This Is Why You Shouldn’t Shelter Your Children From Guns

When it comes to the subject of children and firearms, there seems to be two prevailing schools of thought. One says that if you have children, all of your firearms need to be locked up and hidden away, and kids shouldn’t even be aware of your firearms until they’re old enough to respect them. The other school of thought suggests quite the opposite. Kids need to be introduced to firearms at a very early age, even if they don’t quite understand what they’re looking at. They need some familiarity with guns, so that it kills their curiosity.

It’s hard to argue with the former sometimes. Little kids don’t mix well with firearms unless they are under strict supervision. It’s not uncommon for children to stumble upon their parent’s weapons, and accidentally shoot themselves or others. Every year, over 2000 kids are accidentally injured with firearms in America, and among kids aged 10 and under, accidents account for 75% of all firearm injuries.

But is sheltering your kids from firearms really the best way to keep them from hurting themselves and others? It’s hard to say since, to my knowledge at least, there haven’t been any studies made on the matter. And sometimes, even when parents familiarize their children with guns, accidents still happen.

However, a recent experiment conducted by KWWL News in Iowa found that it’s probably best to familiarize your kids with firearms, even when they’re really young.  Though the experiment didn’t set out to prove anything in that regard, it sure is compelling. Under the guidance of a police officer, they planted an unloaded pistol in a room full of toys to see how long it would take for several kids to find it, and play with it. If you’re short on time, you can get the gist of the video by starting at the 5 minute mark.



Though the sample size is small, the results are impossible to ignore. The only kids who didn’t play with the gun were the ones who grew in households that have guns. They’ve seen them before, and on some level they know that guns aren’t toys.

So with that in mind, it’s probably safe to say that it’s a bad idea to shelter your kids from guns, even though it can sometimes be a little nerve-racking to broach this subject with them. If you’re a gun owner with a family, show your firearms to your kids, teach them how they work and how to be safe with them. And if they’re old enough to understand, explain the lethal potential that is inherent in every firearm. Make it clear that these aren’t toys and they’re not for fun (until they’re old enough to have fun with them of course) and you should be able to stunt their curiosity.

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 or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Don’t Move to These States; They’re in Serious Financial Trouble

Maybe you’re looking for a fresh start. Or perhaps you’re looking to find a different job, or you’re trying to get out of the city. Whatever the case may be, when you’re looking for a new place to live there’s a lot to consider. And if you’re thinking of crossing state lines to find a new home, there’s one vitally important detail that you need to think about and research.

Most people don’t consider this, but you should really look into the financial stability of any state that you’re thinking about moving to. If worse comes to worse, and the economy collapses, you want to make sure that the state you live in is fiscally responsible. States that have high debts and low credit ratings are living on the edge. Any major economic event could push them into bankruptcy.

That means pensions could go unfunded. Public services like law enforcement and firefighting would be understaffed. The infrastructure of the state would crumble, and public education would be decimated. Taxes would likely be increased, which would only exacerbate the financial problems of the state because businesses would leave, leading to more unemployment and a smaller tax base. Obviously, all of these factors could contribute to the risk of civil unrest.

In other words, any financial calamity that occurs at the national level, would be magnified at the state level.  The economy of these states would fall into a tailspin, which would make life for the average person exceedingly difficult.

So which states should you avoid? There are three factors you should look out for. There’s the amount of debt as a percentage of the state’s GDP, the amount of debt per person (debt per capita), and the state’s current credit rating.

The 10 states with the worst debt to GDP ratios are:

  • New York-22.71%
  • South Carolina-21.31%
  • Rhode Island-19.40%
  • Washington-18.83%
  • Florida-18.65%
  • Kentucky-18.50%
  • Illinois-18.45%
  • Connecticut-17.52%
  • California-17.18%
  • Pennsylvania-17.17%

The 10 states with the most debt per person are:

