Tag Archive: survival planning

Antifa is real. It’s violent. And you need to plan for it.

American diplomat George Messersmith found himself in an awkward situation while attending a luncheon in Kiel, Germany in August of 1933.

As lunch came to a close, the attendees erupted into song with arms outstretched in the Nazi salute.

First they belted out Germany’s national anthem, followed by the anthem of the Stormtroopers– the paramilitary ”Brownshirts” who violently enforced Germany’s new social rules.

Messersmith was the US Consul-General overseeing America’s diplomatic ties with Germany, so he politely stood at attention. But he did not salute or sing along.

Germans were required by law to render the Nazi salute, especially during the anthem; Hitler had been awarded supreme executive authority only a few months before, and he made the mandatory salute law of the land.

Foreigners, however, were explicitly exempt from saluting or singing the anthem.

But that didn’t help Messersmith.

Even though he was legally excused from making the Nazi salute, angry Brownshirts menacingly glared at him for not participating in their rituals.

Messersmith later wrote in his memoirs that he felt threatened, as if the Brownshirts were ready to attack him.

“I felt really quite fortunate that the incident took place within doors. . . For if it had been in a street gathering, or in an outdoor demonstration, no questions would have been asked as to who I was, and that I would have been mishandled is almost unquestionable.”

Messersmith was one of the few US officials who grasped just how dangerous the Nazis were in 1933. Others had to witness it first hand before they understood.

A similar event unfolded when a US radio host and his family found themselves amidst an impromptu Nazi parade in Berlin.

And in order to avoid Hailing Hitler, they turned their backs to the parade and gazed into a store window.

But several Brownshirts quickly surrounded the family and demanded to know why they did not salute.

The family explained that they were from the US and didn’t know the customs in Germany. But the Brownshirts didn’t care. The family was assaulted as police officers watched… and did nothing to stop the violence.

News of these sorts of incidents quickly made their way overseas, and foreigners read about Americans traveling in Germany being savagely beaten or threatened for not engaging in Nazi rituals.

But more surprising is that many foreigners actually sided with the Nazis.

Even the daughter of the US Ambassador to Germany defended the Nazis and their Brownshirt enforcers.

She said that news reports of these assaults and beatings were “exaggerated by bitter, close-minded people” who ignored the “thrilling rebirth” Hitler had ushered in for Germany.

Of course, we know in retrospect that these early warning signs were not at all an exaggeration. They were a small preview for what would come next.

Today we are obviously in a different time dealing with totally different circumstances.

But it would be foolish to ignore the early warning signs and pretend as if what’s happening now is not a preview for what could come next.

This is perhaps best illustrated by a CNN reporter in Kenosha, Wisconsin back in August who stood in front of burning cars and buildings, with a violent mob all around him, yet declared the protests “fiery but mostly peaceful.”

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This willful ignorance of the undercurrent coursing its way through the Western world will not save anyone from the destruction it brings.

For example, just this past Monday, “peaceful protesters” in Portland, Oregon celebrated Columbus Day with an “Indigenous People’s Day of Rage.”

They weren’t even pretending to be peaceful. They called it what it is: RAGE. That’s literally the name they gave to their own actions.

Hundreds of people dressed in all black, covered their faces, and armed themselves with shields and nightsticks. They marched their way through the city, smashed windows, and forced any witnesses to stop filming and delete photographs.

A man who filmed from his apartment’s terrace had lasers shined in his eyes and was doused in some sort of liquid.

The protesters tore down statues of Teddy Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. They smashed the windows of the Oregon Historical Society building, and unfurled a banner that said “stop honoring racist colonizer murderers.”

Police did not even attempt to intervene until the rioters had been on the streets for hours and had already caused havoc and destruction.

(Ironically, much of the mainstream media still refuses to acknowledge that this group ‘antifa’– the fascists who call themselves anti-fascists– even exists.)

It’s obvious that a small, fringe, ideological minority has started to take control.

They have squashed civil discourse and free speech. Dissent is met with violence and intimidation. And if you dare to speak out, you become a target.

That could mean being “cancelled” by the Twitter mob. Or being accosted in public and forced to raise your fist. Several people have already been killed in protests across the nation.

When people like the former CEO of Twitter are calling for capitalists to be “lined up against the wall and shot,” it’s time to take the threat seriously.

This is far from the first time in history that a tiny fraction of the population has resorted to violence and extremism to force their agenda on an entire nation.

But you don’t have to watch helplessly as the born-again Brownshirts destroy everything you have worked for.

The first step is to recognize that the radical movement will not simply go away on its own. This has been growing for some time, and history tells us that it could become much worse.

Second, have a rock solid Plan B. This means deciding– in advance, when you’re still calm and rational– what steps to take in order to secure your family’s safety, your prosperity, and your freedom in a worst case scenario.

After all, you don’t want to be thinking about your next move when some antifa thug ‘peacefully’ hurls a molotov cocktail through your window.

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

via: SovereignMan.com


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World War II memorial cancelled for being too white

Just when you think it couldn’t get more bizarre… we give you this week’s absurdity.


Mural dedicated to WWII Vets cancelled for being too white


70 years ago, a decorated Veteran from World War II painted a mural on the campus of the University of Rhode Island to honor the fallen who lost their lives in the war.

The 95 year old artist is still alive today, to see his artwork being cancelled.

Students complained that the lack of diversity in the mural made them feel uncomfortable. There were too many white people depicted, and not enough minorities.

The university quickly bowed to the mob, covered up the painting, and plans to remove it entirely.

It’s ironic that in 2020, questioning the woke mob is liable to have you labeled a Nazi.

So a man who had the balls to fight the actual Nazis will have his memorial painting destroyed to appease the snowflakes who can’t even look at a painting without an emotional fit.


Click here to read the full story.


Former Marine commits suicide after the mob targets him


A Nebraska bar owner, Jake Gardner, was inside his bar when the windows were shattered by “peaceful protesters.”

Gardner, a former Marine who served in Iraq, went outside to try to diffuse the situation. He saw his father (a man in his 60s) shoved violently to the ground by peaceful protestors. But still, Gardner maintained his composure.

A video then shows that Gardner tried backing away from three men when they attacked him.

Gardner ends up on the ground, with an attacker on top of him. Gardner fired his weapon, and the attacker died.

The county prosecutor reviewed the video evidence and confirmed that Gardner acted properly and in self defense. The video confirms this. And he stated that he would NOT charge Gardner.

But the mob was not willing to accept this outcome. So they surrounded the courthouse and peacefully protested… at which point the Grand Jury caved and decided to charge Gardner with manslaughter.

This sadly appeared to put Gardner over the edge. And he took his own life last week.


Click here to read the full story.


Escaped Prisoner in UK tried to turn himself in seven times


An British inmate incarcerated in the UK recently escaped; apparently he was worried about his mother and wanted to visit her.

But once the visit was over, he was ready to go back to prison and serve out the remainder of his sentence.

So he went down to the local police station to turn himself in. But they refused to arrest him. It appeared there was no outstanding warrant for his arrest.

It took SEVEN tries before this escaped convict was able to successfully turn himself in to police.

Perhaps the cops were too busy trying to catch people illegally watching TV without a license (seriously, that’s a thing in the UK).


Click here to read the full story.


Election supervisor investigates a toilet


A homeowner in Michigan put a toilet on his front lawn, along with a sign that says “place mail-in ballots here.”

