The President’s 2014 Budget Proposal: A Challenge to Readers

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Consider the following three statements:

“It is our generation’s task to reignite the true engine of America’s economic growth—a rising, thriving middle class. It is our unfinished task to restore the basic bargain that built this country— the idea that if you work hard and meet your responsibilities, you can get ahead, no matter where you come from, no matter what you look like, or whom you love.”

and:

“By making investments in our people and infrastructure, we will strengthen the middle class, make America a magnet for jobs and innovation, and grow our economy, which will in turn help us to reduce deficits.”

and:

“In order for our country to continue leading in the 21st Century economy, we need a 21st Century Government. We need a Government that is lean, efficient, and continuously striving to do more with less, ensuring that every taxpayer dollar is used wisely and to the maximum effect. We need a Government that is responsive to the needs of its citizens and businesses, and is willing to embrace the rapid pace of technological innovation underway, ensuring that we remain globally competitive.”

The above quotes are the words of the president in his 2014 fiscal budget proposal.  If you want to read along with us, you can download it in PDF or you can read it in parts here.  Sounds good, right?  Let’s just talk about that. 

The engine of America’s growth was free enterprise.  Investing in people and infrastructure means government spending.   A lean, efficient government means less spending, not more.  A government responsive to the needs of its citizens does not achieve its goal by circumventing the Constitution of the United States.

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These three paragraphs seem mutually exclusive.  How can there be more government spending and more government agencies created, and still claim to strive for a “lean” government?

The comments of the president are contained in the first fifty-seven pages of the document.  All of this in just the first pages, before any real number crunching begins.

While someone would argue that the president didn’t write all those pages, or that he had others crunch numbers and actually do the work, true.  But, he did in fact put his name on it and take credit for it.

Now, with all that being said, when you look at what the government will fund, reduce funding, or eliminate funding, one could say, “Good.  It’s about time”.  At least some of the time.  And there’s the rub.  No one wants his piece of the pie cut.  They all want someone else’s cut.

The budget seeks to get rid of unnecessary payments to redundant parts of government.  Why fund nearly identical education programs of four or five agencies when only one is needed?

And how many agree we don’t need Potato Breeding Research?  Isn’t that what universities and private business does?

It’s the advice of The Daily Prepper News that you don’t listen to the broadcast stations until you have read the budget yourself.  It will take some time, but what do you bet your representatives won’t actually sit down and read it themselves?  It is only 244 pages long, and some of those have no words on them.  It’s the size of a novel.  One thing is for sure, all preppers read because they know the value of information.  This information is important because it will drive how congress responds to the president’s proposal, and those responses will effect us on the state and local level through everything from housing to food supply.

So, here is the challenge to DPN readers:

Read the budget.  See what it says.  Tell us what you think and why.  Be sure to reference your page numbers so we can look at it with you and see what you saw.  We will publish at least one article for each of the parts of the budget.  To join the challenge, first register on this site, second use the contact form to tell us you want to join the challenge.  You will receive instructions by email.

Offended? Who Isn’t?

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Political correctness is not politically correct.Some where along the line many people lost sight of the fact that everyone has the right to have and express an opinion in a civil manner.  I think it started some where near the 1960’s.  At least that is how I remember it.  Certainly it was in full roar by 1980.  Suddenly people have to be politically correct.

The thing every person needs to realize is that they do NOT have the right to never be offended.  That’s what happens when you live in a free society, or the remnants of one anyway.  People use their civil rights to express themselves and someone, somewhere, doesn’t like it and feels offended.  So what.  Who cares?  Seriously.

It’s not like they were pointing fingers at those offended individuals and calling them names or slandering them.  No sir.  They were expressing their opinions.  Or worse, some people grew up thinking their opinion is the only right one because that is how their parents raised them.  Those same offended people don’t think twice about how their opinions, when expressed, offend other people.  Just because you have an opinion doesn’t mean you have to open your mouth.  There is a time and place for everything.

It’s like they have some sort of egocentric disorder that deludes them into thinking their opinion is the only right one and the only one that counts.  Everyone else is wrong.  These people believe they have a right not to be offended.  They are wrong.

Of course there are some people who slander and point fingers.   They express their opinions in an inappropriate manner. Those people are rude and selfish at the very least.  Let’s not let them in the playground until they learn to play nice with others.  Oh, wait, those people are the ones who were offended!  Maybe they should just find another playground if they can’t share the Constitution with everyone.

You don’t have to be “politically correct”, just considerate, mannerly and orderly.  Political correctness is for the workplace and the government.  Individuals have the right to their legal lifestyle, religion and favorite author.  Our favorite authors are the ones who wrote the Declaration of Independence and The Constitution of the United States.

photo by: Subharnab

North Korea Turns Up the Volume Towards South Korea, U.N. Security Council and United States

North Korea Kim Jong UnConsidering the sound of North Korean rhetoric and threats, the South Korean military is  practicing drills in case they should have to engage in gorilla warfare.  Part of those drills include the flying of B-52 bombers over the peninsula.   One would think the drills are in direct response to recent activity.  They are not, not really.  These exercises are held every year in the spring.  Every year.  They are not new.  They are performed by every military in various locations through out the world on their own schedule.  Yet North Korea acts as if it is a threat to North Korea.  Kim Jong Un is his country’s own worst enemy.

Each day the North Korean government seems to ramp up their propaganda machine and are attempting to spark fear in the South Koreans, other Asian countries and in the countries of the world that support South Korea.  Having tested a nuclear bomb last month, near the time they released an edited video of attacks on the U. S. were published on YouTube, they might be getting too big for their britches.

