Tenth Amendment Center: The Anti-Commandeering Doctrine

Mike Maharrey at the Tenth Amendment Center discusses The Anti-Commandeering Doctrine and its use to combat federal overreach.

The anti-commandeering doctrine provides a powerful tool to undermine overreaching, unconstitutional federal power. So, what is this doctrine? What is it based upon? And how can it be used as an effective tool for liberty?

How Do We Confront Federal Overreach?

Most people assume the feds have the final say. When Uncle Sam says jump, states and local government simply ask, “How high?” But given that the federal government was intended to limit its actions to constitutionally delegated powers and all other authority was left “to the states and the people” per the Tenth Amendment, how do we hold the federal government in check? How do we stop it from exercising powers not delegated?

This isn’t a new question. In fact, those skeptical of the Constitution raised it during the ratification debates. James Madison answered it in Federalist #46.

In his blueprint for resisting federal power, Madison offered a number of actions, but most significantly, he suggested that a “refusal to cooperate with officers of the union” would impede federal overreach.

“Should an unwarrantable measure of the federal government be unpopular in particular States, which would seldom fail to be the case, or even a warrantable measure be so, which may sometimes be the case, the means of opposition to it are powerful and at hand. The disquietude of the people; their repugnance and, perhaps refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union, the frowns of the executive magistracy of the State; the embarrassment created by legislative devices, which would often be added on such occasions, would oppose, in any State, very serious impediments; and were the sentiments of several adjoining States happen to be in Union, would present obstructions which the federal government would hardly be willing to encounter.” [Emphasis added]

What Is the Anti-Commandeering Doctrine?

Anti-commandeering is a longstanding Supreme Court doctrine. In a nutshell, the anti-commandeering doctrine prohibits the federal government from “commandeering” state personnel or resources for federal purposes.

In effect, the federal government is constitutionally prohibited from requiring states to use their personnel or resources to enforce federal laws or implement federal programs. State and local governments cannot directly block federal agents from enforcing federal laws or implementing federal programs, but they do not have to cooperate with the feds in any way. For instance, a local sheriff cannot block ATF agents from enforcing a federal gun law, but the ATF cannot force the sheriff’s office to participate in the enforcement effort.

Which Supreme Court Cases support the Anti-Commandeering Doctrine?

The anti-commandeering doctrine rests on five landmark cases, the first dating back to 1842.

Prigg v. Pennsylvania (1842), Justice Joseph Story held that the federal government could not force states to implement or carry out the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793. He said that it was a federal law, and the federal government ultimately had to enforce it:

The fundamental principle applicable to all cases of this sort, would seem to be, that where the end is required, the means are given; and where the duty is enjoined, the ability to perform it is contemplated to exist on the part of the functionaries to whom it is entrusted. The clause is found in the national Constitution, and not in that of any state. It does not point out any state functionaries, or any state action to carry its provisions into effect. The states cannot, therefore, be compelled to enforce them; and it might well be deemed an unconstitutional exercise of the power of interpretation, to insist that the states are bound to provide means to carry into effect the duties of the national government, nowhere delegated or instrusted to them by the Constitution

New York v. United States (1992) the Court held that the regulations in the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Amendment Act of 1985 were coercive and violated the sovereignty of New York, holding that “because the Act’s take title provision offers the States a ‘choice’ between the two unconstitutionally coercive alternatives–either accepting ownership of waste or regulating according to Congress’ instructions–the provision lies outside Congress’ enumerated powers and is inconsistent with the Tenth Amendment.

Sandra Day O’Connor wrote for the majority in the 6-3 decision:

As an initial matter, Congress may not simply “commandee[r] the legislative processes of the States by directly compelling them to enact and enforce a federal regulatory program.”

She later expounded on this point.

While Congress has substantial powers to govern the Nation directly, including in areas of intimate concern to the States, the Constitution has never been understood to confer upon Congress the ability to require the States to govern according to Congress’ instructions.

Printz v. United States (1997) serves as the lynchpin for the anti-commandeering doctrine. At issue was a provision in the Brady Gun Bill that required county law enforcement officers to administer part of the background check program. Sheriffs Jay Printz and Richard Mack sued, arguing these provisions unconstitutionally forced them to administer a federal program. Justice Antonin Scalia agreed, writing in the majority opinion “it is apparent that the Brady Act purports to direct state law enforcement officers to participate, albeit only temporarily, in the administration of a federally enacted regulatory scheme.”

Citing the New York case, the court majority declared this provision of the Brady Gun Bill unconstitutional, expanding the reach of the anti-commandeering doctrine.

We held in New York that Congress cannot compel the States to enact or enforce a federal regulatory program.

Today we hold that Congress cannot circumvent that prohibition by conscripting the States’ officers directly. The Federal Government may neither issue directives requiring the States to address particular problems, nor command the States’ officers, or those of their political subdivisions, to administer or enforce a federal regulatory program. It matters not whether policymaking is involved, and no case-by-case weighing of the burdens or benefits is necessary; such commands are fundamentally incompatible with our constitutional system of dual sovereignty.

Independent Business v. Sebelius (2012), the Court held that the federal government cannot compel states to expand Medicaid by threatening to withhold funding for Medicaid programs already in place. Justice Robert Kennedy argued that allowing Congress to essentially punish states that refused to go along violates constitutional separation of powers.

The legitimacy of Congress’s exercise of the spending power “thus rests on whether the State voluntarily and knowingly accepts the terms of the ‘contract.’ ” Pennhurst, supra, at 17. Respecting this limitation is critical to ensuring that Spending Clause legislation does not undermine the status of the States as independent sovereigns in our federal system. That system “rests on what might at first seem a counterintuitive insight, that ‘freedom is enhanced by the creation of two governments, not one.’ ” Bond, 564 U. S., at     (slip op., at 8) (quoting Alden v. Maine, 527 U. S. 706, 758 (1999) ). For this reason, “the Constitution has never been understood to confer upon Congress the ability to require the States to govern according to Congress’ instructions.” New York, supra, at 162. Otherwise the two-government system established by the Framers would give way to a system that vests power in one central government, and individual liberty would suffer.

Murphy v. NCAA (2018), the Court held that Congress can’t take any action that “dictates what a state legislature may and may not do” even when the state action conflicts with federal law. Samuel Alito wrote, “a more direct affront to state sovereignty is not easy to imagine.” He continued:

The anticommandeering doctrine may sound arcane, but it is simply the expression of a fundamental structural decision incorporated into the Constitution, i.e., the decision to withhold from Congress the power to issue orders directly to the States … Conspicuously absent from the list of powers given to Congress is the power to issue direct orders to the governments of the States. The anticommandeering doctrine simply represents the recognition of this limit on congressional authority.

Taken together, these five cases firmly establish a legal doctrine holding that the federal government has no authority to force states to participate in implementing or enforcing its acts.

Madison’s advice in Federalist #46, supported by the anti-commandeering doctrine, provides a powerful tool that states can use against federal acts and regulatory programs.

Can’t the Federal Government Punish Wayward States By Cutting Funding?

In simple terms, the federal government cannot use funding to coerce states to take a desired action. Independent Business v. Sebelius directly addressed this issue.

The federal government can withhold funding related to any action that a state refuses to take, but with some significant limitations and caveats. For instance, if the state refuses to enforce federal marijuana laws, the federal government can possibly cut some funding relating to drug enforcement. But it cannot cut unrelated funding to punish the state. In other words, Congress couldn’t cut education funding to punish a state for not cooperating with marijuana prohibition.

How Do We Determine What Is or Isn’t Constitutional? Isn’t that the Supreme Court’s Job?

The short answer is it doesn’t matter. Constitutionality isn’t part of the equation. The anti-commandeering doctrine doesn’t depend on a finding of constitutionality. States can refuse to provide personnel or resources for any federal activity regardless of its constitutionality. The utilization of state recourses, funds and personnel are totally at the discretion of the state government.

Will This Strategy Work?

The federal government relies heavily on state cooperation to implement and enforce almost all of its laws, regulations and acts. By simply withdrawing this necessary cooperation, states and localities can nullify many federal actions in effect. As noted by the National Governors’ Association during the partial government shutdown of 2013, “states are partners with the federal government on most federal programs.”

Partnerships don’t work too well when half the team quits. By withdrawing all resources and participation in federal law enforcement efforts and program implementation, states, and even local governments, can effectively bring the federal actions to an end.

Consider the 36 states that have legalized marijuana despite federal prohibition.

The legalization of marijuana in a state removes a layer of laws prohibiting the possession and use of marijuana even though federal prohibition would remain in effect. This is significant because FBI statistics show that law enforcement makes approximately 99 of 100 marijuana arrests under state, not federal law. When states stop enforcing marijuana laws, they sweep away most of the basis for 99 percent of marijuana arrests.

Furthermore, figures indicate it would take 40 percent of the DEA’s yearly-budget just to investigate and raid all of the dispensaries in Los Angeles – a single city in a single state. That doesn’t include the cost of prosecution. The lesson? The feds lack the resources to enforce marijuana prohibition without state assistance.