  • Massachusetts-$11,337.63
  • Connecticut-$9,297.33
  • Rhode Island-$8,919.27
  • Alaska-$8,516.41
  • New Jersey-$7,517.15
  • New York-$7,040.97
  • Hawaii-$6,194.64
  • New Hampshire-$6,152.00
  • Delaware-$5,962.86
  • Vermont-$5,259.69
And perhaps the most important factor is the credit rating of any given state. This gives you a good idea of how investors think a state will fare financially in the future, as opposed to a state’s current financial woes. According to credit rating agencies like Standard and Poor’s, as of last year the states with the five worst credit ratings are:
  • Illinois-BBB
  • New Jersey-A
  • Kentucky-A+
  • California-AA-
  • Connecticut-AA-
Though those ratings don’t look too bad, it’s important to keep in mind that those states have had sub-par credit ratings for a long time. There’s no indication that they’re going to get their act together any time soon, because they’ve been teetering on the edge for years. When the next wave of the economic collapse hits, these states (along with states that topped the first two lists, such as New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, South Carolina, and Connecticut) are going to be the first to feel the pain.

Think of it like this. If a storm arrived and threatened to flood a community, the homes that were built in low-lying areas are going to be underwater first. These states are like the houses near the river. So if you’re planning to move, look into the financial stability every state you’re considering, and seek higher ground.

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 or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Troubling Relationship Between Soros and US’ Biggest Foreign Aid Agency


Foreign aid can help advance U.S. national interests, for example, by promoting our values globally or by demonstrating to the world the goodwill of the American people. Calls to eliminate funding outright often fail to weigh this important function.

But our lead aid agency has itself been jeopardizing this effort, and risking all-important public support, by irresponsibly funding leftist agitprop around the world—and enlisting the help of billionaire progressive activist George Soros in the process.

Trying to persuade Colombians, Macedonians, Kenyans, and the Irish to accept violations of traditional norms that are still being debated here was surely not what Congress had in mind when it passed the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 and thereby created the U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID.

Support for wooly leftist causes around the globe, and teaming up with the vast network of Soros organizations trying to transform the world, isn’t new for USAID.
But for the past eight years, President Barack Obama politicized the agency to such a degree that six Republican senators in mid-March rightly called on Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to launch an investigation into how the agency spends billions of taxpayer dollars.

The response from a mid-level career official at the Bureau of Legislative Affairs, Executive Secretary Joseph E. Macmanus, offered a pro-forma defense of USAID with sentences like, “The Department of State’s foreign assistance programs are rigorously designed, implemented, and monitored to ensure that they are based on core American values.”

Soros supporters are naturally pleased. But was the letter reflective of the administration’s political leadership? The slow pace of political appointments at the State Department—and throughout the executive branch—has created a situation where career bureaucrats and caretakers put in place by the previous administration retain an outsized influence.

In this instance, sources tell us that the letter the senators sent Tillerson never reached him. As I explained in the New York Post last Saturday, the Macmanus letter didn’t even acknowledge the senators’ request for a probe. Telling six senators, in essence, to take a hike is not wise at the best of times.

But it is especially unwise when the senators are raising legitimate concerns that resonate with Trump voters. What core American values were served in Colombia when USAID funds a Soros-owned media portal that attacks President Donald Trump, capitalism, and “patriarchal society”?

And what American values are served when USAID and Soros’ Open Society Foundations team up to teach Macedonians Alinskyite tactics, continuing a lamentable trend here in the states to redefine civics as street mobilization and representative democracy as “participative democracy”?

And what core American values, indeed, are served when we support same-sex marriage in countries like Ireland? The Supreme Court only read this right into the Constitution two years ago, in a hotly contested 5-4 decision that is far from settled even here.

Indeed, many of these ideas continue to be hotly debated between one part of the population that wants to retain traditional norms and another that wants to transform society.

As the senators’ letter asked, what do these things have to do with our national interests?

By refusing to heed the senators’ call, the career civil servants who have taken over our agencies were doing exactly what the Open Society Foundations requested. In an op-ed in Foreign Policy magazine two weeks ago, the head of the Open Society Initiative for Europe, Goran Buldioski, wrote that “Tillerson should ignore the letter, because there’s nothing to investigate.”

Buldioski smeared the U.S. senators, saying that their letter was “littered with inaccuracies about the foundations’ work,” and he trotted out the most tired trope in the Soros arsenal, that the “senators echo Kremlin talking points.” As I have argued here and here, it is precisely our promotion of tendentious radical ideas overseas that often drive conservatives who would ordinarily side with us into the arms of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

But the most important part of the piece came not in these clich├ęs, but in the argument Buldioski made when he said that the senators were asking Tillerson “to shut down democracy promotion that is ‘disrespecting national sovereignty.’ Such an interpretation assumes that governments are sacrosanct and sovereign, not the voters who elect them.” (Emphasis added).

