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Monday, April 28, 2014

Sanitation With A Twist

I've mentioned that I'm looking for some rural property, and most of them are on private wells and septic.  Having been a "city boy" my whole life, I'm trying to get a grip on life without all of the normal amenities, and the "rules" you've got to follow.  No fat in the septic, for instance.

I've been doing a lot of research on sanitation, and I thought I'd share some of what I've found.

The Taj Mahal of Outhouses - holy crap (oops) this guy rocks!  In addition to recycling most of the materials for the outhouse to save a couple of bucks, he turned  his creation into a full outdoors bathroom - crapper, sink and shower.

Take a look at the video he provided to get a good look at what he created -


The state to which I'm planning my move is dry.  Really dry.  Water is truly a scarce commodity.

This simple but ingenious Gray Water Recycling set-up caught my eye.  The primary purpose is to flush his toilet.  It incorporates simple, Big Box supplies and non-rocket scientist engineering.  Right up my alley!

What was very nice about this project was, he came back to the site after using it for 6 months, detailed some of the problems he ran into - and the fixes/upgrades he performed.

Really a great project.

Another outhouse project, but this one is also a composting set-up.  I've seen a number of commercial composters that I've really liked, but it's always nice to know how to do it yourself.

I don't think Mrs. Chief Instructor is quite ready for this one.  I like the idea of having a ready source of material for a compost pile (I know, not for use on veggies that come in direct contact with the compost), as the areas we've been scouting have areas of poor soil quality.  We're looking at the "good dirt" areas initially, but I do plan on doing lots of composting of all plant materials.

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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, April 24, 2014

Unreasonable Gun Safety Questions From Unreasonable People

There is a group (probably several groups) that are pushing the, "Big 10 Gun Safety Measures" campaign. I won't link to their sites and give them more hits.  Their idea is to present the following 10 questions to political candidates, and then use the responses to determine whether or not the candidate will get your vote.

For those of you that have the ability to think, in anti-gun speak, "Gun Safety Measures" means figuring out ways to take guns away from everyone but government employees.

Now, I'm not a candidate, and will never be one, but I want to respond to the questions as though I were.

1.  Do you support universal background checks, including in private sales? If not, why not?

No.  Background checks do nothing to prevent criminals from acquiring and using guns.  And that's who we're worried about, right?  Good, decent Americans - the people submitting to the checks - have no intention of breaking the law.  Bad, evil Americans - the people NOT submitting to the checks - use the guns for criminal purposes.  The checks are nothing more than an exercise in, "feel good politics".

2.  Do you support an assault weapons ban? If not, why not?

No.  Because the term itself is only intended to scare and intimidate the uninformed.  Can you first define, "assault weapon" for me?  In California, for instance, if you take any kind of rifle - ANY kind - and add a collapsible stock and fore stock grip, that previously approved rifle is somehow transformed into an illegal assault rifle.  Shoots the same, loads the same, does everything the same.... it only LOOKS different.  Why would I want to ban that?

The common cry of the gun grabbers is that, "Assault rifles are only used for killing, not for self-defense."  OK, then why are they issued to the local police?  Are you saying you're OK with the police being nothing more than killing machines?

3.  Do you support mandatory child safety locks on all guns? If not, why not?

No.  Because it is just more futile, "feel good politics".   Try this on:  You have a single mom who owns a gun for self-defense.  She's got kids under 18 living in the home.  For whatever reason, the police come to her home, and see a pistol without a lock.  In your world, a crime has been committed and the single mom MUST be hauled off and jailed.  The children must be taken from the home.

In your eyes, this is a good thing?

Here's what I do support:  In homes with a likelihood of having children under the age of 18, if a child is harmed, or if a child harms another person with a gun owned by the adult occupant, that adult is held responsible for the actions or injuries of the child.

It's just like owning an automobile - if your child takes your keys for a joy-ride and kills 3 children playing in the street, you are responsible for the conduct of your child.

This places the onus of education and security on the adult, as it should be.  The government telling you how to secure your property is intrusive, and assumes the government knows your family better than you do.

4.  Do you support mandatory safe gun storage laws, particularly if a household contains a minor or person adjudicated mentally ill? If not, why not?

No.  See above.

5.  Do you support repealing the 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which prevents victims from holding the gun industry to account? If not, why not?

No.  Why would you feel it is appropriate for a consumer to be able to sue a company when their product did not fail?  Do you support the ability of a family to sue, say GM or Ford, when a person with, "reckless disregard for human life" purposely and maliciously runs over people on a sidewalk?  Sounds kind of crazy, doesn't it?

It is the user of the product that must be held accountable, not the maker of the inanimate object itself.

Cars don't kill people.  People kill people.