The same is true for virtually every federal action, from gun control, to Obamacare, to FDA mandates. The federal government depends on the states. And the states don’t have to cooperate.

AYWtGS: Water Woes – How to Set Up a Portable Bathroom in an Emergency

A Year Without the Grocery Store talks about Water Woes – How to Set Up a Portable Bathroom in an Emergency. Being prepared and having a backup works for small events, like frozen pipes, as well as larger disasters.

Three years ago this week – Actually, on January 1st of 2018, I rolled out of bed and headed to the bathroom.  After “using the facilities” I flushed the toilet and went to wash my hands, but when I turned the faucet to the ‘open’ position, some sputtering water came out followed by nothing but air.

Water Woes - How to Set up a Portable BathroomYes, on January 1st, we found out that our pipes had frozen.  But. . . I was ready.  Awhile before, I had purchased everything that I needed to set up a portable bathroom.  Today, I want to walk you through the relatively easy process of making sure that you have what you need to set up a portable bathroom.  I’ll also share some tips and tricks on how to make it function more efficiently (and be less stinky).

***There are links in this post.  Some of the links may be affiliate links. My promise to you is that I will only recommend the most economical version of the best quality of items to serve you. All of these are the items that I have bought for my own family.  If you click on a link, your price will remain the same.  If you make a purchase, we may make a small commission that aids in the cost of the running of this website.***

Main parts of a Portable Bathroom System

There are two main parts to a portable bathroom – a portable toilet and a handwashing station.

Portable Toilet  Water Woes - How to Set up a Portable Bathroom

Getting ready to set up a portable toilet is fairly easy.

1.)  Find a place to put your portable bathroom.

On both instances that we had to set up our portable toilet, we have always used our main floor half-bath.  There is usually enough room to put a 5-6 gallon bucket where our legs would normally be with room around the outside to be able to step around it to get to the door.  If you don’t have anything like this, you could use the main larger bathroom in the house, or even the master bath.

If, however, you are completely devoid of any of these options,  you can work outside the box a bit.  There is such a thing as a pop-up privacy tent.  These are usually used for showers or portable toilets while camping.   You could set one of these up in an out-of-the-way room, but be warned, it won’t smell the best despite some suggestions that I will make later to keep the stench down.

2.)  Source your FREE 5-6 gallon bucket. 

Did you know that most grocery stores that have in-house bakeries will give away their frosting buckets (some of which are 5-6 gallons) for free?  So the next time that you’re in a grocery store that has a bakery, walk over and ask them if they have any empty frosting buckets that they are willing to give away.  Or you could even call ahead and ask for the bakery so that you can find out BEFORE you go whether or not they have any frosting buckets available at that moment.  Several bakeries have told me that they throw them out at the end of the day on the day that they empty them.

Once you get it home, you will have to clean it with warm soapy water – and maybe a smidge of bleach to get the residue out of it.  Once it’s clean and dried, you’re ready to use it when the need arises.

If, however, you prefer not to get free buckets, you can get cheap ones from any hardware store.  If you ONLY intend to use them for a portable toilet, you don’t need to bother with getting food-grade buckets.  Home Depot and Lowe’s both carry non-food grade buckets in their stores at reasonable prices.

Water Woes - How to Set up a Portable Toilet
Photo Credit: Amazon.com

3.)  Purchase your toilet seat and heavy-duty trashcan liners.

I purchased my snap-on toilet seat from Amazon, but I didn’t feel the need to purchase specialized “Doodie bags” or trash bags that are marketed to collect human waste.  We just used regular heavy-duty trash bags from Costco.

4.)  Purchase kitty litter or gather an alternative.

Kitty Litter?  Yes, kitty litter!  You need something that (1) will absorb liquid waste and (2) will help keep both the liquid and solid waste from smelling as bad as it otherwise would.  Kitty litter does passably at both of these.  It won’t keep it from stinking at all, but it will reduce the stench and will help absorb the liquid that you’ll be adding to the bag.

Don’t like the idea of using kitty litter?  There are other alternatives that you might have laying around for free.  Do you have a fireplace?  Start collecting the ashes in it.  They work fairly well at both absorbing the liquid as well as dealing with the smell.  Pine chips, sawdust, and newspapers torn into small strips also work.

Photo Credit: Amazon.com

Handwashing Station

We’ve covered what you need to be prepared to set up the portable toilet, but what do you need for a handwashing station.  You can go two different routes for this.

First off, you can use hand sanitizer.  And while this works fine if you just need to disinfect your hands, it doesn’t work if you also need to clean solid matter which may have gotten onto your hands from your ‘trip to the loo.’

We prefer to use our five-gallon water jug with a spigot.  This allows us to wash any dirt and debris from our hands after using the ‘facilities.’  But having both hand sanitizer and a five-gallon water jug with a spigot on hand can’t hurt.

Setting up a Portable Bathroom

So besides gathering the items that you need, there are few other points to help you set things up in a way that will serve you well.

In the “portable bathroom”

Whether this is an actual bathroom or a pop-up privy, it works similarly.  When you realize that you need to set up a portable toilet, grab your bucket, trash bags, snap-on lid, and odor fighter.

We double-line our bucket with two Costco heavy-duty trash bags and snap the toilet seat/lid onto the bucket over the two trash bags.

We take one of our glass bowls and fill it with kitty litter or ash and keep it in the sink.  If you are using a pop-up privy, then you’ll want something on which you can set your bowl – whether it’s just some newspaper on the ground to contain any stray particles or a stool to put it at a level easier to reach. Then we place a scoop of some sort – usually a measuring 1/2 cup into the bowl.  Once the facilities have been utilized, everyone is supposed to put a scoop of our anti-stink medium into the portable toilet.

Outside the Bathroom (or Privy)

Because we keep our bowl of kitty litter or ash in our bathroom sink, and because there isn’t much room on our bathroom sink, we have always placed our water jug with a spigot at the kitchen sink.  Our kitchen sink has always had ample counter space beside the sink on which to set our water jug.  It also allows for the flow of the jug into the sink, so we don’t have to worry about wastewater.

Another added benefit from doing it that way is that we always keep a hand towel near the sink, so we have a towel on which to dry our hands.

The process is a simple one, but if you haven’t thought it through, the first time could be more problematic than if you’d taken steps beforehand to know what you need to purchase and where you need to place it.

A practical benefit that we experienced

So before the incident when our pipes froze, my husband (the wonderful man that he is) only tolerated my prepping.  He acknowledged that at some nebulous day in the future we might have need of an item here or there, but he saw no practical purpose in keeping all this stuff around that we weren’t using on a regular basis.  And at that point, I would have said, “Don’t let me catch you getting him started on my food stash.”

But during Christmas vacation – while his dad was staying with us no less – our pipes froze, he realized that having items on hand was more than helpful.   By investing about $40, I had SAVED us hundreds of dollars.  It took four days for a professional company to figure out how to defrost our pipes so that we could have water.  We would have had to pay for 2 hotel rooms for 3 nights plus all the meals that we would have had to eat out.  It would have easily cost us $700-$1000.

But once he saw how a little money spent beforehand saved us a ton of money on a ‘regular day’ not some nebulous day after society collapses, his tone completely changed.  He went from reluctantly ‘allowing’ me to prep to being completely on board with my prepping.

Not only that, but he has become a driver in our prepping.  If I need something built, he’s right there to do it.  He makes suggestions on what we should do next.  He helps as we look for ways to make ourselves more self-sufficient right where we are.  We are much more of a team than we were before our pipes froze…

Doom and Bloom: Anemia

The Altons at Doom and Bloom Medical talk about Anemia and how to recognize and deal with it in survival situations.

In survival scenarios, there are plenty of occasions where the medic will encounter a group member suffering from anemia. Anemia is a condition in which you lack enough healthy red blood cells in your circulation. Red blood cells are what make your blood, well, red; their job is to carry oxygen to your body’s tissues and carbon dioxide away. If you don’t have enough of these tiny, disc-shaped cells, it can have major effects on your health.

Red cells primarily consist of a protein made in bone marrow called hemoglobin. In men, anemia is typically defined as a hemoglobin level of less than 13.5 gram/100 ml and in women as hemoglobin of less than 12.0 gram/100 ml.

Anemia happens for different reasons. Survivors in a prolonged disaster setting are unaccustomed to being off the grid, and could easily injure themselves and bleed heavily from a wound. This is the most sudden cause of severe anemia, but it can also occur from lack of production due to malnutrition or medical conditions that destroy red blood cells or shortens their life span (normally, about 115-120 days).

Depending on the cause, signs and symptoms of anemia may vary.  If your patient’s case is mild and they’ve had it for a while, their body may have accommodated to the extent that they might not have symptoms. If they do occur, they might include:

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Headache
  • Pale or yellowish skin
  • Cold hands and feet
pale inner eyelid seen in anemia

Simple blood tests could identify the problem, but won’t be available off the grid. Just checking under the lower eyelid, however, may reveal a hemoglobin deficiency. Normally, the inside of the eyelid is light red or pink; in anemia, it’s very pale or yellow. Worse cases can cause major symptoms:

  • Irregular or fast heart rates
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Chest pain

The worse the anemia, the less productive your group member will be, so it’s important to do everything possible to treat it and increase the hemoglobin level.