That is a tempting argument. The individual certainly is ultimately sovereign in that his own conscience is the ultimate arbiter.

This separation between “national sovereignty” and “individual sovereignty” is not new, however, but has been emphasized by those who argue for transnational governance.

In a speech in Stockholm in 2009 in which he expounded on the subject, former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said, for example: “We are now living in a true global age. We are interconnected as never before. Frontiers are increasingly irrelevant. Nation-states are increasingly powerless to act alone in the face of global forces.”

But as my friends and colleagues David Azerrad and Arthur Milikh reminded me in an email exchange on this subject, classical liberalism views countries as sovereign in the international realm.

The opening lines of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution—“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another” and “We the people”—make this amply clear.

When a government stops securing the unalienable rights of people, it is their right “to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government.” But individuals form a sovereign “people,” and we can remain sovereign only if we remember the common good and the social contract.

Let’s debate these things some more here at home before we spend billions trying to persuade our friends to buy into them.

How Soros Used US Tax Dollars to Consolidate Power in Colombia


In a recent letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, six U.S. Senators asked for an investigation into whether the United States Agency for International Development was promoting the Open Society Foundations’ left-wing policies abroad.

State Department career officials gave the senators the runaround, but if Tillerson does launch the probe, he need look no further than Colombia.

That South American country offers plenty of evidence that U.S. tax dollars are indeed being used to advance George Soros’ agenda—all under the banner of “peace.”

In November 2016, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos signed a “peace agreement” with the Marxist narco-terrorist group FARC. Though Colombians had earlier rejected the deal in a plebiscite, Santos and the Congress—which his party controls—found a loophole to ratify it, placing it above the Constitution.
The effect of this is that Santos now virtually rules by decree, answering only to an oversight commission—a junta comprised of three terrorists, three Santos cronies, and a few foreign observers.

The separation of powers has been abolished and a new peace tribunal, known as the Jurisdiccion Especial para la Paz has replaced the nation’s courts.

This act to circumvent Colombia’s Constitution was supported by many outside interests, including Scandinavian countries and the Nobel Committee, which awarded Santos the Peace Prize.

Also supportive was the Obama administration—partly through USAID—and Soros-backed nongovernmental organizations, which jointly helped launder the image, atrocities, and fortune of the world’s leading cocaine cartel.

I asked a USAID official last month whether USAID and the Open Society Foundations were coordinating in Colombia. He answered: “USAID is not funding any activities with Open Society in Colombia, directly or through any past or existing mechanism.”

But just scratching the surface of USAID activities tells a different story.

For example, Verdad Abierta, a web-based portal created by Teresa Ronderos, director of the Open Society Program on Independent Journalism, boasts on its website that it receives support from USAID.

Abierta has helped rewrite Colombia’s history, elevating terrorists to the same level as the legitimate police and military forces, and rebranding decades of massacres, kidnappings, child soldiering, and drug trafficking by a criminal syndicate as simply “50 years of armed conflict.”

Fundacion Ideas para la Paz, once led by peace negotiator Sergio Jaramillo, now a member of the oversight “junta,” is funded by the Open Society Foundations and has received more than $200,000 in U.S. tax dollars.

The left-wing news portal La Silla Vacia, another Open Society initiative, also boasts of being a USAID grantee. Its columnist, Rodrigo Uprimny, whose NGO DeJusticia also partners with USAID and Open Society, is considered one of the architects of the peace deal.

Former National Liberation Army terrorist Leon Valencia—Open Society collaborator and grantee—has received at least $1,000,000 in USAID funding through his NGOs Corporacion Nuevo Arco Iris and Paz y Reconciliacion, and left-wing news portal Las Dos Orillas, which he co-founded.

The list goes on. I’ve written in a separate piece about the long history of collaboration between Soros-funded NGOs and the U.S. State Department to undermine Colombia’s institutions, particularly through the work of Human Rights Watch.

