Sunday, February 22, 2009


PUBLICATION: The London Free Press
DATE: 2009.02.21
SECTION: Editorial/Opinion
ILLUSTRATION: Sun Media file photo A table full of weapons seized by London police are displayed at the police station.
COLUMN: Letters to the Editor


Controller Gina Barber posits that "handguns have no legitimate function in the homes of our residents," but she is dead wrong. In spite of Barber's beliefs, handguns were designed from the outset for defensive purposes, and as such are used frequently by police and military for the purpose of protecting life. Given that Canadians have a Charter right to safety of person (Section 7), and that no police or government agency is charged with the absolute responsibility to keep citizens safe from harm, it follows then that each and every Canadian has both the responsibility and duty to keep themselves and their family safe from harm. This makes ownership of a firearm simply a prudent measure.

As for Barber's suggestion that the legally owned firearms be wrested from the hands of the legally vetted and licensed owners to be kept in a central storage facility, she falls prey to the law of unintended consequences. Creating large undefended armouries simply presents high value targets for would-be thieves, who can easily ascertain from where to steal a firearm. As it is, Canadians at large are made safer by having a proportion of its population armed because it serves as an overall disincentive for home invasion. If some Canadians are armed, then a wise thief must treat all homes as if there were armed, and we all derive a net benefit.

Robert S. Sciuk, Oshawa



Use of force to prevent commission of offence
27. Every one is justified in using as much force as is reasonably necessary
(a) to prevent the commission of an offence
(i) for which, if it were committed, the person who committed it might be arrested without warrant, and
(ii) that would be likely to cause immediate and serious injury to the person or property of anyone; or
(b) to prevent anything being done that, on reasonable grounds, he believes would, if it were done, be an offence mentioned in paragraph (a).


Self-defence against unprovoked assault
34. (1) Every one who is unlawfully assaulted without having provoked the assault is justified in repelling force by force if the force he uses is not intended to cause death or grievous bodily harm and is no more than is necessary to enable him to defend himself.

Extent of justification
(2) Every one who is unlawfully assaulted and who causes death or grievous bodily harm in repelling the assault is justified if
(a) he causes it under reasonable apprehension of death or grievous bodily harm from the violence with which the assault was originally made or with which the assailant pursues his purposes; and
(b) he believes, on reasonable grounds, that he cannot otherwise preserve himself from death or grievous bodily harm.
R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 34; 1992, c. 1, s. 60(F).

Self-defence in case of aggression
35. Every one who has without justification assaulted another but did not commence the assault with intent to cause death or grievous bodily harm, or has without justification provoked an assault on himself by another, may justify the use of force subsequent to the assault if
(a) he uses the force
(i) under reasonable apprehension of death or grievous bodily harm from the violence of the person whom he has assaulted or provoked, and
(ii) in the belief, on reasonable grounds, that it is necessary in order to preserve himself from death or grievous bodily harm;
(b) he did not, at any time before the necessity of preserving himself from death or grievous bodily harm arose, endeavour to cause death or grievous bodily harm; and
(c) he declined further conflict and quitted or retreated from it as far as it was feasible to do so before the necessity of preserving himself from death or grievous bodily harm arose.
R.S., c. C-34, s. 35.

36. Provocation includes, for the purposes of sections 34 and 35, provocation by blows, words or gestures.
R.S., c. C-34, s. 36.

Preventing assault
37. (1) Every one is justified in using force to defend himself or any one under his protection from assault, if he uses no more force than is necessary to prevent the assault or the repetition of it.

Extent of justification
(2) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to justify the wilful infliction of any hurt or mischief that is excessive, having regard to the nature of the assault that the force used was intended to prevent.
R.S., c. C-34, s. 37.


Defence of personal property
38. (1) Every one who is in peaceable possession of personal property, and every one lawfully assisting him, is justified
(a) in preventing a trespasser from taking it, or
(b) in taking it from a trespasser who has taken it, if he does not strike or cause bodily harm to the trespasser.

Assault by trespasser
(2) Where a person who is in peaceable possession of personal property lays hands on it, a trespasser who persists in attempting to keep it or take it from him or from any one lawfully assisting him shall be deemed to commit an assault without justification or provocation.
R.S., c. C-34, s. 38.

Defence with claim of right
39. (1) Every one who is in peaceable possession of personal property under a claim of right, and every one acting under his authority, is protected from criminal responsibility for defending that possession, even against a person entitled by law to possession of it, if he uses no more force than is necessary.

Defence without claim of right
(2) Every one who is in peaceable possession of personal property, but does not claim it as of right or does not act under the authority of a person who claims it as of right, is not justified or protected from criminal responsibility for defending his possession against a person who is entitled by law to possession of it.
R.S., c. C-34, s. 39.

Defence of dwelling
40. Every one who is in peaceable possession of a dwelling-house, and every one lawfully assisting him or acting under his authority, is justified in using as much force as is necessary to prevent any person from forcibly breaking into or forcibly entering the dwelling-house without lawful authority.
R.S., c. C-34, s. 40.

Defence of house or real property
41. (1) Every one who is in peaceable possession of a dwelling-house or real property, and every one lawfully assisting him or acting under his authority, is justified in using force to prevent any person from trespassing on the dwelling-house or real property, or to remove a trespasser therefrom, if he uses no more force than is necessary.

Assault by trespasser
(2) A trespasser who resists an attempt by a person who is in peaceable possession of a dwelling-house or real property, or a person lawfully assisting him or acting under his authority to prevent his entry or to remove him, shall be deemed to commit an assault without justification or provocation.
R.S., c. C-34, s. 41.

Assertion of right to house or real property
42. (1) Every one is justified in peaceably entering a dwelling-house or real property by day to take possession of it if he, or a person under whose authority he acts, is lawfully entitled to possession of it.

Assault in case of lawful entry
(2) Where a person
(a) not having peaceable possession of a dwelling-house or real property under a claim of right, or
(b) not acting under the authority of a person who has peaceable possession of a dwelling-house or real property under a claim of right,assaults a person who is lawfully entitled to possession of it and who is entering it peaceably by day to take possession of it, for the purpose of preventing him from entering, the assault shall be deemed to be without justification or provocation.

Trespasser provoking assault
(3) Where a person
(a) having peaceable possession of a dwelling-house or real property under a claim of right, or
(b) acting under the authority of a person who has peaceable possession of a dwelling-house or real property under a claim of right,assaults any person who is lawfully entitled to possession of it and who is entering it peaceably by day to take possession of it, for the purpose of preventing him from entering, the assault shall be deemed to be provoked by the person who is entering.
R.S., c. C-34, s. 42.
If you don't read the newspaper
you are uninformed,
if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed.
-- Mark Twain

A liberal is someone
who feels a great debt to his fellow man,
which debt he proposes to pay off with your money.
-- G. Gordon Liddy

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Failure to save East Europe will lead to worldwide meltdown

The unfolding debt drama in Russia, Ukraine, and the EU states of Eastern Europe has reached acute danger point.

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
Last Updated: 2:05AM GMT 15 Feb 2009

If mishandled by the world policy establishment, this debacle is big enough to shatter the fragile banking systems of Western Europe and set off round two of our financial Götterdämmerung.

Austria's finance minister Josef Pröll made frantic efforts last week to put together a €150bn rescue for the ex-Soviet bloc. Well he might. His banks have lent €230bn to the region, equal to 70pc of Austria's GDP.

"A failure rate of 10pc would lead to the collapse of the Austrian financial sector," reported Der Standard in Vienna. Unfortunately, that is about to happen.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) says bad debts will top 10pc and may reach 20pc. The Vienna press said Bank Austria and its Italian owner Unicredit face a "monetary Stalingrad" in the East.

Mr Pröll tried to drum up support for his rescue package from EU finance ministers in Brussels last week. The idea was scotched by Germany's Peer Steinbrück. Not our problem, he said. We'll see about that.

Stephen Jen, currency chief at Morgan Stanley, said Eastern Europe has borrowed $1.7 trillion abroad, much on short-term maturities. It must repay – or roll over – $400bn this year, equal to a third of the region's GDP. Good luck. The credit window has slammed shut.

Not even Russia can easily cover the $500bn dollar debts of its oligarchs while oil remains near $33 a barrel. The budget is based on Urals crude at $95. Russia has bled 36pc of its foreign reserves since August defending the rouble.

"This is the largest run on a currency in history," said Mr Jen.

In Poland, 60pc of mortgages are in Swiss francs. The zloty has just halved against the franc. Hungary, the Balkans, the Baltics, and Ukraine are all suffering variants of this story. As an act of collective folly – by lenders and borrowers – it matches America's sub-prime debacle. There is a crucial difference, however. European banks are on the hook for both. US banks are not.

Almost all East bloc debts are owed to West Europe, especially Austrian, Swedish, Greek, Italian, and Belgian banks. En plus, Europeans account for an astonishing 74pc of the entire $4.9 trillion portfolio of loans to emerging markets.

They are five times more exposed to this latest bust than American or Japanese banks, and they are 50pc more leveraged (IMF data).

Spain is up to its neck in Latin America, which has belatedly joined the slump (Mexico's car output fell 51pc in January, and Brazil lost 650,000 jobs in one month). Britain and Switzerland are up to their necks in Asia.

Whether it takes months, or just weeks, the world is going to discover that Europe's financial system is sunk, and that there is no EU Federal Reserve yet ready to act as a lender of last resort or to flood the markets with emergency stimulus.

Under a "Taylor Rule" analysis, the European Central Bank already needs to cut rates to zero and then purchase bonds and Pfandbriefe on a huge scale. It is constrained by geopolitics – a German-Dutch veto – and the Maastricht Treaty.

