"In a ruling issued today, a Federal judge has declared that the longstanding ban on gun dealers selling handguns to residents in different states is not only unconstitutional under the Second Amendment, but also violates other fair trade provisions of the United States Constitution. The full decision is available here, but from what I can tell this looks to be a major win for the Citizen’s Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Louis Bonham, one of TTAG’s consulting lawyers, wrote the following analysis of the ruling: The suit was brought by a Texas gun dealer, two District of Columbia residents, and the Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. In what appears to have been a test case, the DC residents wished to purchase a handgun from the Texas dealer, but federal law prohibited them from doing so without having the Texas dealer ship the gun to DC’s only FFL, who would have charged them a $125 transfer fee. They then filed suit in federal court in the Northern District of Texas, arguing that the federal prohibition on direct sales of handguns by FFL’s to out of state residents unconstitutionally violated their rights under the Second Amendment and the Due Process clause of the Fifth Amendment. After finding that the plaintiffs had standing to challenge the federal law, the court found that the residency restrictions of federal law were not “longstanding” (as opposed, e.g., to restrictions on the age of firearms purchasers that had been around for all of US history), but instead were of relatively recent origin."
"Scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Aarhus University have shown how easy it is to identify people from datasets containing anonymous credit card transactions. The researchers at MIT had already demonstrated how easy it was to identify users in a mobile dataset even though both their names and their phone numbers have been removed. The scientists set out to find out whether anonymisation -- which normally involves the removal of names, addresses, account numbers, telephone numbers, and other indicators which can identify a person -- is enough."
"Find fraud.” That was the vague and intimidating order from my journalism school professor—and, actually, our very first homework assignment. I expected to spend my weekend digging through old FDA databases, hopefully managing to pull one example of real fraud from a mess of redacted, spurious warning letters. But as it turned out, it was almost too easy. The problem wasn’t finding fraud—it was deciding which heinous act of straight-up medical chicanery to use. Blatant dishonesty had tainted thousands of medical studies. I found clinical trials with fake patients, doctors who never bothered obtaining consent, forgeries and cover-ups galore. The FDA database was a veritable “who’s who” of dirty researchers. My former professor, Charles Seife, published a few of my classmates’ findings this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association. My name is buried somewhere near the bottom of the study (no hard feelings, professor). Seife writes that he, too, was blindsided by the sheer volume of fraud in supposedly legit medical studies: Reading the FDA’s inspection files feels almost like watching a highlights reel from a Scientists Gone Wild video. It’s a seemingly endless stream of lurid vignettes. …Faked X-ray reports. Forged retinal scans. Phony lab tests. Secretly amputated limbs. All done in the name of science when researchers thought that nobody was watching. In fact, many acts of medical fraud go virtually unreported. The FDA keeps a database of dirty researchers, sends out nasty letters to the guilty parties and occasionally levies a fine or two. But the tainted studies themselves often remain in the medical literature without official retractions. Drugs are approved and prescriptions are filled by unknowing patients, all on the false premise that there’s honest research to back them up."
"Major wireless carriers in the US have promised to unlock customers' phones or tablets once they've paid off their contracts, beginning today. This is the result of an agreement the carriers made with FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler in late 2013; the deadline to comply with all portions of the agreement arrived today. The two key provisions are as follows:"
"In an email statement, Hanjin’s Mike Radak said the reason is simple: the company “can’t afford the expense of operating” in Portland. Port spokesman Josh Thomas said Tuesday that Hanjin notified the port and customers it will withdraw services on March 9. Hanjin handles nearly 80 percent of the container volume at the port’s Terminal 6. Without Hanjin, an estimated 657 people could lose their jobs — and about $12 million in state and local taxes could be lost. Once Hanjin is gone, goods from Asia will have to travel in and out of the Portland area via Seattle, which would add to cost and shipping time. Port officials said Hanjin will continue to use rail and truck transportation. “There’s going to be a shortage of products available throughout the industry, not just our industry, but most retailers,” business owner Mike Roelle told KOIN 6 News. For customers, the change in shipping procedures could mean delays — sometimes up to a month — and higher prices on anything that ships from Asia."