While terrorists are rewarded with unelected seats in Congress and impunity, those who combated them will either confess to crimes they haven’t committed or go to jail.

This leads to Soros’ crowning achievement: Of the five commissioners chosen to select the judges for the new peace tribunal, three are key players in Soros’ network.

Diego Garcia-Sayan is chairman of Open Society’s Global Drug Policy Program, Juan E. Mendez is a 15-year veteran of Soros-funded Human Rights Watch, and Alvaro Gil-Robles collaborated with Open Society on the issue of Roma rights, eventually leading to the creation of the European Roma Institute—a joint initiative of the Open Society Foundations and the Council of Europe.

I recontacted USAID with follow-up questions regarding all the above. The press office declined to answer any of them, but a spokesperson did amend the original statement: “USAID is not funding any activities through Open Society in Colombia.”

Understanding the full scope of USAID and Open Society collaboration requires a government investigation. USAID‘s biggest contracts involve agreements with organizations that aren’t always transparent.

Take Chemonics. This USAID contractor received more than $20 million in 2015 alone. Some of that—USAID declined to say how much—went to formalizing relations between illegal miners in Segovia, Antioquia, and Gran Colombia Gold, the concession holder.

While the sustainability and benefits to the environment of the project are not clear (lawlessness in Segovia has intensified), certainly the company benefitted from a trained workforce not stealing its gold—albeit temporarily—courtesy of U.S. taxpayers.

One of the major shareholders of Gran Colombia Gold just happens to be Frank Giustra, a trustee of the Soros-funded International Crisis Group, along with Soros himself.

The six U.S. senators, then, are right to ask for a full accounting of USAID programs. Start with Colombia, where U.S. assistance should be for the purposes of maintaining and strengthening the gains from Plan Colombia.

Here Are 6 Reasons to Lower the Corporate Tax Rate Immediately


At close to 40 percent when including state rates, the U.S. corporate tax rate is one of the highest in the world.

By comparison, the average corporate tax rate among nations in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development stands at 25 percent.

Politicians and pundits often talk about companies moving operations to more friendly corporate tax countries, and they are right to do so. The corporate tax climate in the U.S. is a major factor in companies’ decisions to move abroad.

Some of those companies are uniquely American, yet nonetheless have relocated. Here are just six examples:

1. Burger King

While Burger King does not directly cite taxation as its motive for moving, it is clear it will benefit. It is reported that between 2015 and 2018, Burger King could save $275 million in taxes.

In 2014, Burger King Corp. purchased Canadian fast-food restaurant Tim Hortons Inc., and soon thereafter moved its company headquarters to Canada, where the net corporate tax rate is a mere 15 percent.

2. Liberty Global PLC

Liberty Global PLC, an American-based telecom company that primarily provides broadband internet service, hopped across the pond to London after purchasing British-based telecom company Virgin Media PLC for $23 billion in 2013. The United Kingdom currently has a corporate tax rate of 20 percent.

3. Tyco International PLC

Tyco International PLC, which produces security and fire protection devices such as the sprinkler, and is domiciled in Ireland, accepted a deal to merge with Milwaukee-based Johnson Controls. Tyco is now headquartered in Ireland where the corporate tax rate is 12.5 percent—the lowest in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

4. Medtronics PLC

Medtronics PLC, known for a variety of technological developments, including the pacemaker, merged with Irish pharmaceutical company Covidien, enabling it to take advantage of the low corporate tax rate in Ireland. Since the merger, Medtronics has saved more than $3 billion in taxes and currently has over $14 billion stashed overseas.

5. Waste Connections Inc.

In 2016, Texas-based Waste Connections Inc., a waste management company, and Ontario-based Progressive Waste Solutions Ltd. merged in order to take advantage of the Canadian corporate tax rate. The merger is worth north of $4.1 billion, potentially saving millions.

6. IHS Inc.

Also in 2016, U.S.-based financial services company IHS Inc. agreed to merge with Markit Ltd., a data company based in the United Kingdom. With the merger worth upward of $13 billion, the move to London means that a substantial reduction in its tax burden will have large implications for the company.

Some companies, on the other hand, were not able to relocate.

