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Friday, June 27, 2014

The Fourth Branch Of Government

Sorry for the extended absence.  Been crazy busy.  More on that to come.

On the way in to my precious metals store, I was listening to my go-to radio station.  They had a guy they call, "Tim The Lawyer".  He's the big-shot lawyer at an outfit called the Pacific Legal Foundation.  This guy and the Foundation are awesome.

They fight for Constitutional rights.  What a concept, right?

They were talking about how government has gotten away from us.  How we elect congress critters, Senators, presidents and the like, and it does nothing.  Even when we run 'em outta town on a rail, nothing changes.

We just saw the majority leader in the House get bounced from Congress.  Never happened before in the history of the US.

Big woop.  Nothing will change.


Because the elected officials are no longer the government.  The government is now the bureaucracy.  The three branches of government are now four.  And the fourth - the various agencies, departments, bureaus and commissions - actually run the show.

They're unelected, yet they are the ones who make us jump through hoops like trained chimps.  Congress abrogates its duties by passing vague laws that essentially say, "Get this broad goal accomplished," and the agencies write the rules, regulations and penalties - not Congress.

Often - very often - they grant themselves extraordinary powers.
Last week the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, through the power of Dodd-Frank, passed a rule giving the agency unprecedented power to shut down businesses, no matter what the reason, at any time it wishes through a cease-and-desist order. Further, the rule puts businesses at the mercy of the CFPB and they cannot go back into operation until government approval or a court ruling is made over an issue.

So, if you're a business that is not favored by the current administration, you can be shut down without so much as a chance to plead your case beforehand.

Guilty until proven innocent.
We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission.
--Ayn Rand
The IRS scandal - which will go fully unpunished IMO - is just the latest, nausiating example.

Did you see that new head bastard on the TV in front of some committee? His arrogance - his utter contempt for we citizens and the rule of law - was palpable.

He was basically telling Congress and all of America, "We can do whatever the hell we want, and you can't do dick about it."

Smug Bastard
And he's right.  Congress can hold hearings.  They can puff their chests, and harumph, harumph, harumph all they want, but nothing will change.  A couple of slapped wrists and all will be forgotten.

The game is fixed, and it ain't in your favor.  Worse yet, the fixers are in positions where they can't lose their job.  Hell, they'll probably get a bonus.

My favorite sage of the Interwebs - Ol' Remus in his weekly Woodpile Report - has long been a proponent of not voting because of its futility.

By voting, you're legitimizing, "the system".  All the politicians care about is being able to stand in front of a display of flags and bunting, and a politically correct selection of diversely skin-toned folks, and say that millions of people voted for them, democracy is alive, and the American system is sound.

Strike up the band and drop the balloons.  On to the next fund raiser.

"But, but, but... Chief, if we don't vote we're letting the other side get in office."  Don't you understand?  There is no, "other side".

Republicans and Democrats are two sides of the same coin.  They just have different special interest groups to whom they cater.  And by 'cater' I mean taking your money and giving it to others.

What it all comes down to is our never-ending willingness to forgo freedom and liberty for safety.  At least the perception of safety.

You can protest all you want, as long as it's in the designated Free Speech Zone.

You can drink all the soda you want, as long as it's in a cup no larger than 16 ounces.

You can travel all you want, as long as you first submit to government sanctioned fondling.

You can buy all of the milk and cheese you want, as long as it's been properly altered for safety by government approved methods.

You can have as much money as you want, as long as you don't try to take it out of the country without their permission.

You can choose any doctor you want.... oh wait, there are no more doctors.  Never mind.  They all quit.

How's all that hopin' and dreamin' workin' out for ya?

Most Americans have the view that, "Well, it's not as good as it used to be, but it's still better than most other countries."

It's that attitude that got us here.  A shit sandwich is still a shit sandwich, even when served on a toasted sesame seed bun.

"Chief, that's all well and fine.  Yep, everything sucks.  What do we do about it?"  My wife asked me that question this morning (she calls me 'Honey', not 'Chief', though...).

We wait and we prepare.

We cannot change the course of this train.  It's going where it's going, and nothing we can do will alter its path.  Understand that.  The inertia of the bureaucracy is too massive.  The makeup of the 537 elected federal politicians is irrelevant, so don't waste your time participating.

We can only wait for the train to plunge off the bridge.