But I digress. It is East Europe that is blowing up right now. Erik Berglof, EBRD's chief economist, told me the region may need €400bn in help to cover loans and prop up the credit system.

Europe's governments are making matters worse. Some are pressuring their banks to pull back, undercutting subsidiaries in East Europe. Athens has ordered Greek banks to pull out of the Balkans.

The sums needed are beyond the limits of the IMF, which has already bailed out Hungary, Ukraine, Latvia, Belarus, Iceland, and Pakistan – and Turkey next – and is fast exhausting its own $200bn (€155bn) reserve. We are nearing the point where the IMF may have to print money for the world, using arcane powers to issue Special Drawing Rights.

Its $16bn rescue of Ukraine has unravelled. The country – facing a 12pc contraction in GDP after the collapse of steel prices – is hurtling towards default, leaving Unicredit, Raffeisen and ING in the lurch. Pakistan wants another $7.6bn. Latvia's central bank governor has declared his economy "clinically dead" after it shrank 10.5pc in the fourth quarter. Protesters have smashed the treasury and stormed parliament.

"This is much worse than the East Asia crisis in the 1990s," said Lars Christensen, at Danske Bank.

"There are accidents waiting to happen across the region, but the EU institutions don't have any framework for dealing with this. The day they decide not to save one of these one countries will be the trigger for a massive crisis with contagion spreading into the EU."

Europe is already in deeper trouble than the ECB or EU leaders ever expected. Germany contracted at an annual rate of 8.4pc in the fourth quarter.

If Deutsche Bank is correct, the economy will have shrunk by nearly 9pc before the end of this year. This is the sort of level that stokes popular revolt.

The implications are obvious. Berlin is not going to rescue Ireland, Spain, Greece and Portugal as the collapse of their credit bubbles leads to rising defaults, or rescue Italy by accepting plans for EU "union bonds" should the debt markets take fright at the rocketing trajectory of Italy's public debt (hitting 112pc of GDP next year, just revised up from 101pc – big change), or rescue Austria from its Habsburg adventurism.

So we watch and wait as the lethal brush fires move closer.

If one spark jumps across the eurozone line, we will have global systemic crisis within days. Are the firemen ready?

Oil with Nowhere to Go

I used to get a kick out of the conspiracy theories about how there were oil tankers parked offshore waiting for the price of oil to go up. People have been talking like that since at least the early 1970s. And for most of the time, there was no truth to the rumors. Really, it’s expensive to charter an oil tanker. So who is going to waste money just storing oil offshore for months?

Stranger Than Fiction — Oil With Nowhere to Go

Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. According to recent reports in trade publications, there are at least 80 million barrels’ worth of oil just floating around in tankers on the world’s oceans. From the Louisiana Offshore Oil Platform (LOOP) to Scotland to the coasts of the Persian Gulf and Asia, there are loaded tankers idling at sea.

How much oil is 80 million barrels? That’s about one day’s worth of global oil consumption. But it’s more than that. There’s never a day when there is zero oil output. From day to day, the global production of crude oil is a consistent number. So a change of, say, 1 million barrels per day could dramatically alter oil pricing. Even a few hundred thousand barrels, one way or the other, can move markets. So selling off a floating inventory of 80 million barrels could alter world oil pricing for several months at least.

Storage Is Tight

I’ve discussed in previous articles how storage space for oil has become tight in the U.S. In fact, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, there are 339 million barrels of crude in commercial stocks, which is 16% more than at this time last year. The vast crude oil storage tanks at Cushing, Okla., are topped off. And operators are even storing oil in unused networks of pipelines.

Meanwhile there is a slump in demand for crude oil and refined products in the U.S. This is forcing many domestic drillers to pull back on oil exploration and development of existing reserves. One example is Chesapeake Energy (CPK: NYSE), which was funding much of its ambitious land acquisition and drilling with credit.

In the last four months, according to figures from Baker Hughes (BHI: NYSE) over 800 drilling rigs have shut down just in the U.S., or about a third of the total rigs that were operating in the U.S. during the peak drilling period as of last September. Consider that each drilling rig employs between 50-200 workers, as well as a long supply chain for all sorts of things from fuel to food to drilling mud and welding rods. My back-of-the-envelope calculation is that 800 rigs represent about 100,000 laidoff employees. It’s going to make things tough for other oil service providers like Halliburton (HAL: NYSE) and Superior Energy Services (SPN: NYSE). Still, over the long haul, I think that the oil field service providers will stage a strong comeback. They have to. At least, if the world will still wants to use oil.

What of the Future? Contango

What of the future for oil? Where is the price of oil headed? Let’s look at something that’s pretty interesting. In addition to dropping 70% since the record high price of $147 per barrel last July, the oil market has gone into something called “contango.” This is a condition in which the PRESENT price of crude is less than contract prices for FUTURE delivery of oil. So it motivates energy market players to stockpile.

Here’s how it works. Let’s say that someone purchased oil this week at $41 per barrel. But that same barrel could immediately be sold via a forward contract for September delivery at a price of almost $53 per barrel. That’s a gross profit of about $12 per barrel, before storage costs.

Now let’s say that you have to charter a large tanker to store the oil. That’ll set you back about $75,000 per day for a vessel that holds 2 million barrels. Do some math. $75,000 per day to store 2 million barrels? That’s 3.75 cents per day per barrel to store oil, or about $1 per month per barrel. In other words, you could store oil at sea for six months and still have a profit of about $6 per barrel. No wonder the tankers are parked offshore.

Contango and the “Flying Dutchman”

If you’re not in the business, should you rush out right now and buy oil and store it? Well, it’s probably too late for newcomers to get in on the great deals. Right now, the contango spreads are sufficient to keep the current batch of tankers at sea for quite some time. (Shades of the Flying Dutchman, never pulling into port.)

Meanwhile, the contango price gap is closing. This is because OPEC has finally gotten some discipline and most of the member nations really are exporting less oil. Iran, for example, has at least 20 tankers lined up offshore. So when the contango price gap narrows or closes, the profit in storing oil will disappear. That’s why I think we are enjoying relatively low oil prices for now, and why we will see prices drift upward as 2009 wears on.

Let me caution you, however, that oil pricing will exhibit a vicious cycle for the next several months and probably into the spring and summer. As oil prices rise, operators will release their stored crude into the market. This will drive the price of oil back down again. In the process, these oil price swings are playing havoc with the world energy industry. Prices are too unstable. There’s some long-term development ongoing, but not enough overall. It’s going to come back and bite us in about 18-24 months, at the latest. Recession or no, it’s going to come back and bite us.

How About Gold?

Aside from the energy angles, I’m wondering how much to focus on precious metals. That’s because the dollar is going to get burnt into toast over the next few years. So I’m very bullish on precious metals like gold and silver. In the medium- to-long run, the stimulus bill will not be good for the U.S. economy. (I’ll discuss it below.) Indeed, the “stimulus” will be bad for the overall economy. But it will likely benefit precious metals companies like Yukon silver miner Alexco Resources (AXU: AMEX) and Mexican gold miner Canplats Resources Corp. (CPQ: TSX-V).

Both companies have high-grade ore in the ground. And both companies have enough money in the bank to fund the current operational plans. (Alexco has an environmental remediation contract from the Canadian government to pay the basic bills.) Meanwhile, both companies are attractive to potential suitors, like large miners that want to pick up some great reserves. And the prices of gold and silver are generally rising. In my view, both companies are there to buy, hold and wait with. Be patient. These eggs will hatch.

Real World Observations on Fighting Crime and Criminals, by Eli

I sat down to see what I could offer to share with other SurvivalBlog readers. Many topics have already been covered, so I will attempt to go somewhere new.
I am a law enforcement officer by trade, and hope to provide a unique perspective as such. I have seen shootings, stabbing, burglaries, robberies, etc. I have served both search and arrest warrants. I work in the southwest US, and have worked in very affluent areas as well as very poor areas. What follows are some observations of my time on the job, relating to a few different areas and crimes that occur. Hopefully some people will get something out of this. None of this is to be construed as legal advice, strictly observations. All are very applicable to everyday life, and will be highly applicable at TEOTWAWKI .A good teacher once said “I am not showing you the way, only A way.” I apologize in advance if I jump around between topics:

Of all the shootings I have seen, whether officer involved or not, shot placement has been the key to success (success being the death or incapacitation of attacker). Regardless of bullet or weapon type, a solid hit will end a fight. I have seen Black Talon .45 ACP ammo through the stomach fail to incapacitate someone, as well as .223s with poor shot placement fail to stop an attacker. Both subjects lost a lot of blood, but were able to continue to fight. A few recent shootings involved 9mm FMJ ammo. All were fatal, and all were solid hits to the heart/lung area. The take home lesson is that shot placement is key to survival, regardless of caliber. Obviously, proper ammo choice with proper shot placement is best. (I know it has been discussed before, but bird shot is not an effective defense load)
So how can we improve our shot placement? Shoot more. Dry fire. Practice. Then practice some more. If you do not shoot, learn. Whether you are a beginner or advanced shooter, do not forget to work on the basics- sight alignment and trigger control. There is no substitute for trigger time and fundamentals. 22 conversion kits are widely available for many guns for practice at reduced cost. AR-style sights are also available for 10/22s if you prefer that route over a conversion kit. Shorter, more frequent practice sessions are more beneficial than infrequent longer sessions, whether live or dry fire.