Iron deficiency is the most common cause of anemia. It’s often seen in women who are or were recently pregnant.  Heavy periods will also cause iron-deficiency anemia. Treatment usually involves oral supplements like ferrous sulfate or ferrous gluconate. The usual dose is 325 mg (65 mg of elemental iron) three times a day. Some complain of intestinal issues at that dose: dark stools, constipation, nausea, and cramps. This can take a lot out of a person, so consider a lower dose or every other day dosing in those afflicted. Be aware that caffeinated beverages may delay iron absorption, while vitamin C at 500 mg promotes it.

In addition to iron, your body needs folate (vitamin B9) and vitamin B12 to produce enough healthy red blood cells. A diet lacking in these and vitamin C can impair the production of red cells. Some people get enough B12 but can’t absorb it due to an autoimmune reaction, causing a condition called “pernicious anemia”.  Special B12 injections are given for this and other conditions.

Anemia can also be related to inflammation. Certain diseases, such as cancers like leukemia and lymphoma, AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis, kidney disease, Crohn’s disease and other inflammatory ailments can lower production of red blood cells or destroy them. For these, you have to treat the main problem, a major challenge for the off-grid medic.

Another group of anemias are known as “hemolytic” (blood disintegraters). They develop when red blood cells are destroyed faster than bone marrow can replace them. You can inherit a hemolytic anemia, or you can develop it later in life.

Sickle cell anemia (sometimes called “sick-as-hell” anemia) is a type of hemolytic anemia. It’s caused by a defective form of hemoglobin that forces red blood cells to assume an abnormal (sickle) shape instead of a disc. These irregular blood cells die prematurely, resulting in a chronic shortage. Patients, often African Americans, go into what we call “crises” that can be very painful when these abnormally shaped cells clog small blood vessels.

Hemolytic anemias can also be caused by certain drugs, which can cause the immune system to mistake your own red blood cells for foreign substances. The body responds by making antibodies to attack and destroy its own cells. Make sure your healthcare provider knows if you take any of these medicines:

  • Cephalosporins like Keflex
  • Fluoroquinolones like Levaquin
  • Penicillins
  • Nitrofurantoin (Macrodantin) and phenazopyridine (Pyridium; used for bladder infections)
  • Levodopa for Parkinson’s disease
  • Dapsone for skin disease
  • Quinidine for irregular heartbeats
  • Methyldopa for high blood pressure
  • Aspirin, ibuprofen, and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Dietary sources of iron may be helpful, so adjust your food storage and survival garden goals accordingly. Eating a diet high in meats, especially red meats, may help. Nonmeat iron sources include:

  • Spinach and other dark green leafy vegetables
  • Peas and certain other legumes like chickpeas
  • Beans
  • Dried fruits, such as prunes, raisins, and apricots

Some foods are Iron-fortified, like certain cereals and breads. Many also have B12 added, as well. Other food sources of B12 are:

  • Meats, such as liver, beef, fish, and poultry
  • Eggs
  • Dairy products

For folic acid:

  • Spinach and other dark green leafy vegetables
  • Black-eyed peas and other dried beans
  • Beef liver
  • Eggs
  • Bananas, oranges, and related fruits and juices

As mentioned earlier, vitamin C is a tool to help absorb iron. Good sources of vitamin C can be found in many fruits as well. Fresh and frozen fruits, vegetables, and juices usually have more vitamin C than canned ones.  Vegetables rich in vitamin C include tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, brussels sprouts, potatoes, and spinach.

Joe Alton MD

Christian Prepper Gal: Back to the Past?

Christian Prepper Gal talks about staying on track for spiritual and physical preparedness in Back to the Past?

We need to learn from history!

 

It is often said that history repeats itself. There are those in today’s society who are trying to erase our history. They want to pretend that it never existed. But the wise know that history is there for us to learn from.

When I was growing up history was boring to me. I had absolutely no interest in it. So, I can sort of see why those people in today’s society would want to ignore it, erase it, and pretend it never happened. But, as an adult I have come to understand why it is important for us to know our history.

Hosea 4:6, My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.

What does this verse have to do with history? Well, with history comes knowledge. Knowledge of how to handle a situation, knowledge of what not to do, knowledge of what to do, knowledge of consequences for our actions (or lack thereof), etc. Not having that knowledge could destroy us, both physically and spiritually.

Even many Christians ignore history. They say we don’t need to store up food to be prepared for what is to come. They say that God will provide. While it is true that God will provide our needs, it is also true that in His providing he has often told His people to prepare themselves for what is to come. A huge example of that in our history is the story of Noah (Genesis 6-8). God warned His people of what was to come but only one man listened to what He was saying. And look what happened. Those who did not listen to God’s warning perished. The one who listened to God’s warning and did what God told him to do to prepare himself and his family lived. How can Christians argue that we do not need to be prepared?!?

As Christians, most of us believe that we are living in the End Times. And sadly, almost as many Christians are not prepared for what will actually happen in the “End Times”. It’s like we are the opposite of the world when it comes to being prepared. We prepare spiritually, but do near to nothing to be prepared physically. Whereas the world (those who are wise enough) will prepare physically, by storing up food and essentials, but do nothing to be prepared spiritually. But, if we look back on the history of our world, we would know that we need to be prepared both spiritually and physically.

If we do not need to also prepare physically by storing food and other provisions, then why did God have Noah prepare food and provisions for his family? Why didn’t God just provide what Noah and his family needed? Wait. He did! By telling Noah what he needed to do to be prepared! This really is deep. Please take a moment to think about it.

Do you remember what happened when the 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic broke out? How the toilet paper disappeared from the store shelves? Quickly followed by hand sanitizers, antibacterial cleaning products, paper towels, flour, yeast, garden seeds, some food products, most survival/emergency foods, and even canning jars and lids? To some that’s already a distant memory. But to me, it is forefront in my mind. Why is that? Because I do not want to forget what happened. I want to remember so that I remember to be prepared in case something like that ever happens again! We experienced and lived through a true SHTF scenario and many people did not even realize it or acknowledge it as being that. It happened so suddenly! And, those who were not prepared were affected the most. While those who were prepared were barely affected by it. Some areas were worse than others. Some countries were worse than others. It could have been worse everywhere. And I thank God it wasn’t. But, we are not out of possible danger from it yet. We are still in the midst of it.

I personally believe that this pandemic was/is a warning of things yet to come. For if we are truly living in the End Times as many believe, there will be many more things that have to happen before our Lord returns to this earth. And, someone will have to live through it. I’m not trying to put fear into anyone by saying this. But, I am doing what God has told me to do and that is to prepare and warn others to do so also. For if we are warned and we listen to and heed said warning then we will be prepared and we will get through whatever it is to come with less suffering. God does not want His children to suffer. But, just as parents warn their children to do or not do something that could harm them, so does our Father in heaven. And in the same way, when our children don’t listen to our warnings they sometimes end up getting hurt, so do we when we do not listen to God’s warnings. And, He’s warning us that we need to be prepared. We need to stock our homes just as Noah filled and stocked the Ark. We need to be prepared physically, just as Noah and his family were prepared physically. Noah was already prepared spiritually, just as many of us are. But, if you are not yet prepared spiritually, then you need to do so. Without being prepared spiritually, all of the preparedness in the world will do no good.

Where was I going with this? That is not a rhetorical question, lol. I got a little sidetracked in my mind. Oh yes…some of us have already forgotten those early days of the pandemic when things were no longer stocked on the shelves of our grocery stores. In our striving to get “back to normal” our minds want to forget what got us in the predicament in the first place. But, please do not forget. Because it was just an example of how we need to be prepared and how things can happen literally overnight.

I know I’ve written this type of blog before. Many times. But, that’s because we need to be reminded often of the need to stay on track with our prepping. It’s easy to forget when things are going well in our lives. Just like it’s easy for some to forget history. But, let’s don’t let history disappear. Let’s be wise and learn from history. Let us be prepared in every way possible for what is yet to come. Because if we truly believe that we are living in the End Times, it will come.

Deuteronomy 31:8, And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.

So, just as we know that there are things yet to come that we don’t know what they will be, let us also know that if we put our trust in Him, He will guide us and direct us in the way He would have us to be prepared. It is my prayer that you are able to hear him Him when He does.

In the Bible, Jesus tells us that the End Times will be “as in the days of Noah” (Matthew 24:37). So let us be as prepared as Noah was; both spiritually and physically (prepping). Let us learn from history, this time by repeating what was done! No, you don’t need to go build an ark. I meant to be prepared by having food and necessities stored, and getting closer to God. 😊

If you have questions about prepping, or just need to talk, I’m here for you. Just fill out the contact form here and I will get back to you via email.

Until next time…happy prepping, and God bless!

John 16:33, These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace.

In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.  

Breitbart: ***Live Updates*** U.S. Capitol Descends into Chaos on Day of Electoral College Certification

Breitbart provides live updates on the chaos in DC.

5:51 P.M. NBC reports that the woman shot earlier in the Capitol building has died.