(Sgt Trainer: The below comments (in italics) are from an editor at www.survivalblog.com. "I’m sure you’ve all seen those shipping containers attached to semi-trucks with the words “Hanjin” written on ‘em. Well, Hanjin is one of the biggest sea shipping companies in the world; cargo ships are absolutely loaded down with those shipping containers stacked high on ‘em as they pull into port. Well, Hanjin announced yesterday that they will no longer pull into port in Portland, OR. No big deal, right? WRONG!!! We get 75% of everything we use shipped into Oregon via Hanjin shipping. First off all, this means the loss of hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs in the Portland, OR area. Secondly, it will mean that almost everything we purchase will have to be brought into Oregon (and probably parts of Washington, Idaho, and N. California, too) via trucks from the Seattle, WA area, which means delays and higher prices. So, prepare to pay a lot more for just about everything you buy. Walmart’s prices will most assuredly go up, as they get much of their stuff from China. As I said, this will probably affect not just Oregon but Idaho, Washington, and N. California as well as the entire country, since trucks will have to deliver products unloaded from Hanjin hundreds if not thousands of more miles, adding to the overall cost of things. I’m just glad that NObama has been telling us how much better the economy is. Without him telling us, we wouldn’t know how great things are going, huh? – Pat Cascio, SurvivalBlog Product Review Editor Emeritus.")
"Building a prepper community that you can rely on to come together in times of need is high on everyone’s list of goals. Sadly, however, most of us have an issue with determining just who we should let into out inner circle of trusted friends. That includes family. Who is to say that a trusted family member will not turn on us when the chips are down? This a special concern when there is a perception, real or imagined, that an immediate member of his or her own family is at risk. These are tough questions that have come up over and over again as together we have explored the viability of building a trusted network of preppers that we can count on to watch our backs as we would watch theirs."
"When getting started with preparedness, people often obsess over things like gear and emergency supplies. While these things are certainly an important aspects of survival, there are some things that are often overlooked by those who get caught up in the survival gear solves everything mindset."
"In what can only be described as one of the worst cases of trying to destroy the morale of our military that I’ve ever seen, U.S. Marines were forced to disarm because the U.S. State Department bowed down to Yemen Rebel’s demands. As conditions worsened in Yemen, The Obama State Department forced U.S. Marines to surrender their weapons as they evacuated the U.S. Embassy in Yemen. Who gave the exact order is not yet clear, but Army Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, confirmed the Marines handed over their M-9 pistols and M-4 carbines before evacuating."
"What a wasteful society we have become. We would much rather throw away items than find another use for them. Will today’s wasteful culture cost us our future? Perhaps, this wastefulness is more of a learned behavior from fast food runs and the overuse of plastics. That said, it isn’t just plastic packaging that is filling our landfills to capacity. A 2004 study by Dr. Timothy Jones of the University of Arizona found that in the U.S., 40-50 percent of all food ready for harvest is wasted. 40-50%! Jones estimated that an average family of four throws out $590 worth of meat, fruit, vegetables and grain products each year."
"I have experienced for myself, more than once the feeling that „they are coming for me“. It is that moment when you are armed and ready, together with more folks, who are armed too and we are all waiting for attack. And guys who are attacking are famous for the fact that they do not take prisoners, or that they have few sick guys who are collecting ears from the captured people, while they are still alive. No matter how well you are armed and prepared and ready to fight, if you hear about their atrocities for weeks and then one evening you are forced to fight with them it will have impact on you. You will face stress of battle but also have to deal with your own fear. Of course different people react in different ways, so some guys will break down or give up even before fight, without single bullet flying through the air. Some guys will even surrender without fight and beg for mercy, even they listened stories about „no prisoners“ for weeks. Often they are the people who can not imagine how truly evil people act. They think because they would not kill and torture other people they do not know nobody would. It makes no sense, but it is what terror does and why it works. It makes people act without sense, makes them do stupid things, to be confused and not logical. Terror is advanced level of trash talk in sports where one opponent tries to make the other one angry that he loses focus. When it comes to terror it is just fear that is used as weapon. I have seen that sometimes only rumor about some infamous unit coming to attack is enough that groups who are very well organised simply fall apart."
"I think by this time, the idea of prepping has come a long way and almost everyone can see the benefit on the surface at least, of taking small steps to prepare for disasters small or large that might impact your life. Like the example above, some delve more deeply into the lifestyle part than others, but I think there is a portion of the world out there who wants to take even smaller steps. They want to do something, but they aren’t ready to jump in completely and buy a years’ worth of freeze dried food, or trade in their Prius for a Toyota Tundra. They want to prepare in a way that is sensible to them, but not overboard. They are looking for Prepping Lite. In my efforts to get everyone prepping, I wanted to illustrate a few of the key principles of prepping and compare them with how your stereotypical Prepper might view what is necessary and contrast them with what a prepping lite person can do that will still give them some benefit should a disaster visit their lives. The understanding of course is that the Prepping Lite solutions presented here will not be as robust or thorough, but should be better than nothing. If that is what it takes to get you to start prepping, then so be it."