Take global pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. Pfizer aimed to move its headquarters to Ireland through the purchase of Allergan PLC, an Irish-based pharmaceutical company, but was blocked by the Obama administration in a stunning display of targeted executive regulation.

The $160 billion deal would have been the largest corporate inversion in U.S. history.

Clearly, corporate inversions are a problem that needs to be solved—but using regulation to keep companies on U.S. soil is the wrong way to solve the problem. Using executive orders to force companies to stay fails to address the deeper reason companies are fleeing.

The simple reason, as these examples illustrate, is the hostile corporate tax climate.

To address that problem, Congress should pass sweeping corporate tax reform that dramatically lowers rates, making America the most attractive place in the world to do business.

An ideal reform would bring rates as low as possible for both small and large businesses. This rate should at least make us competitive with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development average.

In addition, it should repeal the 3.8 percent Obamacare surtax on capital gains and dividends, allow for immediate expensing, and move to a territorial tax system like almost every other developed nation has.

We believe in a free and open market for business that allows global competition, and allows companies to be free to move as they please. But in order to compete in the free market, we need to have policies that attract businesses and keeps them here, not deter them or cause them to leave.

For the U.S. to continue with the highest corporate tax rate in the world, we fight with one hand tied behind our back. To bring these companies home, and to attract new companies, we must reform the corporate tax rate and give job creators the ability to grow right here in America.

23 Ways Big Government Is Hurting the Poor



Advocates for big government often equate expanding government with concern for the poor. But reality speaks to the contrary: Expanding government often has very harmful effects on the poor.

This reality is precisely what is addressed in a forthcoming special report from The Heritage Foundation, “Big Government Policies That Hurt the Poor and How to Address Them.”

Rather than looking at welfare policy—a usual focus of analysts when discussing policies that impact the poor—the report focuses on economic policy, including regulation.

The authors identify 23 policies and provide concrete solutions that would allow those struggling financially to have more opportunities and a higher standard of living. As indicated in the report, these policies are just the tip of the iceberg.
The authors found three recurring themes that marked the policies they identified:

1. Cronyism

A significant number of the policies are classic examples of cronyism. It’s quite illuminating how government policies supposedly designed to protect allegedly vulnerable workers or consumers wind up, in reality, helping dominant producers or politically favored special interests.

2. Disproportionate Impact on the Poor Through Artificially High Prices

Many of the policies identified drive up consumer prices, such as for food and energy. This disproportionately hurts the poor because a greater share of their incomes go to meeting basic needs, as compared to households at higher income levels (see the chart below).



3. Obstacles to Opportunity

There are numerous policies that create artificial and unnecessary obstacles for the poor when it comes to obtaining jobs or starting businesses that could lift them out of poverty.

Here are four of the harmful policies detailed in the report:

1. Occupational Licensing

Laws that require official occupational licensing cost millions of jobs nationwide and raise consumer expenses by as much as $203 billion per year. These policies are often just a barrier to entry to help existing individuals in the specific field by limiting competition.

2. Federal Sugar Program

The federal government tries to limit the supply of sugar that is sold in the United States. As a result, the price of American sugar is consistently higher than world prices, sometimes even doubling world prices.

This big government policy may benefit the small number of sugar growers and harvesters in America, but it does so at the expense of sugar-using industries and consumers.

Recent studies have found that the program costs consumers as much as $3.7 billion a year. The program has a disproportionate impact on the poor because a greater share of their income goes to food purchases compared to than for individuals at higher income levels.

3. Energy Efficiency Regulations for Appliances

The Department of Energy regulates a long list of consumer and commercial appliances, including products like refrigerators, air conditioners, furnaces, televisions, shower heads, ovens, toilets, and light bulbs.

These regulations prioritize efficiency over other preferences that customers and businesses might have—such as safety, size, durability, and cost. Customers and businesses might have such preferences even at the loss of some reduced efficiency.

While there are a number of problems with the government mandating energy conservation (such as cronyism and dubious environmental benefits), appliance efficiency regulations are likely to have a bigger negative impact on middle-income and low-income families, and likely to provide more benefits to upper-income families.

4. Ride-Sharing Regulations

For years, states and municipalities have attempted to heavily regulate, and at times ban, ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft in an effort to prop up their principal competitors—the traditional taxicab companies.