 

5:50 P.M.

 

5:43 P.M. CNN reports the Capitol building has been secured.

 

5:35 P.M.

 

5:14 P.M.

 

5:06 P.M.

FEE: Minimum Wage Hikes Kick in Across the Country—at the Worst Possible Time for Small Businesses

From the Foundation for Economic Education comes Minimum Wage Hikes Kick in Across the Country—at the Worst Possible Time for Small Businesses. Washington state’s minimum wage rose $0.19 per hour this year. Several states’ wage rose a full dollar, and New Mexico’s minimum wage rose $1.50/hr.

2020 was one of the worst years in modern American history for small businesses. And now, thanks to a wave of minimum wage legislation that kicked in on January 1, things are about to get even worse.

Make no mistake: small business owners are already seriously hurting.

When state and local governments responded to the outbreak of COVID-19 in the spring with harsh lockdowns and restrictions, businesses were forced to shutter. Many in the restaurant and hospitality industry remain shut down many months later, or were briefly allowed to reopen then shut down again this fall. Meanwhile, much of the taxpayer-financed aid meant to help these businesses was instead captured by big corporations or lost to fraud and waste.

To add insult to injury, thousands of small businesses were vandalized and looted during the summer unrest after the death of George Floyd. (No, insurance doesn’t eliminate the harm).

At least 100,000 small businesses that were forced to close in 2020 will not reopen, according to Yelp. In a recent survey, almost 60 percent of small business owners said that they don’t expect their enterprise to survive through June 2021.

Many of these same small businesses teetering on the brink of collapse are about to get slapped in the face with surging labor costs. A total of 20 states had minimum wage hikes take effect this month as part of scheduled ramp-ups.

“New Mexico will see the largest jump, adding $1.50 to its hourly minimum and bringing it up to $10.50,” the Hill reports. “Arkansas, California, Illinois and New Jersey will each increase their minimum wages by $1.”

Additionally, many localities have enacted area-specific minimum wage hikes. For example, Flagstaff, Arizona just raised its minimum wage to $15 an hour while Belmont, California just upped its rate to $15.90 an hour.

These might not sound like massive hikes in absolute terms, but you have to think of it like this. Payroll is often one of the largest expenses small businesses have—and it may have just arbitrarily spiked by 5 to 15 percent.

The timing here could not be worse.

“A dramatic increase in the minimum wage even in good economic times has been shown to be harmful,” Employment Policy Institute Managing Director Michael Saltsman said. “In the current climate, for many employers it could be the final nail in the coffin.”

And employees will suffer perhaps just as much as employers. Even though they’re ostensibly meant to uplift workers, increases in the minimum wage always and inevitably hurt more than they help.

Why? A wage is important for the living standards of the worker, but that isn’t its only important aspect. A wage is a price. Prices are essential for order in an economy, so price controls throw markets into chaos.

“By the simplest and most basic economics, a price artificially raised tends to cause more to be supplied and less to be demanded than when prices are left to be determined by supply and demand in a free market,” famed free-market economist Thomas Sowell explained in his book Basic Economics. “The result is a surplus, whether the price that is set artificially high is that of farm produce or labor.”

“Making it illegal to pay less than a given amount does not make a worker’s productivity worth that amount— and, if it is not, that worker is unlikely to be employed,” Sowell writes. “Unfortunately, the real minimum wage is always zero, regardless of the laws, and that is the wage that many workers receive in the wake of the creation or escalation of a government-mandated minimum wage, because they either lose their jobs or fail to find jobs when they enter the labor force.”

Thus, as free-market economist Murray Rothbard put it, the minimum wage amounts to outlawing jobs:

“In truth, there is only one way to regard a minimum wage law: it is compulsory unemployment, period. The law says: it is illegal, and therefore criminal, for anyone to hire anyone else below the level of X dollars an hour. This means, plainly and simply, that a large number of free and voluntary wage contracts are now outlawed and hence that there will be a large amount of unemployment. Remember that the minimum wage law provides no jobs; it only outlaws them; and outlawed jobs are the inevitable result.”

So, it’s no surprise that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projects that a national $15 minimum wage would destroy up to 3.7 million jobs. Of course, these hikes aren’t nationwide, and many aren’t quite up to $15 yet. Nonetheless, struggling small businesses already have so little wiggle room in their budgets and are on the brink of collapse. Thus the negative effect minimum wage hikes have on local economies will be severe.

Of course, there’s little doubt that the legislators who enacted these pre-planned minimum wage hikes hoped to help workers, not put them out of work amid an economic crisis. But the laws of basic economics are unmoved by compassionate hand-wringing—and good intentions never guarantee good results.

James Howard Kunstler: Giving Up the Ghost

In Giving Up the Ghost, James Howard Kunstler talks about what could happen tomorrow and after in regards to the US Presidential election.

Things are shaking loose. Secrets are flying out of black boxes. Shots have been fired. The center is not holding because the center is no longer there, only a black hole where the center used to be, and, within it, the shriekings of lost souls. Will the United States go missing this week, or fight its way out of the chaos and darkness?

Whatever occurs in this strange week of confrontation, Joe Biden will not be leading any part of it. Where has he been since Christmas? Back to hiding in the basement? Did the American people elect a ghost? Even if this storm blows over, could Joe Biden possibly claim any legitimacy in the Oval Office? And then what happens with the rest of the story — which is an epic economic convulsion sharper than the Great Depression — as time is unsuspended and the year 2021 actually unspools?

Only the bare outlines of this week’s fateful game are visible. Mr. Trump has not conceded the election. An action will play out in congress under rarely-used constitutional rules as to how the electoral college votes are awarded to whom. The rancor around this action is already epic. Few of the political players are beyond suspicion of dark deals and shifty allegiances. Persistent rumor has the president laying out a royal flush of deadly information about his antagonists, enough to make heads explode among the formerly cocksure and vaporize the narrative they’ve been running for four years.

A whole lot of people are converging in the nation’s capital at midweek, maybe even the touted million. It is a moment, possibly, not unlike the Bastille in Paris, 1789. They will be clamoring right outside Congress as the electoral vote ceremony proceeds. If the battle is not joined in the chamber, it’s a little hard to believe the crowd will just heave a million sighs, trudge back to their cars, and drive quietly home.

Senator Ted Cruz has come up with a pretty sound plan: a ten-day emergency audit of the balloting with an electoral commission consisting of five Senators, five House Members, and five Supreme Court Justices — to consider and resolve the disputed returns. The proposal is based on the 1877 procedure for resolving the contested Hayes-Tilden election. “Once completed, individual states would evaluate the Commission’s findings and could convene a special legislative session to certify a change in their vote, if needed,” the proposal stated. Naturally, the Democratic Party’s news media handmaidens denounced it as “embarrassing” — which raises the question: who exactly will be embarrassed if the plan goes ahead?

On Sunday, Mr. Trump had a telephone call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, ostensibly to discuss efforts made by his office to authenticate the validity of the Nov. 3rd balloting in that state. This is being portrayed by The WashPo, The New York Times, and the rest of the gang as a virtual replay of the Ukraine phone call that eventuated in the 2019 impeachment.  Consider that the notorious Ukraine phone call was an attempt to inquire about the influence-peddling of Hunter Biden at the time when his father was vice-president. Does anyone doubt now, a year-and-a-half later, with the release of Hunter B’s laptop evidence, that there was some legitimate concern there? Might anyone suspect that there is also some genuine concern about the Georgia balloting — and Mr. Raffensperger’s failure to audit the vote? Did Mr. Raffensperger stupidly walk into a trap in that phone call? I doubt that the call was casual or impulsive on the president’s part.

What I wonder, given the eerie silence at Joe Biden’s end of things, is whether there is some negotiation underway for Mr. Biden to concede the election before events move forward into official inquiries. I wouldn’t be hugely surprised if that is the case. A US election has never concluded under such an enormous cloud, and with such a show of weakness by the putative winner. Joe Biden is but a ghost in the machine, and the machine is infernally corrupt, and now just about everybody knows it, including the figures fighting so hard to pretend that it isn’t so. Something like a war is underway both within the USA and from without. Mr. Trump is a war president and he’s not shirking his duty. War goes where it will and a genuine leader goes out to meet it where it comes.


The Burning Platform: A Time for New Beginnings and Ending That Which Must End

The Burning Platform has A Time for New Beginnings and Ending That Which Must End which discusses their take on the ending of our republic, the battle for our liberties, and who the enemy is.

Janus is an ancient Roman, a composite god who is associated with doorways, beginnings, and transitions. A usually two-faced god, he looks to both the future and the past at the same time, embodying a binary.

Source

 

If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about answers.

– Thomas Pynchon, “Gravity’s Rainbow” (1973)

 

Two years ago, also during the month of Janus, I wrote a speculative article on Trump as two faces on the same coin and, specifically, considered the president as the “most interesting man in the world”: an enigmatic “ringleader”, of sorts, who always keeps us guessing between transitional episodes:

In so many ways, Trump is the perfect foil to usher in a new epoch… a forerunner of sorts before another ringleader takes center stage.

