Silver as an investment

Build Your Own Home DIY Without a Bank Loan: “Avoid Regulation, Crime and Floods”

homestead

Want to build a hideaway homestead, or establish your dream home?

If you set it up right, you can get everything you want out of the deal.

But there are some practical things you need to know, to make sure you will need be restricted by zoning, utility policies or legal trouble.

If you account for all these factors ahead of time, you can establish your home fortress with the maximum freedom and the best trade-offs for your area.

via the Homestead Prepper:

The best way to be prepared for a natural disaster or national emergency is to live in the manner you would hope to survive in. Self-reliant homesteads, ideally with their own sources of water, energy and food, and other necessary items.

Gardens and livestock pens can keep you sustained, but only if you put years of work into building them up, and improving your skills at managing the vital areas.

The best defense will be distance from major populations, areas carefully screened to avoid high crime areas, neighbors you can trust and rely upon, while maintaining a healthy distance from. Settling into an area with minimal restrictions and zoning laws can give you the freedom you need to build, but if poverty proliferates in the area, your regulation free homestead could quickly become a target.

You must find the healthy balance, do what you can, and plan for everything you don’t want to go wrong.

Read more:

The Prepper’s Blueprint: The Step-By-Step Guide To Help You Through Any Disaster

Strategic Relocation Guide: How To Position Yourself To Survive A Major TEOTWAWKI Event

A Green Beret’s Guide To Low-Budget Home-Defense Techniques 101: “Early-Warning Systems and Fortifications”

Elite Bunker Down in “Secure, Safe Rooms Hidden in Plain Sight”… And You Can, Too

Here’s How to Tell If a Riot Is About to Erupt in Your City

This article was originally published by Joshua Krause at ReadyNutrition.com .

riots1

It seems like civil unrest has become an increasingly common occurrence in America over the past few years. Since the election we’ve seen a lot of protests turn violent, and in the years preceding the election, just about any controversial police shooting could spark a riot. As these incidents become commonplace, more people are becoming aware of just how tumultuous our nation really is. They want to know how they can protect themselves from civil unrest or avoid riots in the first place, especially if they live in urban areas.

Coincidentally, I have firsthand experience on this subject. Though I have thankfully never been in a riot, I know exactly what it looks like on the streets in the hours before a riot kicks off. I was visiting Berkeley, California on December 6th, 2014, just before a massive protest for the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown turned violent.

I left the city a couple of hours before things got crazy, though not because I knew what was coming. Though I had heard earlier in the day that there was going to be a protest, I didn’t think that anything serious was going to happen, because protests are a pretty common occurrence in Berkeley. This may sound crazy now, but at the time there was no reason to think that there was going to be a full-blown riot.

Always Be On the Lookout for Warning Signs

Though I was completely ignorant of what was about to go down, in hindsight there were plenty of red flags. I noticed them as I was walking through the city in the late afternoon, on my way to catch a BART train home.

For starters, there was a massive police presence everywhere I looked. There were more cops walking or driving around than I had ever seen in the city before before. That may sound like an obvious sign, but it was what the cops were doing and what kinds of equipment they had on hand that was significant. You could hear helicopters overhead, and there were several large nondescript buses parked near where the protest was about to begin. They were kind of like school buses, but painted white. In other words, the kind of buses that are often used to transport prisoners. They were clearly getting ready to detain a lot of people.

As for the behavior of the police, there was one thing I saw that stands out. I distinctly remember seeing two police officers tell a homeless man to leave the area. That’s common in some cities, but not Berkeley. There are homeless people everywhere and I’ve never seen the police do that. Unless the homeless are being unruly and someone calls the cops (which most people rarely do), the police seem to leave the homeless alone in Berkeley.

In hindsight it makes a lot of sense. After they close, the homeless often sleep in front of the shops where the riot was about to take place. And when the cops interacted with this guy, they weren’t being aggressive. The interaction looked pretty courteous. They weren’t removing someone who was causing a problem. They were removing him for his own safety.