After improving static shooting skills, focus on stress shooting. Attend a training course. Practice what you learn in the course. A 2-4 day course will expose you to a lot of new ideas. It is up to you to reinforce them [with practice] when you return home. Only through repetition will these movements become second nature. Join a local IDPA league. The stress of competition will help. Become physically fit. Studies with police and simmunition/judgmental shooting scenarios showed that the more physically fit an individual, regardless of all other factors, the more likely they were to succeed on the simmunition portion and the less mistakes they made on the judgmental portion. (Think about how sports teams make more mental errors late in a game when fatigue sets in) All subjects showed an immediate increase in heart rate and blood pressure. The more fit individuals showed a more rapid return to normal levels, often before the end of the scenario. Combine physical exertion with shooting. Try doing sprints/pushups/jumping jacks, then shooting. Use your imagination.

Learn to clear a malfunction on your weapon. All guns will jam at some point. Ejected shells have bounced off walls and landed back in an open recoiling action. Strange things happen. Know your chosen weapon’s action of arms. Learn to do so with economy of movement. You can purchase dummy rounds or assemble them from spent cases. Throw a few into your magazine next time you shoot, and clear the malfunctions as they happen. It will also show any flinching problems. Teach someone else to shoot. You will be amazed at how much you will learn teaching someone else.


A-Points of entry-
Residential burglaries are an all too common occurrence. The most common points of entry I have seen are door and open windows. For some reason, crooks have an aversion to breaking windows on houses, though it will happen. (Perhaps the Broken Window Theory is true…) “Smash and Grab” activity does happen, but tends to be more vehicle related. (Practice good OPSEC in your vehicle. Do not leave valuables in plain view. Do not place gun stickers on your vehicle, etc)

A few bad guys that have been willing to talk have mentioned that you can shut a door after kicking it in, but a broken window is harder to hide from neighbors. Go and look at your front door. Find your lock plate. When a door is forced, this is the part to give, with the plate coming loose and breaking the trim. Get a screw driver, and remove one of the screws. Realize that this is what is securing your front door. Now go buy longer screws, and replace them immediately. A security door is also a huge plus, as it opens out and requires different techniques to remove. They are not fool proof, but do more to make someone choose another house which is the ultimate goal.

Open windows are the other really common method of entry. Any time any work is done on your house, check all of your windows. It is disturbingly common for workers or anyone in your home to leave a window open in a unused room, or unlock a seldom used door and then return later. Follow workers when they are in your house (Side note on this… I recently had a water heater replaced. I would have done it myself, but it was still under warranty and was free. While chit-chatting with the worker, he asked if I was a cop. I told him no, then asked why. He replied that the only people who watch him work tend to be cops. Just like you are observing others, do not forget that you are being watched as well.) Sterilize your house prior to allowing workers in. Do not leave out firearm accessories, bank statements, etc. Bars on windows are also effective in limiting possible points of entry. They may be against fire code (check your jurisdiction), and reduce points of exit as well. Roll shutters are another really good option here. Many newer homes have a window to the side of the front door. Consider a metal grate or something similar inside to prevent breaking the window, then undoing the locks. These windows, even when frosted, also provide a visible indicator about how many people/when someone is coming to the door, eliminating surprise.

B- What is taken
Cash, firearms, jewelry, electronics, tools, credit cards, personal info, bank statements. Anything that they can pawn or trade for drugs. If you go on vacation, take your spare vehicle keys with you. A recent trend has been to load up the second car parked in the cover of the garage, then drive it away with all of your stuff. Buy a gun safe, preferably a heavy one. Don't forget to lock your safe (No, I am not kidding about this.) Bolt your safe down. I have seen studs cut from the wall to remove a safe. I personally have not seen one pried from the floor yet, although I am sure it has happened. Bolt it to both floor and walls and be safe. Write your serial numbers down also, especially for firearms. (Be very careful with this list, for obvious reasons, especially with private party gun sales. Keep a copy somewhere other than your safe also) It is very hard to prove ownership or log an item as stolen without the serial number.

Robberies occur all the time, everywhere. Situational awareness is the most beneficial for preventing these. You are most vulnerable at times of preoccupation. Fumbling with keys, exiting/entering a car or residence, running with your headphones on, etc Carry bags in a manner to leave your gun hand free, assuming you are carrying concealed. Pay attention. Pause before entering exiting anywhere. Stop, look, and listen. Take a few seconds to do this anytime you enter or exit anything. Make it a habit. You see all the time on surveillance footage of people walking into a liquor store as it is being robbed. Try to stop, look and listen before you enter the store. After you enter, step to one side and do it again. Park in well lit areas. When in your vehicle, keep your doors locked. Do not pull up directly behind the car in front of you and box yourself in. Know where exits are in restaurants and businesses. Listen to your hunches. Home invasion robberies are increasingly common as well. Security doors pay huge dividends here. Even a highly trained SWAT team either has to pry or yank these with a vehicle, before dealing with the interior door. This buys you time. Time equates to distance and options, which equate to safety. Have a dog, and lock all of your gates. See above about window bars. A fenced yard helps. Most states have laws that recognize fenced yards as having a higher expectation of privacy than a non-fenced yard, and a corresponding reduced standard for lethal force action inside said fence. (i.e. the "reasonable person" test, an intruder climbing over a locked gate into a yard with a dog would be expected to be a greater threat than an intruder that was at the front window of an unfenced yard.)

It is not unreasonable if the “police” come to your door to ask to see a badge, preferably a commission card, as these have an officer’s photo. Look though a different window and see if a car is outside. Call the agency they say they are from and verify they are who they say they are. If in doubt, wait and verify. Keep your doors locked when you are home, not just when you leave or before bed.
Police are not trained to look for "bad guys." They are trained to analyze behavior and patterns. When something looks out of place, it is cause for concern.


I work nights, so most of this section will be related to this. I have approached many houses. Let me walk you through what is typical for my squad. Hopefully it will grant some insight into the mind and method of potential attackers.It starts outside of the residence, down the street. Turn off your vehicle lights before you turn onto the street. Park your vehicle so it is not in plain view. Take advantage of other parked cars, as well as the shadows in between street lights to conceal your car. Exit the vehicle quietly. Do not slam your doors. Turn of/disable your vehicle dome light prior to opening your door. Secure any loose or rattling equipment. Stop, look, and listen while still at your car. Let your eyes adjust. Identify the target residence. Depending on the threat level of the suspect or call type we number anywhere from two to six. Approach the house, again taking advantage of lighting and concealment. At the house, stop, look and listen. Are there motion lights? Video cameras? Is there a fence? Is the entire yard fenced? Is the gate locked? Are there cars in the driveway? Are the hoods warm? Most residences have an exposed front and a fenced back yard, so we will assume that is the case. Is there an alley? If so, send one or two people to cover points of exit/look through rear windows. What do you hear? Television? Fighting? Screaming? A shower? A racking shotgun? Whispering? Is there a barking dog? (Pepper spray is effective and commonly used to silence barking dogs. Many SWAT teams now carry suppressed weapons strictly for this purpose. Many cops also carry dog treats.) Look at windows. Can you see through the blinds/curtains? Do an experiment at your residence. Turn on an interior light in a room, and go outside to the window. How much can you see in? Can you see through the corners? What about where the curtains are supposed to come together at the bottom? Do this for all the windows. What do you see inside? How many people? Men, women, children? Are they calm? Are they armed? At the front door, we unscrew light bulbs, adjust cameras, cover them with rubber gloves if they do not move. Spray paint would be effective also at taking care of cameras that do not move. Consider installing a light fixture with a completely surrounded bulb, one that takes a screwdriver to change, or mounting it higher up.. When you knock on the door, move away to a position of cover. Again, stop look and listen. Does the television go off? Who yells to who to get the door? Corners of buildings provide more “cover” than the middle of a wall, as most construction backs multiple 2x4 or 2x6’s up at this location. Have someone watching through a window. Usually by shadow or change in light you can tell when someone is coming to the door, and often how many.

When entering a house
The most common mistakes when clearing a residence are noise discipline and speed. Slow down. Do not move faster than you can take in important details. Be as quiet as possible. The idea is to catch them before they catch you. They are waiting for you. Do not give them any advantage.
There is much debate about building clearance, and many schools of thought. Here are some universal points to all methods:

You need at least three people to be safe. Never search by yourself. More people are better. Cover reflexive angles of one another. Smooth is the goal. Do not stand near the walls. You do not want to risk giving away a position by running your equipment against a wall. This also gives you more options should you engage and have to move. Move slowly (one minute per hundred square feet is not unreasonable). When “pieing” [or "pie slicing"] a room, examine each new degree of the pie from top to bottom , and back again. Hunters will understand this better, but you are not looking for a whole person. You are looking for parts. A toe, an ear, an elbow. Likewise, when clearing, have your upper body move before your lower body (i.e., lean and clear, then move your feet underneath you….repeat….practice with a friend/spouse or a mirror [with and absolutely cleared and double-checked firearm]) and keep your elbow tucked under your weapon, so the first thing the bad guy will see is half the barrel of your gun and half of that eye. (Notice I said “that” eye. Learn to shoot with your off hand, and practice. It is impossible to safely clear a house with the gun in one hand the entire time.) Practice house clearing. Get a friend, family member. Go through your home. Go through theirs. Take turns being the good guy/bad guy. Do it during the day. Do it at night. Repeat. People hide in all sorts of places. Cupboards, washing machines, inside couches, between mattresses, etc. Do not move past anything you have not cleared. You do not want to be worried about something behind you while clearing. If a door is locked and you have to bypass it, get creative. Lean something up against the door so you will know if it is opened behind you. Tie it shut. Do not make more noise than you need to. Do not be afraid to kneel or squat when pieing. People are expecting certain things. Think outside the box.

As far as lights go, there are two schools of thought. The first, turn on lights as you enter the room. You can see, but the enemy can also. The second, use a weapon mounted or handheld light. You can illuminate an area, kill the light, then move. Try both and see what you prefer.

