DUDE: “Saudi policeman lashes amnesty applicants with belt”

And that’s not my headline: that’s the Saudi newspaper’s.

A Saudi policeman was caught on camera using his belt to beat expatriates at an immigration department after they packed its offices to benefit from an amnesty announced by the Gulf Kingdom for illegal migrants.

Newspapers said a YouTube film showing the officer beating men and shoving women out of the department in the Western Red Sea port of Jeddah has triggered public furor across the country and prompted the suspension of the cop involved.

Saudi Minister of Interior Prince Mohammed bin Nayef bin Abdul Aziz, a brother of King Abdullah, ordered an investigation into the incident and the “immediate suspension of the officer” after seeing the film, Alsaudeh Arabic language daily said.

It quoted a department spokesman as saying the behavior of the officer is “unacceptable and unjustified.”

Wait just a second, Hoss: you mean to say that the Saudis don’t have open borders? Or driver’s licenses for illegals? Food stamps and welfare? Free health care?

Could someone please email John McCain and Lindsey Graham?

Doug Ross @ Journal

Damascus threatens to launch “strategic” attack against Israel. Assad buying missiles from Russia. Requests 20 million rounds of ammunition.

This image made from video shows Syrian President Bashar Assad during an interview broadcast on Al-Manar Television on Thursday, May 30, 2013. (AP Photo/Al-Manar Television via AP video)

This image made from video shows Syrian President Bashar Assad during an interview broadcast on Al-Manar Television on Thursday, May 30, 2013. (AP Photo/Al-Manar Television via AP video)

Is Damascus counting down to the moment when it will launch a massive attack against the State of Israel using “strategic” weapons that could include weapons of mass destruction? That’s what Syrian President Bashar Assad appears to be signaling. The question is whether this is a bluff, or the prelude to all-out war with Israel.

My sense at the moment is that it’s a bluff. Assad’s steadily losing ground in his battle with the Radical Islamic rebels trying to take over Syria. He’s also losing ground in the court of international public opinion. It’s not surprising that he would want to talk tough at such a moment.

That said, the Russians appear to be selling Syria highly sophisticated missile systems and other types of weaponry. Indeed, Damascus has requested 20 million rounds of ammunition. Iran and Hezbollah are working around the clock to strengthen Assad’s hand. Not surprisingly then, Israeli military is on high alert. It’s defense minister is threatening to launch a preemptive strike against these state-of-the-art Russian missiles to keep them from becoming operational. And Israel’s homeland defense agency has been running nationwide drills to get people ready for the possibility of a missile attack from Syria, not unlike the one I write about fictionally in Damascus Countdown.

“Syrian President Bashar Assad said in an interview broadcast Thursday that he is ‘confident in victory’ in his country’s civil war, and he warned that Damascus would retaliate for any future Israeli airstrike on his territory,” reports the Associated Press, based on a TV interview on the Al-Manar network. ”Assad also told the Lebanese TV station Al-Manar that Russia has fulfilled some of its weapons contracts recently, but he was vague on whether this included advanced S-300 air defense systems.”

“The comments were in line with a forceful and confident message the regime has been sending in recent days, even as the international community attempts to launch a peace conference in Geneva, possibly next month,” the AP noted. “The strong tone coincided with recent military victories in battles with armed rebels trying to topple him….”

“Taking a tough line, he also warned that Syria would strike back hard against any future Israeli airstrike,” AP reported. “Earlier this month, Israel had struck near Damascus, targeting suspected shipments of advanced weapons purportedly intended for Hezbollah. Syria did not respond at the time. Assad said he has informed other countries that Syria would respond next time. ‘If we are going to retaliate against Israel, this retaliation should be a strategic response,’ he said.”

In the article, the news service noted that “earlier this week, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said Israel considered the S-300s in Syrian hands a threat and signaled it was prepared to use force to stop delivery. Israel had no comment Thursday. The S-300s have a range of up to 200 kilometers (125 miles) and can track and strike multiple targets at once. Syria already possesses Russian-made air defenses. The U.S. and Israel had urged Russia to cancel the sale, but Russia rejected the appeals.”

>> Read Damascus Countdown, the New York Times best-selling novel.

>> To learn more about the work of The Joshua Fund — and/or to provide a tax-deductible contribution to this work — please visit www.joshuafund.net.

Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

When Collapse Happens: “Everyone Took Everything. It Was Like A Storm…”

Editor’s Note: The following article has been generously contributed by Selco. He has experienced the ‘S’ hitting the fan for real, and lived through one year of hell during the Balkan war, where the only concern you had on a daily basis was surviving through to tomorrow. He has documented his experiences at his web site and in must-read articles like A Survival Q & A: Living Through SHTF In the Middle of A War Zone and Advice from a Collapse Survivor

He currently offers his online course One Year In Hell to subscribers and provides a detailed account of his life in the middle of a war zone, what he did to survive when his city was cut off from the rest of the world by an occupying military force, and what you can do to prepare yourself physically and mentally for similar events should they come to pass. 

Selco lives in the Balkan region and regularly shares his perspective on preparedness via his blog at SHTF School.