And perhaps the most interesting warning sign I witnessed, has to do with what many of the businesses in the area did to prepare themselves for the protest. I saw dozens of shops close early. Their owners and employees had boarded up windows and doors, as if they were getting ready for a hurricane to rip through the city.

The reason why that’s so intriguing, is that before 2014 I don’t think Berkeley had seen a major riot in decades. I’m really not sure how these businesses knew that there was going to be unrest in the streets. Remember, Berkeley is practically the protest capital of the world. It seems like there is a protest going on in that city every week, and they rarely turn violent.  So how did they know that this time was going to be different? My only guess is that the police must have warned them ahead of time. Without that kind of advice, they would have been as much in dark as I was.

So keep these warning signs in mind the next time you visit a city. Don’t be like me. I just happened to leave as the city was gearing up for civil unrest. I had no idea of what was going on, and basically avoided the riot by dumb luck. When you see the police and the locals getting ready for a street battle, take note and get the hell out of there.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page.

Related:

The Prepper’s Blueprint: A Step-By-Step Guide To Prepare For Any Disaster

CBRN Gear For Riot Gases, Chemical Attacks and Nuclear Emergencies

The Anatomy Of A Breakdown

The Single Most Important Preparation For Social Or Economic Instability: “It’s The One Thing Everyone Needs For Survival”

Poll Reveals Los Angeles Residents Fear Major Riots Are On The Horizon

Authored by Daniel Lang via SHTFplan.com,

We’ve seen a lot of riots and protests in recent years over police violence and the election of Donald Trump. While these events certainly don’t bode well for the future, relative to the rest of American history they’ve been pretty tame (at least for now). They only look really serious to us, because many of us have forgotten about just how nasty a riot can get.

For instance, these events hardly compare to the 1992 Los Angeles riots, which raged for days, caused over a billion dollars in damages, and weren’t stopped until the military arrived. 55 people died and over 2,000 were injured. By comparison, the vast majority of the riots that have happened since then haven’t resulted in any deaths at all.

However, just because the civil unrest of our era isn’t as severe so far, doesn’t mean that we won’t see any truly devastating riots in the near future. Given the current political climate, as well as the shaky foundations that our economy is resting on, someday soon there could be a lot of blood in our streets. Coincidentally, many of the residents of Los Angeles seem to share that sentiment.

For the first time since the riots, there is an uptick in the number of Angelenos who fear that another civil disturbance is likely, according to a Loyola Marymount University poll that has been surveying Los Angeles residents every five years since the 1992 disturbances.

 

Nearly 6 out of 10 Angelenos think another riot is likely in the next five years, increasing for the first time after two decades of steady decline. (more…)

Small Caps Surge To Record Highs As Spec Positioning Hits Record Short

Last week, it was coffee speculators; this week it's Small Cap traders. Despite tumbling earnings expectations, the Russell 2000 surged to a new record high yesterday.

However, as Bloomberg notes, if there’s one thing hedge funds became persuaded of in the last few months, it’s that the rally in U.S. small caps was over.

That conviction is turning into a curse after the biggest three-day rally in four months sent the Russell 2000 Index to an all-time high Wednesday. The surge, possibly aided as President Donald Trump’s domestic growth agenda became known, came after short positions in a mini version of the contract among large speculators swelled to the most since September 2014.

 

So what happens next? Another leg higher?

The Single Most Important Preparation For Social Or Economic Instability: “It’s The One Thing Everyone Needs For Survival”

This article was originally published at Personal Liberty by Brandon Smith of Alt-Market.com

survival-group1

Rules And Dangers When Organizing Security And Survival Groups
By Brandon Smith

For many years I have argued that the single most important preparation any person can make if they are concerned about future social or economic instability is the preparation of community building. It is the one thing that everyone needs for survival, and unfortunately, it is the one thing even many preparedness “experts” ignore.

