taken care of while the getting is good.

Store food, know how to grow/raise food, know how to forage, trap and hunt food.

Have cash, precious metals, barter goods and skills.

Have pistols, rifles, ammo, cleaning kits, pepper spray, stun guns.

Have all of these things, and have them in multiple locations.

Have back ups for your back ups.  Regardless of the situation - job loss, civil unrest, martial law, TEOTWAWKI - you need to assume you'll lose some of what you've got.  Plan for this.  This is what we "whacko preppers" do.
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BTW, I do vote for my state and local officials and referendums.  Although, here in the Land of Fruits and Nuts - California - the state elections are moving along the lines of the federal elections.

For example, if you were an elected official - a state senator, no less - and were found guilty of 8 FELONIES, including perjury and fraud, how long would you expect to be in jail?

I'm guessing no one said, "90 minutes".

Yeah, 11 minutes per felony.  Must be nice.

Vote your conscience, not for "the lesser of two evils".  You'd still be voting for evil.



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Copyright 2014 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates. www.BisonRMA.com

Monday, October 27, 2014

Protecting Against Asset Seizures

Simultaneously posted on BoomerPreps.com

There's an uproar in the media about asset seizures and the seemingly, "We don't care," attitude by various government agencies.

I started in banking back in 1977 while attending college.  I eventually moved up the ladder and was put in charge of a department that received all of the subpoena requests from the various local, state and federal police agencies.

They may have suspected one of our customers of some fraudulent or illegal act, and wanted to prove their case by poring over the bank records of the accused.

Back then, there was a law called The Bank Secrecy Act.  The act was in place to protect the rights of the accused from potential government abuses.  It supported the whole idea of, "Innocent until proven guilty."

When my department got the subpoena, by law, we had to contact the customer, and they had 10 business days to hire an attorney to fight the records seizure and protect their privacy.

A judge would then review the evidence provided by the police, compare it with the evidence provided by our customer, and the judge would then determine whether there was probable cause to allow us to release the records.

In short, I was required by law to help protect the privacy of my customer who had entrusted their money with my bank.

Fast forward to today.  There is still a Bank Secrecy Act, but its intent now is to protect the secrecy of the authorities that want access to your account records.

It is now a federal crime for the bank to so much as inform you that they have reported activity on your account, provided records from your account, or opened your safe deposit box for a police look-see.

From Wikipedia:
There are heavy penalties for individuals and institutions that fail to file CTRs, MILs, or SARs. There are also penalties for a bank which discloses to its client that it has filed a SAR about the client. Penalties include heavy fines and prison sentences. 
[....] 
A financial institution is not allowed to inform a business or consumer that a SAR is being filed, and all the reports mandated by the BSA are exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.
Under the guise of terrorism, racketeering, drug dealing and other infamous crimes, you have no financial privacy.  We're all considered as guilty until proven innocent.

Now, you may be a law-abiding citizen - just like the vast, VAST majority of American citizens.  You think it's OK these privacy invasions occur, as you'll never get caught up in the government dragnet.

"If you've done nothing wrong, you should have nothing to hide."

Think again.
Take the case of a Long Island based candy and cigarette distribution company that had just under $500,000 taken from their bank accounts and had, on their accountant’s advice, made daily deposits of less than $10,000. 
Despite the fact that there have been absolutely no criminal charges—or, for that matter, any indication that the company was involved in anything other than selling candy and cigarettes to retailers, the IRS has refused to give back the money. No criminal charges filed…no trial or conviction for some nefarious activity..nothing.
Not only can they gain access to your records, but asset seizures happen in a blink of the eye - with no prior warning.

Poof!  It's all gone.

You may think that this is just an exception to the rule.  The government would never do these horrible things to the wrong people on a regular basis.

Think again.
The New York Times reports that there were 114 of these seizures in 2005. However, in 2012, the last statistics available, the number had grown to 639 seizures. 
It get’s worse. Of the 639 seizures in 2012, only twenty percent of these seizures turned out to involve cases where criminal charges were ever pursued. 
Think about that— a full eighty percent of the bank accounts emptied by the IRS in 2012 involved completely innocent people and businesses.
Unwarranted asset seizures aren't the exception, they're the rule.
OK, so they incorrectly took your money.  Once you get it cleared up, you figure they'll just re-deposit the money back into your account, and reimburse you for your costs to recover your own money.

Figure again.
Instead of immediately returning the money to the innocent business, what do you imagine the IRS did? 
They offered up a partial settlement. 
In other words, having learned that they had improperly raided this business’ bank account and taken a whole bunch of money—leaving the business to borrow $300,000 to stay in business—they now want to keep a bunch of that money. 
How does that not have the odor of extortion?

How do you protect yourself?

We're not about whining here at BoomerPreps, we're about doing.  Doing what it takes to protect our assets and increase our independence.

Asset seizures can't happen if they don't know you have... or where it's located.

Keep as little money in your bank account as is possible.  Just enough to cover your monthly bills and some emergency needs.

Eventually, take everything else out.  And that includes the contents of your safe deposit box. That will get picked clean as well.  PLUS since there's no official record of what's in your box (like a monthly statement for your checking account) it's your word against theirs over the contents they seize.

Guess who wins that debate.

All of your other liquid assets should be in cash, precious metals and gems (ONLY if you know what you're doing) - basically any hard asset that can be converted back to cash in a reasonable amount of time.

TIP:  Keep your withdrawal receipts for the cash and precious metal purchase receipts.  You may have to prove ownership and source for the cash and precious metals at some time in the future.

Yes, I know it's insane, but the rules have changed.  Adapt to the change.

There is a potential downside to this strategy:  You now become fully responsible for the care and protection of those assets.  DO NOT take this responsibility lightly.

I suggest you start slowly, becoming comfortable with your process, and the idea that your bank is not a great place for your assets.

Read and re-read these articles we've done on this subject.

Building A Cache
Hidden Cache Locations
Preventative Home Security
Protecting Valuable Records (much of it applies to this subject as well)

And perhaps most critical -
Operational Security – Shhhhhhh

Read BoomerPreps.com Disclaimers

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Copyright 2014 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates. www.BisonRMA.com

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Star Spangled Banner, Patriot Style

Oh, You Gotta See This.  Absolutely amazing.



Not a mis-step if my ears were working correctly.

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Copyright 2014 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates. www.BisonRMA.com