For anyone familiar with the debate about whether mail-in ballots increase voter fraud, the display is an obvious joke.

However the local election supervisor thinks it’s a crime, so she called the police to investigate.

She said, “It is a felony to take illegal possession of an absentee ballot… Elections in this country are to be taken seriously and there are many people who are voting by mail for the first time this election.”

Such sensitive little authoritarians…

Let’s hope that any eligible voter would not mistake the front yard toilet for an actual official ballot depository.

And if that’s the level of intelligence among voters, we have bigger problems to worry about.


Click here to read the full story.


New Jersey Doubles Down on Chasing the Rich Away


About 4 years ago, billionaire David Tepper left New Jersey and moved to Florida.

New Jersey instantly lost hundreds of millions of dollars every year in tax revenue just from this one guy.

But it wasn’t only Tepper fleeing New Jersey’s 8.97% income tax rate. In 2018, for example, New Jersey lost 5,700 millionaires.

Not coincidentally, 2018 was the same year that New Jersey hiked it’s income tax rate to 10.75% for those earning more than $5 million.

And now, with a massive government budget shortfall thanks to COVID shutdowns, New Jersey will double down on its bad idea.

They didn’t learn their lesson in 2018… so now the state will increase its tax rate to 10.75% for everyone earning more than $1 million per year.


Click here to read the full story.


Tased and arrested for not wearing a mask


An Ohio mother sat with her family in the stands at her son’s middle school football game.

They were outside, and a good 15 feet from any other fan.

But the school resource officer confronted the woman, and asked her to put a mask on.

She refused, citing asthma. She wasn’t sitting near anyone and was properly distanced, so she clearly posed no threat.

That really should have been the end of it. But instead the woman ended up being tased and forcibly removed from the stands.

Ironically the police officer had his mask hanging around his neck the whole time (instead of covering his nose and mouth), and another officer who also responded wasn’t wearing a mask at all.

In the end, it doesn’t even appear that the school’s mask mandate was legally enforceable. So they charged the mom with ‘trespassing’… at her son’s football game.


Click here to read the full story.


To your freedom.

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.




via: SovereignMan.com


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Prep Your Apartment or Suburban Home for Riots and Civil Unrest: How to Get Ready FAST

When you live in an urban or suburban location and it looks like all heck is about to break loose, how can you prepare your place fast for the potential of unrest? As we’ve seen in cities across the country, a peaceful protest can turn into a violent riot in the blink of an eye. How do you prepare when the spark is lit in your hometown?

While our first recommendation on this website is always “don’t be there” we know there are some situations in which leaving isn’t an option.

Therefore, this article is based on the premise that, for whatever reason, you’re going to need to hunker down in your home. The reason you’re there doesn’t matter – the concept is simply that you’re there. With only a couple of exceptions, we’re also going to use things you can commonly find in homes with no special trips to the store.

For a detailed overview of civil unrest and riots, check out Selco’s on-demand webinar on the topic.

Timing is essential

The first thing to consider is that speed is of the essence. If there’s something going on in your hometown that could cause unrest, like the announcement of a verdict or sentencing, you will probably know about it at least a day ahead of time. This allows you a bit more leeway in gathering supplies.

But we don’t always get that warning. Sometimes the response of outrage is immediate, as we’ve seen in the cases of several police shootings recently. In these cases, sometimes the outrage is warranted, and other times it’s not, but that part doesn’t matter when there are people who want to destroy, loot, and burn.

It’s best if you have an idea of how you’re going to prepare ahead of time. If you know this, then you can have on hand the supplies that you need. If not, you’ll be using what you have on hand.

As soon as you feel that unrest is a possibility, it’s time to take action if you plan to stay in place. Don’t just “wait and see.” Assume that bad things are coming your way and act accordingly.

Blend in

We’ve talked a lot about the gray man principle in the preparedness world. You can learn more about it in this article. In situations of unrest, it’s helpful if your home is also “gray.”  But it’s important to understand that gray isn’t always just non-descript or non-memorable. It can mean you are adapting to the baseline of your area. And sometimes that means adapting to it whether you agree with it or not.

How do you do that? Well, it depends where you are and who the potential threat is.

Many of the recent riots in the United States have been related to race and police brutality. These two things give you some hints on what you might want at your home and also what you might not want.

An important thing to note: I’m well aware this advice will not be popular in our circles, but remember that we’re talking about survival. Not about right vs. wrong, free speech, or your love of the United States of America. You have to be the one to make the decision whether you place precedence on the lives of your family or on your patriotism and principles. Sometimes, like matter, the two cannot occupy the same space at the same time. I can’t tell you what is right or what is wrong. I can simply point out things that could make your home a target.

First, consider the things you may want to remove temporarily.

It’s a sickening fact that homes flying American flags have been targeted by arsonists. It’s practically unbelievable that this is happening in the United States, but it is.  Due to this, you may want to remove anything that is obviously patriotic from the exterior of your home.

If you’ve got a “Thin Blue Line” sticker on your car, you’ll want to park it in the garage. In these harrowing times, obvious support of law enforcement is a sure way to capture the ire of a mob that wants to see the police eradicated. The same thing goes for flags and exterior decorations that show support of LEOs. In Minneapolis, it was discovered that police officers were being followed home and their families and properties were targeted.

Depending on the situation in your area, you may want to add some things to make your home a less desirable target. A small sign in the window that says something like “Racial Equality” may indicate the residents are sympathetic to the cause of those rioting and could be enough to deter them from smashing your windows and setting your home on fire. I’m not suggesting you have to go full-on BLM with your signage. But consider something small and relatively innocuous to use as a type of “camouflage.” I don’t see this as very different from the quarantine tape I have stashed away to make my home look undesirable in the midst of a pandemic.

Unless others in the neighborhood are boarding up their windows, you may not want to batten down the hatches with plywood on the exterior. Keep reading for more information on boarding up your windows.

Aside from these things, be sure to remove anything from the front of the house that could be used to break the windows, like planters and lawn furniture.  Secure your belongings like bicycles and toys indoors or you may discover they’ve been taken by self-entitled rioters.

Finally, if you are home during the riots, gather in one room. This way you know where everybody is if things get crazy and you know that everyone is practicing proper light control. Keep the lights off – some rioters really want a confrontation, so they’ll be looking for homes that look occupied. Keep your blinds or curtains closed and make sure any light you use is dim and not very noticeable. Before an event occurs, test things out. Can you still see the television in the family room from the outside when the curtains are closed? How bright is that nightlight in the bathroom? Can you identify people walking around inside through the blinds? Make the appropriate adjustments before any violence erupts.

Be harder to get to

The next thing to do is to harden your home. You don’t want to be an easy target. When discussing this, a lot of folks immediately think “booby traps.” I’m not recommending anything like that. We’re not in a Mad Max situation right now, even though it could feel like it in the moment. Booby traps are illegal and you will be held both criminally and civilly liable for any injury or death that occurs from a trap you set.

As per the Geneva Convention:

Without prejudice to the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict relating to treachery and perfidy, it is prohibited in all circumstances to use:

a. any booby-trap in the form of an apparently harmless portable object which is specifically designed and constructed to contain explosive material and to detonate when it is disturbed or approached, or

b. booby-traps which are in any way attached to or associated with:

1. internationally recognized protective emblems, signs or signals;

2. sick, wounded or dead persons;

3. burial or cremation sites or graves;

4. medical facilities, medical equipment, medical supplies or medical transportation;

5. children’s toys or other portable objects or products specially designed for the feeding, health, hygiene, clothing or education of children;

6. food or drink;

7. kitchen utensils or appliances except in military establishments, military locations or military supply depots;

8. objects clearly of a religious nature;

9. historic monuments, works of art or places or worship which constitute the cultural or spiritual heritage of peoples;

10. animals or their carcasses.