What Will People Need: Some Thoughts on Preparing for Bartering
by Selco

Bartering AmmunitionBuying stuff for your SHTF storage is good of course, and buying it the smart way so you can save some money is always welcome since most of us are not multimillionaires.

But have you ever thought about buying things for SHTF scenarios in some not so “regular” ways? It will save you money, but maybe even more important is that it will prepare you and show you how finding and buying stuff will probably look when the SHTF for real.

I am not advising you to do anything that might be against the law, I am simply gonna give you examples how I find some things. It is up to you how you or if you use any of it.

Have it when you do not need it (have it before you need it)

One of the most basic rules in preparing and acquiring things for SHTF is that you need to have it before you need it. You may think “oh, but it is so obvious.” Yes and no. Sometimes it is not. When SHTF you may find out that it is very important to have, for example, tetanus shots updated, but then it may be too late. You need to fix that before SHTF.

Simply, if you are going to look for the tetanus shots when SHTF, the price can be high. In every SHTF scenario anywhere in the world there is gonna be people who are gonna make a fortune and increase power by having the stuff that most of the other folks do not have, because it was not so obvious that it was going to be needed.

Ways to obtain things

Things can be bought in many ways. Some of them are illegal so no advice, just examples.

I buy my fuel from guys who sell it not from the gas station, I buy it always from the same guys so in that way they do not find it useful to cross me with adding strange stuff inside in order to make more money. Repeat customer is good customer.

Where do they get it? I do not know, and I do not want to know. But some examples would be that they are just dealers for the big guy who wants to “go across” some tax expenses, or they buying it as “agricultural” fuel etc. I do not ask. Is it illegal? Yes. Have I seen and did worse things than that? Yea, sure. Survival.

Ways to buy things do not necessarily need to be illegal, but it can be just strange and something other than you are used to. In that way you are just preparing yourself for finding things when SHTF.

It’s like practice for getting things directly from people. Why not start now and tell neighbors what you can get for them cheaply and ask them if they have connection to some stuff too?

I know people in different areas of life. So I know guys from local politics and guys from local small gangs. I like to keep my ear on ground as part of preparation for coming SHTF. Money is short here and during the [Balkan] war people got used to getting stuff through other people, so the same system still works.

I also often trade for something when it makes sense. I use my preps and trade two pairs of police boots for new jacket, for example.

What things do I need?

Do not think only about “what things do I need?” Feel free to think about “what things do other people need,” because you are going to be trading.

Look around you and keep in mind when the SHTF, the term “useful thing” takes on a whole new meaning. You’ll see ( I did) that for some people it is a priority to loot malls and take a TV set, stereo or something similar.

I saw few guys in the first days of chaos rolling 4 new car tires from a looted mall. They were laughing, very happy because they thought they made good “deal” with that. I guess pretty soon they realized that those 4 tires were worth one pocket knife or something similar.

Smarter folks, or you can say people with “vision,” look for the weapons, food or similar useful stuff.

The important thing to understand is that everyone took everything. It was like a storm. As time passed by and when everything “more useful” was gone, people took everything else, like pieces of shelves where stuff was kept. People find uses for that too.

For example, when SHTF I expect people to smash parking machines for the money inside. I am not gonna care for the worthless coins inside, but those machines work thanks to a small solar panels installed on the pole above it. I would go for the panels that most of the folks won’t notice at all.

Small things were always useful to trade. Also some bigger “invented” things had a good price, like small wood stoves made from cans or pressure cookers. Pretty soon people who were skilled made good trade with handmade portable wood stoves.

Maybe you can find something to build with empty cans or other waste products?

People tried to trade everything so you could see some funny stuff too. I wrote in another post about the old FM radio taped to some huge batteries handmade from other sized batteries and taped together. Or homemade teas guaranteed to cure something mixed from different kind of plants.

Of course scams were everywhere and you needed to be very cautious.

It was always better to have more small things to trade then bigger bulkier stuff. Easier to carry and easier to sell. Candles, batteries, lighters, canned food, spices, small tools, pocket knives…

What more you can do today

Of course preppers look for discounts and wholesale, yard sales and similar chances to save money. But you also need to think about practicing bargaining.

I am buying lot of things at the local flea market or through people I know. You can find lot of things on flea markets, and if you look hard enough you can find stuff that doesn’t  usually belong there.

Few rules :

  • Never act like you really need the thing you want to buy (let it be your second choice for example)
  • Split money in more pockets when you bargaining (do not bargain with a hand full of money)
  • Many times seller will set the price based on how he sees you in that moment. So of course do not show off any symbol of wealth.

Also remember that buying things at the flea market (in your case maybe a yardsale or similar) is very good practice for trade in SHTF conditions simply because the act of negotiating is similar.

Prices are not fixed (they are more a thing of opportunity and skills). The way you look, act and talk can sometimes be more important than how much money (value) you have in your pocket.

Remember that when SHTF a lot of things can be valuable; things that you usually would not even notice in normal life.

