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Saturday, December 20, 2014

7 Shooting Incident Mistakes

Recently joint-published on

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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...


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

"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.

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.

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.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Protecting Against Asset Seizures

Simultaneously posted on

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 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.

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.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Ants and the Grasshoppers

I was doing research for an article on scams targeted at preppers and survivalists.  Many years ago, I had done a post - either here or elsewhere - where one of the companies that sells survival food had an offer along the lines of, "A year's worth of food for $300".  I think it was even less than that.

I remember thinking, "Well, that's impossible.  Even if you just ate rice and beans, you'd be hard pressed to be able to consume 2000 calories a day for less than $300 a year."

I checked out the site and in the very fine print, they said that for the stuff to last a year, you just had to add meat.  Oh, THAT'S all!?

I wrote the guy about his misrepresentation (to which he never responded), and he eventually went out of business, as his claims were just too unbelievable.

Anyways, while I was doing the research, I ran across this article at, "The Inside Story Of The Charlatan Who Duped The Nation’s Top Conservatives".

Long story, short:  The guy has a business that has preppers and survivalists as its target market.  The article implies that what he'd doing is shady at best, and possibly illegal.

Maybe it is, maybe it isn't.  I don't care.

What caught my eye was the comments to the article.  The vast majority of them had a similar sentiment to this one -
[....] but he is effectively conning people who have chosen to be selfish and put themselves outside the protections of the nation-state in the event of an imagined catastrophe and they deserve to be taken for a ride.
Here's a screen image of the whole comment.  Check out the replies to his comment (click to enlarge) -

In their eyes, to be prepared is equated with being selfish.  To step, "outside the protection of the nation-state" is unimaginable to them.  Self-determination is a foreign concept.

I suppose that the selfishness tag is applied because they think that we preppers should instead spend our own money on more social projects of their choice.  Social projects, no doubt, that will allow these deadbeats the latitude to be the Grasshoppers of Aesop's fable, dancing their time away, and "exploring themselves" instead of working to feed, clothe and house themselves.

They believe this way despite recent and historic evidence that this cherished "nation-state" always fails miserably when tasked with helping individuals during large-scale emergency situations.  Super-Storm Sandy and Hurricane Katrina come immediately to mind.

Ebola anyone?

It really has become an, "Us versus Them" mentality in this country.  I see no inclination among the liberals to change their ways.  I know I won't be changing mine.

I can deal with that, though I don't understand it.

What I cannot - will not - deal with is feeding these grasshoppers when TSHTF.

I believe these Bolsheviks to be people of principle (though clearly not of logic or history).  I will allow them to maintain their principles for as long as it takes them to see the error of their ways.  Probably about 9 missed meals or so...

I, too, am a person of principle.  And a Christian man that believes in charity and forgiveness.  But I'm not a soft-headed idiot.

I'll feed them, but they'll work for it.  And they'll work hard.  They will not freely benefit from the time I worked to save, scrimp and penny-pinch to plan ahead.

I have my lifestyle, they have theirs.  One depends on one's self, the other on the kindness of the nation-state.

Kindness will be in short supply when the food, water and supplies can't be purchased or distributed because the store has been destroyed, or its shelves have been picked clean, or the FEMA camp hasn't yet received its rations.

You may think I sound angry, and bitter and pissed off.  You'd be right.  I have a low tolerance for slackers and sloth, and those who embrace that lifestyle.

I will voluntarily assist families that have worked to prep for emergency events, but who had their supplies lost to the emergency, or pilfered by the grasshoppers.  I feel very confident that people of this type will not only volunteer to work for these supplies, they will insist upon it.  I know I would.

I will also help - as I do now - those that are unable to help themselves.  Every society has folks that, through no choice of their own, are unable to care for themselves.

But I guarantee you my bar is much higher than the current liberal bar that defines disabled.

If/when one of these situations arise, it will be a time of decision.  Limited resources will only go so far.  Those unwilling or unaccustomed to truly working for a living will be passed over for families and individuals that literally bring something to the table.

Skills, resources, knowledge.

Don't be a grasshopper.  It won't work out so well in the end.

