November 24, 2017

Q/A with AlertsUSA on Current Events


In our last Q/A session, North Korea was one of the leading topics in the news. I want to thank AlertsUSA for taking the time to answer these questions. Due to circumstances beyond our control there was a little delay, but the information is still very relevant. I also wanted to let everyone know that AlertsUSA offers $20 their yearly membership to Preparedness Club members. That one benefit pays for half of the yearly Preparedness Club membership alone.
 
 

Attacks by islmists

Chris:
Since 9/11, we have seen multiple jihadi’s calling for attacks on American soil, yet there have only been a few successful lone wolf style attacks. What are the chances that they saw how we chased the Taliban and the terrorist camps out of Afghanistan and Al-Qaida out of Iraq, and now know that if they don’t hurt us worse than before, we’ll roust them from the countries that they are based in?
What are the chances that our enemies are waiting for something big enough to hurt us bad enough for us to not be able to respond?


AlertsUSA:
While there have only been a few successful domestic attacks since 9/11, this is not for lack of trying. As we have written about within our Threat Journal newsletter on multiple occasions, a casual conversation with any federal law enforcement official or member of the special operations community, if directly asked, will reveal there are a constant stream of individuals, organizations and foreign states attempting to do harm to this country as well as our citizens and interests abroad.

As an example, a major counter-terrorism operation was undertaken within the last few weeks in SE Michigan (home to the nations’ largest mosque) and several other locations across the country in order to roll up an active, very serious plot. No, you will not find links to media reports about the operation. It was all done quickly and quietly by specialized CT professionals with no fanfare.

Why are these incidents not shared with the public? There are a multitude of reasons. On one hand, there are few tactical or strategic benefits and it may actually hurt other ongoing efforts by revealing sources and methods. There are also few benefits to having such operations dissected by media organizations and political opportunists. The real professionals don’t want the publicity. There is also a very real concern that if the true tempo and nature of such threats were publicized it would likely result in significant backlash against specific religious / ethnic groups.

In the end, while a majority of Americans have become complacent thinking that terror organizations have stopped trying, or are holding back, or that all terror threats are sprouted by the U.S. government to keep the “sheeple” scared, the truth of the matter is that these attempts happen regularly.

Chris: We’re all aware of ISIS and the way they are slaughtering Christians in the Middle East. Today, FOX News reported this:

“A senior Homeland Security (DHS) official confirmed to Congress on Wednesday that militants associated with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) are planning to enter the United States via the porous southern border.”

I think ISIS would obviously love to launch attacks here on the US mainland, but how much of a threat do you think it is? Secondly, do you know how seriously government is or isn’t taking it?

AlertsUSA: The threat is very real and we know from first hand experience and regular interaction with those at the pointed end of the spear that the U.S. government is taking it very seriously.

Here again, while CT professionals prefer to operate outside of the spotlight and not have their actions dissected by media organizations and political opportunists, there are a growing number of U.S. citizens whom have traveled abroad over the last few years to join the jihad and are now returning home. Then there are the literally thousands of Muslims who are citizens of European Union countries whom have done the same. And as citizens of the EU enjoy visa-free travel to the U.S., this only amplifies the threat. Then add to this those Americans who are not inclined to travel abroad, but are nonetheless similarly motivated.

The threat is very real, as can be seen with the recent beheading in of a woman in Oklahoma who refused to convert to Islam. More is coming.

Additional note from Chris. It would seem AlertsUSA is of course correct, the most recent attack by an islamist occurred in Canada. I would also point out that the beheading in Oklahoma is the first killing of that type, but there have been several lone wolf Islamic attacks in recent years.
 
 
Russia

Chris: The cold war may have ended, but Russia has never stopped its saber rattling. I remember in 1991, while on board the USS Abraham Lincoln Air-Craft Carrier, the Russian Bear were flying into our air space and F18s were being scrambled to intercept them. With all of the Russian advances on Ukraine, the US and NATO response, they have stepped up the saber rattling to a level not many are aware of. The Business Insider.com recently said in an article titled “Russian Strategic Bombers Near Canada Practice Cruise Missile Strikes on US “that at least 16 bomber incursions by the bear occurred in just 10 days recently.

“Northern Command has confirmed that Russian strategic bomber flights increased sharply over the past six months.”