B-Defensive Measures
Consider all of the proceeding section of what attackers do. Apply this to your home. Imagine you are at home, watching television. The neighbor’s dog starts barking, or your's does. The dog suddenly stops. You still get up to investigate, wisely. You go to turn on your outside light, and the bulb does not work. At this point in time the hair on the back of your neck should be standing up. Pay attention to all of the small things. You check your security camera, and suddenly it’s looking at a view of the wall. If a security camera is not working, blocked, etc, lights not working, dog stopped barking (or still barking like mad) these are clues to put on your vest and load your weapon. (You do always put on your vest and grab your weapon when you go to investigate bumps in the night, right? )

Look at your home. Put up a fence around your entire yard. Build a full size fence, not a half one. Clear an area for 8-to-10 feet on either side of the fence, the entire way around. Do not take the time to put up a fence and then provide an easy means over it. Lock the gate. Get two or three large dogs and let them have free roam of the yard. They make “shake” alarms for fences that will go off when the fence is disturbed. They can be made to ring your cell phone (As in your phone rings, you answer, a computer voice states "You have a fence activation on the north side of your property."). Look at your outside lights also. Where are the dark spots? Where are blind spots that you cannot see from your windows? Consider discrete mirrors in strategic locations to check blind spots. Mount your lights high so they cannot be unscrewed, and get fixtures that protect the light bulb. Install security cameras. Consider a few camera pointed towards your house, possibly under eaves or overhangs that will be easy to miss. Where are your children’s rooms in relationship to yours? Where are the bullets that you may be shooting going to be flying? What walls can be made bullet resistant? I have been in homes where the people literally filled the half walls at the top of the stair case with sand/sand bags to provide a fortified fighting position for the family. Other ideas include surplus vests, Kevlar sheeting, etc stuffed in this area. Another option is to fortify your children’s rooms if they are on the other end of the home, but this also provides an intruder with a potential stronghold. Consider interior flood lights. The same people with the sand bagged half walls had flood lights above the stairs, facing down. With the positioning of the lights, it blinded everyone to the defenders at the top of the stairs.

Every home has ambush spots. When you are practicing clearing your house, think about what spots give you problems. Blind corners or multiple doors in close proximity are nightmares while clearing. Find a spot on the far side of the room or down a hallway where you can view these problem areas. One where you can view a problem area and fortify is an ideal location. Stairwells make good options. While you are practicing clearing your house with someone else, take turns being the “bad guy.” See where you want to hide, where you have the best advantage.

I hope this helps. People often talk about hardware versus software. In these tough economic times, hardware is not easy to come by. Software is cheap. Try to still obtain what you can when you can, but focus on learning skills--any skills. Plant a garden. Change your oil. Help someone with a construction project. Read a book. Learn to bake bread. Learn to distill alcohol. Reload. Take a first aid course. Cook with your food storage. Volunteer somewhere where you can learn something. Practice bartering your skills for goods or services. YouTube is an amazing resource out there if you are unsure how to do something and don’t know anyone that can teach you. If you already have skills, teach them (while still learning new ones.) Spread the word to those that will listen. Post a youtube video about preparation, or about any skill that you have. Teach someone to shoot. You can pick up a surplus Mosin-Nagant rifle and 500 rounds of ammunition for around $150, depending on where you live. Encourage everyone you know to buy one or two.) is a great resource also regarding questions about ammo ("I wonder what happens if I shoot layers of sheet rock with "X" caliber...") Show your friends SurvivalBlog. Sow the seeds of preparation in all you come across. Continue to prepare, pray, and be safe. - Eli

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Super Spice Secrets

Super Spice Secrets: Can This Miracle Spice Stop Cancer, Alzheimer's and Arthritis?

turmeric, curcumin, india, herbs, spices, cancer, alzheimer's, arthritisBy Dr. Mercola

For more than 5,000 years, turmeric has been an important part of Eastern cultural traditions, including traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda. Valued for its medicinal properties and warm, peppery flavor, this yellow-orange spice has more recently earned a name for itself in Western medicine as well.

Turmeric comes from the root of the Curcuma longa plant, which is native to Indonesia and southern India, and is widely used as an ingredient in curry dishes and yellow mustard. As research into this powerful spice has increased, it has emerged as one of nature’s most powerful potential healers.

Said Dr. David Frawely, founder and director of the American Institute for Vedic Studies in Santa Fe, New Mexico:

“If I had only one single herb to depend upon for all possible health and dietary needs, I would without much hesitation choose the Indian spice Turmeric. There is little it cannot do in the realm of healing and much that no other herb is able to accomplish.

Turmeric has a broad spectrum of actions, mild but certain effects, and is beneficial for long term and daily usage. Though it is a common spice, few people, including herbalists know of its great value and are using it to the extent possible. It is an herb that one should get to know and live with.”

Turmeric’s Beneficial Effects in a Nutshell

Strengthens and improves digestion

* Reduces gas and bloating
* Assists in the digestion of protein and with rice and bean dishes
* Improves your body's ability to digest fats
* Promotes proper metabolism, correcting both excesses and deficiencies
* Maintains and improves intestinal flora
* Improves elimination of wastes and toxins

Supports healthy liver function and detox

* Turmeric helps increase bile flow making it a liver cleanser that can rejuvenate your liver cells and recharge their capability to break down toxins
* Helps to prevent alcohol and other toxins from being converted into compounds that may be harmful to your liver
* Supports formation of healthy tissue

Purifies your blood

* Stimulates formation of new blood tissue
* Anti-inflammatory: Helps to reduce irritation to tissues characterized by pain, redness, swelling and heat

Contains curcuminoids that fight cancer, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s

* Curcuminoids are potent phytonutrients (plant-based nutrients) that contain powerful antioxidant properties
* Counteract the damaging effects of free radicals in your body
* Relieve arthritis pain and stiffness, anti-inflammatory agent
* Anti-carcinogenic: “Curcumin has been shown to prevent a large of number of cancers in animal studies. Laboratory data indicate that curcumin can inhibit tumor initiation, promotion, invasion, angiogenesis and metastasis.”[1]
* Supports treatment of Alzheimer’s disease: “Because Alzheimer's disease is caused in part by amyloid-induced inflammation, curcumin has been shown to be effective against Alzheimer's. Clinical trials are in progress at UCLA with curcumin for Alzheimer's.”[2]

Curcumin: Turmeric’s Active Anti-Inflammatory “Ingredient”

Most notably turmeric is known for its potent anti-inflammatory properties, which come from curcumin -- the pigment that gives turmeric its yellow-orange color, and which is thought to be responsible for many of its medicinal effects. There are an estimated three to five grams of curcumin in 100 grams of turmeric.

Curcumin has been shown to influence more than 700 genes, and it can inhibit both the activity and the synthesis of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX2) and 5-lipooxygenase (5-LOX), as well as other enzymes that have been implicated in inflammation.[3]

Turmeric’s Cancer-Fighting Properties

In India where turmeric is widely used, the prevalence of four common U.S. cancers -- colon, breast, prostate and lung -- is 10 times lower. In fact, prostate cancer, which is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in U.S. men, is rare in India and this is attributed, in part, to turmeric.

Numerous studies have looked into this potential cancer-fighting link, with promising results. For instance, curcumin has been found to:

* Inhibit the proliferation of tumor cells
* Inhibit the transformation of cells from normal to tumor
* Help your body destroy mutated cancer cells so they cannot spread throughout your body
* Decrease inflammation
* Enhance liver function
* Inhibit the synthesis of a protein thought to be instrumental in tumor formation
* Prevent the development of additional blood supply necessary for cancer cell growth

As for the results of research studies, a study in Biochemical Pharmacology found that curcumin can slow the spread of breast cancer cells to the lungs in mice.[4]

"Curcumin acts against transcription factors, which are like a master switch," said lead researcher, Bharat Aggarwal. "Transcription factors regulate all the genes needed for tumors to form. When we turn them off, we shut down some genes that are involved in the growth and invasion of cancer cells."

A second study in Biochemical Pharmacology also found that curcumin inhibits the activation of NF-kappaB, a regulatory molecule that signals genes to produce a slew of inflammatory molecules (including TNF, COX-2 and IL-6) that promote cancer cell growth.[5]

Turmeric’s Essential Role for Your Liver

Your liver’s primary role is to process and remove toxins carried in your bloodstream. When functioning at its peak, it can filter up to two liters of blood per minute and easily break apart toxic molecules to reduce their toxicity. Your liver is also a crucial part of vitamin, mineral, protein, fat, carbohydrate and hormonal metabolism.

However, poor diet, allergens, pollution and stress can cause your liver to become sluggish, and this can impair its vital functions. This is where turmeric can be a very useful part of your liver support system. Studies have shown that it:

* May increase important detoxification enzymes in your liver
* Induces the formation of a primary liver detoxification enzyme, glutathione S-transferase (GST) enzymes

Turmeric is also a natural cholagogue, a medicinal agent that promotes the discharge of bile from your system. Increased bile flow is important to help your liver detoxify and to help your body digest fats.

Turmeric for Your Heart, Brain and Overall Health

Turmeric inhibits free radical damage of fats, including cholesterol. When cholesterol is damaged in this way, or oxidized, it can then damage your blood vessels and lead to a heart attack or stroke. Therefore, research suggests that turmeric’s ability to prevent the oxidation of cholesterol may be beneficial for your heart. It’s also rich in vitamin B6, high intakes of which are associated with a reduced risk of heart disease.

Meanwhile, turmeric appears to be highly protective against neurodegenerative diseases. In fact, in India levels of neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s are very low, and studies have shown that curcumin can slow the progression of Alzheimer’s in mice. The compound has also proven capable of blocking the progression of multiple sclerosis.