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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.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Soft, Mushy Skulls of Gungrabbers

I have great difficulty understanding the mindset of the gun grabbers.  And of the, "I have no opinion on the subject" folks as well.

I simply don't understand why it won't sink into their soft, mushy skulls that restricting access to guns for the general population increases the likelihood of horrible, deadly rampages.
  1. Bad guys will have their guns with them REGARDLESS of what the law says.  They're bad guys, after all, and the laws restricting access to their means of protection and aggression are entirely disregarded.
  2. Good guys, on the other hand, do follow the law.  If they're told they can't bring a self-defense gun into a church, or store, or business, they won't.  Because they're good guys, they - and everyone around them - are now at a disadvantage against the aggression of the bad guys.
Why is this so difficult to understand?  Please, someone, ANYONE, refute these statements.

After this most recent head-chopping-off episode in Oklahoma - which was stopped by a fellow employee with a gun - a number of articles have been written on the subject of self-defense in the workplace.

Many express this sentiment -
There is of course a concern from some employer sectors who reason that by allowing employees the right to bring their weapons to the workplace, Jihadist lone wolf homeland converted terrorists will easily bring their weapons in as well. 
Seriously, are you unable to think for yourself?  If your "Jihadist lone wolf homeland converted terrorist" wants to bring in his guns, right now - against all laws of the land - HE'LL DO IT because he has no regard for the law.

As we've seen again, and again, and again.

For God's sake, a law is nothing more than words on a piece of paper.  Words are not going to stop him from doing as he pleases.  Guns aimed in his direction are.

If he's hell-bent on shooting up the place, he's going to do it.  He'll be limited in his rampage only when someone stops him.  As we saw in Oklahoma, it was stopped after one death.  As we saw at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the aggressor wasn't stopped until the police arrived, and he took his own life.

After scores of deaths.

Those deaths are on the shoulders of those that would take away the means of defense for those children and adults.


I've been seeing an interesting shift in public opinion here in California.  Folks that are usually in the, "guns are bad" or "guns scare me" crowd, are moving over to the, "I'm protecting my own butt" crowd.

Many in direct, unequivocal defiance of California law.  I love it!

I see it in my precious metals store.  I see it in my gun training classes.  I see it in my pepper spray classes.  I see it in (God bless them) little old ladies packing a revolver in their purse.

These people are finally waking up to the fact that the restrictive gun laws do nothing other than increase the chances of the good folks becoming a victim.

In my pistol classes, I tell my students that I believe you have the moral and ethical right to self-defense, regardless of the law.  I tell them very quickly after that, that if they are caught with a gun in a situation deemed unacceptable by The State, they will be punished.  There are indeed consequence for our actions.

I tell them that this is why I'm leaving California.  I will not be told when and where I may defend my life.  My once great state cannot be restored to its former stature.

The soft, mushy-skulled types have run the place into the ground.  Beyond repair.  It must fail - horribly - before change will occur.  So, until then, I'll be free and independent in a state that thinks as I do.

Enjoy the show from afar.  It should be spectacular!

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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.

Monday, September 29, 2014

An Invitation

As some have noticed, my writing frequency here has dropped considerably.  And changed a bit.

For the past couple of months, I've been writing preparedness and homesteading posts over at  I even borrowed a couple from here!  A group of us have been working our tails off trying to put together a "go to" site on preparedness issues and techniques - initially targeted towards Baby Boomers - hence the name.

And while those of us who are a bit less physical, and a bit less quick, and a bit more experienced are the primary focus for the site, we've expanded our scope to encompass anyone that just wants to put forth the effort, with the goal of improving their personal independence.

We've got a great group of writers - always looking for more (hint, hint!) - hoping to give a wide variety of viewpoints and perspectives on this very important goal.

I invite you to drop on by, kick the tires, leave a comment or two and see how you like the joint.  We are always open to suggestions on content, topics and the like.  Let us know what you're looking for.

Unlike this site, the content is strictly, "how to".  If you enjoy my weekly (or so) rants on the politics of being prepared, keep coming by here.  I need to blow off some steam now and again!