6.  Do you support limiting magazine sizes to ensure law enforcement are not outgunned? If not, why not?

No.  Police departments provide their officers with the largest possible magazines for what purpose?  To give them the greatest possibility of making it out alive when encountering a life-threatening situation.

I want that same advantage when I protect my life, and the lives around me.  The life of a police officer is not more valuable than any other life.  If you disagree, ask a close family member that if a choice had to be made over whose life were to be lost to a crazed shooter - your life or the life of a police officer - which would they choose?

All life is equally precious, be it the life of a politician, a public servant or a burger-flipper at McDonalds.  All have the equal right to defend their life as vigorously as possible.

7.  Do you support mandatory duty of states to report persons with mental health issues to the Federal background check system? If not, why not?

No.  Because it's unconstitutional.  With few exceptions in the Constitution, the federal government not granted the right to tell a state how to run its affairs.  In fact, quite the opposite.  The tenth amendment is quite clear on this subject.

More directly, though, is the government's ability to deem someone as, "mentally ill" and subsequently strip them of many of their rights.  I recently became aware of a mental health affliction called, "Oppositional Defiant Disorder" or ODD.  When I first heard the term - ODD - I assumed it was an parody.

Instead, it was recently added to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) - the bible of the psychiatric industry.

ODD is defined as follows, "Oppositional defiant disorder is a pattern of disobedient, hostile, and defiant behavior toward authority figures."

You're considered mentally ill because you disobey and are hostile towards authority?!  Apparently, there are a lot of mentally ill Americans out there.  I was under the impression that that's part of what makes us Americans - you know, that whole, "redress of grievances" deal.

8.  Do you support mandatory liability insurance for all gun owners? If not, why not?

No.  Because the majority of gun crime and violence is perpetrated by criminals.  Criminals who won't be getting gun insurance.  This is once again a proposal to impose costs and requirement on good, decent gun owners.

Our current liability laws allow victims to sue offenders for damages.  How many people each year are accidentally injured by firearms possessed by non-criminals?  It's an incredibly small percentage of our 300+ million citizens.  This is a proposal in search of a problem.

And going back to our automobile analogy, owning and possessing a gun is a right guaranteed by the second amendment.  There is no such amendment for owning and driving a car, so it is well within the rights of a state (and not the federal government) to impose liability insurance controls.

This is nothing more than another attempt by gun grabbers to marginalize and penalize good, decent gun-owning Americans.

9.  Do you support mandatory reporting by gun owners of lost or stolen guns? If not, why not?

No.  Why would you think it's a good idea to further penalize a victim of a lost or stolen gun?  If it's lost, the owner obviously does not know it's missing.  Are you suggesting that they be put in jail over something of which they have no knowledge?

Instead, I would ask you, "What benefit is there to society to criminalizing a victim of a crime or unknown act?"

Common sense tells us that a criminal won't be reporting his stolen guns, because they were likely obtained... as stolen guns.  A good citizen will report the crime because they want their goods recovered.

Again, this is nothing more than another attempt by gun grabbers to marginalize and penalize good, decent gun-owning Americans.

10.  Do you support Smart Gun technology to ensure only approved adults can fire a weapon, as soon as the technology is state-of-the-art? If not, why not?

No.  Because I don't want to place my life in the hands of some battery manufacturer or on the technology company that guarantees my biometric information is correct.

The primary reason I own guns is for self-defense, and the defense of others.  Hunting, plinking, and competing are just gravy.  I need them to work each and every time I pick them up.  They need to work whether the batteries are charged or not, whether my bleeding hand obscures the biometric reader or not, and whether the "proven technology" actually operates as promised.

If I believe an advancement in technology will further my goal of providing for my self-defense, I'll use it.  Laser grips, for instance, are a great thing.  But the gun still works even if the laser does not.

Here's a scenario for you:  I get a frantic call from you, and the line suddenly goes dead.  I enter your house through the back gate.  I peer in the window and see you on the floor, bleeding profusely from the head.  You've become yet another victim of a home invasion.

Your wife is screaming as three men take turns raping her.  I go around to the side of your house, sneak into your home office, and grab your government-approved Smart Gun.  I go back into the rape room, point the gun at the intruders.  The gun goes click, but doesn't go bang.

Apparently, I wasn't on your approved user list.

You'll probably die from your injuries, I'll probably die after being attacked by the 3 intruders (since I can't use the gun to defend myself) and your wife is probably wishing she were dead.

How's that technology working out for you?

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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, April 22, 2014

Defensive Weapons Practice

Personal protections skills, like almost all skills, are perishable.  If you don't keep them sharp, they degrade quickly - "Use 'em or lose 'em" as the saying goes!

Whenever possible, you want to train as realistically as the situations in which you may find yourself.