We know from historic fact that every socialist, centrally planned society has eventually failed.  Without exception.  Their 'business model' fails because human nature collides with idyllic fantasy.

The fantasy is that everyone has a job, we all get paid the same "living wage", and we'll all work for the common good.  Kumbaya, dumbass.

It's that last part that causes the ultimate failure.  The nature of humans is to exert the least amount of effort for the greatest reward.  Under the socialist model, people soon recognize that they will receive the same amount of benefit from society regardless of their effort.

Work your ass off, you get paid.  Don't do squat, you also get paid.

Guess which option people choose.

Eventually, the system crashes because there's no one left to pay the bills.  No one is working, no one is producing, so 'the system' isn't able to pay all the slackers.

The free food, free health care, free housing, free education all disappear.

Boom-boom, out go the lights.

We see what's coming, so we prepare.  Those of us with initiative and drive, work to build and secure assets to use after the crash

Again, history has taught us that after things crash, opportunities blossom.  Big time.

So we buy and bury gold and silver.  And I literally mean bury it.  They can't confiscate it if they don't know you have it.

We buy and bury guns and ammo.  There will come a time when we'll need to defend our persons and property from criminals - elected and otherwise.

We buy and bury tools and supplies.  You can't take advantage of the coming opportunites with your good looks alone!

We acquire skills and knowledge to feed, house and clothe ourselves.  The monolith won't go down easily, and times will get worse before they get better.  We know this, and will be prepared for this dark period.

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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, June 9, 2014

The Vegas Shooting

By now, most of America has heard of the shooting of two Las Vegas police officers -
(CNN) -- A Las Vegas couple who gunned down two police officers and a civilian before killing themselves apparently looked at law enforcement as oppressors, a sheriff's department official said Monday.

Among the clues: a "Don't Tread on Me" flag and a Nazi swastika the couple placed on one of the police officers they ambushed Sunday at a pizza restaurant. They also pinned onto the officer's body a note saying something to the effect of "this is the beginning of the revolution," Second Assistant Sheriff Kevin McMahill told reporters.

"We believe that they equate government and law enforcement ... with Nazis," McMahill said. "In other words, they believe law enforcement is the oppressor."
 I think this Sheriff hit the nail on the head.  I think it's part of a trend, and one that's going to continue.

And if you own guns, I believe this is going to impact you directly.

Back in 2013 I wrote this ("Losing Trust and Respect") -

But, there is some push back.  And, I predict, if the police and bureaucrats don't start policing themselves, I believe hell is going to rain down on their heads.  The push back will become more common, more covert and more aggressive.

It is already happening on a sporadic basis.  The recent shooting at LAX was by a guy pissed off at TSA tactics.  There was just some guy in Arkansas that was caught blowing up electrical transmission lines.  Christopher Dorner - the former LA cop - went off on a killing spree because he felt the system was being stacked against him.

This government 'superiority complex' is out of control.
In this case, the perceived or actual oppressor was the police.  It may be the EPA, the BLM, the TSA - any government agency that runs rough-shod over citizens with no checks-and-balances or realistic opportunity for "redress of grievances."

People are going to take justice into their own hands.

The power to stop this is 100% within the power of these government agencies.

Saying "officer safety" is of paramount importance falls on deaf ears.  I care about my family.  My rights.  My property.

If the only way you are able to do your job is by abusing the people you're charged with protecting or serving, then you shouldn't be in that job.

A little more brains and a little less brawn is in order.

When a GA Sheriff basically says, "Eh, tough shit.  The officers made a mistake," when they blow up the face and chest of a baby in a bassinet with a flash-bang grenade, people lose empathy for the police.  If fact, they get pissed off.

And many are getting pissed off enough to do something about it.

How in God's name does it seem like a good idea to deploy an armored personnel carrier, 7 officers decked out in full assault garb, all carrying fully-automatic assault weapons, grenades, smoke bombs and who knows what else - to arrest a drug dealer, all on the word of a confidential informant?!

Are you serious? Not some drug kingpin.  Not some guy holed up in a fortified, machine gun protected fortress. 

But a street-level meth dealer.

But they won't change.  Why?  Because of human nature. 