A request (or 3):

1.  Join our mailing list (under the big hand on the home page - follow the finger...).  We keep you up to date on new articles and information (free and premium) added to the site.  We give you our blood oath we will never, ever give, share, sell, trade or barter your address to any other party.  Never.

2.  If you have a website or blog, please give us a link.  Thanks in advance.

3.  If you have a Facebook, Twitter or Google+ page, please like us, follow us, or join us, as the case may be.  Our Facebook and Twitter feeds will be the only place we ever delve into politics for the site!

Your continued support is much appreciated.

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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.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Fearful Of The Fear Of Death

Where are the anti-gun nuts?

Where are the "War On Women" whack-jobs?

Where are the, "Islam is a religion of peace" supporters?  You know, the ones who say violence is not part of core Islam.

As most of America now knows, a recently fired worker, Alton Nolen, (aka  Jah' keem Yisrael to his ISIS-lovin' Facebook buddies) of Moore, Oklahoma, brutally stabbed, then chopped off the head of a former co-worker.  He then proceeded to stab another woman, but was stopped by another coworker who had a concealed carry permit, and shot the "peaceful" Islamist, stopping his very real rein of terror.

Let's recap, shall we?

Those evil, awful, gun nuts once again saved - at the very minimum - 1 person's life.  This Islamic nut job was on a roll, and would have surely killed many more.  One man, one gun, countless lives saved.  Seriously, what is wrong with these gun-grabbers?

The War On Women in America is non-existent outside of the minds of liberal, professional victim-mongers.  Unless, that is, you count the Islamist's that are waging war on all women, everywhere.  How can these women's groups remain silent?  Women are raped, mutilated and murdered as normal daily activities by these radical Islamists, but you want to get your panties in a wad because of some perceived "glass ceiling"?

Religion of Peace supporters?  Crickets chirping.  Why?  Because they're so lacking in numbers - or backbone - to be effectively non-existent.

DO NOT let the administration and their RINO supporters lull you into the belief that if we, "kill them over there, we won't have to kill them here."  It's unadulterated crap.

They are assuming you are a soft-headed bot that is easily swayed by the fear they peddle.  You know that to make, "the homeland" safe, we must secure our borders.  Stop the bastards from entering, and they can do no harm.

Still, some will make it through, and others - like this US-born, Jah' keem Yisrael - will stage attacks.  An armed citizenry will stop them before their terror spreads past the initial victim.

Remember:  You cannot stop a "lone wolf" attacker.  It is impossible.  Dropping bombs in the Middle East or turning the US into Check Point Charlie will do nothing.  Well, nothing good.

I took this from Knuckledraggin' My Life Away -
Fear of death will not prevent dying - but may prevent living.
You want to live in a constant state of fear or perceived victimhood, go ahead.  I don't have time for you.  I've got too much living to do.


A bit of a follow-up to last week's post on police abuse.

Watch this video.

If this bastard isn't fired from his job.... oh never mind.  He'll get a slap on the wrist, and nothing more.  I'm sure his union rep is putting together a compelling tale about how the stress of the job pushed him over the edge, and he now needs to go on paid disability leave for the rest of his life.

Think what would happen if an employee at Macy's treated a customer in the same manner.


That clerk would be fired on the spot, and charges would most likely be made by the victim for assault.

Why is a clerk at a retail store held to a higher standard than a public servant?

As I stated last week, it is ongoing, constant abuses such as these that eventually result in responses such as that of Mr. Frein sniping police officers in Pennsylvania.

You can only push so far.

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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.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

To Serve And Protect? My Ass.

I've written a number of times about how I believe incidents like the "crazy survivalist" who shot the two cops up in Pennsylvania will be a growing trend.

I think the last time I wrote about it was when the two cops in Las Vegas got gunned down while eating lunch.

The time before that might have been when Christopher Dorner - a former LA cop and former US Navy Reserve officer - blasted the hell out of a bunch of LA cops, and others.

Regardless, and sadly, I've been right.  And until the police change their actions and attitude, it will continue.

Before I get into some of the egregious acts the police have been committing, let me lay some groundwork.  I recently came upon a nearly two-centuries old set of principles for good policework.  In fact, many police agencies today, here in America, actually have these 9 principles as a part of their public mission statement or similar document.