To be sure, President Trump is like a flip-sided Obama the way he’s branded upon America’s psyche. And, like Obama, he’s a walking, talking, Rorschach test.

For good? Or bad?

Either way:  We all have our suspicions and are becoming more certain with each passing day.

And here we are today, two years later, still wondering.

 

In the wake of Russiagate, the Mueller Show, the 2018 Midterms, the Ukraine impeachment debacle, Covid, and, now, a stolen presidential election, it calls to mind the following questions:

What if the innermost circle of The Borg, or, at least, the mid-level components like the Deep State, Orwellian Media, Dems, Rinos, and punditry, were actually caught off guard by Trump’s 2016 win – simply as a result of underestimating the awareness and will of the American voters who overwhelmed The Borg’s systemic election fraud four years ago? What if Trump were real and Spygate, Mueller, Ukrainegate, and Covid, were the means to gaslight the dupes and tie-up the president as much as possible over the previous four years?

In consideration of Occam’s Razor: What if everything we have seen during Trump’s presidency was merely a natural progression of events?

Then, what if the same voter fraud occurred in the 2020 Election except, this time, The Borg was caught red-handed?

Certainly, the Orwellian Media’s anointing of Dementia Joe was, in part, a plan conceived and launched by the “bipartisan” Transition Integrity Project (T.I.P.) under the cover of Covid and using technologies and methodologies defecated straight from the bowels of Langley.

Everything about November 3, 2020, and the ensuing post-election narrative propagated by the Orwellian Media smacks of desperation by those attempting to pull off the coup. Does it not?

Or it could be another show: A really, super-big, gigantic, end-of-America-type media event.

During the holiday break, I listened to attorney Sidney Powell and Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-TX) interviewed by a guest host on the Rush Limbaugh radio program. To hear Powell and Gohmert outline the overt suppression of evidence of fraud in the 2020 Presidential Election was staggering, to say the least. But, that very evening, the nightly news, instead, showed Kamala Harris receiving her Covid vaccine. The “Vice President-Elect”, then, through her mask, and with her trademark nasal whine, implored Americans to follow her lead and get their shots in the arm too.

What is occurring in America now may seem surreal but it is, indeed, actually happening.

In early December, President Trump, by his own admission, gave what may have been the most important speech of his lifetime, and it was not given one iota of coverage on my local nightly news. Instead, we were informed on “President-Elect” Joe Biden’s virtual round-table of small business owners who were impacted by the Covid pandemic as well as the number of new Covid cases in the country that day.

Furthermore, if you go to YouTube and query “Trump’s most important speech december 2, 2020” this is what appears: “Fact-check” videos on Trump’s “baseless voter fraud claims” and “speech riddled with falsehoods”.

Now try this: Search for the word “Plandemic” on the Duck Duck Go search engine, and you will see the website for PlandemicVideo.com appearing at the top of the results.  But if you search the same term on Google, the Plandemic video website does NOT show.  Instead, you will see a Wikipedia link labeling Plandemic as “misinformation” and a science magazine’s website “fact-checking” “unsubstantiated claims and accusations”.

Consider for a moment the kind of power we are witnessing:  The mainstream media, the FBI, the Justice Department, the CIA, Big Tech, The Drudge Report, most of Fox News, and, now, even the American electoral system and Supreme Court… ALL assimilated by The Borg.

How could this all-inclusive collusion exist?

What follows will provide some of the answers to that question.

Catherine Austin Fitts is a former banker turned whistleblower and served as the Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the late nineteen-eighties under Bush the Elder. A few days before Christmas 2020, an interview of Fitts was posted whereby she described five pillars of a Transhumanist Technocracy currently being constructed in plain sight by The Borg.  The five pillars are as follows:

 

1.)  Tech engineers building “The Cloud” and Intel communications

2.) The military installing satellites in space in conjunction with Operation Warp Speed here on earth

3.) Big Pharma designing vaccines and injection mechanisms

4.) The Mainstream Media’s ever-spinning propaganda machine

5.) The Central bankers creating crypto systems designed to enslave the masses

 

Fitts claimed these “pillars” are painstakingly being kept separate by the Borg until they can be integrated into our bodies, and our minds, by means of our own blood and DNA – like a trap being sprung at just the right time; and the reason we are not completely caught in the trap yet, is because The Borg has not quite finalized construction of the five pillars.

In her interview, Fitts described our current circumstances as a war between those who consider mankind as “individuals” with rights divinely ordained and against a High Tech Oligarchy (i.e. The Borg) who views the citizens of the world as cattle and chattel…(continues)

Forward Observer: 2021 – The Future of Low Intensity Conflict

Intelligence analyst Sam Culper of Forward Observer discusses 2021 – The Future of Low Intensity Conflict

Welcome to 2021. New Year’s celebrations seemed to have been a mix of relief that 2020 was over and optimism for how much better 2021 can be.

There may be the expectation that presumably without President Trump in office for the next four years, our low intensity conflict is over. That perspective is misguided.

This conflict is likely to be waged well into this decade and possibly longer. There also exists the possibility of periods of higher intensity. With this in mind, let’s look at what’s ahead.

In my last Dispatch, I briefly outlined three initial conclusions about the future of Low Intensity Conflict this decade. You can read that missive here, but I’ll summarize the three points below.

1. Advances in technology will wipe out between 10-50% of jobs, depending on who you ask, over the next 20 years. These technologies will rapidly scale, and job losses are expected to accrue faster than new jobs can be created. We risk widespread and persistent joblessness. As a result, Capitalism versus Socialism will continue to define class conflict.

2. The Culture War will expand as biotechnology, neurotechnology, human-machine systems, augmented reality, and other advancements assault traditional moral beliefs and pose new ethical questions. As we saw with abortion clinic bombings and the murders of abortionists in the 1990s, we may see similar attacks against the people and companies developing these unconscionable technologies.

3. Far Left and Far Right groups have expressed a desire to engage in cyber warfare against the government. Radical and extremist groups have publicly advanced cyber capabilities as a strategic imperative for their revolutionary aims. In addition to nation-states and criminals, domestic activists and revolutionaries could carry out disruptive cyber attacks as a part of the low intensity conflict. The targets of these attacks are unlikely to be limited to the federal government, and will likely include commercial entities and critical infrastructure. (Imagine a physical protest supported by a simultaneous cyber attack against security systems of the target facility.)

I’ll eventually compile a cumulative list of why and how low intensity conflict will rage this decade, but for now I’ll add just one more.

Last month, the Department of the Army released a strategy that warned about how foreign adversaries would target Army installations, especially in the continental United States. We reported it in 16 December’s Early Warning brief.

Pointing out that the “homeland is no longer a sanctuary,” the report warned that foreign adversaries will target Army facilities and critical infrastructure, along with soft targets like the family members of military personnel, using conventional and unconventional means, including cyber attacks, protests, and criminal activity.

I noted that this sounds a lot like the Army is preparing for domestic hybrid warfare, or a scenario where the homeland becomes contested space due to foreign “conventional or unconventional means.”

It’s in this context that I add:

4. Foreign adversaries like China and Russia have developed sophisticated information operations and hybrid warfare strategies that foment unrest and complicate domestic security efforts. Foreign powers may already be providing, or could provide, direct or indirect support to criminal groups, protest organizations, and radical, extremist, and revolutionary movements. Hybrid warfare tactics commonly seen in other parts of the world are unlikely to cross the threshold of conventional war, but would exploit existing political, social, and economic vulnerabilities in the United States. According to the Army, this is a baseline scenario.

I’ll end this Dispatch with two final points.

1. This is the type of information we cover in the Early Warning brief. I invite you to try us out free for seven days. If you don’t find value in the report, you can cancel at any time within seven days at no cost. Sign up here.

2. Starting this month, I’ll be resuming my intelligence and security training courses. Now more than ever, it’s important to learn the skills and concepts required to navigate this future instability. I’ll be hosting Tactical Intelligence Courses in 10 states this year. You can sign up to receive additional information about these courses at https://forwardobserver.com/grayzone. I’ll be publishing my training schedule very soon.

 

Until next time, be well.

Always Out Front,

Samuel Culper

Forward Observer: Low Intensity Conflict & the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Intelligence analyst Sam Culper at Forward Observer talks about Low Intensity Conflict & the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Klaus Schwab is the founder and executive director of the World Economic Forum.

Schwab made headlines over the summer when he started talking about the “Great Reset,” which he says will rewrite the framework of the economy, society, geopolitics, the environment, and technology.

That’s going to be the focus of next month’s World Economic Forum conference, but we at Forward Observer have been getting spun up on what it means and how it’s going to affect us in the future.

Each year, I spend several hours watching the Forum’s live streams and reading transcripts and first-hand accounts of the presentations. The world’s financial elite often share their expectations of the future, which I then report on for FO subscribers. I’ll do the same this year.

Over Christmas break, I got caught up on two of Schwab’s books — The Fourth Industrial Revolution (2017) and Shaping the Future of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (2020) — in preparation for next month’s WEF.

As Schwab describes, the First Industrial Revolution happened in textiles, which led to the replacement of human labor with machines.