Let's look at some of the different defensive tools, and what options we have.

Stun Guns.  Very difficult to train with.  Who wants to stand in as your "dummy" and get shocked?  The nice thing with stun guns is that accuracy is not an issue.  They work as long as the probes come in contact with any part of the assailant's body.

With these, you can do a periodic operating review of how the stun gun works.  Where is the safety switch?  Where is the trigger?  How do you change the batteries?  Are the batteries fresh?

Tasers.  Easy to train with, but a bit pricey.  Taser cartridges will cost you about $25 a piece, and that will give you a single shot.  Still, it's your safety we're talking about.  On at least a quarterly basis, you should test fire your Taser.

You can practice in your backyard, firing at a cushion suspended from a tree limb.  The consumer version of the Taser fires 15 feet, so be sure you are within that range before firing.  This practice will help you to be able to judge that distance (it would be horrifying to fire the Taser when the assailant was 20 feet away) and practice accuracy.

Pepper Spray/Tear Gas.  Training with both of these is identical, and quite easy.  We recommend that you set up a stake or use a tree and staple a paper plate at least 5 feet off the ground.  Pace off 10 or 15 feet - whatever distance you specific brand of spray indicates it will reach - and test it.  Start your aim approximately 6 inches above the plate and proceed in an "S" formation down to the bottom of the paper plate.  It should be a 1 or 2 second burst.

Re-do this test until the spray canister is empty.  This gives you plenty of practice, and also lets you know how many shots are REALLY in your canister.   At $10 or $15 per canister, this is very inexpensive practice.

The key is to make sure that where ever you set up your training area, you ensure the wind is to your back.  You don't want to inadvertently spray yourself during training!  Also, don't touch your eyes or mouth until you've washed your hands with detergent soap.

Firearms.  Far and away, the easiest defensive tools to train with because there are facilities specifically designed for their usage - shooting ranges.  We recommend that you use an indoor range whenever possible.  Since you are most likely to be using a firearm in your home, the sound characteristics of an indoor range much more closely reflect those of your home (when compared to an outdoor range).

Guns ARE loud, and becoming familiar with the report (the bang) of the gun is important when performing under pressure.  Indoor ranges are also more flexible, in that the targets can be easily set at different distances - typically from 5 to 20+ yards - with the flip of a switch.  And being indoors, you can train year around.

A box of 50 cartridges will cost anywhere between $10 and $40 depending upon the caliber.  Range fees will typically cost you around $10 per hour.

Proper initial training and ongoing practice in any endeavor are the keys to success.  You personal safety is no exception.

Safety Tip:  Regardless of what you're training with, assume some sort of mishap will occur.  For instance, the wind might change directions while you are testing your pepper spray.  Be sure you have clear, fresh water close at hand to allow you to immediately wash out your eyes in the event of a problem.

Whenever I go to the shooting range, I ALWAYS have a number of QuikClot sponges to stop blood flow in the event of an accident.

Think through what might go wrong, and plan accordingly.

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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, April 19, 2014

Teach Your Children About This Day In History

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,Their flag to April's breeze unfurled,Here once the embattled farmers stood,And fired the shot heard round the world.The foe long since in silence slept;Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;And Time the ruined bridge has sweptDown the dark stream which seaward creeps.On this green bank, by this soft stream,We set to-day a votive stone;That memory may their deed redeem,When, like our sires, our sons are gone.Spirit, that made those heroes dareTo die, and leave their children free,Bid Time and Nature gently spareThe shaft we raise to them and thee.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson  
Today marks the 239th anniversary of what I believe to be the most important day in American history.  The start of the American Revolution on Lexington Green.  On April 19, 1775, "The Shot Hear 'Round The World" rang out and started this country on the road to freedom from tyranny.

From -
The clash began on April 19, 1775 when more about 700 British soldiers were given what they thought were secret orders to destroy colonial military supplies in Concord, Massachusetts. Fortunately, thanks to a rather elaborate colonial intelligence network, led by the Sons of Liberty, the Patriots were aware that their supplies were at risk, and were able to move them to different locations long before the British began to move. Also, thanks to the daring rides of a few brave men, the colonial militia knew that an engagement with the British Army was imminent.
The first shots were fired just after dawn in Lexington, Massachusetts the morning of the 19th, the "Shot Heard Round the World." The colonial militia, a band of 500 men, were outnumbered and initially forced to retreat. The British army was able to press forward to Concord, where they searched for the supplies, only to come up empty handed.
While the British were searching, the American militia was able to reform, and they met the enemy at the North Bridge in Concord, and they were successful this time in driving the British back. As more American reinforcements arrived, they forced the British army south to Boston, and the militias blockaded the narrow land accesses to Charlestown and Boston, starting the Siege of Boston.
The final straw for the Americans was the attempt by the British to control access to weapons.  Let that sink in:  The war started over gun control.