They were written by Sir Robert Peel, the "Founder of Modern Policing" -
The Peelian Principles (bold text mine  .ed): 
Peelian Principle 1 - “The basic mission for which the police exist is to prevent crime and disorder.” 
Peelian Principle 2 - “The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of police actions.
Peelian Principle 3 - “Police must secure the willing co-operation of the public in voluntary observance of the law to be able to secure and maintain the respect of the public.”
Peelian Principle 4 - “The degree of co-operation of the public that can be secured diminishes proportionately to the necessity of the use of physical force.” 
Peelian Principle 5 - “Police seek and preserve public favour not by catering to the public opinion but by constantly demonstrating absolute impartial service to the law.” 
Peelian Principle 6 - “Police use physical force to the extent necessary to secure observance of the law or to restore order only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient.” 
Peelian Principle 7 - “Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.” 
Peelian Principle 8 - “Police should always direct their action strictly towards their functions and never appear to usurp the powers of the judiciary.
Peelian Principle 9 - “The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it.
Breathtaking.  Simple.  Succinct.  And the general tradition of policing in America prior to 25 or so years ago.

Prior to that, when the police crossed the line, they were punished.  Were there exceptions?  Of course.  But they were just that - exceptions.

Now, it seems police misconduct, and more importantly, a sea-change in the attitude of police towards the rest of society, has this situation worsening.  The very heart of the Peelian Principles of police conduct have been swept out the door.

Now, people are pushing back.

I think the biggest driver of this change in police attitudes began with the introduction of SWAT teams.  When SWAT teams were originally proposed to the public, we were sold on the idea that they had a very clearly defined set of rules as to when they would be used:
  • Hostage and barricade situations
  • Terrorist acts
  • Active shooters
That was it.  Situations where a private citizen or sworn officer would be unable to control the situation using normal means, such as persuasion, non-lethal devices or even sidearms.

The shit had hit the fan, big time.

Now, SWAT teams are deployed to enforce business license compliance.  I  kid you not -
Law enforcement officers who conducted a warrantless SWAT-style raid on an Orlando barber shop, ostensibly to help inspectors conduct a routine occupational licensing exam [...]
If you click the link above, you'll see that a court has ruled that this use of SWAT was unconstitutional, and the agency involved will not be allowed to claim Qualified Immunity for their actions.

This is a very good thing.  Hang the bastards out to dry.

And equally irrelevant.  How could anyone involved - from the commander in charge, to the cop first through the door - think this was Constitutional?

That's the problem.  No one was thinking.  They were just blindly following orders.

THAT is scary as all hell.  The last thing we need are police agencies full of mindless order-takers.

What I believe has happened is when these police agencies built their SWAT teams, the "elite members" got restless.  They train, and train, and train, and want to put that training to use in the real world.

I know that when I buy a new gun or gear, I want to go out and use it.  I go to the range, and in the past, I would compete in IDPA events to test my skills.

But that was it.  I never felt the need to gear-up and do a take-down of the UPS guy when he delivered a package to my home.

The SWAT guys convinced their bosses that a little bit of, "mission creep" was a good way to get some real-life experience without alarming the public.

It probably started with deploying SWAT to raid some really bad and dangerous drug lord.  Kick the fuckin' door in, and show the drug-dealin', baby-killin' bastard who's boss!

The public liked it - no one likes drug lords - so the creep continued.  Drug warehouses.  Child molesters.  Even street-level drug dealers.

None of which, it should be noted, are qualified under the original charter for SWAT.

Here's another example.  How would you have reacted if some ninja dude entered your home at oh-dark-thirty?  Ask any cop how THEY would have reacted.
Attempting to serve a search warrant by entering a house through a window got Killeen, Texas, Police Detective Charles Dinwiddie shot in the face and killed last May.  It was yet another SWAT raid organized for a purpose other than the reason they were invented. The police had a search warrant looking for narcotics at the home of Marvin Louis Guy, 49. They decided to serve this warrant at 5:30 in the morning and without knocking on his door. He opened fire on them, killing Dinwiddie and injuring three others.
Here's an idea:  Why don't you wait down the street with a couple of officers in unmarked car.  When Mr. Guy exits the home, pull him over, THEN search his house.  If he starts shooting, or rushes back in and locks himself in the house, THEN call out SWAT.