When I talk about “community,” I am talking about groups in many forms. Sometimes a community is merely a small collection of families or neighbors; sometimes it is an entire town or county. Sometimes it is built around a local church, sometimes it is rooted in an already functioning political activism meet-up. Regardless of the size of your community, the people who are organized within a group for mutual aid, defense and trade are light years ahead of everyone else when it comes to survival. In fact, if a national crisis scenario escalates to the point of the disappearance of the rule of law, I would say that those without community will scramble to find one or probably die.

That said, there are right ways and wrong ways to go about organizing. There are also guidelines and hard rules to follow if you want your community to be an advantage rather than an obstacle. I have had the opportunity over the years to see many preparedness groups and organizations in action. I have gleaned knowledge from their successes, and also their numerous failures. I have also had the privilege of coordinating a preparedness group in my local area which has been active for the past three and a half years. So, I am speaking from personal experience when it comes to this process.

Here is what I have learned so far…

The Levels Of Organization

There are different levels of organization, low to high, weak to strong. The biggest factor in determining whether or not your group is strong is usually time.

Many people out there do not want to hear about “time.” Why? Because it is one of the few factors that can’t be replicated. You can’t cut corners when it comes to time. What I mean is, any group of people, no matter how close originally, is going to have trouble operating together as a team unless they have had time to train together. They have to get used to each other’s personalities, and quirks. They have to grow accustomed to each others annoying habits; and maybe even grow fond of them. Without plenty of time working together on various projects and training, no group will be able to function as a unit when a real threat arises.

From my observations, it takes at least six months for any group of people to become psychologically acclimated to one another. Until this happens, their performance will be lackluster.

I have run into far too many preppers that plan (if they even have a plan) to organize AFTER a crisis event has already taken shape. These people have been watching too much television. Again, it takes at least six months for a new group to even learn to trust one another. Post crisis, the problem will be doubly difficult.

The liberty movement is a bit obsessed with the concept of organizing on the fly — throwing together slapdash groups of people who have little or no training with each other for security at events like Bundy Ranch or Berkeley. But this is the weakest form of organization. And, in a survival scenario, such organization is likely to fail miserably.

Groups Need Structure

Liberty minded people tend to be very individualistic and also tend to avoid structure like the plague. Organizing them is often like herding cats — debate prone cats skilled at coming up with rationalizations for why the lack of structure in an endeavor is actually an “advantage.”

Sorry, but groups do not last very long without a skeleton to hang onto, and someone has to provide that skeleton. Maybe it’s a “leader,” a coordinator, a “coach,” whatever; the point is, someone has to make a schedule and get people to stick to it. Someone has to plan projects and someone has to find the right people to head up those projects. Someone has to take the responsibility to ensure that the group stays together and productive. Otherwise, what’s the purpose of it?

In my experience the best structure for a preparedness group is to meet once a week on the same day for no more that a few hours maximum unless there is a very specific and important reason. Do not try to make people sit around for six to eight hours while the more “extroverted” members of the group blather all day. Many of them have lives outside of the survival world and will not come back for another meeting.

As a coordinator, you need to plan out projects and training ideas. What has your group accomplished in the past six months? If your honest answer is “nothing much except a lot of talk,” then this is a problem. People get bored. They want to see results. They want to be a part of those results. Endless political discussions and marches in Ranger File through the woods are not going to keep people interested. You will lose your group eventually, and with good reason.

Vetting Group Members

You will hear the term “OPSEC” thrown around haphazardly in preparedness circles as if it is some kind of catch-all answer as to why organizing is impossible or “just plain stupid.” Well, since we’ve already established that having no organization during a social breakdown is true stupidity ending in probable death, I think we need to take a closer look at the notion of OPSEC.

Firstly, Operational Security does not mean hiding in a survival bunker alone or with your immediate family while the world falls apart outside. Let’s be clear; you are not going to climb out of the ashes fresh as a daisy to rebuild civilization after all the looters have killed each other off. You are not going to fend off even a meager gang of thieves with just your Remington 870 and a Bowie knife. You are not going to be able to keep your family safe and fed, period.