Repressive taxation had started the whole mess, and gun control lit the fuse, so to speak.  Sound familiar?  Without access to those guns, we would be drinking tea with breakfast, lunch and dinner, and eating Spotted Dick for dessert.

So, the next time some gun-grabbing son-of-a-bitch tells you that only government needs to have guns, tell them that King George wholeheartedly agreed.

Thankfully, the colonists did not.

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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, April 17, 2014


An interesting development in international banking is in the works.  This isn't going to immediately tip over the US economy and financial system.  But it's definitely another Jenga block being removed from our financial foundation.

First, some background:  The BRICS Nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) have been getting together for the past few years with regards to international trade.  They want to get out from under the limitations and costs imposed upon them by having to use the US dollar when conducting trade between themselves.

They think it's idiotic.  Because it IS idiotic.

Secondly, the ONLY value the US dollar has is as the world's reserve currency.  As I've noted dozens of times before, since the 1970's, the dollar is only valuable due to the "full faith and credit" of the US government.  There are no tangible assets backing the dollar.  Just a promise from DC that, "it's all good".

[Read about the collapse of the Brenton Woods Agreement, and the deal between Henry Kissinger and the Saudi's for how the US dollar became the only accepted currency for oil - petrodollars - and how that morphed into it becoming the world's reserve currency].

If the US dollar were to be replaced in international trade by some other currency - or a "basket" of currencies - the dollar would become just like any other world currency - mostly valuable only to those who use it inside their own borders.  Outside of the US, the dollar would be of no special value, thus it would crash in comparison to other world currencies.  This means that ANYTHING we import into the country would skyrocket in price.

When Benton Woods (link above) was established, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was established at the same time.  Basically, it acts as the lender to the world.  The US and Europe pull most of the purse strings, and are thus able to control who gets money and who doesn't.

They also get to set conditions for receiving the money.  Such as with whom you may trade, how much debt your country is allowed to have, how much money must be raised via taxes and assessments, etc.

They've got you by the short-hairs, so to speak.

Well, the BRICS nations have had enough of it.
The BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) have made significant progress in setting up structures that would serve as an alternative to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, which are dominated by the U.S. and the EU. A currency reserve pool, as a replacement for the IMF, and a BRICS development bank, as a replacement for the World Bank, will begin operating as soon as in 2015, Russian Ambassador at Large Vadim Lukov has said.
So, sometime next year, there will be a new replacement for the US-dominated IMF and World Bank.  No Big Deal, right?
The BRICS countries are setting up a Development Bank as an alternative to the World Bank in order to grant loans for projects that are beneficial not for the U.S. or the EU, but for developing countries.
The purpose of the bank is to primarily finance external rather than internal projects. The founding countries believe that they are quite capable of developing their own projects themselves. For instance, Russia has a National Wealth Fund for this purpose.
"Loans from the Development Bank will be aimed not so much at the BRICS countries as for investment in infrastructure projects in other countries, say, in Africa,” says Ilya Prilepsky, a member of the Economic Expert Group. “For example, it would be in BRICS' interest to give a loan to an African country for a hydropower development program, where BRICS countries could supply their equipment or act as the main contractor."
Yeah, it IS a big deal.  Instead of the US and EU being able to call the shots and direct commerce to businesses in their countries, the BRICS countries will direct the biz in their direction.
This structure [of a new reserve currency] should become a worthy alternative to the IMF, which has traditionally provided support to economies that find themselves in a budgetary emergency. 
"A large part of the fund goes toward saving the euro and the national currencies of developed countries. Given that governance of the IMF is in the hands of western powers, there is little hope for assistance from the IMF in case of an emergency. That is why the currency reserve pool would come in very handy," says ambassador Lukov.
In layman's terms, the BRICS nations are tired of playing second fiddle to US- and EU-friendly countries.  So they're taking matters into their own hands.

The currency reserve pool will also help the BRICS countries to gradually establish cooperation without the use of the dollar, points out Natalya Samoilova. This, however, will take time. 
For the time being, it has been decided to replenish the authorized capital of the Development Bank and the Currency Reserve Pool with U.S. dollars. Thus the U.S. currency system is getting an additional boost. However, it cannot be ruled out that very soon (given the threat of U.S. and EU economic sanctions against Russia) the dollar may be replaced by the ruble and other national currencies of the BRICS counties.
So the US dollar as world reserve currency hasn't been kicked to the curb.  Just yet.  But the structure is in place to do just that.  No one is yelling, "JENGA!" but they're pushing out blocks - one at a time - and the tower is getting wobbly...