Further, Professor Moolky Nagabhushan from the Loyola University Medical Center, Chicago, IL, who has been studying turmeric for the last 20 years, believes that turmeric can protect against harmful environmental chemicals, and in so doing protect against childhood leukemia. The research showed that curcumin in turmeric can:[7]

* Inhibit the toxicity of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) (cancer-causing chemicals in the environment)
* Inhibit radiation-induced chromosome damage
* Prevent the formation of harmful heterocyclic amines and nitroso compounds, which may result in the body when eating certain processed foods, such as processed meat products
* Irreversibly inhibit the multiplication of leukemia cells in a cell culture

Turmeric's volatile oils also have external anti-bacterial action. As such, they may help prevent bacterial wound infections and accelerate wound healing. Johnson & Johnson even sells a curcumin-containing Band-Aid in India!

And the therapeutic potential of turmeric and curcumin do not end there. Evidence suggests the spice may also be beneficial for:

* Cystic fibrosis
* Type 2 diabetes
* Crohn’s disease
* Psoriasis
* Rheumatoid arthritis

* Cataracts
* Gallstones
* Muscle regeneration
* Inflammatory bowel disease

Which Type of Turmeric is Best?

For use in cooking, choose a pure turmeric powder, rather than a curry powder. At least one study has found that curry powders tend to contain very little curcumin, compared to turmeric powder. Turmeric is also available in supplement form and for many this is a more convenient method to obtain these health benefits discussed above, especially if they are from a high-quality organic source and if one doesn’t particularly enjoy the taste of curry.

Eric Fry, offering a wild guess about the oil market…

As the price of crude oil continues its death spiral, forward-looking investors have every reason to scratch their heads in amazement. The oil market seems to be pricing in a global economic condition that would be even more dire than a second Great Depression. $35 oil seems to imply that mankind will resume its reliance on ancient energy sources like whale oil, tallow and cow dung.

Maybe so…but we doubt it.

Late last year, the International Energy Agency (IEA) released its World Energy Outlook 2008, which presents a thorough field-by-field analysis of production trends at the world's 800 largest oil fields. This comprehensive study suggests that the oil price is much more likely to rise than fall over the next few years.

The IEA stops short of promoting that "Peak Oil" theory that the planet is running out of hydrocarbons. But the Agency does point out that output from the world's major oil fields is declining much faster than previously believed.

As our learned colleague, Chris Mayer, observes, "The IEA's findings state that without additional investment to raise production, output will decline 9.1% annually. Everyone knows that oil production is on a treadmill, on which aging fields produce less oil over time. But that decline rate was faster than previously thought. Even with investment, the annual decline rate is 6.4% per year. These are big annual declines in a market that already wobbles along a knife's edge of supply and demand.

"Demand probably will continue to taper off as we get into this recession/depression," says Chris. "But supply is falling also, and it's not as if there is a lot of unsold oil lying around. The Economist reports 'Official oil stocks [or inventories] are well below their average of the past five years.' And let's not forget that most of the world's oil reserves are in the hands of capricious or unstable governments."

These various factors inspire your Rude Awakening editors to offer up a prediction (or what we like to call "a wild guess"): $100 crude before $20 crude.

Oil's spectacular collapse from $147 a barrel to $35 may say a lot about what is happening in the global economy at the moment. But today's depressed oil price says absolutely nothing about what will happen next. Specifically, today's oil price doesn't know squat about what will happen to global demand for crude, nor what will happen to global supplies.

Your editors don't know squat about future supply/demand trends either. But we would argue, nevertheless, that an utterly clueless investor is better off on the long side of the oil market than on the short side of it.

The Oil Glut of 2009…and Why it Won't Last
By Byron King

The current oil price contains absolutely no risk premium. $35 crude price simply does not reflect how rapidly the oil market could tighten in 2009…or how rapidly prices could rise.

Western nations are now experiencing the bow wave of a profound change in the current and future availability of oil. Oil output from all major Western oil companies is on an ominous decline trend. Exxon Mobil, for example, announced that its average oil output has fallen by 614,000 barrels per day in 2008.

Western oil majors like Exxon are finding it harder than ever to identify new prospects and successfully complete new oil projects. BP's Thunder Horse project in the Gulf of Mexico, for example, is finally coming online in 2008, with an anticipated output of nearly 250,000 barrels per day. But this one project has taken almost 20 years to complete, at a cost in excess of $6 billion.

And Chevron's recent success with its Jack 2 project in the Gulf came at a cost of over $240 million for just one test well. And this prospect is still years away from being a successful oil-producing prospect.

These sorts of developments have implications far beyond the Peak Oil argument, as valid as that thesis may be.

One of the key reasons for the decline in oil output from major Western companies is world politics. In the 1990s, the key strategic development in the wake of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the decline of communism was the trend toward globalization. Much of the world opened up to the West figuratively, as well as literally. And the oil industry was one beneficiary, making significant investments in unexplored or underexplored regions from South America to the Caspian Sea.

But the key strategic development in the first decade of the 2000s has been, arguably, the concept of "resource nationalism." That is, in the many nations that were formerly friendly toward Western companies, the attitudes toward foreign investment have fundamentally changed. Western oil companies have found themselves squeezed out of resource-rich areas.

Assertive host governments are gaming the rules to favor their state-owned national oil companies (NOCs). Some Western companies have experienced outright nationalizations, such as what occurred with Exxon Mobil and ConocoPhillips in Venezuela. Other Western companies have been shown the door through intimidation and bullying legal tactics under the guise of "tax laws" or "environmental enforcement," such as what happened with Shell Oil Co. at its Sakhalin project in Russia.

Even Brazil has flashed its nationalistic teeth to foreign investment. Recently, Brazil withdrew numerous areas from prospective lease sales after it became apparent that the odds of finding oil were quite good. Why not just save it for Petrobras?

The traditional model of resource development, in which Western companies obtain legal title and control over oil and gas deposits in the ground, is becoming increasingly NON-traditional.

As recently as the late 1970s, Western oil companies controlled well over half of the world's oil production. But now the NOCs - such as Saudi Aramco, National Iranian Oil Co., Kuwait Oil Co., Petroleos de Venezuela, Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex), etc. - control over 85% of the world's oil resources. Western majors control only about 7% of the world's oil resource base.

Meanwhile, oil output from mature regions is in decline. From the North Sea to the Alaska North Slope, the Western oil companies are faced with lower production volumes from their existing oil fields. And there is a much thinner book of potential business elsewhere in the world. According to Amy Myers Jaffe, who studies the oil business from her chair at Rice University, "This is an industry in crisis."

This sense of crisis also helps explain why Western oil companies are fighting to expand their options for offshore drilling in the U.S., as well as to expand access to areas like northern Alaska. The U.S. offshore, and other frontier areas such as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) are among the few options remaining for Western oil companies.

So one key point that the Western oil industry makes is that its resource base and reserves are in decline. And over the medium to long term, this means that the economic importance of the Western companies will erode. Despite any plans or efforts at conservation and efficiency, as well as a large-scale shift to alternative energy sources, the Western world will become increasingly dependent on NOCs for oil.

In other words, when you combine the oil market's geological condition with the oil market's geopolitical condition, the odds tilt toward much higher oil prices.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Field Use of an Airgun

By Robert Beeman
Adapted and Updated from Beeman Airgun Guide/Catalog Edition 18, the last edition edited by Robert Beeman


See note added at the end of this section: "So, what airguns do you recommend now, Dr. Beeman?"

It's hard to say if more adult airgun shooting is done indoors or outdoors at the present time. As noted earlier, there are certainly plenty of reasons for shooting indoors. However, few field activities offer any more relaxation and enjoyment than shooting an airgun The relative safety and quiet of fine airguns allow you to do with ease things that might not even be possible with a firearm You don't have to have formal targets or live game to enjoy a day in the field. Acorns, pebbles, twigs, icicles, etc-all become satisfying casual targets. With a little imagination, you can supply a whole range of easily obtained, inexpensive plinking targets. Neccos, aspirin or saccharin tablets, dry clay balls, hard white mints, soup crackers, etc all give a satisfying disintegration when hit. Use of such targets can help develop the idea of plinking as an acceptable, non-destructive sport. These targets are even biodegradable! One clever idea for real sharpshooting is to put out ripe meat as bait and shoot down the flies or "yellow jackets" which soon buzz around it. If you prefer slower targets, try baiting snails! At greater distances beverage cans will always be popular, but you should try some other targets like "indoor" golf balls, swinging targets, suspended bells, etc. (A few cautions. Be sure that pellets missing your targets will land safely. Be careful of ricochets; shooting glasses or tempered eyeglasses are a must for anyone within the vicinity of any gun. Please pick up used cans and don't litter the bottom of streams and lakes with sunken cans.)

Eliminating rodents, destructive and fouling pest birds like English sparrows and starlings, and even things like locusts and grasshoppers, can also be plenty of sport! As a good outdoorsman, you would, of course, learn which organisms are harmless, or even beneficial, and avoid the temptation of plinking at them. The selective control of pests by the adult use of airguns, rather than the indiscriminate use of traps and poison baits, can be of real ecological value

The BEST discussion of airgun hunting is The Air Rifle Hunter's Guide, by Tom Holzel.