Security requires eyes and trigger fingers, many of them, 24 hours a day seven days a week. We all have to sleep.

So, OPSEC to the degree that you have no community around you is unacceptable in survival terms. Therefore, you have to apply OPSEC more intelligently. This means vetting the people you work with and train with. Do they have an ugly criminal record? Are they former or current drug addicts (“addict” might be subject to interpretation — a guy smoking a joint now and then is probably not an issue but a guy popping Oxycontin on a regular basis should not be trusted)? Do they have a violent personality? Are they prone to overemotional reactions?

Vetting is also not necessarily limited to potential criminality. Is a person incredibly lazy? Do they always have an excuse as to why they can’t help with something? Do they have a tendency to try to take credit for other people’s work? Are they abrasive and difficult to get along with in numerous ways? Are they narcissistic? Are they always attempting to hijack discussions or the group itself and make it all about them? Do they lie about their training level and background?

All of these traits and more could be grounds to remove these folks from a group in the early stages of organizing. This is the real world of OPSEC — going through the difficult process of finding trustworthy people before a crisis ever happens.

Leadership: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

Leadership happens, it’s just the way it is. No matter how individualistic a group is, when the world starts to go schizophrenic, everyone starts looking for the men with the plan.

In the best case scenario, this has been done far in advance. The experts in your community have been found over months or years of training and successful projects. These experts also work closely with each other and are open to ideas without being indecisive. They function seamlessly with the rest of the group and the group trusts them because they have earned that trust through leadership by example. They have no interest in self aggrandizement or “glory.” They have no interest in being in charge for the sake of being in charge. In fact, the best leaders are often people that begrudgingly accept leadership, and only because they happen to be the best qualified.

Beware of group members that seem to want leadership a little too much. Watch out for hotheads and fakes that talk up their skills but are always giving orders rather than participating or helping. Beware of guys who love to “plan.” So-called idea men that always have a new scheme to discuss but never follow a single plan through to completion. But most of all, beware of the narcissists; these people will not only not do much to help you, but they will sabotage any and every project you do have in the works in order to co-opt everyone’s attention and energy. If you STILL manage to get some work done, you’ll find them trying to take credit. It is truly an amazing thing to behold a narcissist in action.

Know People’s Limitations

This is pretty straightforward.  I have seen training groups in which old men with hip replacements were asked to march through the woods and hills alongside young men actually fit for field work.  Now, this is perhaps a noble thing, but not practical.  It holds back the people who are capable, and puts undo stress on the people who are not.  Every person in a group should know how to defend themselves TO THE BEST OF THEIR ABILITY.  It is important to make that distinction.  When coordinating a group, it is your job to have the insight to know what each person’s limitations are.

Otherwise, training turns into a circus, and nothing is ever accomplished.  It is a sure sign that the leadership either does not have a clue, or, they don’t have a clue and they are deliberately creating a circus so that no one notices their incompetence.

All Is Revealed Through Training And Work

So, how do you go about not only keeping a group together, but also shield that group from the blunderings of poor candidates for members and leadership? Simple: Training and work.

The group I work with has found that regular training in numerous areas of defense and preparedness makes it very easy to pick out fakes, hotheads and general laziness. Every time we’ve had a guy come through claiming to be retired Navy Seal/ Green Beret/ Special Ops ninja war veteran, all we had to do was ask him to gear up and join us for some simple team movement, or breaking contact, or we just asked him to put some rounds in the X at a reasonable range, perhaps while on the shot clock. And almost every time, the braggers fail miserably. Some of them buy some gear and don’t even know how to put it on before they arrive to train. If you find yourself cringing the whole time a self proclaimed expert is training with you, then something is wrong.