It is prohibited in all circumstances to use any booby-trap which is designed to cause superfluous injury or necessary suffering.” (source)

Explosives, sharpened items, devices that cause guns to fire, and devices that produce toxic fumes upon contact are all prohibited.

While some folks may be bitterly disappointed that they can’t spear their adversaries with a custom-made booby trap, you can still protect your home

This happens in layers.

Securing the outside

First things first, anything outside that keeps people further away from the home itself is good. Lots of folks have fences around the front but leave their gates unsecured. If there is any inkling your neighborhood could be a target of unrest, lock your gate! Do this with a padlock or with a bar secured across the inside of the gate.

In nearly every situation, I’d advise you not to leave pets outside to “guard” the home. Pets can be seriously injured or killed. They can also be used like a hostage by unsavory people to lure the homeowners out. Keep your pets inside during times of unrest.

As mentioned above, remove anything from the exterior that could be used to gain access by breaking a window.

Many people board up all their windows with plywood. If you plan to do this, get the plywood well ahead of time and pre-drill the holes so you can install it quickly. You can store plywood between your mattress and box springs, or under your bed. I’ll go into this more in a moment but do not cover every single window of your home with plywood. You don’t want to create a prison from which you have no escape. Generally, just cover the front windows and sidelights by your doors.

Make sure alternative entrances are protected with warning devices. I hang windchimes on windows and decorative bells on doorknobs. Even when I travel, I carry a little windchime to hang on the doorknob of my Airbnb or hotel room to alert me to potential trouble. When my daughter and I faced the potential of unrest in Virginia, I set up a tripwire at the back gate that fired 22 caliber blanks when triggered. Notice – I said blanks. As I mentioned above, you don’t want to set up anything that might hurt someone. 22 caliber isn’t overly loud but it’s enough to alert you that something is going on, and may even scare away less hardy intruders.

Deterring entry

If your home is breached, all is not lost. Your next goal is to make it difficult to get to you. We’ve already discussed that your lights should be turned off. This gives you the advantage of knowing the layout while those who broke in have no idea what they’re walking into.

But darkness isn’t your only advantage. When I was staying with my daughter in her downtown apartment during the COVID lockdowns, we realized that our front hallway was a true weak spot. The front door was solid glass and there were also glass sidelights. The door frame of the old building wasn’t of the highest quality and I could easily see the door being breached, either by the glass being broken or by a strong person simply breaking through due to the weak frame. As renters this is not something we could replace. So, we got plywood cut to fit and I added spacers that allowed the blinds to be between the plywood and the glass, making it look less obvious that we had boarded things up.

However, this didn’t do anything to prevent someone from breaking down the door, so our next step was to make the hallway harder to navigate. I came across this solution accidentally. We had come home late one day and dropped our purchases on the floor right inside the door, along with a purse and a backpack. I got up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom and fell facefirst over a giant box of industrial trashbags. When I tried to catch myself, my foot got tangled in the long strap of my daughter’s purse. This, of course, was all gracefully executed. But as I sat there on the floor with my knee throbbing, I thought, hey, they call these things “stumbling blocks” for a reason.

The next day, I created my own stumbling blocks. I took some of our carry-on luggage and weighted them down with hard cover books. I lined these suitcases along the side of the hallway most of the time, but when unrest was nearby, I could easily roll them where I wanted and lay them down at different angles to make the hallway a bit more difficult to traverse. At the very least, these things will make some racket and slow people down before they get to your refuge.

Setting up a safe zone

And that leads us to the safe zone. You may not have time to create an entire safe room, but you can at least designate one room as a safe zone. Make this room the furthest from the most likely point of entry. (For us the most likely entry would have been the front door and the best option for a safe zone was a bedroom in the back part of the house.) The room needs to have a door to the rest of the house and an emergency way to exit.

You want your safe zone to be comfortable enough for the whole family to hang out in – this could mean pulling an extra mattress into a bedroom or rearranging the furniture. Plan to spend the evening together in this room.

Adults should be armed and prepared in the event that their home is breached. If your home is breached your priority is the safety of those under your care. If you have small children or anyone who is unfamiliar with the safe handling of firearms, please keep your gun on your person for safety purposes. In fact, I recommend that you keep your gun on your person at all times during these situations anyway. You’re not going to be able to say to intruders, “Oh, hold on, I forgot my Glock in the master bedroom.” A gun is like a trauma first aid kit. If you need it, you need it instantly, not in in five minutes.

You should have a plan to barricade the door to the safe zone.  This could mean relocating a heavy piece of furniture near the entrance where you can quickly push it in front of the door if necessary. Your goal here is to slow down and deter intruders.

While you should definitely call 911 if your home is breached to have it on record that you did call for official help, don’t rely on them to dispatch assistance with sirens blaring.  As a woman from Kenosha, Wisconsin recounts of her experience during the riots, “It was apparent from the beginning there was no help. No police, no fire trucks no ambulances. None.” Don’t expect your situation to be any different.

If you have intruders, you may wish to issue a verbal warning letting them know you are armed and will open fire if they continue to try and breach your safe room. For some people that will serve as enough of a deterrent. For others, swept up in the mob mentality, it could serve to enflame them further.

For the love of all things cute and fluffy, remember that you are probably not John Rambo. You might be able to take out a few intruders, but if dozens of people are swarming into your home, you won’t be able to take out all of them. Read this article for more information on escaping an angry mob. You may have family members who will suffer due to your actions, so think things through ahead of time. Don’t just blindly react.

Create a funnel

If, despite your best efforts, people do get into your home, there are things that you can do to manage where they go. Most people in mobs are participating in more of a group mentality – you won’t see a lot of critical thinkers. This means that you can often strategically guide them to the place where you want them.

Where you want them depends upon your goal and this is where the conversation gets tricky. Do you want them to head to the opposite side of the house from where your safe zone is to give yourself more time to escape? Do you want them to be in an area where you can take defensive action from a protected position?

I cannot advise you on a public website to set up some kind of shooting gallery in your home. But consider the following thoughts.

  1. Think about backstops. In the event that you have no option but to defend yourself, what is behind the intruders after you funnel them into your desired location? Would gunfire go through to the next apartment? Out into the street? Or would it be stopped by a concrete wall?
  2. Understand the difference between cover and concealment. Television has done us a terrible disservice when it shows someone tipping over a wooden kitchen table and taking “cover” behind it to survive the intruders opening fire with fully automatic weapons. Concealment means you’re hidden. Cover means you’re protected from most gunfire. If you ARE planning to take aggressive defensive action, you’ll want to do it from a place of cover.
  3. Understand that there will be legal ramifications. Even if you are innocent of all charges, you must prepare yourself for a lengthy and expensive court battle. Any set up you’ve done in advance will likely be used against you in such a battle. If your area is more sympathetic toward rioters than us average folks, you could be in for a barrage of negative publicity and harassment.

Consider all of these things before taking defensive actions. And perhaps reconsider leaving if that remains a possibility it all.