"Imagine the worst has happened–the economy is collapsing, the country has been invaded, or a deadly pandemic is sweeping across the city–and people are beginning to panic. You are prepared to shelter in place, but in these sorts of scenarios you’ll have no choice but to bug out. The question is: How long would it take to get yourself and your family on the road? If the SHTF, you need to be able to pack the car and get out of town as quickly as possible. If people are panicking, the streets will be clogged with people rushing to the bank or grocery store, so you need to be able to get out of dodge fast lest you get caught in the middle of a riot or worse. You might think you can bug out pretty fast, but if you did a trial run and timed yourself, you’d might be surprised at how long it takes. Think about all the things you’d have to load into your vehicle: bug-out bags, medications, important papers, communications gear, water, food, weapons… the list seems endless. You don’t want to waste time looking for things you need or trying to remember what you forgot. If the SHTF, every minute will count. To help you out, here are 7 tips for bugging out faster:"
"Is there a specific term for preppers who are also hipsters? Hipster-preppers? Prepsters? If there is, then that’s what you could call my great-grandparents, Dell and Hildegarde Stringham. They were the original preppers, long before the media started making documentaries about them. They had food storage before it was cool. They had food storage even before they called it “food storage.” We even have photographic evidence that they wore “Hipster Glasses” in the 1980s, well before it became “cool.” Their oldest child was my grandmother, and she has made it a point to tell all our family about their experience with food storage during the second World War. Food storage is an important part of my family’s history, and we have learned much from it. My great-grandfather, Dell, owned a cannery in the 1930s and was a member of a charitable committee for his local church. In 1939, one of the church leaders came to Dell and suggested that, as a member of this committee, he store extra food in his home. The hope was that other community members would follow the Stringham’s example. In 1939, America had not yet entered World War II, so there did not seem to be an immediate need for food storage or emergency preparedness as we think about them today. This was also well before rationing. The United Kingdom did not ration food until January 1940, and the United States did not follow suit until 1942. The suggestion to store food may have seemed strange in 1939, but by the time the United States became fully embroiled in the war, it proved to be extremely good advice. In the spirit of learning from history, here are five lessons that can be learned from my great-grandparents’ wartime food storage adventure:"
"If you haven’t included Peas in your preps you are missing out on their wonderful, nutritious and life changing health benefits. Archaeologists and historians believe the garden pea originated in either Egypt or China, and it has been a part of the human diet for more than 5,000 years. Peas are considered a starchy vegetable, and an excellent source for energy, fiber, protein and essential vitamins. Peas are one of the most nutritious of the leguminous vegetables, again rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. There is a particular Heirloom variety that is easy to grow and at the same time full of nutrition. They are called Sugar Snap Peas. Their flavor is slightly sweet and best when the entire pea, including the pod, is eaten raw or barely cooked. The refreshing crispness and crunch of a sugar snap pea comes from its high water content. Sugar snap peas, sometimes called snap peas or sugar peas, are a cross between English peas and snow peas. They’ll provide you with vitamins, minerals and nutrients to keep you healthy. No matter which Heirloom variety you choose know that all peas are loaded with omega-3 fats in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). These essential fatty acids makes green peas an ideal food for our brain and cardiovascular health and their phytosterols are vital for helping to lower cholesterol levels in the body."
"Let me preface this by saying that I’m not about to rant about people giving tips and techniques about different options for conceal carry. I LOVE it when I see articles about how to better conceal or tips on how to be a good concealed carry holder. However, what I can’t stand, is the people that are so indigent that they make statements like, “You should never conceal carry in your purse.” And usually those comments come from males, who have no idea the struggle that women face when it comes to not printing. So, why not? Why can’t I conceal carry in my purse? Lots of people do it. Lots of people conceal carry in their backpacks. Or glove compartments. Or in lock boxes in their cars. Argue with me all day about how any of those ways are SO TERRIBLE OMG YOU’RE TERRIBLE PERSON RAWR. But all I have to say is, thank you for carrying at all!"