The Second Industrial Revolution included electricity and sanitation, which lead to longer human lifespans and a general higher quality of life.

The Third Industrial Revolution included microchips and computer processing.

And the Fourth Industrial Revolution includes artificial intelligence and machine learning.

In short, Schwab is concerned that these technological advancements will lead to further income and wealth inequality, and he wants to ensure that the technological benefits and wealth creation are distributed equally.

The underlying problem is that technology and its effects will be disruptive and lead to conflict — hence the need for elites and society to “shape” the Fourth Industrial Revolution, according to Schwab.

And this brings us to Low Intensity Conflict.

Some of us woke up on Christmas morning and checked the news to see a bombing in Nashville.

While investigators haven’t published a motive for the bombing (at the time of writing this), there’s speculation that the Nashville bomber attacked an AT&T building out of fear of 5G communication networks.

Coincidentally, Schwab writes about this kind of oppositional violence. Technological advancement in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and robotics will not only displace millions of jobs but will also drive fear and unrest. This will manifest itself in an expansion of low intensity conflict.

My approach to understanding and analyzing Low Intensity Conflict is centered on three structural fault lines: political, social, and economic (below).

I haven’t made up my mind if technology is a fourth plane or merely an accelerator, but I am certain that technology will drive Low Intensity Conflict.

Briefly…

1. Technological advancements are expected to displace millions of American workers — somewhere between 10-50% of all U.S. jobs in the next 20 years, depending on who you ask — at increasingly faster rates than the last 20 years. Because of the rapid scalability of these technologies, job losses are likely to accrue more quickly than jobs created, resulting in persistent and widespread joblessness leading to heightened levels of class conflict. Capitalism versus Socialism will dominate socio-economic conflict this decade.

2. There’s also likely to be an expansion of the Culture War as biotechnologies, neurotechnologies, human-machine systems, augmented reality, and a number of other advancements assault traditional moral beliefs and pose new ethical questions. As we saw with abortion clinic bombings and the murders of abortionists in the 1990s, we may see similar attacks against the people and companies that are developing unconscionable technologies. Other than 2018’s YouTube shooting, the Nashville bombing is the only other technology-related attack that I can recall, assuming the bombing targeted AT&T’s 5G network. Technology-related terrorism may become common this decade.

3. We’ve seen elements of the Far Left and Far Right express a desire to engage in cyber warfare against the government and other targets. Radical and extremist groups have publicly advanced cyber capabilities as a strategic imperative for their revolutionary aims. The Fourth Industrial Revolution brought us the Internet of Things, and as more devices, appliances, facilities, and systems will be on the internet this decade, the surface area for cyber exploitation will increase. There’s the possibility that, in addition to nation-states and criminals, domestic activists and revolutionaries will carry out disruptive cyber attacks as a part of the low intensity conflict.

I have other concerns about how the Fourth Industrial Revolution will affect our country and our every day lives. If enough people are interested, I’ll prepare a Forward Observer Futures presentation with some of my thoughts on what’s ahead.

Until next time, be well.

Always Out Front,
Samuel Culper

AYWtGS: Survival Applications and Everyday Uses for Activated Charcoal

This article at A Year Without the Grocery Store talks about the Survival Applications and Everyday Uses for Activated Charcoal

Old Wives’ Tales?

There are so many old wives’ tales about health.  Your grandmother’s chicken soup for a cold.  Feed the flu, starve a fever.  Drink chamomile tea to help you sleep.  Upset stomach?  Try peppermint tea.

But several of those things have more than a shred of truth to them.  Did you know that chicken broth is one of the best items to soothe your digestive tract and give your immune system – which many people believe is centered in your gut – a boost.  Chamomile tea has been proven to help aid in sleep.  And while “Feed a cold and starve a fever came into being in the 1500s, there’s very little truth to it.  But Peppermint tea has been shown to help digestive issues.  In a former article, I discussed eight OTC’s that could save your life.  Activated Charcoal is one of those.

Another Well-Known Remedy 

But there’s another natural remedy that many people tout as almost a cureall – Activated Charcoal.

Activated charcoal was first used by the Egyptians for medicinal purposes as early as 1500BC.  But it was also used by the Phonecians by 400 for its antiseptic properties.  By 50 AD was used by Hippocrates and the Greeks.  But it was lost for a long time during the dark ages.  It re-emerged in the 1700s as a medicinal treatment for many things.

But today, not only does activated charcoal have a ton of every-day applications.  It also has many survival applications.  So let’s jump in!

***There are links in this post.  The FCC wants me to tell you that some of the links may be affiliate links. My promise to you is that I will only recommend the most economical version of the best quality of items to serve you. All of these are the items that I have bought for my own family.  If you click on a link, your price will remain the same.  If you make a purchase, we may make a small commission that aids in covering the cost of running this website.***

Pertinent Info and Cautions

If you are on medicines, Activated Charcoal will nullify any medicines that you’ve taken in the last 4-6 hours.  So if you do decide to use it and you’re on medicines, make sure that you don’t take it with the medicines or even near the time when you took the medicines.

Activated charcoal is NOT the same thing as the charcoal that you find at the grocery store and that you use in your grill.  Not only will they not work the same, but charcoal briquettes have chemicals in them which are harmful.  Please do not mistake the one for the other.

What is it?

Activated charcoal is created when organic materials like wood, bamboo, coconut husks, or coal are burned at temperatures of 600-900 degrees celsius to create a charcoal powder.  Between that and charring it with chloride salts and exposing it to steam, a vast network of pores is created.  It’s this network of pores that gives activated charcoal it’s properties.

So much additional surface area is created during the activation process that 50 grams of activated charcoal (which is about the weight of 20 U.S. pennies) has 17.5 times more surface area than a full-size football field, according to a 2016 study in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

Forms of Activated Charcoal

I personally purchase activated charcoal in two forms.  I purchase it in a powder and in a pill form.  Each has its uses.

Powder form

As you read below, you’ll find that activated charcoal can be used to make poultices for various medical applications.  In order to use activated charcoal in this manner, having a powder form on hand is more than helpful.  This is the one that I personally choose.  It’s USDA Certified organic and food grade.

Pill Form

But at the same time, you may not want to try to drink activated charcoal mixed with water in a powder form because it will temporarily discolor your teeth and mouth.  If you have somewhere to go quickly, but you want to take some activated charcoal, having it if pill form is much more convenient.

So if you’re looking for a convenient pill form of activated charcoal that is highly rated, I’d recommend this one.

Survival Applications 

Before we jump right into this.  I need to remind you all that I am NOT a doctor.  I’ve researched these treatments, but I don’t understand 100% of everything I’m writing about.  Please make sure that you do your own research before you commit to any course of action.  I’m also not suggesting that anyone should use activated charcoal instead of heading to see a doctor.  Survival applications are just that – these are for a time where you can’t get to a doctor either because there are none around that you can find or you’re in a SHTF situation where you can’t leave your house.

1.) Poisoning and Overdose

Activated charcoal has been used to treat poisonings or overdoses since the 1700s.  It’s one of the oldest documented medicinal uses of Activated Charcoal.  Even here in the United States, activated charcoal is used in hospitals to treat poisoning and accidental overdoses.  As far as survival goes, having a way to treat an overdose or accidental poisoning is more than important.

There are certain types of poisonous substances that activated charcoal cannot counteract.  Anything caustic – something that burns on contact, poisonous gasses, lye, petroleum products, metals such as lithium and iron.

2.) Bites/stings

Making a paste of activated charcoal will help draw out the toxins.  I had a friend whose fairly young child (around 3) had gotten a bite, but because it was on the inside of his thigh, she didn’t find it right away.  When she did, it was a weekend, and she didn’t feel it warranted a trip to the ER, so she made a thick paste of activated charcoal and wrapped his leg in saran wrap to keep the moisture in.  It drew out the toxins and left a bit of a crater in his leg – until it filled in, but he healed just fine!

If you’re not living through a survival situation, if you have a snake bite or something else serious, please do seek medical help, though.

3.)  Skin abscesses

Activated charcoal poultices don’t only work on stings and bites, but they also work on other skin problems like abscesses and cysts.

You make a poultice by starting with the dry activated charcoal powder, drip enough water into it to make a wet paste.  Apply the paste to the skin and cover it with something like saran wrap to keep the paste wet.  Change it every 12 hours.

Survival and Everyday Applications for Activatec Charcoal4.) Water filtration

Because activated charcoal has so much surface area and so many pores, it makes a great water filter.  Many companies that make water filters used activated charcoal in the filters – Including Brita.  Just go to Amazon and search activated charcoal water filters.  You’ll find a ton of them.  Brita uses charcoal filters in their pitchers.

5.)  Can improve kidney function in people with kidney disease

Activated charcoal is able to remove excess phosphorus, urea, and other toxins from the blood.  Some patients in end-stage renal disease use it to lessen the time that they have to be hooked up to a dialysis machine.  Since it removes excess urea from your blood, it may also improve/prevent gout.