Government policies that attempt to preserve this system against competition from ride-sharing firms, or which impose costly and burdensome regulations on said firms, do so at the expense of both consumers and drivers, with a particular impact on the poor.

As the report illustrates, government regulation and unwarranted intervention are often the primary barriers to progress for those who are poor. Just getting government out of the way could make a huge difference.

>>> Read the full report.

Here is the report’s full list of 23 big government policies currently harming poor Americans:
  1. Climate Change Regulations
  2. Energy Efficiency Regulations for Appliances
  3. Fuel Efficiency Mandates and Tier 3 Gas Regulations
  4. Ozone
  5. Renewable Fuel Standard
  6. Tennessee Valley Authority
  7. Federal Sugar Program
  8. Fruit and Vegetable Marketing Orders
  9. U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Catfish Inspection Program
  10. Soda Taxes
  11. International Monetary Fund Bailouts
  12. Import Restraints on Food and Clothing
  13. Jones Act
  14. High Minimum Wages
  15. Occupational Licensure
  16. Economic Development Takings
  17. Home-Sharing Regulations
  18. Rent Control
  19. Smart Growth
  20. Payday Lender Rules From the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
  21. Daycare Regulations
  22. Ride-Sharing Regulations
  23. State-Sanctioned Lottery Monopolies
The Bottom Line

All levels of government—local, state, and federal—need to look honestly at how they are contributing to the poverty problem. Then, they can become part of the solution.

Here’s the Key to Urban Prepping That Most People Don’t Consider

If you live in a rural or suburban area, you have a very distinct advantage over your fellow preppers who are living in densely populated cities. It’s not that you don’t have to worry about hordes of desperate, hungry violent people. It’s not that you’re more likely to live near a wilderness with fresh game, or that you have friendlier neighbors who you can rely on.

Although certainly those are all advantages, your biggest advantage is that you have more space. You have more room to grow your own food if you want. You have enough space to stock up on a wide variety of supplies. That allows you to hunker down, and wait for the chaos to pass.

That’s a bit more difficult for urban preppers. A family living in a tiny apartment can’t stock up on enough food to last for three months or more, much less any other essential supplies. Or they can, but only if they don’t mind losing their entire living room.

While it’s a good idea for every prepper to stock up on as many essential supplies as they can, that’s just not enough for most urban preppers. They require a slightly different strategy. Rather than trying to figure out how they can stock up and isolate themselves from everyone else, what will give the urban prepper the greatest chance at survival is figuring out how they can trade with everyone else.

If you stop and think about what makes cities and rural areas different, it makes sense. In rural areas, regardless of whether or not there’s a disaster at play, self-sufficiency is one of the most important virtues. In densely populated cities, cooperation is more important. That’s because your neighbors aren’t a mile down the road. They’re right up against you, all the time.

So if you’re a prepper in a city, you have to think more about what you can trade with your neighbors for. Rather than just focusing on filling your apartment with bins full of freeze-dried food, you need to also think about stocking up on stuff that you can trade away down the road when your limited supplies run out.

Preferably, these trade items should be small. And to give you the most bang for your buck, they should be items that are cheap now, but will be worth their weight in gold after a disaster. Consider the following:
  • Water filtration and disinfection supplies are usually very compact and affordable. Take for instance, the crystallized iodine that is found in Polar Pure. That tiny jar is capable of disinfecting 2000 quarts of water, and only costs $20 (but don’t stock up on it too quickly. Crystallized iodine is used to make meth so that might look suspicious). Alternatively you can stock up on pumps and especially filters. None of these items are particularly expensive now, but in a crisis, most people will give their right arm for them.
  • Reloading supplies. Specifically, you should buy up a wide variety of primers. Brass casings can be reused, lead can be scavenged, and gunpowder can be made just about anywhere. Primers are incredibly cheap and compact, but this is an item that you would be hard pressed (pun intended) to find during a prolonged collapse.
  • Over the counter drugs would also be a great idea. They’re cheap, small, and have a shelf life that’s a lot longer than what you see on the label. Same with most prescription drugs. Though you can’t stockpile them for obvious legal reasons, if you’re ever prescribed pain killers or antibiotics and have some pills left over after you recover, you should hold onto them.
  • Sewing kits are another really cheap and portable item. We live in a throwaway culture, and you’d be surprised by how many people don’t have this sort of thing lying around. But if society collapses, everyone will have to squeeze as much life out of their clothes as they possibly can.
  • And finally, consider building up a supply of supplements, especially multivitamins. There isn’t going to be as much food to go around, and the kind of food that’s available probably isn’t going to be nutritionally balanced. There will be a lot of diseases showing up in the population that are caused by poor nutrition. Unfortunately, you can’t stock up on too much of this because supplements have a limited shelf life. But boy, imagine what someone with scurvy will give you for a handful of vitamin C pills.
Do you have any more ideas for small, affordable items that urban preppers should stock up on? Let us know in the comments.