Now, back to our funnel. It’s fairly easy to guide people to where you want them to go. Most people, especially those who are untrained, will take the path that looks most direct and easiest. Figure out all of the options a person in your funnel might have. Options might include open rooms, doors to closed rooms, and exits.

Once you’ve considered what the options are, then make the options you want them to choose EASY and the options you don’t want them to choose CHALLENGING.

Going back to our long front hallway in my daughter’s city apartment, we wanted people in our hall for as long as possible, not scattering to rooms off the hallway. One bedroom near the door had a second door that led to the back part of the house. We definitely didn’t want intruders going that way because we’d end up flanked in our safety zone. I solved this issue by putting a bookcase loaded with books in front of the bedroom door that led to the hallway. Who is going to try and move a giant bookcase when there’s a hallway with 3 open doors ahead of them?

What you’re really doing here is using psychology to manipulate your potential attackers to the place where you want them. This article has a lot of excellent in-depth guidance on preparing your space for such a siege.

Be prepared for fire

One of the most common weapons we’re seeing used in the current spate of riots is fire.

Fires are very common during incidents of civil unrest. Generally, vehicles and commercial properties are where fires are set but in some incidents, homes have been burned too.

Fire is a cowardly attack that doesn’t require any interaction on the part of the arsonist. It flushes out the family inside, leaving you vulnerable to physical assaults. This is the one area in which you may need to make some advance purchases. However, all of these fire-related items are good things to have in your home during ordinary circumstances as well. You probably already have at least one fire extinguisher. If that is all you have, keep it with you in your safe zone.

  • Have fire extinguishers mounted throughout your home. You can buy them in 4-packs from Amazon.
  • During tense times, keep a fire extinguisher right beside your bed. You can use it as both a way to extinguish fires and a weapon if necessary.
  • Be sure to test them frequently and maintain them properly. (Allstate has a page about fire extinguisher maintenance.)
  • Have fire escape ladders that can be attached to a windowsill in all upper story rooms.  Drill with them so that your kids know how to use them if necessary. When I travel by vehicle, I have a fire-escape ladder in with my preps. Hotel fires are not uncommon and I want to have options.

Fires can easily spread from one building to the next, especially if firefighters can’t respond safely or can’t get their fire truck through the mob. Be on the watch for fires in your vicinity.

Fire can also be used as a weapon. Here’s an article about dealing with firebombs and Molotov cocktails should such an event arise.

Don’t close off your escape routes

Something I see a lot are plans that keep everybody out and firmly secure every possible point of entry. And I thought that was a fantastic idea until I took an urban survival course with Selco in Croatia and he pointed out that this can also be appropriately considered a “trap.”

If you put bars on every door and window, you’ve created a prison for those inside. What happens if your home is set on fire? What happens if your home is breached? You need some exits. They don’t have to look obvious and can take only minimal preparation.

For example, I told a family member living in a downtown area to remove the screens from her windows. That saves precious seconds and allows for a far more silent exit than if she were to have to remove the screens while rioters were breaching her front door. She can easily slip through the window, close it back so that nobody immediately realizes where she exited, and head out the back with a minimum of noise.

At the same time, her windows are secured with shatter-resistant film and a bar to prevent them from being raised. That bar can be instantly removed from the inside if she needs to make her escape.

Never ever make your home so difficult to breach that you cannot escape. While your plan may be to stand your ground no matter what, being burned alive would be a terrible way to go.

How would you quickly secure your home if tensions broke out nearby?

I’ve generally lived in places where I had a bit more control over my situation, but when unrest broke out in Virginia near the home I shared with my daughter during the lockdown, I had to creatively secure the apartment using things we had on hand. I hope that some of the ideas we’ve used are useful to you.

We all live in different settings and some of us are more likely than others to face the scenarios mentioned in this article. But take a moment and imagine that “peaceful protesters” were bussed into your neighborhood (or were expected.) Do you have a plan? Does your family know the plan? Do you have any ideas to add to the ones above?


Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.




via: theorganicprepper


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NYPD releases Dominican national to commit crimes after failing to honor 10 ICE detainers

NEW YORK – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) lodged 10 immigration detainers during the past two years on an illegally present Dominican national after he was arrested on 10 separate occasions by the New York Police Department (NYPD). After each arrest, he was released into the community to re-offend with active immigration detainers in place.

Jhonny Alejandro Soto-Ubaldo is one of many examples of how New York’s sanctuary city policies place the safety of the residents at risk. Their willful uncooperative nature provides criminals such as Soto-Ubaldo the opportunity to re-offend,” said Tony H. Pham, senior official performing the duties of the director for ICE.

Soto-Ubaldo was first arrested by the NYPD in June 2018 on local charges in Queens. At that time, ICE lodged an immigration detainer, but he was released without notification to ICE. Less than two months later, he was rearrested, and ICE lodged another immigration detainer, and he was once again, released into the community to reoffend. The following year, ICE lodged six additional detainers on the Soto-Ubaldo after his arrests for crimes between April and October 2019, and he was released each time, even though active immigration detainers were in place.

ICE also lodged immigration detainers with the NYPD, which were not honored, after Soto-Ubaldo’s arrest for unauthorized use of a vehicle and criminal possession of stolen property in March 2020 and following his arrest for criminal mischief and assault in May 2020.

In September 2020, he was arrested on federal firearms charges and is currently in U.S. Marshals custody; ICE has an active immigration detainer lodged with the Federal Bureau of Prisons. ICE will take custody of Soto-Ubaldo following the resolution of firearms charges, which are pending before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

“What makes this case so frustrating is that local law enforcement failed to honor 10 detainers, despite Soto-Ubaldo’s lengthy criminal history. How can local politicians – in good conscience – say they’re protecting their constituents when they pass laws that release criminals back into our communities? Detainer non-cooperation threatens public safety. It’s fortunate for the residents of New York City, that the subject is now being held on federal charges, and the ICE detainer will finally be honored,” said Thomas R. Decker, field office director for ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations New York Field Office.

In addition to the pending federal charges, Soto-Ubaldo also faces pending charges in Queens and Nassau Counties for assault, harassment, criminal mischief, grand larceny, petit larceny, criminal possession of stolen property and criminal possession of a firearm.

He was previously featured on ICE.gov as a public safety threat to the local community after the NYPD failed to honor multiple ICE detainers.

About Detainers

ICE relies on the exchange of information with its law enforcement agency partners to access foreign-born inmates at local, state, and federal facilities, and the use of detainers as part of its public safety mission. In many cases, these individuals pose a demonstrable threat to communities.

By lodging detainers against those individuals, ICE makes every effort to ensure that removable aliens are turned over to ICE custody after their criminal detention rather than being released into the community where many abscond or reoffend.

Over the last fiscal year, the ICE ERO New York Field Office lodged 7,526 detainers against individuals for crimes including homicide, robbery, assault, sexual assault, weapons violations, and driving under the influence. The subjects of the detainers accounted for 17,873 criminal convictions, and 6,500 criminal charges.

For more information about declined ICE detainers in the New York City area, visit https://www.ice.gov/spotlight/declined-detainers-newyork.

 

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

 

via: www.dhs.gov


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Digital Nomads will want to know about these two countries

British Petroleum announced this week that ALL 6,500 employees in its London office will be working from home within the next two years.

BP is even going to shut down the office entirely and sell the building. They’re not the only ones.

Right now, in fact, only 13% of London office workers are back at the office. And as we’ve been saying, many likely won’t return.