6.) Digestive issues

These would vary from vomiting to diarrhea to bloating to stomach cramps to gas/flatulence.  Because activated charcoal is able to adsorb (yes, that is the correct word) various contaminants in your digestive system, it is a great way to help quell and calm digestive upset throughout your digestive tract.  When my children have an upset stomach or start throwing up, I will mix 1 capsule (about 1/4 tsp of activated charcoal with some water.  For my littlest one, I will add a packet of stevia.  Then I have them drink the concoction through a straw.  If you don’t use a straw, they’ll have to brush their teeth as you’ll leave your teeth stained by the activated charcoal.

7.)  Lymes disease

Lymes patients often suffer from die off reactions also called herxheimer reactions.  It’s where dying bad bacteria give off toxins as they die.  In research for this article, I went to article, after article, after article which talked about how people with Lyme’s disease benefit from using activated charcoal.

8.)  Mold toxicity

We’ve had several families that used to attend our church that suffered from mold toxicity reactions. We had mold removed from the church, but apparently, the toxins are persistent even if the mold is removed. One of these families said that whenever they left the church building, they would experience reactions to being exposed to these mold toxins.  One family would take activated charcoal every time they left the building.  They said that it helped immensely.

But don’t take my word on their word.  There are studies that have been done that discuss the benefits of taking activated charcoal for mold toxicity.

Survival and Everyday Applications for Activatec Charcoal9.) Deodorant

Activated Charcoal doesn’t just adsorb toxins, it is able to adsorb unpleasant smells.  Besides being able to be used in a refrigerator to remove persistent stenches, it can also do the same with your underarms.  Want to give it a try?  Here’s a DIY recipe for activated charcoal deodorant.

10.)  Plant Poisons

I’m not talking about poisonous plants that you ingest.  I’m talking about plants like poison ivy, poison oak, stinging nettle.  This is another instance that you can create a poultice using activated charcoal and cover the affected area with it.  Wrap it in something that will keep the moisture in (plastic wrap works well) and change it every 6-12 hours…(continues)

AmRRON: Call For Vigilance as Infrastructure Attacks Increase

From the American Redoubt Radio Operators Network, Call For Vigilance as Trend of Intentional Infrastructure Attacks Increase

In the past week we have seen three significant acts of deliberate sabotage attacks against critical infrastructure.

Some are low tech, such as filling a cell tower cabinet full of firewood, or as sophisticated as detonating a bomb in an attempt to destroy a major AT&T communications hub.  In all cases, disruptions of varying degrees were achieved by the saboteurs.

The Christmas Day bombing in Nashville resulted in multiple AmRRON Operators being cut off from conventional communications in Tennessee.  Due to the HF digital mode AmRRON Persistent Presence Net introduced one year ago, AmRRON radio operators were able to quickly get STATREPs and SITREPs sent out to others in the network.  This allowed other operators to begin assessing the situation and accounting for those in the impacted area.

As we move into 2021, we encourage everyone to participate in as many training and practice nets as possible, and to expand your communications capabilities.   This will make AmRRON more effective in real world emergencies when it comes to staying informed and informing others.

 

Deliberate Christmas Day Attack On Nashville, TN

Communications Hub Operated by AT&T

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the article at Conservative Firing Line

AT&T was severely impacted by the Nashville explosion, as their building
was a communications hub for several areas. The blast knocked out cell
phone communications (fiber optics) in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Alabama,
as well as police communications, and military bases in the area.

 

SITUATION REPORT RECEIVED FROM THE FIRST TN OPERATOR IN THE VICINITY

(These SITREPs were sent using Amateur Radio digital modes and custom (.K2S) FLMSG Forms)

 

AmRRON Operators Reporting Deliberate Attacks On

Virginia Cellular Telephone Infrastructure

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

//real world real world//

  • On 20201227, Fairfax EMS discovered a northern Virginia cell phone tower
    filled with firewood.
  • Someone placed approx 70 pieces of firewood within the tower but did
    not ignite it.
  • ATT and Verizon has asked all patrol units to keep special watch over cell
    towers and infrastructure.
  • VA LEO considers this related to 5G and COVID symptom conspiracy theorists.

//real world real world//

 

Thousands of Colorado residents without heat

after attack on gas service

https://abcnews.go.com/US/thousands-colorado-residents-heat-attack-gas-service/story?id=74948009

The FBI has joined a criminal investigation of what police said appears
to be an “intentional attack” on gas service lines in Aspen, Colorado,
that left thousands of residents and businesses without heat as temperatures
in the skiing mecca plunged to near zero degrees.Aspen police said the
apparently coordinated acts of vandalism occurred Saturday night at three
separate Black Hills Energy gas line sites, one in Aspen and two elsewhere
in Pitkin County.

Intelligence Analyst comments, from Forward Observer:

(AC: Law enforcement suspects that EarthFirst!, an ecological activist
group, was involved. From the descriptions of law enforcement, it
appears that the acts of vandalism were conducted by individuals familiar
with area gas lines, which denotes pre-operational reconnaissance or
surveillance of the target. None of the pipeline switches had security
cameras, leaving police with few leads so far. Eco-activist/terrorist
groups have a long history of disruption and very good operations security.
Much of the OPSEC best practices promoted by antifascist groups today
originated from 1990s and early 2000s eco-terrorist groups, which really
have mastered the art of OPSEC. Although there was some speculation in eco-
fascist channels that this was an act of Accelerationism, I remain doubtful.
After the Christmas Day bombing in Nashville, I would suspect that
Accelerationists desire more damage and infamy than temporary disruption of
natural gas lines. – S.C.)

Off Grid Ham: Learning From Off Grid Mistakes, 2

This article comes from Chris Warren at Off Grid Ham – Learning From Off Grid Mistakes, Part 2.

I wasn’t planning a “part 2”. learning from off grid mistakes

Last May’s article about off grid mistakes received a surprising amount of attention. Many months later, it’s still a very popular piece. As a follow up, I thought it would be a good idea to revisit the issue and go over a few points that were not discussed last time. I encourage readers to send in questions and comments because most of the articles that appear on Off Grid Ham are derived from reader input. learning from off grid mistakes

Mistake 1: Mismatched batteries.

Batteries are very exclusive. They don’t like other types of batteries. Just because two batteries are of the same voltage, and maybe even the same capacity, doesn’t mean they play well together. If you are using multiple batteries, they should be the same make and model, and roughly the same age. Most batteries will have a date code on the outer casing for determining age. learning from off grid mistakes

When I went shopping to replace my large storage batteries two years ago, I brought my battery analyzer with me to the store. They had a huge pallet of deep cycle batteries, so I had plenty to choose from. I dug through the pile and picked out a few that were manufactured within a month of each other. From that cohort, I tested each until I found a few batteries that had the same or very close to the same internal resistance. That was the matched set I ultimately bought and took home. Yeah, I must have looked a little weird picking through batteries and running tests, but I got what I wanted. learning from off grid mistakes

When you mix dissimilar batteries or batteries of different ages, the weak one will pull down the strong one. Always Install and remove your batteries as a set. If you must mix dissimilar batteries, wire a battery combiner between them.

Mistake 2: Mismatched solar panels.

This mistake needs some clarification. You should not mix/combine solar panels of differing voltages at any time. Solar panels that produce the same voltage but not the same wattage can be used together, but only if they are wired in parallel. Solar panels are often wired in series to increase efficiency and make better use of MPPT solar controllers. This works only if all the panels in the series are the same voltage and wattage.

If you wire solar panels of the same voltage but different wattage together in series, you will not damage anything or create an unsafe condition. What will happen is that the total power output of the system will not exceed the capacity of the smallest panel. For example, you have one 100 watt panel and one 50 watt panel wired in series. It might seem reasonable to think you’ve got a total of 150 watts capacity. Sorry, but you’ll never get more than 74 watts out of this system.

The reason why is fairly simple: Kirchoff’s Law states that current will always be the same at all points (nodes) in a series circuit. A 100 watt panel will produce about 5.75 amps. A 50 watt panel maxes out around 2.85 amps. Our 12 volt example panels below are wired in series for a system total of 24 volts (in reality, it would be closer to 26 volts).

Since Kirchoff says the current is the same at all points in the series, and the 50 watt panel will never exceed 2.85 amps output under any conditions, the system total is limited to 2.85 amps. Doing some basic math, 2.85 amps x 26 volts= 74 watts. These numbers will vary due to differences between loaded and open voltages, what specifications are used for your calculations, etc., but this gets us pretty close. Think of it like a convoy of ships: The entire convoy cannot go any faster than the slowest ship.

learning from off grid mistakes

ORIGINAL GRAPHIC ©2020

Mistake 3: Using automotive batteries.

If someone gives you a car battery, or a car battery is all you have (such as in a SHTF situation), then certainly go with it for your off grid ham radio power needs. But no thoughtful ham would purposely choose a car battery.

Car batteries are designed to deliver a large burst of current over a short period of time, which is needed to start a car. Off grid hams need batteries that can deliver smaller, steady amounts of current over a long period of time. Using a car battery will not hurt your equipment and is not a safety hazard, but you will not see the the level of performance that a correct battery would provide, and the car battery will have a shorter service life too.

Mistake 4: Using automotive “jump boxes”.