Serious shooters enjoy seeing how well they can shoot with a precision airgun at various field distances. Some fire all four positions; others go to the extent of firing from a bench rest. Using a super tuned sporter or a match rifle under ideal conditions, it is entirely possible to fire 5 and 10 shot groups which could be covered with a quarter-even at 50 yards or so! Bench rest shooting is the ultimate test for shooting equipment, ammunition, and ballistic information. However, do not use firearm bench rest methods for airguns The forearm, especially on spring piston airguns, must be very securely held by the shooter's hand

The use of airguns for small pest control depends largely on knowing what is happening at the point of impact. Information from the ballistics section of this publication can be useful, but it must be extended to field distances. Those shooters, and even some writers, who are still stuck in the "firearm mode" of thinking would say that the more power that you can deliver to the live target the better. However, with at least minimally adequate power, the most important thing is to deliver the pellet exactly. When working with airgun energy levels a well-placed head shot is called for on most pests. Some forms, such as crow, are better taken with a squarely placed mid-chest shot In any case, the lethal area is quite small, perhaps only 1/2" to 1 1/2" in diameter. As an example consider squirrel shooting. Examination of the accompanying tables show that, depending on caliber, you must deliver about 3 FP to a roughly one-inch lethal area The energy/velocity and accuracy tables show that even a .177" match air rifle delivers sufficient velocity up to perhaps 50 yards, but that a hit in the critical 1 " area is extremely unlikely beyond that distance. Thus, potential accuracy is ultimately the limiting factor, and your ability to get that accuracy depends on practice and good equipment Don't minimize the importance of good equipment; no matter how well or poorly you shoot, better sights, a more accurate gun, a better trigger, and better pellets will tighten your groupings

While a scope-sighted, match rifle in the hands of an expert may be the best airgun combination for most small pests, the majority of shooters would probably be better off with an accurate, high power sporter. These guns are suitable for larger organisms; their pellets are less easily diverted by wind and leaves, and have flatter trajectory and better penetration. Round or pointed head pellets are the standard for pest shooting, but flat headed match pellets are often used for taking lighter animals. Match pellets deliver a little less lead but their greater accuracy at close range and their greater impact area is often an advantage Greater ballistic drag does give match pellets less velocity (and less flat trajectory) at field distances as the table shows. Hollow point pellets are extremely effective in delivering maximum impact and in preventing over-penetration.

The really key point in airgun hunting is not muzzle energy, but how well energy is carried out to the prey. The energy/velocity table shows dramatically how heavier, larger pellets keep their energy. The clear winner in energy retention and ballistic efficiency is .25" caliber. Thus, trajectory drop with the bigger, heavier pellets is far less than might be expected. The .25" Crow Magnum, sighted in for 50 yards, keeps that powerful pellet within 2 inches of line of sight to over 55 yards! All factors considered, .20" caliber is probably the best all around choice, with a high power .25" being a good second, or even first, choice for the field.

Basic Field Distance and Estimating Point of Impact

You need a simple system for estimating where your pellet will hit when hunting. The excitement of the hunt and the difficulty of accurately estimating distance make complex systems useless An effective, simple system involves sighting in your preferred gun/pellet combination for their maximum effective distance-your "Basic Field Distance" (BFD) You can determine your BFD's by experimentation. The BFD is the distance up to which the pellet has not been more than two inches above the line of sight. For a top power Beeman R1 in 177" or 5 mm caliber the BFD will be about 50 yards The pellet will pass up over the line of sight from such a scoped rifle at about 8 yards, then go over the line of sight not more than two inches before it comes right down to the line at about 50 yards, and then be about 2" low at 55-58 yards. Thus you simply sight in, roughly and easily, at about 8 yards and fine tune your sighting at 50 yards Practice (and practice!) estimating how far 50 yards is. At close ranges and for shots of about 50 yards, your sights should be about centered on the desired point of impact; at middle distances your sights should be about 1 to 2" low Since you really can't estimate the difference between 50 and 55 yards, and the drop is so great over 50 yards, 50 to 55 yards should be considered your maximum practical range. For a 25" caliber R1 the Basic Field Distance is about 45 yards; the maximum practical range is about 50 yards

Point of impact may be changed by many factors. Low temperature is often blamed for a lower POI, but humidity is probably the more important, but less suspected, factor, higher humidity usually means a higher POI, but humidity is often low at low temperatures, especially temperatures below freezing. And all shooters should remember that shooting steeply upward, or downward, will result in a much higher POI .

Don't overlook careful, intelligent stalking as one of the most interesting parts of the field use of airguns. Getting close enough to small pests for the necessary exact shot can provide the excitement of a big game hunt in a setting much closer to home. Camouflage, low-profile stalking, and patient stands can be as useful in suburban field airgun shooting as they are in wilderness shooting .

Specific Recommendations:

Squirrel, Starling, etc.: Carefully practiced head shots are necessary.

Stalk closely and use a scoped match rifle or use a scoped, high accuracy sporter. Beeman H&N Match, Silver Jet, Crow Magnum, or Silver Bear pellets are preferred for either gun .

Rats: A skilled shooter with a match rifle can make the necessary head shots to about 30 yards. Generally a high velocity sporter would be preferred. Silver Jet pellets are best for penetration at a distance; Crow Magnum and especially Kodiak for maximum impact .

Pest Chasing: Pest elimination and pest chasing are different matters. Here you may be trying to rout orchard-wrecking deer or annoying dogs without really injuring them. Study the extended range ballistic tables carefully. A low velocity air rifle or, much better, an air pistol is called for. Use light, flat headed pellets or our felt cleaning pellets to prevent penetration. Experiment by shooting at a grapefruit, a potato, or the like at various distances to be sure that you are not going to cause unnecessary, cruel wounds. Up close, use only cleaning pellets!

Editor's Note: Please update the above remarks to the current situation for availability of airgun models, pellets, etc.. This chapter last appeared in the 19th edition (1994) of the Beeman catalog. I suspect that such suggestions of shooting living things was not "politically correct" enough for the new ownership of the Beeman company. I hope that you have enjoyed this old article, most of its information is as good as the day it was written.

"So, what airguns do you recommend now, Dr. Beeman?"

Now that we have no ties or obligations to Beeman Precision Airguns, people keep asking me that question! So, to save us both some trouble (we can't carry on a chat line with shooters - we are just too busy writing books, etc)., here are my "unbiased" comments: All of the German and English made airguns sold by Beeman are very good, but the crown jewel of their sporting rifles STILL is the Beeman R1 in .20 or .25 caliber, preferably both! For sporting/hunting air rifles, two of my personal favorites always have been the handy, little Beeman R7 and the Beeman C1, both of which seem to have an almost cult following among those who really know airguns. The present production of the R7 is excellent, but if you can locate a R7 with our San Rafael or Santa Rosa address factory stamped on the receiver - you have a special prize. For extra high power, to supplement your Beeman R1 and R7, get the Beeman Crow Magnum in .25 caliber. In sporting air pistols, the Beeman P1 and P2 pistols really have no equals! For match guns, any of the elegant Beeman/Feinwerkbau airguns are the very best available. Sure these guns may cost one or two hundred dollars more than a gun sporting equal specifications - but if you could buy a Mercedes, which can go 120 miles an hour, for only one or two hundred dollars more than a Ford which can also go 120 miles per hour, and you knew that the Mercedes was so much more satisfying and would last you for the rest of your life - what would you decide that you could "afford"? With airguns, virtually everyone really can afford the best! The Chinese and Spanish airguns have come up quite a bit, but they still just are not in the big leagues! And, no matter how some folks beg consideration for them, I still cannot put any mass production American airguns, with their emphasis on plastic and sheetmetal, up with the higher quality German and English airguns, especially the best German ones. You will spend more time holding and carrying your airguns than shooting them - so get guns that are a joy to hold and look at, in addition to performing long and well! "Just as good as.." or "almost the same as..." are lines leading to reduced enjoyment, reduced performance, reduced durability and life, and reduced long term value!

If I were buying a match airgun today, and I was not going to compete in International competition (and most of our FWB customers just wanted the finest airgun available for fun and informal enjoyment), I would seek out the discontinued Beeman/Feinwerkbau Model 300S rifle and the Model 65 air pistol. It is such a delight for most every shooter not to have to fuss with compressed air or CO2! The 300S and 65 will give you several lifetimes of delight, just "thinking off" shots with truly astonishing precision and accuracy. Have it rebuilt by Beemans every few million rounds! If you can't locate one of those, get a Beeman/FWB 603 rifle and a 103 pistol. (BTW - like many airgunners, I often use a match airgun for hunting, even plinking!) Enjoy!

Which is the best caliber? The answer is simple: there is no best caliber, but the matter will be argued forever. The typical choice is between .177 and .22 caliber. Frankly, decades of experience have led me to believe that there is little purpose for the .177 caliber, except for match guns, which are tradition bound to that bore size and where trajectory and wind effect have no significance, and air pistols. For airguns of any significant power, I would always select .22 caliber over .177, but I strongly believe that .20 (5mm) caliber is a much better choice than either one. If you really want more projectile diameter and weight, try very hard to simply skip over .22 caliber and get the much superior .25 caliber - but I would always recommend .25 caliber as an addition to having a fine .20 caliber airgun, not as a substitute. At the time we sold the Beeman business in 1993, .20 caliber had just become our biggest seller and .25 caliber outsold .22 by ten to one! (The emphasis on these calibers was not stressed by the new owners, so the bulk of sales reverted to .177, which is the only caliber understood, or asked for, by most quite unknowledgeable sales reps and chain stores! Sigh! It is now up to good airgunners to really let the makers and sellers know that you want something more than the less-than-dynamic-duo of .177 and .22 calibers! Speak up and often!). Tom Holzel, who may well be the world's leading expert on hunting with airguns, is a very strong supporter of .25 caliber. Tremendous experience in the field, especially crow hunting, has shown him that the the size of the kill zone increases significantly with caliber, meaning you can make a less accurate hit and still assure a clean kill. Practically, this means you can shoot at greater range with the larger calibers. However, you need an airgun delivering at least 20 ft. lbs. of muzzle energy to really take advantage of the .25 caliber pellet. An noted above, the clear winner in energy retention and ballistic efficiency is .25" caliber. In such guns as the Beeman Crow Magnum and RX-2, and many others, it also tests as the most accurate of the four calibers.