When you never have to go to the office anymore, why stay in expensive London? Or New York, or San Francisco for that matter?

A lot of people are already moving.

I’ve been driving across the northern United States for the past few days– Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. ‘Rural’ doesn’t even begin to capture the scene here. It’s gorgeous.

And it’s been remarkable to see how many people are moving to these areas from big cities (especially from California).

Even more, as we’ve been suggesting, a lot of folks will pick up and go farther afield, leaving their home countries altogether.

That’s one of the silver linings of COVID: the work-from-home revolution allows a lot of people to go anywhere, for any reason– perhaps to dodge the chaos, for better weather, a different lifestyle, tax savings, or all of the above.

Two places to consider are Spain and Portugal; both have very straightforward options for people who might want to live there (even just temporarily) to obtain legal residency.

In short, you’ll need to demonstrate that you have sufficient cash, liquid assets and/or monthly income so that you won’t become a burden to local welfare programs.

Portugal’s “D7” visa requirements, for example, are based on the current minimum wage.

So if you have an income or cash savings of at least €7,620 (the annual minimum wage in Portugal, roughly USD $9,000), you can receive a temporary residency permit that’s valid for 1 year.

If you bring your spouse, you’d need an additional 50% of that amount, plus 30% for each child.

So a family of four would need about $18,000.

(This is the bare minimum, and of course it’s always best to show more if possible when you submit your application.)

And to be clear, this is YOUR money. It’s not like you have to pay it to the government as a fee or anything. You keep it in your bank account, and spend it as you see fit. The Portuguese government just needs to know that you have (or earn) enough to support yourself.

Spain has a type of visa that is very similar to Portugal’s D7. It’s called “residencia no lucrativa” or “non-lucrative residency.”

Spain is more demanding when it comes to showing savings or income, but their requirements are not outrageous.

This required amount increases slightly each year, depending on the Spanish minimum wage.

As of 2020, they want to see that the primary applicant has €25,560, and an additional €6,390 for each additional family member.

So, a family of four would need to show a minimum €44,730 of savings to qualify for residency in Spain (or almost $50,000).

Spain and Portugal are just two drops in an ocean of options. Both are really nice (in fact, our own Sovereign Woman is currently in Portugal meeting with lawyers and real estate agents.)

Digital Nomads in particular may be drawn to Spain and Portugal– especially Lisbon and Barcelona. Those cities have vibrant entrepreneur communities, high quality local workers, excellent nonstop flight networks, great weather, and cheap living costs.

There are undoubtedly millions of people around the world who are thinking about their next steps right now.

Everyone’s life has changed. And a lot of people are starting to realize that they have much more control over their own lives– including the freedom to choose where to live– for the first time ever.

This ought to be a deliberate decision. There are countless places around the world to choose from. And you can decide for yourself what’s important… what matters to you… and start crafting exactly the life you want to live.


via: SovereignMan.com


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Under this new law, cryptocurrency could become illegal

In early 1775, Benjamin Franklin and his European colleague, Charles Dumas, developed a secret method of communicating with each other.

Dumas had spent years gathering intelligence in Europe to assist the Americans in their revolt against Britain. But the two needed a secure way to pass information across the Atlantic.

So they developed a special cipher– a crude form of encryption where letters and words were substituted for numerals.

The decryption key changed with every letter; so, for example, in a letter from Franklin dated March 2, 1781, the word “MERCHANT” was written as “23. 3. 4. 13. 6. 14. 24. 18.”

At the same time, the physician James Jay (brother to the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Jay) developed an invisible ink so that revolutionary leaders could communicate in secret.

These encrypted communications became critical to the Revolution. And it’s safe to say there would probably not be a United States if they hadn’t developed a secure way to send information.

Ironically, politicians are trying to destroy modern methods of encryption.

Over the past few months while everyone has been in mandatory isolation, cowering in fear in their homes… and over the past few weeks while the Land of the Free has been consumed with rage. . .

. . . a few US Senators have once again proven that chilling political adage– ‘never let a good crisis go to waste.’

Exhibit A: Senate Bill 4051, the “Lawful Access to Encrypted Data Act”, which was quietly introduced last week when everyone’s attention was consumed elsewhere.

First thing’s first, like all freedom-killing bills, this one has a catchy name.

The Lawful Access to Encrypted Data Act is LEAD for short, as in “Move over China! The Land of the Free will LEAD the way in destroying the last remaining freedoms of its citizens.”

(In that way it seems more like ‘lead’, the highly toxic metal that poisons the brain and creates severe intellectual disability.)

At its core, the LEAD Act is an encryption killer. It aims to require technology companies to build ‘back doors’ into their products to ensure that the government can remotely access your data, your device, and your life.

This is nothing short of earth shattering.

Apple, for example, currently provides device encryption on its iPhones and iPads. And once you encrypt your device, only YOU can decrypt it. Apple can’t. Hackers can’t. And the government can’t.

So if your device is ever stolen (or confiscated), your data cannot be compromised.

Under the LEAD Act, this practice would become illegal. Apple would no longer be able to offer device encryption, and they’d have to provide a way for the federal government to remotely access your device, and all of its contents.

The same goes for your favorite chat applications.

WhatsApp, for example, is one of the most popular texting apps in the world. A few years ago, Facebook (which owns WhatsApp) began implementing end-to-end encryption for all WhatsApp data.

This means that any message you send someone via WhatsApp is immediately encrypted the moment it leaves your phone.

That messages arrives to the WhatsApp servers fully encrypted. So any hacker (or Facebook engineer) who intercepts the data will see nothing but a garbled mess.

And the message isn’t decrypted until it arrives to the intended recipient’s device. So the only people who can see the message in “clear text” are the two people participating in the conversation.

No one else can eavesdrop, or download the data.

But again, under the LEAD Act, this too would become illegal… and Facebook will be obligated to build in a ‘back door’ for the government to remotely access your conversations.

LEAD also requires developers of operating systems, like Microsoft Windows and Apple’s MacOS, to provide backdoor access to your computer.

It’s extraordinary to think of how far-reaching the effects of this legislation will go.

For example, do you use an online password manager like OnePassword or Lastpass?

They will also be required to give the government access to your data… which essentially would give the government access to EVERYTHING you do online.

Do you upload files and photos to iCloud? Yup. That too. Apple will be required to build a back door and give the government access to your data.

Any ‘zero knowledge’ encryption, whether it’s for storing files, sharing photos, texting friends, making video calls, sending encrypted emails, etc., will become illegal under this legislation.

And to be crystal clear about what that means, CRYPTOCURRENCY will effectively become illegal under the LEAD Act as well.

That’s right. Cryptocurrency relies on data encryption too.

Your ‘wallet’ is essentially a public key / private key combination. And in theory, only you are supposed to have access.

But that’s exactly what this legislation aims to prevent. The government wants backdoor access to everything.

Honestly this legislation would be hilarious if it weren’t actually true… because it shows how totally clueless these people really are.

The politicians are calling it ‘lawful access’, as if only the government would be able to use these back doors. Clearly these people understand nothing about cybersecurity.

There is no such thing as a ‘back door’ that only the government can access.

Once a technology company creates a way to remotely access a device, then that back door is available to ANYONE who can crack it.

It’s not like some hacker, or foreign intelligence agency, is going to probe the back door on your iPhone and say, “Oh, nevermind, this is only for the US government. I guess I’ll try to find another way in.”