Accept The Challenge

When this finally happens in earnest - remember the first steps start next year - how soon afterwords does the dollar start to fade?  A year?  A decade?  Somewhere in between?

How do you protect your purchasing power?  With tangible assets.  Real property, precious metals, durable equipment.

If you've got real property, get it paid off.  If this comes to fruition, inflation will be obscene, and the various taxing authorities will need to increase their theft of your income to pay for their jobs.  If you are out of debt, at least you've got a fighting chance of making your increased tax assessments.

But if you falter, you're going to have your assets seized.

Durable goods and equipment are generally registered with The State - much like real property - so they, too, are at risk of seizure.

Precious metals - especially when bought for cash over-the-counter - allow you to keep much of your wealth from the prying eyes of the tax authorities.  You're responsible for its safe-keeping, but that's a small price to pay to ensure you get to retain your assets.

ALSO REMEMBER that everything I've written here may not happen.  The US and BRICS may all get into bed together in a sordid financial orgy.  The dollar might be saved and retain its title as World Reserve Currency well past our lifetimes.

So do your own research before your commit your hard-earned money to a certain path.

Personally, I don't see the US, Russia and China ever being drinking buddies, but stranger things have happened.  I think all 3 countries want to be Top Dog, and will do whatever is necessary to achieve that goal.

Unlike Barry-O, I don't see Putin or Xi Jinping ever working to reduce the influence of their country around the world.

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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, April 11, 2014

Defensive Tactics

In almost any endeavor in life, whether we think about it or not, we use strategies and tactics.  Once we have a goal, we use strategies to develop a plan.  We then employ tactics to carry out the plan and achieve those goals.  Strategies and tactics go hand-in-hand.

Our Personal Safety goal might be, "Come out of any physical assault alive and unharmed".  Our strategy might be to take a Safety Awareness class, start a martial arts program, learn how to safely operate a handgun, Taser or Pepper Spray.  We then take that knowledge and use it if we find ourselves in a threatening situation.

Here are some strategies/tactics that should be part of every Personal Safety plan:

Avoidance - The Number One tactic to employ is avoidance.  We've mentioned it before, but it bears repeating:  The best way to survive an emergency is to not be there!

Be aware of your surroundings.  Trust your "gut" if something doesn't seem quite right.  Don't go into places that don't offer you multiple avenues of escape.  Use your head and think!  Your brain is your most effective weapon.

Use of Concealment/Cover -   Concealment provides a way of masking your presence.  Hiding behind a drape would conceal your location.  But, it does not offer you any physical protection.

Cover masks your presence AND provides you with a physical barrier between you and your assailant.  You need to consider the effectiveness of cover based upon the weapon of your attacker.

An automobile provides effective cover against an assailant with a baseball bat or a knife.  It is less useful against an attacker with a firearm.  If you are using an automobile for cover, try to crouch next to the engine compartment.

The metal of the body and the mass of the engine will give you your best protection.  See what a medium caliber (9mm) handgun round is able to do to a truck door.  Consider what a high-powered rifle round would do.

Moving - Whether you are spraying a pepper spray or firing a handgun, don't give your attacker a stationary target to which they can respond.  If at all possible, move during or immediately after you have responded to an attack.

Something to consider:  If you are facing someone with a handgun in their right hand, MOST will miss their shot to their left (your right).  If you move to your right, you may be helping their accuracy!  If it is safe, try to move to your left.

ALWAYS try to move towards cover.

Fighting "dirty" - Don't "play by the rules".  Your attacker surely won't.  Find their soft spots.  Eyes, throat, nose, groin, shins, feet.  You must fight to win.  Don't stop until the threat has stopped.

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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.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Yoga: All Bent Out Of Shape

Almost every morning, I go through an exercise routine.  I focus on short, intense (20-30 minute) workouts, typically following a Convict Conditioning-style regiment:  Very little workout equipment, as would be the case if you happened to be in jail.  Lots of body-weight stuff (push-ups, lunges, squats, planks).

I start and end each workout by doing yoga.  After years of athletics when I was younger, my joints - and in particular, my back - need to be warmed up before I get going.

I actually got into yoga while playing football in high school.  In 10th grade, we had this coach who was big into stretching and yoga.  During pre-game warm-ups, the other team would be doing jumping jacks in cadence, and growling and being all tough.  We'd be in a big circle, focusing out thoughts, doing yoga!

They laughed and snickered.  And then got their asses kicked.  We went 9-1 that season.

Anyways, when playing football in college, the competition was bigger and meaner, and the chance for injury was much higher.  Being physically flexible, agile AND powerful (I was a D-lineman) was beneficial.  Yoga helped a lot.

I just started a new move called the Boat Pose.  I found an article about it, and decided to share.