If you've got a bunch of toys, you want to play with them.  If you dress up these "elite" units, they want to go to the dance once in a while.
But we all know nothing will change.  In fact, it will get worse.  If, as I predicted, people start shooting back,  sabotaging government facilities and assets, and in general, making life unpleasant for TPTB, the police and government officials will only clamp down even tighter.  We'll have more restrictions, more intrusions, more checkpoints, more abuse.  This will bring more retribution.

It will be a vicious, vicious circle.

I still believe this.  The myriad CONUS-based government agencies that have purchased over a billion hollow-point rounds of ammo didn't buy them for target practice. 

They believe the abuse/retribution/abuse/retribution cycle will happen, as well.

Accept The Challenge

And this is where non-criminal gun owners need to pay attention.  We're next.

These Vegas shooters draped a Gadsden flag and a swastika over the officers.  The Gadsden is probably the most common icon that the media associates with TEA partiers and gun owners.

The male shooter had a lengthy but largely trivial police record.  It won't be portrayed that way by the Talking Heads on TV, or the breathless Bloomberg gun-grabber bloggers.  This dude will be painted to be the second coming of Charles Manson.

Guns + Gadsden + swastika + criminal record will all be melded together as further proof that all gun lovers and TEA partiers are nothing more than blood thirsty anarchists looking to overthrow the government.

The first step will be in coming for the "gun and ammo" hoards.  Remember, to the compliant media and the uneducated public, a Mark III pistol and a 10/22 rifle with a "value box" of 500 rounds is considered a hoard.

The shooters in Vegas had 200 rounds with them, in what was called, "a small arsenal".  I guess what I bring with me to practice at the range would be considered a national security event.  Same goes for most of the folks that frequent most public ranges.

We've got a big target on our chests with lots of red laser dots dancing about.  Government, media, and the gun-grabbers all have us lit up like a Christmas tree.

So, other than the guns you carry every day, and those that you use for home defense, everything else needs to find a new place to stay.  It's simple math:  Don't have everything you own all in one place.

This is good practice anyways, but is virtually a requirement now.

Stock up on the down low.  Fill or build that hoard, but do it with cash only.  No debit or credit cards, no checks, no Paypal.  Nothing but cash.

Same goes for reloading supplies if you partake in that activity.

In general, stay off the ridgeline.  Don't make yourself an easy target.

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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, June 3, 2014

Unpredictable Violence

Low Probability/High Impact Events

In our Emergency Preparedness course, we talk about disaster events that are very unlikely to happen, but if they do occur, the consequences can be devastating.

An extreme example would be a meteor screaming out of the heavens and landing on your house.  There is little you can to to prevent it, It's very unlikely to happen, but would be horrible should it occur.

There are a number of events that are much more likely to occur - although still unlikely - yet most people give them almost no thought. Like the meteor example above, there may be little we can do to stop the disaster from happening, but there ARE things we can do to minimize the negative impact.

Do you remember the rioting in LA after the first Rodney King verdict?  It was essentially spontaneous.  As soon as the verdict was known, the lid came off, and the violence escalated.  If you were in the wrong place when it started, you were in immediate, life-threatening danger.

Staying out of LA on the day a verdict was to be presented would have been a prudent decision.  You have no idea how it will turn out, and some people might not like it.

The same goes with Super Bowl winners, NBA Championships and World Series final games.  People get crazy when big events happen, and that craziness often leads to violence.

Don't tempt fate.  Stay away.

But what if you're caught totally off-guard and find yourself in the middle of a threatening situation?  Here are some ideas:

Assume the police are overwhelmed.  At the very minimum, it will take several minutes for them to arrive.  A lot of bad things can happen in 5 minutes.  You are now 100% responsible for your own well-being until they arrive, or until you can get to a safer location.

If you're in a car, stay in it and lock all doors and windows.  Drive out of the area as quickly as possible.  If your tires are slashed, don't stop.  Drive on the rims if need be.  Escape and evasion are your priorities.  Exit the car, and you're likely to become a victim.

If you're on the street, get inside as quickly as possible.  If you're able, pick an office building before you pick a retail store, as stores are more likely to be targeted by looters.  Move to the back of the building if possible.  Try not to go to upper floors - if a fire is started, you may be trapped.

Arm yourself.  If you have a firearm, defensive spray or stunning device, have it ready and prepare yourself mentally to use it in self-defense.  If these aren't accessible, grab whatever is available.

ALWAYS look for a chance to get to safety.

Never let your guard down.

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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.