If this law passes, not only will the government be able to access your devices, but hackers will have endless new treasures of data to steal… courtesy of the United States Senate.

It’s genius.


Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.


via:  SovereignMan


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The one statue that remains untouched: Vladimir Lenin

Are you ready for this week’s absurdity? Here’s this week’s roll-up of the most ridiculous stories from around the world that are threats to your liberty, risks to your prosperity… and on occasion, inspiring poetic justice.

 

 

 

NYC’s inspiring breakthrough in the science of contact tracing

 

“Contact tracing” is a tactic whereby public health officials attempt to track where you’ve been, and who you’ve been in contact with, in their efforts to contain a pandemic.

And we’ve seen a lot of contact tracing efforts lately.

New York City hired thousands of contact tracing specialists who are tasked with calling everyone who tests positive for Covid-19 and interviewing them to help identify who else they might have infected.

But now New York City’s Comrade Mayor Bill de Blasio has instructed his contract tracers to specifically NOT ask if an infected person attended a Black Lives Matter protest.

Seriously… what’s the point?

The entire idea of contact tracing is to find out who else might have been in close proximity. To deliberately NOT ask someone if they’ve been in close proximity of thousands of other people sort of defeats the purpose of the entire contract tracing program to begin with.

Naturally, New York City health officials have already said that any spike in Covid infections should be blamed on racism, and not mass gatherings of people.

And that’s what constitutes science in 2020.

This is another obvious sign of woke intersectionality.

Governments act like public health is their number one concern. They shut down the entire economy and refused to allow people to attend worship services, all to keep us safe from a strand of ribonucleic acid.

But in actuality they’re far more concerned with building political credibility with protestors, and they’re willing to completely make up science in order to do so.

 

Click here for the full story.

 

Protesters destroy statues of an ex-slave, abolitionist… leave Lenin untouched

 

A statue in San Francisco of Miguel Cervantes, author of Don Quixote, was defaced with the word “bastard” spray painted onto it by protesters.

What protesters may not know is that the Spanish author actually spent five years as a slave after being captured off the coast of Africa.

Outside of Wisconsin State Capitol the statue of Hans Christian Heg was also toppled.

Heg was an anti-slavery activist who joined a militia that fought slave traders. Then he joined the Union Army during the Civil War, and died in battle, fighting to end slavery.

Perhaps statues in general are sinful in the new social order.

Except for the statue of Vladimir Lenin in Seattle. His statue has remained untouched.

 

Click here to read about Cervantes and here for Heg.

 

UK court fines man for calling an Irish guy a leprechaun

 

A man who insulted his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend was charged with a racially motivated crime.

He used the “grossly offensive” term “leprechaun” to refer to his ex’s new boyfriend, who is Irish.

The court fined him £280… and I can only imagine the Holy Hell that the Twitter mob will unleash upon him.

 

 

Click here for the full story.

 

Duluth Minnesota to delete “Chief” from town titles

 

The town of Duluth Minnesota decided to remove the term “Chief” from town titles.

They will rename titles such as “Chief Administrative Officer” so that it won’t be offensive to Native Americans.

The police and fire chiefs are also apparently open to taking on new titles.

Mayor Emily Larson explained that the word chief “is language that is offensive to people who are indigenous and actually offensive to a lot of people, especially when there is other language available.”

Chief is actually an Old French word meaning principal, first, leader, or most important.

It is also related to chef, so that should also probably be deleted from the lexicon.

 

Click here to read the full story.

 

 

 

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

 

 

 

via:  SovereignMan


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More examples of the Twitter mob taking over

Every Friday we bring you some of the most ridiculous stories we found throughout the week that are threats to your liberty and prosperity.

This week we are focused on “cancel culture” also known as mob-rule. Here’s how it is killing any remaining freedom of thought and discussion in our society.

 

Mob punishes soccer player because of his wife’s Tweet

 

Until last Friday, Aleksander Katai played professional soccer for the Los Angeles Galaxy.

He was fired for something his wife tweeted.

She posted an image of NYPD police cruisers ramming protesters with their car, with the caption, “Ma pobij govna bre!” which is Serbian and translates to “Kill the shits!”

Now… that’s pretty messed up. And someone found the Tweet, translated it, reposted it… and then the mob unleashed holy hell.

But amazingly enough– the mob went after Aleksander Katai.

Hang on, wait a minute. It was Katai’s WIFE who wrote the Tweet. He had nothing to do with it. They weren’t even together at the time, he was off practicing with his team and had no idea what she was tweeting.

Yet according to this supposedly ultra-progressive mob, Aleksander Katai is responsible for his wife’s words and actions.

Doesn’t that sound blatantly misogynist and a direct contravention of the mob’s woke mentality?

You would think so. But there is no reason with this mob. And they went after Aleksander Katai with a terrible fury.

The team forced Katai to apologize and disavow his wife’s tweets, saying “This is a mistake from my family, and I take full responsibility. I will ensure that my family and I take the necessary actions to learn, understand, listen and understand the black community.”

But the mob was out for blood. So despite the fact that Katai didn’t even do anything, and he still apologized for his wife’s actions, he was still fired.

 

Click here to read the full story.

 

Students feel “unsafe” due to professor’s “gender critical” views

Kathleen Lowry was an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Alberta in Canada who taught a class on feminism entitled “Anthropology of Women.”

Prof. Lowry expressed her views to her students on Day 1 of the course that there are two biological sexes– male and female.

Despite being a self-avowed progressive feminist, Lowry’s views (which, by the way, are grounded in science) are totally out of touch with the mob.

Fellow professors tweeted things like “I condemn the position & beliefs of Dr. Kathleen Lowry…” as if Lowry were some sort of Holocaust denier.

And so she was fired because students felt “unsafe” in the classroom due to Lowry’s “gender critical” views.

 

Click here to read the full story.

 

Did there used to be a word for “people who menstruate”?

JK Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series, asked for help on Twitter the other day.

She was trying to remember a word lost to the memory-hole of history.

Criticizing an article that used the term, “people who mensturate,” Rowling tweeted:

“‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”

Naturally this made the mob completely lose its mind. “Women” is now a vile, nasty, offensive word, and everyone from the Harry Potter cast (like actors Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson), to Warner Brothers (which owns the rights to the franchise) denounced Rowling’s disgusting reference to an archaic, offensive word.

 

Click here to read the full article.

 

Southern band changes name, preemptively grovels for forgiveness

The mob has already caused some offenders to preemptively grovel for forgiveness.

For instance, the country band Lady Antebellum announced on Twitter– where all important announcements now occur– that it is changing the name of the band.

Antebellum refers to the pre-Civil War era in the southern United States.

No one had actually complained about the band name though, at least not yet. But Lady Antebellum saw the angry mob forming a mile away as confederate flags and statues came tumbling down.

So the band figured it would preemptively grovel for forgiveness.

The members said they named the band after the Antebellum style home they first took band photos in front of. But they now see that Antebellum’s association with the confederacy could be seen as offensive to some. And they are deeply sorry.

The big reveal on the new name: Lady A.

Which kind of makes me wonder, how much longer until “Lady” is also offensive, and the band changes its name to “Person Who Menstruates A” ?

 

Click here to read the full story.

 

Twitter suggests reading an article before sharing

Just to give you an idea of how well informed our new Twitter-mob rulers are, check out a new feature Twitter is testing.