Then, after, and ONLY after, you have have a good deal of experience with the excellent .20 and .25 calibers, you owe it to yourself to add some of the really large airgun bores: 9 mm (.38 caliber), .44, etc. to your growing airgun battery.

If after having some top quality springers, you decide to add a PCP rifle: As noted, my main interest in PCP rifles now is centered on the PCP carried by Lewis and Clark in their expedition of 1803-06 which was the key to the West being part of the USA. (See Lewis Air Rifle – New Evidence on this website.). Most of the PCP airguns that I buy are about 200 years old! If I were buying a current PCP I would either get the new Weihrauch 100 PCP repeater from Beeman Precision Airguns (, but far more likely, I would start payments on one of the incredible, top of the line PCP guns featured at . . Your really, really best bet would be to get the HW PCP airgun now and start payments on one of those Gary Barnes PCP’s to be delivered when you will have about two more years of experience with PCP and will really appreciate the incredibly wise steps that you have taken! The HW gun is a good step up in quality from the better RWS rifles (the Chevys of the trade) and the Barnes gun a quantum leap up. (We have NO connection with either of these companies, except getting brownie points – so please mention that I sent you!)

P.S. For a short, but excellent, note on using the Beeman R1(and caliber and pellet selection) for hunting, click on this website link by Tom Holzel, the original airgun hunting wizard: Be careful about reading some of Tom's wild personal info bombs, listed in the left column of his website. You just might blow a brain cell or two!!

And, try to find a copy, or request an interlibrary loan, of Jock Elliott's wonderful article "A Perennial Favorite - The Beeman R1" in the January 2005 issue of The Accurate Rifle magazine. He feels that, even a quarter of a century after it was introduced, this is the air rifle by which others are measured!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Air Rifle Caliber Selection

By Scott Thomas

I often get asked the question: "What's the best caliber of air rifle to use?" The answer depends on what you are going to be using the rifle for. In this article we will examine the pros and cons of the 3 main calibers available for air rifles which are .177, .20, and .22 caliber. Each caliber is unique and each is good for different types of airgunning.


.177 cal is by far the most popular caliber on the market today. .177 pellets are the smallest of the 3 calibers and can be fired at the highest velocities for given amount of airgun energy which results in the flattest trajectory. A flat trajectory means greater accuracy from longer distances. If the main purpose of your air rifle is going to be target shooting then choosing a .177 cal air rifle is a smart choice.

.177 caliber air rifles can also be a good choice for small pest control. With current airgun technology .177 cal air rifles can reach velocities of up to 1250 FPS (feet per second) but most reasonably priced .177 air rifles shoot around 1000 FPS. At these velocities you can easily kill small squirrels, birds and other small rodents. We sell a lot of .177 cal air rifles to customers who want the best of both worlds...they want down range accuracy for target shooting but also want the power to kill small pests. The other nice thing about .177 cal is that you have a lot of different guns to choose from in all price ranges.


Some feel that the .20 cal air rifle is the best caliber for overall use. It provides a lot more knock down power compared to a .177 air rifle and the trajectory remains fairly flat. Unfortunately there are not a lot of .20 caliber rifles on the market and they tend to be more expensive because only the higher end manufacturers such as Beeman make them. The hard core airgunners swear by this caliber. The .20 cal (5 mm) pellet can carry 40% more energy than a .177 cal pellet yet the trajectory remains almost as flat. The .20 cal is great for taking down larger small game especially if distance is a factor. A .20 cal pellet (depending on the rifle used) is effective up to about 60 yards. With a good pellet you might be able to increase that by a few yards.

There is no doubt that the .20 caliber is a great caliber. Unfortunately there aren't a lot of options out there and price is a factor. You can buy a Benjamin / Sheridan pump style air rifle in a .20 cal for a reasonable price. This rifle is good for close range hunting (25-30 yards) but lacks power for any hunting at longer distances. If you want a pump pellet rifle for target shooting or close range varmint hunting this would be a good choice. If you are in the market for a top of the line air rifle and have the money to spend you might want to seriously consider one of Beeman's .20 cal rifles. They are top notch and backed by a lifetime warranty.


The .22 caliber pellet has a large gain in weight and size over both the .177 cal and .20 cal and has the most down range knockdown power of the 3. One drawback of the .22 cal pellet is that it has the shortest range of the 3 calibers. The effective range of this caliber is around 45-50 yards depending on the pellet. However, you can get within 50 yards of most varmint so range should not be an issue. If you are going after larger pests such as jack rabbit, crow, wood chucks (wild), racoon and others a .22 cal air rifle is going to be your best choice because of its tremendous knock down power.

Several different manufacturers such as RWS, Gamo, and Tech Force make .22 cal air rifles and usually make both .177 and .22 cal versions of their more popular models. If the primary use of your air rifle is going to be hunting then go with a .22 cal unless your primary prey is at a distance of 55 yards or more. If your prey is at longer distances make sure you get a powerful .22 cal rifle such as the RWS 34 with Scope .22 cal air rifle or the Tech Force 99 .22 cal with scope. Get something that is at least 800 FPS.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Deluge of Financial Calamities Looming by Mid-March

By Patrick A. Heller, Market Update

As horrible as the financial news for currencies and paper assets has been since mid-2007, it looks like the worst is yet to come - perhaps as early as next month.

Over the weekend the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Dominique Strauss-Kahn, told a gathering of Southeast Asian central bankers that the world's advanced economies are already in a depression and that the financial crisis may deepen unless the banking system is fixed.

On Febr. 4, Paul Wolfowitz, the former president of the World Bank, said the IMF and similar institutions are incapable of coping with the global financial crisis because they do not have enough resources.

The market appears to have turned on U.S. Treasury debt. Analyst Adrian Douglas issued a report on Sunday titled "Bond Market Collapse Unfolding." He used his proprietary Market Force Analysis on the price of the 10-year U.S. Treasury Note. Last September and October, as the value of Treasury debt was falling, it looked almost certain that the U.S. Treasury entered the market to purchase its own debt! This had the effect of boosting the price of Treasury bonds.

However, the futures market for 10-year Treasury debt shows that there have been far more sellers than buyers for more than the past six months, a strong sign that bond prices are destined to decline in the near term. For the past eight weeks, Treasury bond prices have indeed been generally declining (i.e. interest rates have been rising). The U.S. government is almost certain to intervene again, as the Treasury debt is the most important in the world, and whose collapse could wreak havoc across the global financial system.

The problem is that the U.S. government is going to have to float massive additional amounts of new Treasury debt in order to immediately finance the second $350 billion of the bank bailouts and the nearly trillion dollars for the new so-called "economic stimulus" program. If almost everyone else is selling and the U.S. Treasury is the primary buyer of its own outstanding bonds, who is going to buy the newly issued debt?

Non-precious metals prices may have also passed their bottom. The price of copper recently jumped as much as 10 percent in a single day, for example.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is so busy with the crisis over President Obama's "economic stimulus" program that he announced Monday he would have to delay dealing with the U.S. banking crisis.

In an interview on released Monday, Marc Gugeri, the Fund Manager and Advisor to both Gold 2000 Ltd and the Julius Baer Gold Equity Fund, was asked about the price of gold. He stated, "The majority of investors purchase Paper-(Gold)-Futures at the COMEX. The sellers or counterparties of those Gold-Futures are just a few dominant players. Some of them have an in-official close link to the U.S. government. So far most of the investors didn't exercise the gold futures and have accepted cash instead of physical settlement. This is about to change. I believe that the COMEX will default and the entire paper gold market will 'crash' and gold could rise very quickly to 2,000 [or] 3,000 U.S. dollars. When this happens it will be too late to exercise or to try purchasing physical gold."

It normally is rare to find such doom-and-gloom commentary appearing in general financial circles. It is even more uncommon for commentators to reveal that some of the dominant players in the gold market have a close link to the U.S. government or that the price of gold could soon double or triple. Lately, mainstream financial analysts have been much more willing to talk about gold, to recommend owning gold for having better appreciation prospects than other assets, and to specifically recommend purchasing physical gold rather than shares in gold exchange traded funds or gold "certificates."

The tide has been turning toward gold for the past eight years, partly because it has been one of the top performing of all asset classes. Still, the proportion of Americans who own gold is minuscule - estimates I have seen range from only 3-9 percent of all U.S. investors. There is much more room for future appreciation despite how far prices have already climbed this decade.

The money supply of all of the world's major currencies is now increasing by 10-30 percent annually. With the gold supply increasing by less than 2 percent annually, it is a virtual certainty that all currencies will fall in value against gold.

In the past several weeks, several investment advisors have become more positive about gold because of the relative strength in the price of silver! In the past, silver has led the way for higher precious metals prices, which is just what has been happening so far this year. Late last year, the gold/silver ratio was over 80. Now it is under 70 and falling. I like the prospects for both silver and gold (though I continue to expect silver's price to outperform gold).

Perhaps most telling of all, the February 2009 COMEX gold contract fell into backwardation against the March 2009 contract on Feb. 6 and again on Feb. 9. Last Friday, the February contract price closed at $913.90, while the March contract ended at $913.80. On Monday, the February contract finished at $892.40, while March closed at $892.30. The last time that the COMEX gold contract went into backwardation, where the spot month traded at a higher price than future months, was in 1980. Being only 10 cents higher and only being higher then just the following month may not seem significant, but the fact that this has not occurred since 1980, as the price of gold exploded, could be the clearest sign that gold is due for a major rise soon. (For full disclosure, I note that the less active New York Stock Exchange LIFFE contract for 100 oz of gold closed Feb. 9 at $892.20 for the February contract and $892.30 for the March contract.)