Those inexpensive portable battery boxes made for jump-starting cars seem like an easy, ready made power system for ham radio. They are not recommended for ham radio use for the same reason as standard car batteries. They are made for a short power burst, not for a lighter, continuous load. Some hams do use them with modest success, especially for QRP, but they’re not a serious way to power your radio.

Mistake 5: Buying the best, most expensive gear available.

Just as buying cheap junk because it’s cheap is a mistake, so too is insisting on only “the best”. More expensive does not necessarily mean a device has better build quality or will last longer than a less expensive device of the same type. In many cases it only means you get more cool switches and pretty lights. If you cannot justify the extra cost with some clear purpose or practical benefit, buying “the best” is a journey of vanity.

In my experience, mid-grade equipment has always given me the most bang for the buck. Early in my off grid career I spent over $500 on an ExcelTech inverter. They are made in USA. They are practically indestructible. The American military and US embassies around the world use them. They’re the Rolls Royce of inverters. I didn’t know it at the time, but it was unnecessary overkill. As nice as my ExcelTech is, my Samlex inverter is just as suitable for my application. It cost half as much as the ExcelTech and gives excellent performance. I still use both inverters, but if I were doing this over I’d get two Samlexes and spend the extra money on other useful upgrades.

Never buy any piece of off grid amateur radio equipment based solely on high or low price point…(continues)

The Federalist: 5 Big Things We Learned About Our Elites In 2020

From the Federalist comes 5 Big Things We Learned About Our Elites In 2020

For as difficult as the past year has been, from politics to the pandemic, it has at least helped to illuminate and clarify certain things about the state of our country.

Above all, 2020 has illuminated and clarified the relationship between America’s elites—in government, Silicon Valley, Hollywood, corporate America and the corporate press—and everyone else. In short, our elites believe, contra Thomas Jefferson, that most people were born with saddles on their backs while a favored few were born booted and spurred to ride them, legitimately.

The rigors and suffering of the coronavirus pandemic demonstrated the perseverance, resilience, and generosity of the American people, but also exposed—sometimes in mind-boggling detail—the greed, hypocrisy, and indifference of our elites.

We like to think we live in a country where everyone, rich and poor alike, is equal before the law. But we know now, thanks to the exigencies and emergencies of 2020, that isn’t true—or at least it’s only true sometimes, when the U.S. Supreme Court agrees to weigh in and enforce equal treatment.

But left unchecked, as many of our leaders were over the past year, we all know what they will do. In no particular order, then, here are the five big things we learned about America and its elites in 2020.

1. Democrats Don’t Care About Science—Or Religious Liberty

This year we learned Democrats aren’t the “party of science,” and in fact don’t care about science at all—especially if it gets in the way of their policy agenda or the exercise of emergency powers.

How else do you explain the actions of Democratic governors like New York’s Andrew Cuomo and California’s Gavin Newsom? They both tried to ban indoor religious gatherings based the unscientific belief that people are more likely to contract COVID-19 in a church than in a liquor store or a Lowe’s. In both cases, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that such restrictions were unconstitutional because they singled out houses of worship for unequal treatment.

Lost in the media coverage of these and similar cases was the disturbing fact that these governors weren’t basing their pandemic-related restrictions on science or data. When a Los Angeles judge earlier this month struck down an outdoor dining ban issued by county health officials, he noted that the county hadn’t presented any scientific evidence justifying the ban or even done a basic cost-benefit analysis on the effects of shutting down more than 30,000 restaurants.

“It’s not rational to make a decision without doing everything you’re supposed to do, and you haven’t,” the judge said. “You’re imposing restrictions but there’s no reason to believe it will help with ICU capacity.” In all these cases, science had nothing to do with the attempted shutdown. Power and prejudice did.

2. Lockdowns For Thee But Not For Me

Speaking of Newsom, he became the poster boy for elite hypocrisy when he was photographed at a fancy Napa Valley restaurant with a bunch of wealthy and powerful friends right after imposing harsh pandemic-related lockdowns on much of the state.

He wasn’t alone. All over the country, elected officials—almost all of them Democrats—were spotted flouting their own pandemic rules and restrictions. My colleague Tristan Justice catalogued some of the most high-profile instances.

There was Austin Mayor Steve Adler telling residents to stay home—and threatening them with more restrictive measures if they didn’t comply—while he was vacationing in a Mexican resort town.

There was Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, who boarded a flight for Houston to visit his daughter for Thanksgiving right after telling residents to “avoid travel if you can.”

There was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, mask-less, visiting a shut-down hair salon in San Francisco, and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot doing the same thing—then getting caught mask-less in the streets with a bullhorn at a rally celebrating Joe Biden’s victory. Her excuse (they all have excuses) was that the “crowd was gathered whether I was there or not.”

On and on, all over the country. The mayors of Los Angeles, Philadelphia, New York, D.C., all of them Democrats, all of them caught flouting their own lockdown orders.

We can conclude two things from this. The first is that our ruling elites, despite their grave intonations and warnings, don’t really believe the coronavirus is very dangerous or that their lockdown orders are necessary—at least not for them. The second is that they hate you and think you’re stupid.

3. Lockdown Elites Don’t Care If Small Businesses Die

The elites’ hypocrisy went beyond their personal behavior. It also affected the pandemic policies they supported and imposed. Especially in blue states and cities, elected officials opted for pandemic restrictions that disproportionately harmed small businesses and working families, while giving generous carve-outs and exemptions to special interests.

Nothing illustrated this better than a viral video by a distraught restaurant owner in Los Angeles, who was justifiably upset over an outdoor dining ban that shuttered all bars and restaurants but exempted the film and television industry. Angela Marsden, owner of the Pineapple Hill Saloon and Grill in Los Angeles, had spent tens of thousands of dollars to create an outdoor dining space that complied with Centers for Disease Control and county health guidelines in an attempt to save her business, only to have the rules changed on her without warning.

The real slap in the face, though, was an outdoor dining area for a television production set up not 50 feet from her restaurant. The two dining spaces were nearly identical. The only difference is that she, a small business owner, wasn’t powerful or important enough to get an exemption.

4. Silicon Valley Wants You to Shut Up

Another disturbing revelation in 2020 was that Big Tech doesn’t care about free speech or the free exchange of ideas, and will, given the right circumstances, censor what you can read and share on their platforms according to criteria they invent out of thin air.

We saw this over and over again, not only with COVID-19 commentary and reporting but with coverage of the presidential election and the many instances of fraud and illegal electioneering that were documented in the days and weeks after the vote. Twitter and Facebook in particular were aggressive in their censorship of any opinions or information that challenged their chosen narratives about the pandemic and the election.

Again, science and data and verifiable facts didn’t factor into these decisions. Experts like former White House advisor Scott Atlas were censored by Twitter for sharing studies that showed the ineffectiveness of masks. Amazon did the same thing to former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson’s booklet on the ineffectiveness of masks.

On election night, Twitter repeatedly censored President Trump but not former Vice President Joe Biden. Facebook “fact-checkers,” some of them funded by China and Russia, repeatedly flagged content critical of Democrats.

Most infamously, Twitter and Facebook conspired with corporate media before the election to impose a blackout on coverage of the Hunter Biden scandal, including an unprecedented move by Twitter to suspend The New York Post’s account for breaking the story of Hunter Biden’s laptop and emails. This was done rather straightforwardly to shield voters from the Biden family’s corruption. After the election, the FBI confirmed that it is in fact investigating Hunter Biden.

5. Elites Are Okay With Chaos and Violence From the Left

Another glaring instance of elite hypocrisy in 2020 was the reaction to riots and looting in American cities throughout the spring and summer. Because Democrats and corporate media agreed with the ideology and politics driving this violence, and approved of groups like Black Lives Matter (BLM) that were fomenting it, they excused it. Over and over, reporters and commentators characterized violent riots and urban unrest as “mostly peaceful protests,” sometimes even while showing images of burning buildings and mayhem in the streets.

By contrast, peaceful and orderly protests of pandemic lockdown orders in the spring were reported as dangerous and threatening, not because they were actually dangerous or threatening but because the protesters were mostly conservatives and Republicans who thought governors and mayors were overstepping their authority. At the same time, these same outlets downplayed or simply refused to report on the many instances of violence, including shootings, perpetrated by Antifa rioters and BLM demonstrators across the country.

When armed groups began showing up at these BLM “protests” to protect property and businesses from being looted and burned down, major outlets like The New York Times pretended the gunplay and violence started with the right, not the left. Biden’s deputy campaign manager even went on air and accused Trump of “inciting violence,” as if the mere fact of Trump presidency justified widespread violence and rioting.

We learned from all this that the left is prepared to burn down cities to seize power, and will make excuses for rioters and looters as long as it serves their political and ideological agenda.

That’s of a piece with everything else we’ve learned about our elites in 2020. They don’t really care about the things they claim to care about. They don’t care about science or data or even keeping us safe during a pandemic.

They don’t care about small businesses or working families or getting kids back to school. They don’t care about free speech or the free exercise of religion or anything else that hinders their power—and they certainly don’t care about you.