Twitter support announced:

“Sharing an article can spark conversation, so you may want to read it before you Tweet it.

“To help promote informed discussion, we’re testing a new prompt on Android –– when you Retweet an article that you haven’t opened on Twitter, we may ask if you’d like to open it first.”

What a revolutionary idea.

 

Click here to see the Tweet.

 

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

 

 

via:  SovereignMan


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Some positive moments amid all the turmoil

Look, things aren’t feeling so bright and cheery in the US right now. And the sad truth is that there are some tough times ahead.

We usually bring you stories on Friday that are absurd or even infuriating.

I’m sure you’ve seen enough of that this week.

So we thought we’d share a few moments of character and integrity shown at protests across the US, which shined through all the tragedy.

There are bad apples on all sides– some bad apple protestors who loot and burn and destroy. And some bad apple cops who engage in terrible acts of violence.

But there are plenty of good apples on both sides too.

Protesters tackle man breaking up sidewalk for projectiles

Peaceful protesters sprang into action when they saw a man destroying a sidewalk.

The man was dressed in all black, like Antifa, and was apparently destroying the sidewalk to create projectiles to hurl at police and businesses.

But rather than let things escalate, peaceful protesters tackled the man, took his hammer, and handed him over to a group of police who were nearby.

In fact, the police were standing right there, with the man in clear view. And yet they did nothing to stop him.

Cops even almost arrested one of the peaceful protesters who handed the man over. But they let him go after someone explained the situation.

 

Click here to see the video.

Protesters hold line in front of business to stop looters

Undoubtedly there has been way too much violence, looting, and property destruction. Nothing takes away the moral high ground from a movement like seeing a bunch of guys walk out of an electronics store with big-screen TVs in hand.

And in the early days of these protests, the rage was palpable. Cars were torched, businesses were destroyed, and so much property was stolen.

But people are starting to take a stand against that type of chaos.

In Brooklyn, a group of protesters intervened a few days ago when looters and vandals approached a Target store.

The protestors formed a line in front of the store to stop the looters from smashing windows (and stealing store inventory).

 

Click here to see the video.

FBI asks for evidence of inciting violence. People send videos of cops instead.

Being an activist in the US, you have to have a sense of humor.

So when the FBI asked the public to send them video evidence of protestors inciting violence, they were inundated with videos of police officers being violent.

“The FBI is seeking information and digital media depicting individuals inciting violence during First Amendment protected peaceful demonstrations,” the FBI wrote on its Twitter account.

The FBI’s website said, “If you witness or have witnessed unlawful violent actions, we urge you to submit any information, photos, or videos that could be relevant to the case.”

People responded on Twitter with video of:

  • New York City Police ramming protesters with their vehicles,
  • Police appearing to aim a smoke grenade launcher at a little boy,
  • Police attacking, beating and throwing punches at clearly marked media with cameras,
  • Police spraying peaceful protesters with mace unprovoked,
  • Police/ National Guard firing pepper bullets at a woman filming from her front porch,
  • Police throwing an old man with a cane to the ground.

Click here to read the full story.

Michigan Sheriff leads protestors in peaceful march

This is starting to be a bigger trend: police are putting down their tear gas and riot shields, and joining the protestors to peacefully demonstrate for reform.

In one great example of humanity and leadership, Genesse County, Michigan’s sheriff Chris Swanson met a crowd of protestors, and actually took charge to compassionately lead their march through the city.

This is pretty extraordinary. Protests are typically leaderless, and mobs can take on a life of their own.

But Swanson took charge, telling the crowd “I want to make this a parade.” The cops put their weapons down, took their helmets off, and marched together with the protestors… which ensured that (a) the protestors’ voices were still loudly heard, (b) they could march without any threat of violence, and (c) everything remained safe and orderly.

 

Click here to read the full story.

 

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

 

via: sovereignman

 
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Masks vs. No-Masks: Is This The New Symbol of Tribalism?

Masks have become a symbol of which “side” you’re on in the coronavirus debate in the United States and for some folks, whether you choose to wear one or not says a lot about you.

If you don’t wear a mask, you’re seen as a callous brute who doesn’t care whether you spread your germs and kill grandma. If you do wear a mask, you’re seen as a quivering sheep, someone who has been willingly muted by the government.

Rationally, we know there’s a lot more to it than that, however, rational thinking is rarely at the forefront when tempers are flaring. Whether or not you choose to wear a mask is an incredibly visible sign that many will read as an alliance to one “side” or the other. It’s becoming almost tribal. It’s like the Bloods and the Crips of suburbia getting ready to throw down at Trader Joe’s.

The Mask Wearers

There are a lot of folks who come down on the side of wearing a mask. Why? Most of them say it’s to protect others from them in case they’re unwittingly carrying and spreading the virus. Asymptomatic COVID is a mystery. Scientists have said anywhere between 5% and 80% of carriers are asymptomatic, which really tells us nothing except, maybe you are, maybe you aren’t.

The Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at Oxford University summed it up after assembling the data from 21 reports:

What did we learn (see the table for the analysis)

  • That between 5% and 80% of people testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 may be asymptomatic
  • That symptom-based screening will miss cases, perhaps a lot of them
  • That some  asymptomatic cases  will  become  symptomatic over the next week (sometimes known as “pre-symptomatics”)
  • That children and young adults can be asymptomatic

We also learnt that there  is not a single reliable study to determine the number of  asymptotics. It is likely we will only learn the true extent once population based antibody testing  is undertaken. (source)

So with that in mind, the case for mask-wearing does carry some weight.

However, it also depends on what kind of mask you’re wearing whether or not the protection is present. Everyone knows that N95 and N99 masks are nearly impossible to find and most want to leave those for healthcare workers anyway. The data regarding the cloth masks that most people are wearing doesn’t really support their use. But again, we don’t have very much data, so it’s not a definitive answer. The Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy reports:

Limited, indirect evidence from lab studies suggests that homemade fabric masks may capture large respiratory droplets, but there is no evidence they impede the transmission of aerosols implicated in the spread of COVID-19, according to a paper published yesterday by the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (source)

So while science does not dispute the wearing of cloth masks, science doesn’t back it up, either.

Those Who Won’t Wear Masks

On the other side of the debate we have those who refuse to wear masks. Some folks won’t do business in stores that require them. Others try to enter the establishments that require masks without adhering to the requests. Others just stay at home because they refuse to comply.

Why won’t they wear masks? Some of it goes back to the Surgeon General’s early recommendation that masks were not helpful in stopping the spread of the coronavirus. Many people chalked this up to an attempt to save the few high-quality masks that were available to healthcare workers while others took it as the Gospel. However, Surgeon General Adams seems to have walked this back and has since demonstrated on video how to make your own face mask.

There are a couple of other reasons, too. First, many feel based on the information above that the masks are not effective. If they don’t work, why should they go through the discomfort and for some, the difficulty breathing that mask-wearing brings?

Some see it as a symbol of weakness.

To some, wearing a mask means admitting a fear they may not have consciously confronted yet, said David Abrams, a clinical psychologist and professor of social and behavioral science at New York University’s School of Global Public Health.

Many view the mask as a walking symbol of vulnerability that tells others you’re scared about contracting the virus. So to compensate for that fear, and as a show of strength, they may reject the masks entirely, he said. (source)

For others, it’s a matter of liberty.  They feel that wearing a mask is a symbol of bowing down to tyranny or a symbol that the wearer has been silenced.