Not as fun, right?

Oh, by the way, the police found NO DRUGS.  Still, Texas prosecutors want to execute him.  FOR DEFENDING HIS HOME AGAINST UNKNOWN INVADERS!

No hostages or barricade.
No terrorist activities.
No active shooter.
No-knock warrant.
No drugs.

Yeah, let's fry that guy in the electric chair.

As noted earlier, the litmus test for what qualifies for calling out the door-kickers has now dropped to expired business licenses.  They need a tank, armored personnel carriers and FULLY automatic weapons.  What gives?

During this evolution in how police interact with us, a new buzz phrase emerged:  Officer Safety.

You can justify damned near anything if you say you're doing it to maintain Officer Safety.

The public disagrees.  We care about OUR safety.  We're paying you to put yourself at risk.  If you don't like that deal, then quit.

We're getting pissed off, and some of us are shooting back.

Perhaps even worse for the agencies, the public revulsion with police actions has moved to mockery.  When your actions result in widespread mockery, you need to re-examine how you do business.


But it isn't just the violence.  It is the widespread, utter disregard for the law.  Top of the list is this whole, "asset forfeiture" abomination.

A Sir Peel reminder -
Peelian Principle 8 - “Police should always direct their action strictly towards their functions and never appear to usurp the powers of the judiciary.
The condensed story is, travel with cash, get pulled over, you will likely lose the cash.

Rare?  Odd occurrence?  Once in a blue moon?

Naw.  It's so prevalent, and everyone knows it's happening all over America, that journalists in foreign countries are warning their citizens about entering the US with lots of cash -

American shakedown: Police won't charge you, but they'll grab your money
U.S. police are operating a co-ordinated scheme to seize as much of the public’s cash as they can 
There’s a shakedown going on in the U.S., and the perps are in uniform. 
Across America, law enforcement officers — from federal agents to state troopers right down to sheriffs in one-street backwaters — are operating a vast, co-ordinated scheme to grab as much of the public’s cash as they can; “hand over fist,” to use the words of one police trainer. 
It usually starts on the road somewhere. An officer pulls you over for some minor infraction — changing lanes without proper signalling, following the car ahead too closely, straddling lanes. The offence is irrelevant.
Then the police officer wants to chat, asking questions about where you’re going, or where you came from, and why. He’ll peer into your car, then perhaps ask permission to search it, citing the need for vigilance against terrorist weaponry or drugs.
What he’s really looking for, though, is money.
Because of the War On Drugs, (uh, or was it the War On Terror?), any agency can seize your cash, as "ill-gotten profits" or similar such nonsense.  No proof is needed.  They just snatch it up.

You can file a claim, go to court - after hiring a lawyer and spending countless hours proving it's your money - and you might actually win.

Or, you can just sign this little waiver, we'll take your cash, and be done with this whole messy affair.

Net-net, it will usually make more sense to just sign the waiver.  You'll get to keep more cash in your pocket.
The Washington Post this week reported that in the past 13 years, there have been 61,998 cash seizures on roadways and elsewhere without use of search warrants.
The total haul: $2.5 billion, divided pretty much equally between the U.S. government and state and local authorities (hence the Kafkaesque “equitable sharing” euphemism).
Half of the seizures, according to the Post, were below $8,800. Only a sixth of those who had money taken from them pursued its return.
Hell, I'd like to participate in a system where I had a 5-in-6 chance of winning, and zero chance of any loss, or being held accountable for my illegal actions.

So the agencies keep on taking.

And the trust further erodes.

And the anger builds.

And the violent acts of reprisal happen with increased frequency.

As opposed to changing their ways, the police instead, "Kick it up a notch".  More guns, more tanks, more disdain for the public.

Hell, they're just protecting their turf and their paychecks.