Last month, at least 16 bomber incursions by the Russians took place within the northwestern U.S. and Canadian air defense zones over a period 10 days. It was the largest number of incursions since the end of the Cold War. U.S. fighter jets intercepted the Russian aircraft and followed them until they exited the defense zone. The Tu-95 is a nuclear-capable bomber that is outfitted with six AS-15 nuclear-armed cruise missiles. The missiles have a range of over 1,800 miles.”

AlertsUSA: We all believe that Russia is just saber rattling, but Russia is not North Korea, and Putin is not Kim Jung Un. Russia has the capability to deal a knockout blow several times over. With the way they are flying these mock attacks, they could fly several Tu-95s and launch a hundred nukes before we were even aware they were headed our way.

I try not to delve into prophecy often, but those familiar with Ezekiel 39 will know that Russia, or Magog, will lead many of the world’s forces in an attack against Israel. I have said before that I believe for this to happen, something will need to happen to remove America as Israel’s protector.

All that being said, what are your thoughts on Russia, their threat to the US, and their threat to the countries that were a part of the former USSR?

This is complicated, but important.

YES, Russia does pose a threat to the U.S. and NATO.

BUT, the actions of the U.S. and NATO also pose a strategic threat to Russia.

Example: The proposed missile shield the U.S. has been attempting to get placed in the Baltic States is not for protection of Europe from missiles fired from nations such as Iran. It is intended to be able to take out Russian strategic rockets during the boost phase. Russia knows this and has publicly threatened to preemptively strike any such installations.

Example: U.S. meddling in Ukrainian politics poses another strategic threat to Russia.

Consider the following:

In December last year, Asst. Secretary of State for Europe, Victoria Nuland, delivered a presentation in front of National Press Club during which she revealed that the U.S. government has invested more than 5 BILLION dollars in helping destabilize the pro-Russian Ukrainian government and to develop “democratic institutions and a good form of government,” all in an effort to bring about Ukraine’s entry into the EU, and ultimately, NATO.

Next, consider the geography of the region. Looking at a map you will see that the Black Sea is Western Russia’s singular warm-water access point. All other ports in the North of the country, with the exception of Murmansk near the northeast corner of Finland, are blocked by ice at least 6 months out of each year. The only reason Murmansk remains ice free is due to the warm waters of the N. Atlantic current. Although 9 time zones in size, more than 90% of Russia’s population lives in the Western third of the country. If Crimea, and thus access to the Black Sea, were to end up in NATO hands, Russia would lose access to the world’s oceans for at least half of the year. This is a huge strategic threat to their defenses, to international trade and more.

Next, the Russian Navy has kept its Black Sea Fleet stationed at a naval base on the Crimean peninsula since the late 1700s and the time of Napoleon. The Port of Sevastopol has a large, deep, defensible harbor and is accessible in all seasons. In 2010, Russia negotiated an agreement with Ukraine that allows use of the strategically located Sevastopol naval base through 2042 in exchange for discounts on natural gas.

Ukraine becoming a NATO member would eliminate their ability to use this base, which is critical for their access to the world’s oceans.

Finally, playing “follow the money” it should not be surprising that Ukraine is a critical corridor for oil and gas pipelines from Russia and the Caspian region into Europe. These pipelines and the product they carry generate huge profits (hundreds of billions) annually for the Russian government. To have Ukraine come under Western influence and potentially join NATO would put that Russian state revenue stream at risk. Hence, another strategic threat.

With just these few items (there are many more), it is easy to see how Russia is being backed into a corner and forced to exert their power and to sabre rattle. Their strategic interests and national security are directly threatened.

And this is where the danger comes home.

Russian President Putin, Prime Minister Medvedev and the Chief of the Russian General Staff Gen. Nikolai Makarov, have on multiple occasions in the last 3 years made explicitly clear that Russia would use nuclear weapons, including in a preemptive capacity, if there is a threat to the integrity of the Russian Federation These scenarios include conventional attacks on Russia or it’s strategic partners, placement of missile shield installations in former Soviet-bloc countries and more.

 
 
Ebola

Chris: I have said in previous articles that I think the Ebola threat here in the USA is minimal. However, you recently had an alert that said:

“Air ambulance company used for Ebola evac flights admits moving “a lot” more cases to US than pub disclosed. State Dept. mum on details & treatment locations.”

AlertsUSA: While I still think the threat of it spreading like it has in Africa is lower here in US, this is more concerning. Do your sources have any other information on the extent of this practice?
In the time since your questions were originally posed, much has transpired.