Of course, be sure you're physically sound enough to do this, or any, workout.  If you hurt yourself, don't come whining to me.  Check with your doctor FIRST if you have any doubt.

No, smart ass, this isn't me!

Neat Yoga Moves: Remove Lethargy With This Neat Yoga Move

Neat Yoga Moves: Remove Lethargy With This Neat Yoga Move

By Heather Greaves

Imagine a yoga pose that can remove lethargy, stimulate the muscular, digestive, circulatory, nervous and hormonal systems, and tone all the organs. This same pose can be used to help reduce nervous tension. When practiced at the end of a session and before the final resting pose, Shavasana, it can facilitate a deeper state of release. It can also energize body and mind when done before getting out of bed in the morning.
As usual there are a few names for one yoga pose. This one is called Boat Pose, Stretch Pose, Navasana, Naukasana. We are often encouraged to close our eyes when practicing in order to turn the mind inward. In this pose however the eyes are kept open throughout.
Begin lying on your back palms down, feet together. Be aware of the body breathing itself and when the breath becomes steady, inhale slowly and deeply, hold the breath and then flatten the back of the waist into the ground. Flattening the lower back before lifting the body avoids compression in the lumbar vertebrae. We'll get back to the breath later.
The second part of this neat yoga move is lifting the upper and then lower body off the floor no more than 6 inches (15 cm); in essence balancing on the buttocks. The arms are also lifted at the same level as the toes. Palms can be facing each other at the sides of the body, or over the thighs. Unless you need to place them under the buttocks to support the lower back. Let the heart lift the head. To keep the vertebrae in the neck safe bring the chin in towards the throat, not down or away from the throat. Your ears will move closer to your shoulders. Try lifting the chest and drawing your chin in as you sit to get a feel for the move. Leave a comfortable space in the throat. Finally lift both legs or one at a time.
As you balance on the buttocks, hold the breath counting mentally to 5, or longer if you can. If you like, tighten the whole body. You could include fists. Then exhale and return to the floor lowering your head carefully. Definitely you do not want a pounding head pain from crashing to the floor! Feel the whole body as you rest between repetitions. If the abdominal muscles are tense, extend them when you inhale. Then repeat the exercise 4 to 5 times.
If you are feeling tired, perhaps you can devote 1-3 minutes a day to this powerful pose and see whether it will remove lethargy.
Heather Greaves is an avid yoga student and the owner of Body Therapies Yoga Training. She organizes yoga and meditation retreats and workshops in Ontario and Barbados, and has been helping yoga enthusiasts learn to teach therapeutic yoga in a certified program. For more yoga tips or to sign up for our monthly newsletter visit

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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, April 7, 2014

GASP! Precious Metals Manipulated?

Most of us who buy precious metals have long believed that the "spot market" prices are being manipulated by various entities.  We're called paranoid, and anti-government, and all other sorts of names.

For me at least, it is like water on a duck's back.  The comments of the naysayers just rolls off my back.  I make all of my various investment decisions based upon logic and data.

For instance, when the government and Wall Street types say that increasing the amount of money in the economy (via Quantitative Easing) will have no effect on inflation, I know that to be untrue.  When you create more of something, those "things" currently in the market become less valuable.  This is true whether you're talking about bushels of wheat or dollars.

Yet, somehow, we've created nearly 4 trillion new dollars, and inflation stays flat.  How could that be?

Basic economics also tells us that when something is in high demand and low supply, prices increase.  It's basic market forces at play.  Yet, we see massive purchases of gold and silver - year after year after year - and prices for both metals drop.  Again, how could that be?

Not surprisingly, these are both tied together.  A weak dollar and strong precious metals put the US government at direct risk.  If the dollar were to ever lose so much of its value when compared to other world currencies, it would risk losing its one and only valuable role:  That of being the instrument of world trade.

The dollar - long since removed from the tangible backing of precious metals - is only valued because it is the currency used when countries buy goods from each other.  When Country X buys oil from Country Y, it's traded in dollars.  Or Country A buys wheat from Country B.  Foreign exchange (FX) as the global reserve currency is the only value possessed by the dollar.

If confidence in the dollar erodes and moves to another medium - say gold or silver - the dollar is no longer needed.  If dollars are worthless, our government would be unable to exert financial and political power throughout the world - we'd just be another France or Brazil or Japan.