Back to the guy in Pennsylvania -
Bivens said residents should remain “alert and vigilant,” report suspicious activity, lock doors and keep house exteriors well lit. But he said he is “convinced Frein is engaged in a personal battle with law enforcement, particularly the Pennsylvania State Police, and will likely stay focused on that fight.”
Bivens - a Lt. Colonel with the State Police (that's a military designation, isn't it - not a traditional police rank?) - has it right.  This Frein guy has it bad for the Pennsylvania State Police.  To this point, he's making them look like rabid chimps on an ice rink.

Still, they'll likely catch him, and as the good Colonel notes -
“In the event you are listening to this broadcast on a portable radio while cowering in some cold, damp hiding place, I want you to know one thing. Eric, we are coming for you. It is only a matter of time until we bring you to justice.”
My guess is that the Colonel's definition of "justice" means Mr. Frein ends up well-ventilated by military-grade, fully-automatic weapons.

The exact type of attitude and actions that got them in this mess in the first place.

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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.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Embarrassing Pity Party

I figured I'd wait a day or two until all of the fussing had subsided.  Our fruit fly attention span is now following some new shiny bobble.  Oooo, look!  A couple of violent NFL players.  Who'd a-thunk it?

9/11.  I just don't get it.

Why do we do this every year?  For thirteen years now, we haul out the memories of us getting our ass handed to us, and we feel sorry for ourselves.

Why do we feel the need to do this every, single year?  What purpose does this serve?

I understand the folks that lost friends and family members mourning their loss.  I do, and I would do the same had I lost a love one.  But that's a private affair, not something that should be paraded about.

We should remember the firefighters and police that died that day.  They were killed in the line of duty.  Genuine heroes.  It was an honorable act that should be remembered forever.

Memorialized like Pearl Harbor.  Somber and respectful.  Use the event as a call to service.

This happens to a certain extent, but the star of the show is the victims.  Or the wannabees.

I, like most folks alive at the time, remember the planes slamming into the Trade Centers and bringing them down.

It was horrible.  It was gut-wrenching.  And it was over a decade ago.  Am I a victim because I witnessed the destruction on live TV from my home in California?

Seriously, move on.

But no.  This replaying of the, "We were victims," meme does nothing more than to reinforce the idea that we're helpless souls, unable to defend ourselves, who must depend upon some faceless government to keep us safe.
Let's say the names of all 3,000 VICTIMS.  Reinforce victim, victim, VICTIM.

Clang the bell at the appropriate moments when the VICTIMS died.  Victim, victim, VICTIM.

Use the occasion to keep the public wallowing in puddles of their own pee by telling them they'll be VICTIMS if ISIS - who is even worse and more powerful than Al Qaeda - isn't stopped this very instant.  Victim, victim, VICTIM.

We have this national obsession with victims.  Everyone want to be one.  It makes you part of the club.

We see victims - real victims - being lionized by the media.  Rape victims, and the like.  This obsession with "turn the spotlight on me, me, me" spreads through our nation, and people yearn to be portrayed as a victim.

"I have a cousin, who knows a guy whose best friend died in the Trade Centers."

What the hell?  Victimhood-by-proxy?

Snippets from blogs and social media from Thursday - 

Horrible day. I was living in New York City working as a newspaper reporter and I still cannot get over the fact that 2,977 innocent Americans were murdered that morning.

I was on a Navy base in Norfolk that day. They locked down our building and no one moved around. Me and two other guys in the CCTV room grabbed our hindparts and waited for Naval Station Norfolk to be hit and we hoped that we would survive if it was.
My mother's unexpected death changed it all.  [Her mother died the day before, on 9/10.  She's a victim because she couldn't fly the next day.]

...On 9/11, my heart attack did prevent at least one, and possibly two other tragic deaths. [Supposed to be in NYC on 9/11]
I knew that day my life would change forever and it did. [This person was in her home in southern California]
I was this close to becoming a victim, too.  There are literally dozens, if not hundreds of sites dedicated to these victimhood wannabees.

Why this burning desire to be a victim?  I just don't get it.

How about we stop this pity-party, and actually do something?

1.  Let's teach our nation not to be afraid.  Use the occasion to talk straight, and preach self-reliance.  Just like you can't stop crazy person from kicking in your door to kill you, you can't stop an individual terrorist from trying to kill you.  Prepare yourself and your family to defend your own life.