While we have no further references to “secret” flights, take note that Judicial Watch, the conservative public watchdog group, says in a new report that the President is “actively formulating plans” to admit Ebola-infected non-citizens into the U.S. for treatment.
 
 

Other Threats?

Chris: What other threats should we be paying attention to that I haven’t covered?

AlertsUSA: In the end, I would say that while it is extremely easy for people to become complacent because it seems the U.S. rarely comes under attack or that nothing too bad ever happens, this is an extremely dangerous mindset. Particularly for those of us who profess to be Christians.

Just consider where we are as a Nation:

The dominant political party in America has adopted and ferociously defends the sins listed in Romans 1 as their national platform. Free birth control and the promotion of fornication, abortion on demand up to and including late term (murder), the widespread promotion of homosexuality and the codifying of homosexual marriage into Federal law (and the “hearty approval of those who practice it”), and on and on and on. All of this is a gross violation of God’s law.

With all of this and more happening on a national level, can anyone really think that we are a Nation under God’s blessing and protection? Hardly. Romans 1 is explicitly clear that God WILL judge nations which go down this line.

Pray, Prepare and Stay Aware.

The Pressure Cooker That is America

The Pressure Cooker That is America

I started my morning as I always do, pouring over emails, comments and looking at various news outlets. A few headlines caught my eye and I was soon shaking my head. You see, I got this mental picture of a pressure cooker on high heat but the steam vent was plugged. From my understanding, if the steam doesn’t vent, the pressure will continue to build until the cooker explodes. Whether or not that is true is beside the point. You get the idea of my mental image…something has to give and release all the built up pressure.

Before I go on, let me first say that I do not blame only this administration for the pressure. The Bush administration as well as administrations before it has a fair amount of blame to own. I have said before that the Bush administration used a hammer and nails to seal America’s fate. President Obama is using a nail gun and just doing the job faster.

Let me explain what I mean by “something has to give”. Going back to my defective pressure canner reference, if the steam vent is plugged and the only ways to release pressure were to either: a.) notice it was plugged and try to safely remove the debris that clogged it or, b.) turn the heat down, if neither were done, the pressure cooker would either break or explode. In my mental picture, the item being cooked is American society. The heat source is made up of all of the things that are “wrong” with society these days. The more there is wrong, the hotter the flame and the higher the pressure goes.

Here are some of the news items I have covered just this year. I don’t write about most of the items that catch my attention. I do mention them on facebook and in the forum more often.

The War on Guns; Part One and Part Two which I wrote about in answer to this administration’s actions and statements after the Sandy Hook shooting.

Government; the Good the Bad and the…What are They Planning

Trading Liberty for Safety

There is no Such Thing as Privacy and yes Big Brother is Watching

Military Power Grab

Nine Meals from Anarchy; a Food Stamp Melt Down

Food Stamp Cuts Starting November 1st

Police Over Reaching on Gun Rights

Increasing Random Acts of Violence

In just the last week or two, we have seen, as the FOX News article calls it “A conspiracy so vast — it’s not just the NSA, now the FBI, your local police are also spying on US citizens”. A quick summary of that story from Judge Napolitano is that not only is the NSA still doing whatever it wants with ALL of your electronic data, but the only person who they’ve fired is Snowden, the man who brought their treachery to light.

The Judge goes on to inform us that the FBI:

“has acquired software that permits it to utilize the tiny cameras in many home computers to observe whoever or whatever may be in front of the computer screen.

The FBI doesn’t only look at whoever is using the computer screen; it also captures the words and images on the screen. It seems to have an affinity for monitoring online gaming, even the lawful variety.”

He also goes on to tell us that several local police departments have asked cell phone companies for tower dumps; a tower dump copy of all digitally recorded calls that went through the cell tower. Some companies said “no”, so the police went to court, and some courts said “no”. Some police departments have purchased a $400,000 piece of equipment that spoofs a cell tower and will record the cell conversations, bypassing the need to ask the phone company to honor our Fourth Amendment rights.

In the last weeks, we’ve also seen more pressure build from the mess that is obummercare. Hundreds of thousands of people have received letters telling them they are being dropped from their current healthcare and must find new plans; Trudee and I each got a letter. I am unemployed, was unemployed when we got approved for the plan through our county and we were paying $160 a month for the two of us. When obummercare went into effect, we got a letter stating that I make too much money to qualify for the current plan. In searching for a new plan, it will cost us from $140-$220 for ONE OF US! Yeah, I’m angry, more than angry actually, but done venting. Sorry.