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 or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Aiming is useless. World champion shooter tells you 3 secrets about handguns.

Shooting a handgun is an activity that looks really easy, but definitely is not. It’s a skill that requires more focus and dexterity than using a rifle or a shotgun, and I’d wager that for most people, it takes a bit longer to master the basics too. That’s why if you’ve never fired a handgun before, you definitely want to take some advice from someone with more experience before you get started.

And what would be better than learning from the best? That’s what you get when you listen to Rob Leatham, a world renown professional shooter who has won dozens of competitions over the past 30 years or so. In the following video, he tells you the basics that every first time shooter needs to know before they pick up a handgun, and maybe even a few things that moderately experienced shooters might not be aware of. (warning, mild language)



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 or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Is this the most versatile firearm for a SHTF scenario?

Invented by Phil Sharpe and Elmer Keith, the .357 magnum (hereafter referred to in this piece as the “.357”) is a very versatile and highly-dependable cartridge that has been around for almost one hundred years.  Introduced in 1935, it is an “evolution,” so to speak from the .38 caliber round.  It has an interesting history that should raise more than a few eyebrows.

During the Depression Days and the Bootlegging Era, the .357 magnum was developed (one of the reasons) because of the gangsters and gang wars that were rampant during the days of Prohibition.  The round was needed to be able to “puncture” both bulletproof vests and automobiles during these skirmishes of cops and robbers.  The vests were defeating any bullets (at the time) of under 1,000 feet per second (fps), and the only round that was overcoming them was the Colt’s .38 Super Automatic.

Smith and Wesson came along and jumped on the bandwagon.  They wanted to expand the .38 cartridge that was in use by law enforcement.  After many failures, the .357 finally came about.  For those of you guys and gals that mentioned in e-mails and comments about the recoil (“kick”) of the .45 ACP, the .357 magnum has less recoil, and yet does not sacrifice stopping power to attain it.  Your bullet weights range (generally) from 125 grains (gr) to 158 gr.

The .357 is an excellent cartridge for home defense, as well as for hunting and for target-shooting.  It is the smallest size magnum cartridge that will have effect against large game, and if firing +P rounds (with a brand such as Buffalo Bore), can be used in self-defense against large predators.  Mind you, in Grizzly country you prefer the .44 Magnum round, but the .357 +P round has been effective in stopping these monsters.

There are plenty of handguns and rifles to choose from for your cartridge.  I highly recommend Ruger’s SP-101 series revolver, with a barrel length to your choosing.  Although a five-shot revolver, that .357 is a serious round…a magnum round…and will more than serve your needs if your marksmanship fundamentals are followed.  You can find lever-action rifles chambered in .357 magnum, such as the Marlin lever-action carbine.  One that I am interested in is the Rossi Ranch Hand, that boasts a greatly-enlarged finger-loop for use by cattlemen and cowboys.

The Ranch Hand can be kept in a side sheath on a horse and then withdrawn to fire from a moving gallop and reloaded (re-levered) with the enlarged finger loop.  My interest is to remove the loop and replace it with a more standard-sized finger loop such as is found in the Winnie ’94.  The reason is because it is really a short carbine.  I was thinking of doing this to stick in a sheath atop of my rucksack.  I’m still deliberating, because the Ranch Hand also comes in a .44 Magnum cartridge.  I like both rounds for bear and mountain lion country.