Even though wearing masks isn’t compulsory in much of the US, adhering to these rules may feel like, to some, a forfeiture of their freedoms.

People naturally rebel when they’re told what to do, even if the measures could protect them, said Steven Taylor, a clinical psychologist and author of “The Psychology of Pandemics.”

“People value their freedoms,” he said. “They may become distressed or indignant or morally outraged when people are trying to encroach on their freedoms.” (source)

That last reason shouldn’t come as a surprise. Our nation was built on refusing to be told what to do.

There has already been violence over masks

People have already expressed their displeasure on both sides of this debate…sometimes violently.

Unfortunately, retail workers are often the ones bearing the brunt of the anger when they’re simply trying to enforce the policies set forth by their employers. One of my daughters is a retail worker. She and her coworkers have been warned they’ll be fired on the spot if they haven’t followed the arbitrary guidelines of people standing on Xs and limiting the number of customers in the store. Officials from corporate headquarters have dropped in unbeknownst to employees to check that their measures are being enforced. She’s definitely not alone and the risk of violence is high. But she – like many others – is just happy to still have a job.

Earlier this month, I wrote about three violent incidents that occurred when people refused demands that they wear a mask in certain establishments:

A physical fight erupted at a gas station in Decatur, Illinois when a customer refused to don a mask to pay for his fuel. Sgt. Brian Earles with Decatur Police spoke to the press about the incident. It seems that a 59-year-old customer got into a verbal altercation with a 56-year-old cashier when he was trying to pay for gasoline without a mask, as is mandated by the state of Illinois. The customer allegedly shoved the cashier, who said he felt threatened, and the cashier responded by punching the customer in the face. The customer was arrested and charged with battery over the incident.

In Holly Michigan, a Dollar Tree customer refused to follow the posted store policy of wearing a mask. When a young female employee approached him and let him know of the policy he responded by saying, “Here, I will just use this as a mask,” and wiped his face on her sleeve. The customer continued to behave belligerently until he left. The entire incident was caught on store surveillance.

At a Family Dollar store in Flint, Michigan, the most violent response yet occurred when Calvin Munerlyn, a security guard for the store, was shot and killed after he refused to allow a customer’s daughter to come into the store without a mask. (source)

And the violence is not one-sided. In Johnstown, Pennsylvania, a fight broke out when someone coughed in a parking lot.

A 53-year-old man confronted a motorist who reportedly coughed without covering his mouth in a convenience store parking lot. The argument sparked a physical confrontation, and the coughing man opened fire. No one was injured. Both men were arrested for assault. (source)

More than one woman has been violently assaulted because she chose to wear a mask:

An Asian woman wearing a mask was attacked by two men and called “diseased” in a subway station in New York City’s Chinatown, according to the New York Police Department (NYPD). Four people were arrested in March in Hilton, New York, after they allegedly punched and taunted a woman for wearing a respirator mask in a store, according to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department. (source)

In Vermont, people are snitching on members of their communities to publicly shame them for not wearing masks. [Grammatical errors are quoted directly from the source]

Some of the messages read like field reports: “The sidewalks between price chopper and walmart had groups of people standing together no mask or social distances.”

Others like warnings: “I want to make you aware of the health crisis that is ongoing at the floating bridge in Brookfield. Since fish were stocked in the pond it’s become a daily gathering spot of dozens of covid ignoring people.”

Others are more inquisitive: “Picture below shows people at Roxie’s in Bomoseen VT around 5 pm. I am the only one wearing a mask. Can u ask the Governor at his Monday press conference what citizens should do if they witness these blatant violations of his mandatory mask order?” (source)

Peter Erb, a Hinesburg, Vermont resident believes these attempts at citizen enforcement are dangerous.

Erb said it’s also dangerous to have citizens enforcing the rules against each other — pointing to violent incidents in other states when citizens have attempted to enforce the rules. In Michigan, a security guard at a Family Dollar was shot and killed after he told a shopper to wear a mask. An order requiring people to wear masks in a city in Oklahoma was dialed back to a recommendation after a slew of threats of violence in the first hours the order was in place.

Erb said he worried the coronavirus compliance divide, played out nationally, could turn angry and politically partisan. He also pointed to a more personal experience.

“You know my wife got into a fairly contentious discussion in a grocery store when somebody wouldn’t back off, had no mask and just wouldn’t distance,” he said. “And, you know, that’s a fairly controlled situation, and, you know, in Hinesburg.” (source)

Erb isn’t wrong about this becoming a partisan topic, either.

Is this where the battle lines will be drawn?

This debate is somewhat, but not entirely, divided down partisan lines. It’s notable that you will rarely see President Trump or Vice President Pence wearing one.

Here are the demographics of mask-wearing:

Whether Americans are embracing the change may depend on their political party. While most other protective measures like social distancing get broad bipartisan support, Democrats are more likely than Republicans to say they’re wearing a mask when leaving home, 76% to 59%, according to a recent poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

The split is clear across several demographics that lean Democratic. People with college degrees are more likely than those without to wear masks when leaving home, 78% to 63%. African Americans are more likely than either white people or Hispanic Americans to say they’re wearing masks outside the home, 83% to 64% and 67%, respectively.

The notable exception is among older people, a group particularly vulnerable to serious illness from the virus. Some 79% of those age 60 and over were doing so compared with 63% of those younger. (source)

The issue now is that those with masks and those without masks are clearly members of a “team” or a “tribe.”  And a return to tribalism can be dangerous when paired with the many things that we’ve lost over the first half to 2020.  We’ve lost loved ones, we’ve lost jobs, we’ve lost businesses, we’ve lost our incomes, and many are on the verge of losing homes and cars.

It isn’t a stretch of the imagination to think that if violence were to erupt, people who feel the opposite way about masks could become targets of the outraged group. Outrage and the potential for civil unrest are things I’ve written about numerous times throughout this pandemic.

A person wearing or not wearing a mask is as clearly marked as somebody wearing a red bandana in the wrong neighborhood during a tense moment when people are butting heads during the mask debate. Is that really the hill you’re prepared to die on, metaphorically speaking?

What should you do?

I’m not here to tell you whether or not you should wear a mask when you leave the house. I strongly believe we should be responsible for our own health and therefore make these choices ourselves. At the same time, I support the right for businesses to choose whether or not to serve people who refuse to wear masks. If you, as a customer, feel strongly about not wearing a mask, you should vote with your wallet and go to stores that don’t require it. This is a purely libertarian point of view. It’s about personal responsibility and the free market.

Personally, I keep a mask tucked into my purse and wear it if the establishment I’m visiting has a policy requiring it. If I had to visit a hospital or a friend with a health vulnerability, I’d wear a mask out of caution and courtesy. I do choose which grocery store I shop at based on the mask policy (I go to the store that doesn’t have a mask policy) and I do not wear one unless it’s required.

However, from a preparedness point of view, there’s a different angle.

The gray angle.

If your goal is to blend in with the crowd and not be a person who draws the attention of others, then it’s good to check the local baseline and see what other people are doing. In areas where the majority is wearing a mask, the gray thing to do would be to wear one too.

If you are in an area where nobody is wearing a mask, the gray thing would be to go along with that group with a caveat. If you are extremely concerned about your health or the health of a loved one, forget about the crowd and do what you think is right. Just don’t try to force others to conform to what you think is right.

 

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

 

via:  theorganicprepper


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