So how can a government exert pressure on a commodity with worldwide demand?  Former US Treasury Assistant Secretary Paul Craig Roberts tells us what's going on -
In brief, Roberts, and his associate Dave Kranzler, assert that The Fed has had to resort to this practice in order to protect the value of the US dollar from its effective reduction in value through its Quantitative Easing policy. In order for the Fed to effectively support the reserve status of the U.S. dollar by pushing it higher when it starts to drop, it has also to prevent the price of gold from rising as this is seen globally as something of a bellwether for the dollar. If the gold price rises the dollar is seen as getting weaker and vice versa.
So what's the big deal?  Former Fed Head Bernanke told us gold isn't even money.  Well, the world disagrees -
Roberts and Kranzler avow that intervention in the gold market has been occurring for a long time, but that in the past several years this intervention has become more and more blatant and desperate through the fear that rising concerns about the dollar are causing countries like China and Russia, and others, to accumulate fewer dollars and more gold. The natural progression of this would see the dollar eventually lose its place as the global reserve currency and thus forfeit the huge trade advantages which come with this position.
What is so disgusting about all of this is that the Fed has had to enlist their Big Boy Banker Buddies on Wall Street to affect these engineered crashes on the precious metals markets.  Timing is everything...
So how did the Fed achieve this?  Roberts and Kranzler say that the Fed accomplishes it through its banking allies – said to be JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs and others – implementing a series of gold price flash crashes by short selling huge amounts of gold futures into the COMEX market usually at times when trading is thin. These gold futures short sales trigger not only a sharp gold price decline directly, but also leads to stop-loss orders and margin calls coming in which hammer the price down further. The authors  illustrate the timings of these flash crashes in graphical format showing just how this was achieved during the month of March, and which brought the gold price down by around $80 an ounce.
Uhm, any questions now as to why the Fed bailed out the Too Big To Fail banks?  The Fed needs them to be their bag men.

Read the whole linked article, as well as the original article that goes into much more detail.

Then go buy precious metals.

Well, go buy precious metals if you:

  • Have an emergency cash reserve
  • No significant planned purchases (i.e., real estate)
  • A steady job
  • Other, liquid retirement resources

I tell the customers in my PM store that they should look at precious metals as the very bottom of their retirement resource bucket.  It is the stuff you want to touch last.

Why?  It IS volatile.  Manipulation does that sort of thing.  But, market fundamentals ALWAYS prevail.  The Ponzi Scheme our government is operating will eventually fail.  Maybe next year, maybe next decade.  They have a vested interest in keeping the lie alive, and they're a very creative bunch.

I personally started acquiring metals in 2005, because I believed it would all crash within 5 years.  Well, enter the "creative" Quantitative Easing series, and they've kept the corpse from stinking too badly.

There will be more moves along these lines, but it will eventually tip over.  All logic and math and history tell us this.

Precious metals also won't be paying you interest or a dividend.  BUT it will be preserving your capital.  And when this big ol' financial mess goes, "BOOM!", you'll be sitting pretty.

Buy what you can afford, and buy it over the counter for cash - it's no one's business what assets you own.  Buy a little bit each month, bury it in the backyard or put it in a fire safe for safekeeping,   Just keep it out of the banks.

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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, April 5, 2014

A Tale of Three Barters

I recently participated in 3 different barters, and I thought I'd share some insights into each of these, because each has lessons to be learned.  Each has subtle nuances that should be noted.

A quickee excerpt from my upcoming (July-ish) book on alternative economies -
BARTER and trade have been around as long as there have been communities. You would produce a good or service and exchange that for another good or service. You might supply some labor on a farm for a portion of the crop. You might own a pub and give someone a meal and bedding for cleaning up the place at night. You've got a fish, someone else has a chicken, and you swap. 
This is barter at its essence: Two people each have something the other wants, they negotiate terms and make the trade.
Barter depends on a concept called the, "coincidence of wants". Two people must each want what the other one has, and at the same time. This quandary is what resulted in the creation of money. 
In this book, the words "buy" or "sell" mean to make an exchange utilizing any available asset.  The asset could be skills, tangible goods or food, gold and silver, or cash - or a combination of any or all of them.  You need to break the mind-set that when buying or selling, you must use cash.  You don't!
I fight like a crazed banshee to NOT spend cash during a barter session.  It's not always possible, but it should be a goal.  Timing is a key component in being able to conserve cash.  The more time you have to consummate a deal - by coming up with alternatives - the less cash will need to be spent.

First deal - A good friend of mine just butchered a couple of hogs.  Big, fat bastards!  While they were being slaughtered, he texted me, asking if I wanted some of the fat to render down.  I declined his offer.

One of the Fat Bastards
Well, he went and did it anyway.  He texted me a couple days later saying he had 20 pounds of this prime fat wrapped and frozen, and he would drop it off at my store.

I texted him back saying he'd now be the happy recipient of an adult beverage I created.

You may be thinking, "Dumb ass!  He was giving you the fat for free - why'd you give him anything?"  A couple of reasons.

After I first declined his offer, I kick myself in the butt.  I've been trying to put together a wild pig hunt for the past few months.  Wild hogs have very little fat when compared to raised hogs.  I was going to need some fat to add to the sausage I intend on making from some of the wild pig (he didn't know this, though - he was just being a good guy).