Use the occasion to bring us together as a tribe of self-reliant individuals who will have each others backs.

A leader would do this, a politician won't.  They'll use the occasion to grow their business - big government.  We need more cops, more SWAT teams, more TSA, more VIPR squads, more everything.

Those things won't do squat against a dedicated terrorist.  See Boston Marathon for further clarification.

2.  If we want to remember someone who died as a result of 9/11, I want to remember and read off the names of our service members who lost their lives over in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I want to stick a big, fat, pissed-off finger in the chest of the politicians that sent those (mostly) men to their deaths without giving them a measurable objective, and scream, "WHY?!"

How in God's Name could we send those men over there and not tell them, "When you accomplish X, you're done, and are coming home."

Instead, we sent them over there on the vague premise of, "Let's kill them there, so we don't have to kill them here."

How do you know when you're done?!   You don't, because you'll never be done.  There's always someone, somewhere that needs killing.

And when you strangle them with Rules Of Engagement that border on the insane, you guarantee a long, drawn-out "war".

Just what the pols and their funding sources want.

3.  Watch 'em.  All flavors of government use this kind of occasion to convince us that they need to get bigger, and eat up more of our Constitutional rights, all in the name of safety.

Don't let them get away with it, unheard.

Push back, even when it means putting yourself into harm's way.  It's easy for me to say, and I admit, it's tough to do.  But we've got no other choice if we want to live free.

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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.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

More Tyranny Coming Your Way

No people will tamely surrender their Liberties, nor can any be easily subdued, when knowledge is diffused and Virtue is preserved. On the Contrary, when People are universally ignorant, and debauched in their Manners, they will sink under their own weight without the Aid of foreign Invaders. 
---Samuel Adams

ISIS.  Hamas.  Hezbollah. Iran.  Syria.  Al Qaeda.  Taliban.  Muslin Brotherhood.

BOO!  Boogeymen.

Did I miss anyone?

You're being primed right now.  For what?  For a constitutional bitch-slap that will make the USA PATRIOT Act look like a Dr. Seuss book.

Here's the narrative:  All of the radical Islamic groups are a direct threat to the American homeland.  We'd rather kill them over there than here on American soil.

Then, once an unstoppable terrorist attack does occur - and it IS going to occur in short order - we will be told the fed needs to further restrict our civil liberties.  It's for the good of the whole.

The propaganda kicked into high gear on Thursday, when the president talked in circles, but was sure to drop the keywords designed to incite fear in Americans -
As Commander-in-Chief, I will always do what is necessary to protect the American people and defend against evolving threats to our homeland. 
He failed the, "sound presidential" test with his, "We don't have a strategy yet" for ISIS line, but that's just Barry being Barry.  He's got this, "leading from behind" shtick down pat.  I think the rest of us call it, "wandering aimlessly".

On Friday, British Prime Minister Cameron at least looked the part, and told the world they were on their second highest threat level.  Yikes!

I guarantee you that the "solution" to stopping further attacks will involve a further degradation of your freedom.  I guarantee it.

Just like the sales job we got for the USA PATRIOT Act, you're being fed a line of crap.  They're painting a mental picture of an invasion of the "homeland" by wild-eyed, head-chopping, scarf-wearing, warriors.  Water landing craft, Red Dawn paratroopers, and an endless caravan of heavily armored tanks.

In reality, these bastards drive around in used Toyota pick-ups trucks.  How are THEY going to invade the "homeland"?

If they weren't so far in the bag, "the press" would ask this one simple question:
As you told us after the 9/11 attack, you're saying the US mainland is primed for an attack.  How will these radical Islamists mount this attack?  Perhaps more to the point, how will they mount this attack in ways that are not currently available to them?
The truthful answer is that they don't have new ways of mounting an attack.

After 9/11 we made some effective changes that DID NOT involve crapping on the Constitution.  Locks on pilot doors.  Armed air marshals.  They scramble fighter jets to intercept wayward aircraft.

Awesome.  And not one of them infringes on my liberties.

TSA feel-ups, VIPR squad checkpoints, NSA wiretaps and Treasury Department financial controls DO infringe on my Constitutional rights.  And they accomplish what?