Hard work is also a great vetting tool. On the days where you have to practice digging a position, who is suddenly too busy? Maybe your medical team is running a class that requires some study the night before; the next day who has practiced and who hasn’t? Who wants to help with projects and who slinks off with other matters to attend to? We are all prone to lazy behavior at times, but you should be looking for people who suffer from this problem in a chronic way and make a clean break with them long before a crisis event unfolds.

Organization Is Absolutely Necessary To Survival

There is no way around it — through modern history the people who are most organized during a disaster are the most likely to live. The people who are not organized have to rely on luck. I don’t believe in luck.

Community is a source of defense, a source of skill sets, a source of production, a source of trade and a source of psychological comfort. One person or one small family will never be able to replicate all the skills and resources needed to endure in a widespread crisis. It’s not just about numbers, it’s also about cooperation. A man alone might be invisible for a time, but the second he is accidentally found he is done for. His preparations are then subject to the whims of the group that finds him. He might also find himself sick, or physically injured, and then what? Who watches over this secret squirrel and his bounty of preps? No one.

I have been asked many times in the past what the most important preparedness item is? What one thing would I recommend over all else? My answer is always “community.” It is the most vital prep, and it is the most neglected.

This article was originally published at Personal Liberty by Brandon Smith of Alt-Market.com

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Spectacular 7 Year Auction: Record Indirects, Soaring Bid To Cover

After a strong 2 Year on Tuesday, poor 5 Year on Wednesday we close the week with the Treasury’s sale of $28 billion in 7 Year paper in what can only be described as a spectacular auction.

The high yield priced at 2.084%, stopping 2bps through the 2.104%, the biggest gap between the two going back to January 2016.

The Bid to Cover was a whopping 2.733, the highest going all the way back to November 2012.

But it was the internals that were most impressive: showing some nervousness in recent auctions, Indirects took down a whopping 81.7%, the highest on record and 10% higher than last month. That left only 9.63% to directs and 8.8% to Dealers, the lowest on record.

And while we do not know what prompted this scramble for paper, it is more than clear that when it comes to the belly of the curve, there is – at this moment – no shortage of interest and foreign central bank demand.

Naturally, the entire curve is well bid on the results, ironically at a time when the VIX was slammed sending the Dow Jones on a 40 points stop run and well in the green.

(more…)

Are We Really That Divided?

Authored by Charles Hugh-Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,

If we don't challenge these poisonous polarizing binaries, they may well trigger the accidental suicide of our polity.

If there is any statement about politics in America that qualifies as as a truism accepted by virtually everyone, left, right or independent, it's that America is a deeply divided nation. But is this really true?

Like everyone else, I too accepted that the line between Hillary supporters and detractors, and Trump supporters and detractors, was about as "either/or" as real life gets.

But are we really that divided? A fascinating 55-minute lecture by historian Michael Kulikowski entitled The Accidental Suicide of the Roman Empire has made me question this consensus certitude.

Maybe the real driver of this division is devisive language–more specifically, language that is designed to drive a wedge between us. In other words, maybe the divisions are an intentional consequence of the language we're using.

Kulikowski makes a number of nuanced arguments in his talk, but his primary point is that the late-stage Roman Empire collapsed partly as an unintended consequence of rhetorical binaries, polarizing rhetoric that lumped an extremely diverse Imperial populace into false binaries: Roman or Barbarian, Christian or heretic, and so on.

The actual lived reality was completely different from these artificial either-or binary classifications. As Kulikowski explains (and anyone who has read a modern history of late-stage Rome will know this from other accounts), many "Roman generals" were "Barbarian" by birth, and the boundary between "Roman citizen" and "Barbarian" was porous on purpose.

Rome had prospered by ensuring the boundary was porous (not counting slaves, of course). (more…)

FPA: “ETFs Are Weapons Of Mass Destruction; We Could Get An Onslaught Of Selling”

One of the recurring themes on this website over the past two years has been the growing threat posed by the flood of capital out of active investing and into passive, and far cheaper and better performing (under central planning) vehicles such as ETF.