The second reason is maintaining relationships.  That's THE MOST important reason.  He put a lot of time, effort and money into raising those hogs, and I wanted to recognize that effort with something that I created (and which he happens to like - a lot!).

If you get into the habit of always being on the taking end of a relationship, that relationship dies.  Pretty soon, you've got no friends, and no one to trade with - except for strangers.

Second deal - I had been out looking for some pistol cartridges I was running low on, and was shocked how much the price had increased since my last purchase.  Holy crap!  Seriously, these bad boys were more expensive than some of my rifle cartridges!

I've got another good friend who re-loads his own cartridges.  He had previously taught me how to load some rifle cartridges (to be used on the aforementioned wild hog hunt), so I figured I'd hit him up to see if we could cut some kind of deal for the pistol cartridges.

He said he had the correct dies, but did not have some part needed to further automate the process.  Opportunity!  I told him I'd pay for all of the cartridge components (obviously), plus the automation part for his press, plus some of that magic elixir I used for the pork fat deal, plus some of the extra brass and primers (he has a family member who also uses this caliber).

I'll get to hone my re-loading skills (under his supervision!), and produce the ammo I need.  He'll get a new part for his presses, brass and primers to make more of the rounds, and some adult beverage to keep him warm on those chilly nights.

Oh, and he'll get the pleasure of my company while I crank out the rounds (he's a regular visitor here so I'm poking him in the ribs!).

We both score a win on the deal.  That's important, once again, in keeping friendships, relationships and trading partners healthy.

Third deal - I hit the "garage sale circuit" in my local vicinity at least 3 weekends every month.  I've got a number of flags I've set up online using and other tools to help filter the sales for the ones most likely to have what I'm looking for.  I always flag for 'jewelry', but it may be tools, or Mason jars or whatever I want but don't need right this second.

Anyways I go to this one sale with jewelry, and used one of the most important techniques I discuss in the book -
I cannot stress strongly enough importance of finding out the other side's motivation - either why they want what you have, or why they no longer need what they now have. This is the key to a successful trade/negotiation.
It's the old saw - "You have two eyes, two ears and one mouth.  Use them in that proportion."  Look and listen.  And learn.  If you're running your mouth, you're going to miss clues that may help you put together a deal.

So I go to this garage sale, and just start chatting up the seller - a guy in his early 50's.  In passing, I ask, "So, what are you going to buy with all the millions you're making at your sale?"  He chuckles, and says he is going to buy some silver.  Morgan silver dollars to be precise.

Ding!  Ding!  Ding!  We have a winner!

Part of my preps for going on these little treasure hunts is arriving with plenty of cash and precious metals.  I have a couple hundred dollars in 1's, 5's, 10's and 20's spread out over several pockets (so I don't plead poverty during a deal, then pull out a wad of cash that would choke a horse).  I then have a portable gun safe secured in the car with a few thousand dollars in cash just in case a significant deal presents itself.

I also bring a full tube each of American Silver Eagles, Silver Canadian Maple Leafs, regular silver rounds, $20 face amount in junk silver... and a tube of Morgan Silver Dollars.

So, I stored this Morgan Motivation information away while I look through his stuff and kept chatting him up.  Sure enough, he had 3 pieces of gold jewelry he was selling.  I did a couple of "poor man's field tests" (I'm not ready to disclose that technique just yet) on the jewelry, and felt pretty confident it was real, how much it weighed and its value at the current spot price of gold.

I asked him how much he wanted, and having watched every episode of Pawn Stars, he tossed it back at me with a, "How much will you give me?  No one else has met my price yet."

I asked him if he'd be interested in trading his jewelry for some Morgans.  He then gave me another important piece of information.  "Hell yes!  This crap is from an old boyfriend of my wife."

I now know he wants what I have, and couldn't give a damn about the jewelry.  The, "my price hasn't been met" was a ruse.  We dickered back and forth on how many coins, and what his dollar amount was on the jewelry.

Let's just say that I did very well on the deal.  But in his eyes, so did he.  He got exactly what he wanted - a great start on a collection with coins that were in good shape, and all over 115 years old (he wanted all pre-1900 minted coins).

The key here is that I listened to what he wanted.  We would have probably come to a deal for the jewelry even if it had been all-cash, but instead I was able to conserve my cash and trade with precious metals at a steep discount.

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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.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Murder Weapons: Public Service Announcement

Click To Enlarge

People that actually use that gray goo between their ears understand that it's not the murder weapon that's important, it's the murderer.

Share this little fact with your mouth-breathing, assault weapon banning friends the next time they rant about the Evil Black Guns.

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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.