There has never been, nor will there ever be a way to stop an individual or small group wanting to conduct a terrorist attack.  For God's sake, if prison-like countries such as Russia and China can't stop terrorist attacks, it simply cannot be done.

And for good reason.  A large, bloated bureaucracy can't stop a small, nimble opponent.

What they'll sell you - and which you will likely buy - is that, "If even one life is saved, the slight encroachment on your civil liberties is worth the cost."

Their solution is to give you more of what hasn't worked!  Death of the Constitution by a thousand cuts.

The purpose isn't to stop terrorists, it is to grow government.  To give further rise to Bush's TSA squads, and Obama's national police force -
We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we've set. We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded."
--Barack Obama, July 2, 2008, campaign speech in Colorado Springs, Colorado
Quick thought:  Since this standing army, I mean "police force" is national in scope, by definition, it's federal.  Posse Comitatus, anyone?  Build an army, under the direction of the commander-in-chief, but tag it as civilian, and you're in like Flint.
The means of defence against foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. 
--James Madison

At least the trains are on time, right?
I'm not without solutions.

You'll notice that most of these solutions, "look outwards".

>  If this threat to the "homeland" includes embassies and the like, shut them down, and bring the people home.  Don't you DARE infringe on my rights because you have someone in Mosul or Fallujah in an embassy or consulate.  If they don't want us there, then leave.

>  Actually defend our border.  Really.  Stop laughing.  Everyone and everything that enters this country is checked.  Re-purpose these VIPR squads to border patrol.  Re-purpose TSA dweebs to "cargo sniffer duty".  Actually build the southern border fence.  Yes, it WILL work, as it did when Israel built their fence.
Barrier supporters argue that it protects civilians from Palestinian terrorism such as suicide bombing attacks which increased significantly during the Second Intifada. Between 2000 and July 2003 (completion of the "first continuous segment"), 73 Palestinian suicide bombings were carried out from the West Bank, killing 293 people and injuring over 1,900. However, from August 2003 to the end of 2006, only 12 attacks were carried out, killing 64 Israelis and wounding 445.
Perfect?  No.  Effective and Constitutional?  Yes.

>  Actually enforce our immigration and visa laws.  Really.  Stop laughing.  Re-purpose the mouth-breathing TSA dweebs to hunt down, detain, and deport all offenders.  Sic ICE/Homeland security folks on the more difficult ones that evade the re-purposed TSA bounty hunters.

>  Pass a national CCW reciprocity law (and make all states 'shall issue').  Really.  Stop laughing.  More good people with guns increase the ability of the people to stop a terrorist act in its tracks.  Especially in high-value targets such as schools, restaurants, museums, movie theaters, churches and malls.  Really, any "gun free zone".

The 14th amendment guarantees equal protection under the law.  It reinforced that the states are also subject to the Bill of Rights.  As long as a person follows the CCW laws of the state in which they are present, there is no legal justification to deny them the ability to protect themselves and others in another state.   Plus, well, the second amendment says so.

>  Grow a set of balls, America.  This notion that only the government can protect you, and that a bigger government is a better government is just so un-American.  Read some American history if you don't know what I mean.  We've become so soft and squishy.  We try to legislate ourselves to safety.

Make bullying illegal and bullying will stop.  No.  A punch in the nose of the bully will stop the bullying.  What happens now?  The defender gets suspended or expelled, and probably arrested for battery.

Assign some arbitrary number to what is legally drunk, then make driving while drunk illegal, and all drunk driving will stop.  No.  Severely punish people who injure others or their property while drunk.  What happens now?  People who have not infringed on the rights of others have their rights and property stolen.

Punish the offenders.  Don't treat us like children or criminals, assuming everyone is a potential offender.

Fix your own problems.  Encourage others to act the same.

Of course, none of this will happen.  Not even (or especially) the ball-growing part.

All of it would give us a better chance to stop or limit a terrorist attack, and not a single line of the Constitution would need erasure.

No increased NSA-sponsored eves dropping on Americans.  No additional VIPR squads roaming our roads and train stations, jacking up citizens at random.  No additional monetary shenanigans to protect us from ourselves.

Dream on, cupcake, dream on.

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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.