The .357 cartridge is easily acquired and simple to reload.  You are getting the accuracy of a 9mm cartridge with a stopping power on a level with a .45 ACP.  Your velocity of the rounds is approximately 1,300 fps.  Want another “Bennie” for this equation?  No, not Benzedrine…a Benefit!  If you have a firearm that will fire a .357 magnum round, you are (99% of the time) also able to fire a .38 round through it, such as a standard .38 Special round!  There’s a plus for you…as you’ll have a weapon that can fire multiple calibers without a barrel change.



Caution!  It doesn’t work in reverse: your .38 is NOT able to handle the extra chamber pressure from the .357 magnum round! 



I’m highlighting, underlining, and isolating that sentence just so that you keep it in mind for your safety.  The ammo is very reasonably-priced and can be obtained in your friendly Wal-Mart quite availably and affordably.  It’s a good piece for men or women and the round will serve your needs well.  The .357 magnum round is quite reliable and has been dependable for a long time.  Happy and safe shooting, and we’d love any questions or comments you may send us.  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.



This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

America's Fiscal Outlook in 6 Sobering Charts

I sometimes feel like a broken record about entitlement programs. How many times, after all, can I point out that America is on a path to become a decrepit European-style welfare state because of a combination of demographic changes and poorly designed entitlement programs?

But I can’t help myself. I feel like I’m watching a surreal version of Titanic where the captain and crew know in advance that the ship will hit the iceberg, yet they’re still allowing passengers to board and still planning the same route. And in this dystopian version of the movie, the tickets actually warn the passengers that tragedy will strike, but most of them don’t bother to read the fine print because they are distracted by the promise of fancy buffets and free drinks.

We now have the book version of this grim movie. It’s called The 2017 Long-Term Budget Outlook and it was just released today by the Congressional Budget Office.

If you’re a fiscal policy wonk, it’s an exciting publication. If you’re a normal human being, it’s a turgid collection of depressing data.

But maybe, just maybe, the data are so depressing that both the electorate and politicians will wake up and realize something needs to change.

I’ve selected six charts and images from the new CBO report, all of which highlight America’s grim fiscal future.

The first chart simply shows where we are right now and where we will be in 30 years if policy is left on autopilot. The most important takeaway is that the burden of government spending is going to increase significantly.



Interestingly, even CBO openly acknowledges that rising levels of red ink are caused solely by the fact that spending is projected to increase faster than revenue.



And it’s also worth noting that revenues are going up, even without any additional tax increases.

The bottom part of this chart shows that revenues from the income tax will climb by about 2 percent of GDP. In other words, more than 100 percent of our long-run fiscal mess is due to higher levels of government spending. So it’s absurd to think the solution should involve higher taxes.



This next image digs into the details. We can see that the spending burden is rising because of Social Security and the health entitlements. By the way, the top middle column on “other noninterest spending” shows one thing that is real, which is that defense spending has fallen as a share of GDP since the mid-1960s, and one thing that may not be real, which is that politicians somehow will limit domestic discretionary spending over the next three decades.

This bottom left part of the image also gives the details on built-in growth in revenues from the income tax, further underscoring that we don’t have a problem of inadequate revenue.



Here’s a chart that shows that our main problem is Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare.



Last but not least, here’s a graphic that shows the amount of fiscal policy changes that would be needed to either reduce or stabilize government debt.

I think that’s the wrong goal, and that instead the focus should be on reducing or stabilizing the burden of government spending, but I’m sharing this chart because it shows that spending would have to be lowered by 3.1 percent of GDP to put the nation on a good fiscal path.

Some folks think that might be impossible, but I’ll simply point out that the five-year de facto spending freeze that we achieved from 2009-2014 actually reduced the burden of government spending by a greater amount. In other words, the payoff from genuine spending restraint is enormous.



The bottom line is very simple.

We need to invoke my Golden Rule so that government grows slower than the private sector. In the long run, that will require genuine entitlement reform.

Or we can let America become Greece.
Republished from International Liberty.
Daniel J. Mitchell

Daniel J. Mitchell
Daniel J. Mitchell is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute who specializes in fiscal policy, particularly tax reform, international tax competition, and the economic burden of government spending. He also serves on the editorial board of the Cayman Financial Review.
This article was originally published on FEE.org. Read the original article.