For example when SHTF, batteries and candles had big value. The reasons are, of course, because people are still used to commodity of light at night, using it in every room etc.

But very soon folks realized that candles are something like luxury. So for example, if you wanted to read book you would read it by daylight, or people in the house simply gathered in one room under the light of one candle in order to spare the others.

So, the value of candles went high in beginning and then went down [as behavior changed].

So if you planned to make some big success with something for trade it can be said that you need to choose the correct time. Some things have the same high value almost all the time, like coffee or cigarettes.

Other things gain value over the time, multiple times [their original] value. Stuff like some seeds, plants and knowledge about plants like teas, and herbs for healing etc.

The point is, if you offered at the beginning stage of SHTF homemade teas as a remedies for something you would not have big success, because people did not believe that SHTF gonna last too long, or in other cases people still had some stash of antibiotics, painkillers etc.

After a few months passed and people realized the SHTF is gonna last for a longer period, and there were no doctors, no hospitals, and diseases were spreading, then of course those home made remedies suddenly became popular and at the same time much more expensive.

I have more examples about trading in my survival course.

So small things that are kinda ridiculously cheap in normal times and normal life become important, which equals expensive.

One more example would be flints for lighters.

Things like these are very important if you stash many things in order to do much trading to make life easier when SHTF.

Point is to carefully observe which things have what kind of value, and more importantly, what things have a chance to multiple their value in a few weeks or months.

I even knew guy who make small necklaces for luck, you know kinda of small metal on rope and if you carry that all the time you can be sure that bullet gonna miss you. He was something like a monk. He traded that for food and it worked.

When times are desperate people do and trust in lot of things.

This article has been made available by Selco of SHTF School

Check out his One Year In Hell Online Course in which he provides a detailed account of his life in the middle of a war zone, what he did to survive when his city was cut off from the rest of the world by an occupying military force, and what you can do to prepare yourself physically and mentally for similar events should they come to pass. 

SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You

CONGRATULATIONS, ILLINOIS! 15.7 Percent of State Population Now on Food Stamps!

If Democrats weren’t in power, they’d be useful only as comic relief. Their Utopian plans always fail, their centralized governmental structures always collapse under their own weight, and their level of economic illiteracy is worthy of a sit-com.

Detroit being a case in point; it serves as an excellent preview of coming attractions for the state of Illinois.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), over two million Illinoisans– or 15.7 percent of the state’s population- are currently enrolled in food stamps… Illinois was the only state to see a double-digit increase of the number of residents enrolled in the SNAP program from the same time period last year.

The United States Census Bureau’s latest data shows the population of Illinois sitting at 12,875,255 people. If you take the number of residents on food stamps (2,023,635) and divide it by the population of the state (12,875,255), it shows 15.7 percent of Illinoisans are dependent on food stamps.

a record number of households–1 out of every 5– are now on food stamps. Food stamp rolls in America have also recently surpassed the population of Spain and the cost of food stamp fraud has more than doubled in just three years.

A fiscal collapse for Illinois would be the preferred outcome. Then maybe the taxpayers would wake up and stop voting for the Democrat crooks who have destroyed every level of government in the state.

Hat tip: Weasel Zippers.

Doug Ross @ Journal

HOLY CRAP: 400-year old zombie plant returns from the dead

Rejected headline: New hope for frozen ice dude from 5,000 years ago.

400-year old zombie plant returns from the dead

On an annual trip to the Arctic, a Canadian scientist spotted some moss that had previously been frozen under glaciers for about 400 years. When she took the plant back to the lab, she wondered if it could be brought back to life. Yes, yes it could.

University of Alberta biologist Catherine La Farge and her colleagues go on annual trips to the Teardrop glacier on Ellesmere Island, located in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.

In the past few years, she’s watched the glacier retreat, exposing rock, mud and ancient moss that had been buried under the ice since the Little Ice Age, which lasted from 1550 to 1850, Sheila Pratt reported in the Edmonton Journal.

La Farge specializes in studying ancient moss, a type of plant called bryophytes. Usually, the moss under the ice looks black and dead, but La Farge noticed some moss near the glacier retreat that was still slightly greenish. She decided to bring it back to the lab, and told the Edmonton Journal that upon closer inspection, she noticed a tiny green stem and decided to see whether the plant could be revived…

…After being ground up and placed in petri dishes with potting soil for several weeks, some of the moss samples did indeed begin growing. A few months later, the dishes were full of the zombie moss. The results of La Farge’s scientific study with her University of Alberta colleagues was just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

These are some super special plants. Unlike most land plants we know, bryophytes lack the vascular tissue that helps pump fluids around different parts of the organism, the BBC News reported. Instead, they reproduce by cloning their cells — and all you really need to keep it going is one.

The fact that these plants could come back after being frozen for hundreds of years has some intense implications. Scientists are studying bryophytes for potential medical use, and La Farge suggested sending some to Mars to see how the moss fares there.

I don’t know about that “take the plants to Mars and let ’em grow” idea. The phrase unintended consequences seems explicitly designed for scenarios like that one.

Hat tip: BadBlue Tech News.

Doug Ross @ Journal