In sum, a variety of factors are coming together very soon that I think will clobber paper asset values even more than they have suffered in the past 20 months. As these troubles mount, as the Managing Director of the IMF and the former president of the World Bank forecast, the prospects for gold look ever better.

Note: at the huge Long Beach Coin show in California last week, a lot of rare coin buyers were taking a wait and see attitude - except for circulated and lower quality mint state US Double Eagles. Between the start and the end of the show for instance, the wholesale price of the Mint State-62 $20 Liberty jumped almost 6%, even as the gold spot price fell slightly! Supplies of these and other lower-premium U.S. gold coins were the lowest I have seen in more than 20 years attending this show!

Russia Today Interviews Gerald Celente

Gerald Celente

In 2009 we’re going to see the worst economic collapse ever, the ‘Greatest Depression’, says Gerald Celente, U.S. trend forecaster. He believes it’s going to be very violent in the U.S., including there being a tax revolt.

RT: The fragile U.S. economy has been met with bank bailouts and stimulus plans. So what’s to come in 2009? Joining me now to answer that question is Gerald Celente, founder and director of the Trends Research Institute. Thank you for joining me.

Gerald Celente: My pleasure.

RT: How would you define the economic trend that you have forecasted for 2009?

G.C.: We’re going to see the economic collapse the likes of which the world has never seen before. It’s not only in the United States; it’s going global. At the end of 2008 we saw Christmas retail sales: women’s apparel down 23%; home furnishings and electronics off 27%; luxury items down 35%. These are Depression Era collapses. We saw major bankruptcies, such as retailers Circuit City and Linens and Things. One bankruptcy after another. Then we saw store closings. Starbucks, Home D&D Power and down the line.

The question becomes who is going to take all of the vacant retail space? Who is going to rent it? The answer is - nobody. Now we look at the financial collapse in 2008, we saw the Merrill Lynch mob go under the bed and the Lehman boys went bankrupt. You saw bond companies, brokerage firms, and banks go belly up. Who is going to rent all the vacant commercial business space that they used to occupy? The answer is - nobody. The commercial real estate collapse that’s going to happen in 2009 is going to dwarf the residential real estate collapse.

RT: You use the Great Depression as an analogy, as a comparison. During the Great Depression unemployment was 25%. Now it has increased, it’s I think over 7.2. Is that number going to get much, much bigger?

G.C.: We have to look at the real number. There are two sets of books that the government keeps. When they measure up unemployment they don’t add in the people who are no longer looking for jobs because they have become discouraged since they cannot find employment after looking so long. And they don’t include part-time workers. When you put that number into it, the number is 13.7%. And that’s a government number. And this is just beginning. And again, current events form future trends.

What did we see? We saw in one day some 61,000 jobs evaporate off the map. You’re going to see Great Depression numbers. Because, as I mentioned, with this commercial real estate collapse, all of these retail stores closing, like Starbucks and Macy’s, you go down the line. You look not only at people who work for these places that no longer have jobs, but how about all the supportive industries - the advertising, the manufacturers, the products. They’re going to be laying off people as well. We’re going to see Great Depression numbers. In that effect, this is going to be worse than the Great Depression.

RT: What are we going to see happening to the society, to people’s day-to-day lives in terms of how they treat one another, how they behave, crime?

G.C.: When I say it’s going to be worse than the Great Depression, we call it the Greatest Depression. By the way, to be using 1930s models to get the U.S. out of this is really stupid. Back then when we first crashed most people didn’t have homes. There was no such thing as home equity loan. And back then, people didn’t have credit cards. The consumer wasn’t 14 trillion dollars in debt. We had a manufacturing base that built the world out of the Great Depression following World War Two. We no longer have that.

Now people are at the edge. They’re stressed out. Look, the Americans are the most depressed nation on the world already. They take more antidepressant drugs than anybody, plus the other kinds of drugs that they are taking. You’re going to see crime levels in America that are going to rival the third world. Welcome Mexico City. You’re going to start seeing people being kidnapped in this country like they do in other underdeveloped nations. So it’s going to be very violent in America.

RT: You’re not exaggerating?

G.C.: I’m not exaggerating, the facts are there. I have a saying: when people lose everything and they have nothing to lose, they lose it. You’re going to see people saying, off with their heads. There’s going to be another revolution in this country.

RT: When will this revolution that you have forecasted in your Trends journal happen and what will ignite it?

G.C.: It’s going to be a tax revolt. We’re going to start seeing a tax revolt in the United States. People are one job away from losing everything. We’re seeing more and more closures, people are being laid off. People are stretched to the limits. And what do they do in New York State? Some130 new taxes are being proposed, they’re raising sales taxes. There’s going to be a tax revolt in this country from property taxes first and school taxes second. That’s what we’re going to see start to happen.

RT: Do you feel people are not hopeful that Obama will make a difference?

G.C.: People are hopeful, they are desperate and they are fearful. And they’ll hang on to anything. Let’s look at the facts. A man of change, who did he bring into Washington? You know they say by their deeds you shall know them. Let’s look at his Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, former Robert Rubin from the Clinton administration, the former president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank. Change? How about Larry Summers, the former Clinton Secretary of Treasury? I mean, I’ve been around a long time. I never remember a newly elected president bringing in basically the national security team from the last administration who happen to be from another party.

RT: Do you not think Obama’s different in any way?

G.C.: By their deeds you shall know them! If I bring in a baseball hitter that strikes out every time and I want him to play in the World Series is he going to hit the ball over the fence? They brought in Larry Summers, Timothy Geithner. Look at the crew. Look who they are. They’re strike out artists, every one of them. The only thing that they know how to do is not to get their finger nails dirty.

RT: There was a sentence in your report, the Trends Journal, that really caught my attention. You wrote: ‘On 9/11, those who listened to the authorities and returned to their offices went down with the towers.’ So are you saying that Americans should not be listening to the officials who are saying the Stimulus Plans are going to make everything better? Is that the analogy?

G.C.: Read my lips. No new taxes. I didn’t have sex with that woman, Monica Lewinski.
I smoked but I didn’t inhale. Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction and ties to Al-Qaeda. Why would anybody believe these people?

RT: So what are Americans supposed to do if they’re not supposed to trust their leaders?

G.C.: Personally, I buy gold. And I’ve been talking about gold since the Trends Journal 2001. We peg the bottom and we said it would start going up at 275. Number two, you don’t spend a dime you don’t need to spend.

RT: What would be the good jobs to benefit from in this year?

G.C.: Anything having to do with health. Anything. It’s going to be a growth industry. And fortunately a lot of them are going to pay a lot of money in that field because a lot of that is going to be care for the elderly. And the other thing really is anything having to do with conservation engineers, anything that’s going to prove technologically sound and smart to save money and to make money.

RT: What about geopolitics, what trends are we going to see in terms of the relationships between the United States and the rest of the world?

G.C.: Well the rest of the world is very hopeful, using the word ‘hope’, with the Obama administration. And again, we’re going to have to see what transpires, but so far, and again, by their deeds you shall know them.

Obama, when he first started to run, he was going to be out of Iraq. As soon as he became president he was going to start bringing soldiers home. Now they won’t be out for 16 months and now their reports say they’re going to bring upwards of 40,000 more troops to Afghanistan. He was also talking about preventive strikes in Pakistan. So it really doesn’t look like it’s going to be much of a smoothing of geopolitical relations.

The one factor we’re looking at, at a time that could only be the worst time for it to happen, is what’s going on in the Middle East, in the Israel-Gaza war. Israel, as they said, they were trying to do as the reports have come out, if they attack Iran at any level, it will begin World War Three. Because if this war spreads beyond Gaza, it’s going to inflame the Middle East. It can cause an oil crisis as we saw in 1973, that’s what ended the Arab-Israeli war when they embargoed oil going into the U.S. That’s our major concern. We’re also seeing, and we’re going to wonder, if Obama continues with putting the so-called missile defense shield in Poland and in Czech Republic in Eastern Europe and if they keep pushing more and more into Georgia. If that keeps happening we’re going to see a reignition of the Cold War.

RT: You have been trend casting since 1980, more than two decades. How do you compile your information and why do you believe you’ve been so spot-on most of the time?

G.C.: Current events form future trends. You can see what’s going on. A great scholar said, “In today already walks tomorrow.” So we say current events form future trends. But when people look at the trends, they colour them or shade them with their own ideology, their own beliefs. It’s what they want, what they hope for, what they wish for.

I’m a political atheist. I look at things for the way they are, not the way I want them to be. I don’t colour them or try to change them because of an ideology. The other major factor that we do differently at Trends Research Institute than anywhere else is we look at over 300 different categories on a global basis. So we’re looking at economics, we’re looking at politics, we’re looking at changes in the family, we’re looking at geopolitics. We’re making connections between different fields continually.

RT: How can America get out of the situation?

G.C.: All you have to do is to look back to the 1990s when America entered into a recession. We had 7.2 unemployment rate in 1993. What got the U.S. out of the 1990s recession was something called the ‘internet revolution’ that had a productive capacity. Products were invented, designed, manufactured, marketed and serviced. So you’re asking about new jobs, ask about alternative energies. Anything that’s going to advance the U.S. into the 21st century in an intelligent way. That’s where the job opportunities are going to be.

RT: Gerald Celente, founder of the Trends Research Institute, thank you very much for taking time to speak with us.

G.C.: My pleasure.