I have read several reports that hackers have broken into the federal website and that security experts have said no one should enter their personal data on it. I have also read reports stating that, due to faulty code, some people could receive a penalty for not having insurance, even though they have purchased a plan and are currently enrolled in it. I’m sure we can all list a number of stories we’ve heard, but here is a story I think is very important that you be made aware of.

Michael Cannon, the Director of Health Policy Studies for the Cato Institute, testified before a congressional committee about Presidential powers and the Constitution, as well as the possible consequences of the implementation of the affordable care act. Here is a recording of the portion I think is important. It is only one minute long. Please watch and listen.
 

 

“There is one last thing to which the people can resort if the government does not respect the restrains that the constitution places on the government, Abraham Lincoln talked about our right to alter our government or our revolutionary right to overthrow it. That is certainly something that no one wants to contemplate, but as I mentioned in my written delivered testimony

If the people come to believe that the government is no longer constrained by the laws then they will conclude neither are they. That is why this is a very dangerous thing for the President to do, to wantonly ignore the laws, to try to impose obligations on people that the legislature did not approve.”

A director of one of America’s biggest think tanks told a congressional panel that if the President continues to ignore the law, the American people might revolt and ignore it as well. A small kicker is that an unnamed congressmen said that it “was an excellent conclusion”.

Please, no one respond with how we need a violent revolution. Neither you nor I need any attention from Big Brother. That being said, I have read one commentary on this story that basically said that even though Mr. Cannon used the word revolution, he didn’t really mean it. I disagree. I think he did mean it, and the fact that someone is in front of congress, warning them that the President’s actions may lead to this is a very scary thing.

This leads me back to my description of the broken pressure cooker; sure there are things that can temporarily reduce the heat, releasing some of the pressure. These things can be news stories that draw national attention for a time, such as the new Pope being selected or Nelson Mandela’s death, or even a story from inside the nation like the Oscar’s, or the Black Friday incidents. The problem is, as I mentioned, these are temporary fixes that temporarily remove the heat source, allowing the pressure to calm, if even a little.

If individual people and groups of people would stop throwing another log on the fire, maybe enough time could go by for the pressure to get down to safe levels. The problem is that they (politicians, alphabet agencies) keep looking for bigger logs and are more than happy to throw them on the fire. The people we have elected to lead us do not have our best interests in mind. The agencies and technologies that are supposed to keep us safe from foreign harm are being used against us.

As I mentioned, there are only two other ways to remove the pressure. A violent revolution would be the equivalent to the pressure cooker exploding.

I have read stories over the last two years that say we’re inching closer to another American revolution. I simply can’t wrap my mind around what a violent revolution might look like. There were fairly clear dividing lines between the north and south. The opposing sides in the conflicts now have more to do with way of life; morals and ideals. The battle lines could literally end up being neighbor against neighbor.

This leaves one other option; people realizing the pressure is at dangerous levels and taking steps to correct the situation. This is much harder than it might sound. You see, we evidently don’t trust each other, according to this article from the Associated Press. As one person in their article commented:

“It’s like the rules of the game,” Clark said. “When trust is low, the way we react and behave with each other becomes less civil.”

I have some theories on why people don’t trust each other and treat each other poorly. One problem I think comes as a byproduct from the Internet. When I was a kid, if I wanted to talk to someone, I had to either see them in person or talk to them on the phone. We exercised our people skills frequently throughout our day. [Side note: It’s funny to me that I am writing about a lack people skills in society. I have Asperger Syndrome and mine are far from perfect.] I digress. I think the amount of time we deal with each other face-to-face is a fraction of the time it used to be. I think there are consequences for that.

I also think this is part of what Jesus meant about the “Love of many waxing cold”.

[On another side note, since this article mentions the word “revolution” and the words “pressure” and “cooker,” if you never hear from me again, just know that the NSA grabbed me and I say “hello” from Gitmo.]
 
Final Thoughts

I have some ideas about what will happen when the pressure gets too high. I don’t think it will be an all-out civil war. Many of the countries involved in the Arab Spring had civil unrest that led to revolution and civil war and saw multiple governments topple. This will not be allowed to happen by the federal Government. However, if tensions continue to build, I do expect to see riots bigger than any in our history. Many would say this is the response our Government is expecting and is part of why they have spent so much money beefing up Homeland Security.

Maybe things will calm down enough to let this current level of pressure lower. Ideally we would see revival and many come to know the Lord.

2 Chronicles 7:14

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

 

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