For a quick rundown, here are some recent posts on the topic:

Now there is an even more vocal warning. According to  Arik Ahitov and Dennis Bryan, who run the $789 million fund FPA Capital, and who have taken a page right out of the Warren Buffett warning books, Exchange-traded funds are “weapons of mass destruction” that have distorted stock prices and created the potential for a market selloff.

In the April 6 letter seen by Bloomberg, the two write that “When the world decides that there is no need for fundamental research and investors can just blindly purchase index funds and ETFs without any regard to valuation, we say the time to be fearful is now.” While somewhat different from Buffett’s original warning, who famously called derivatives the original weapons of financial mass destruction, on many occasions we, and others, have shown the growing liquidity mismatch between the instrument and the underlying, in effect making ETFs a quasi-derivative instrument, thus allowing convergence between the two warnings.

Going back to the letter, the underlying lament is familiar to regular readers who have read our thoughts on ETFs:

The flood of money into passive products is making stock prices move in lockstep and creating markets increasingly divorced from underlying fundamentals, the managers said. As the market moves ever higher, there’s the potential for a sharp decline. (more…)

Anadarko Crashes To 7-Month Lows; Shuts 3,000 Wells In Colorado After Explosions

Anadarko shares are down over 7% to 7-month lows following a home blast near a vertical well operated by the company causing it to shut all its vertical wells in northwestern Colorado while it investigates the cause of the blast, which killed two people.

As OilPrice.com's Irina Slave reports, the number of wells in the area that the company operates is more than 3,000, with a combined output of 13,000 net barrels of oil per day.

Anadarko has tasked local field personnel to check the production equipment at the wellheads and the underground lines that connected them. The local Frederick-Firestone Fire Protection District is meanwhile conducting its own investigation, and told Bloomberg that the proximity of the oil well to the home where the blast occurred is one aspect to be considered, adding that the cause for the explosion has yet to be identified. There is no threat to other homes in the vicinity, the authorities said.

Anadarko, which is reporting Q1 2017 financial results at the end of the month, last booked a net loss of $3.07 million for the fourth quarter of 2016, on revenues of $7.87 million. Now, some analysts are again expecting a loss: Seaport Global Securities expects the company to report a net loss of $0.41 per share, which is an improvement of the company’s earlier forecast for Anadarko, which saw it posting a net negative $0.44 per share for the first quarter of the year.

The company plans to boost onshore oil production by 13 percent this year from last, when it was 31 percent lower than the 2015 output. Over the medium term, Anadarko projects a minimum 600,000 bpd from its DJ Basin and Delaware Basin acreage, provided prices stay between $50 and $60 a barrel. In 2016, this output totaled 287,000 bpd, and this year’s production rate is set at 360,000 bpd. (more…)

UN To Trump: Obamacare Repeal Would Violate “International Law”; Would Also Be Racist

A confidential memo from the United Nations, sent shortly after Trump moved into the White House, made an “urgent appeal” to the Trump administration that a repeal of Obamacare could violate international law.  Oh yeah, and it would also be racist as well.  Unfortunately, this is not hyperbole. 

The letter was written by Dainius Puras whose official title is:

“Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health”

Unfortunately, that also is not hyperbole…that is his real, official title as signed on the letter below. 

Apparently the letter was originated after Puras received some “information”, undoubtedly from the Obama administration, suggesting that a repeal of Obamacare would leave 30 million people without any access to healthcare and doomed to a sudden, painful death.

“I would like to bring to the attention of your Government information I have received concerning the possibility to repeal core elements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with negative impacts on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standards of physical and mental health in the United States, in particular those with moderate or low income and in situations of poverty or social exclusion.”

 

“Recent reports have assessed the negative impact that this reform may have on the right to health of almost 30 million people in the U.S.”

 

“In this context, I would like to draw the attention of your Government to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).  The UDHR has become a source and expression of international customary law and all States, including the United States of America, are obliged to protect and guarantee the rights enshrined therein. (more…)