Some how this all seems like a spoiled sociopath child throwing a temper tantrum.  Their leader, Kim Jong Un, must be unhappy about the condition of his country’s economy, social condition, and international relationships.  He is so unhappy that he, like his father, has singled out two countries  of the world full of countries to demonize.  Even their “friend” China has told them they are going too far.

Kim Jong Un forgets that as he is preparing to go to war, the rest of the world is preparing as well.  Not only are they preparing, they have been preparing for decades.  Why?  Being prepared is a strong deterrence to war.  If Kim Jong Un were wise he would know that he can’t possibly win a war between the countries of the U.N.

Even if by some chance North Korean does manage to attack a major U. S. city, we will rise from the ashes and be stronger than before.  We always do.  That is because as a nation full of citizen warriors, we are prepared.  We are strong.  We don’t give up and we don’t give in.  We won’t be intimidated.  We get on with things.  That is the prepper attitude.  We will continue to prepare as citizens and as a government.

 

References:

Lendon, Brad, and Chris Lawrence. “U.S. Flies B-52s over South Korea.” CNN. Cable News Network, 01 Jan. 1970. Web. 19 Mar. 2013.

Kwon, K.J., K.J. Kwon Reported from Seoul, Jethro Mullen Reported, and Wrote From Hong Kong. “North Korean Video Shows Imagined Attack on Washington.” CNN. Cable News Network, 01 Jan. 1970. Web. 19 Mar. 2013.

“North Korea Youtube Video of Nuclear Attack on US | Dreams Nuclear WAR.” YouTube. YouTube, 05 Feb. 2013. Web. 19 Mar. 2013.

Craggs, Ryan. “China: North Korea Nuclear Test Brings ‘Strong Dissatisfaction And Firm Opposition‘” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 12 Feb. 2013. Web. 19 Mar. 2013.

 

Communications Basics – Amateur Radio

Communications Basics – Amateur Radio

by

Matt Moody

 It is a proven fact that when any type of disaster strikes the first thing that is needed is a solid communications network to make recovery efforts flow well. The fiascos of the past, such as Hurricane Katrina, have proven that one disaster can turn into multiple disasters very quickly when communications is thwarted or unavailable.

HAM radios are an integral part of communications.Communications is typically utilized by authorities to maintain command and control under emergency conditions. As we have seen when communications systems fail, or are not used properly, people die unnecessarily. When communications systems work as planned then the recovery efforts reduce the loss of life and enable responders to aid those in need in a timely and humane way.

Most of us have not been through any type of major disaster. Most of us are still preparing for disasters such as an economic collapse, Martial law, some type of epidemic, flooding, tornadoes, snow and ice storms, heat waves, and the list goes on. Regardless of the situation we are faced with communications enables us to “connect” with family members, neighbors, and others with resources that can provide aid should the need arise.

Now, let’s get to the heart of the matter. Taking care of ourselves and our families should be our primary goals. We are facing unprecedented changes in the United States today and the direction this nation is taking is not a healthy one. Being able to communicate with other like-minded individuals, groups, and communities will be of paramount importance.

Over the last 36-years I’ve looked at numerous types of communications platforms and the best that we have available to us is amateur radio. Each day new “hams” join our ranks as Technicians, Generals, or Extra class licensees. By taking a test which is offered by Volunteer Examiners (VEs) at numerous locations around the country individuals are then able to “get on the air” and benefit from what amateur radio has to offer.

The higher the class of license one can obtain the better. What I’m ultimately getting to is this – there are modes of operation and frequency allocations that would benefit the person involved in emergency preparation by having the higher class of license. The modes of operation will be discussed in future articles. For now, just understand that having maximum access to frequencies and other communications capabilities makes one just that much more prepared for emergency situations that arise.

The ability for individuals, families, and groups to be able to communicate over longer distances will be critical. While there is a place for Citizen Band (CB) radio capabilities, it is inefficient and has a short range. The Family Radio Service (FRS), General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS), and other commercial-type systems also deal with range limitations and the availability of good equipment generally. This is not to say that they don’t have their place in emergency situations because they do. However, they generally have many more limitations than does amateur radio.

Therefore, let me recommend that any person reading this article obtain their amateur radio (ham) license as soon as possible and acquire Very High Frequency/Ultra High Frequency (VHF/UHF) radios as well as High Frequency (HF) radios. Develop a plan and budget in order to obtain these radios. Determine your needs and acquire the equipment that fits those needs.

Amateur radio operators have the ability to talk locally via simplex which is radio-to-radio, on duplex which is through a repeater system, and by utilizing an Internet Radio Linking Project (IRLP) system can talk around the country or the world easily with a handheld radio. By utilizing HF capabilities one can talk locally and around the world on a radio-to-radio basis.

With all the radio capabilities let me focus on our need to communicate locally and regionally. As individuals concerned about preparing for any event Learning to communicate with a HAM radio requires practice.that can disrupt our lives, it is important to know that we will have little impact on what may happen in another state or region. For us, having immediate knowledge of what is happening on our block, community, county, and state will be critical to us. Once we have intelligence gathered on those levels we can then explore what situations are occurring in other parts of the country and add that to our base of information. I cannot emphasize enough the need to be able to communicate locally with like-minded individuals as there is safety in numbers. Using amateur radio with pre-coordinated frequencies will be very important. In fact, individuals need to practice using their equipment and talking on the radios as much as possible. Also, every ham operator should have some sort of emergency power source (batteries, solar generator, and gas powered generator) in case there is no grid power available.

Finally, understand that every radio has its vulnerabilities. Amateur radios are no exception. An electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, will kill just about anything electronic. That’s why we cache extra radios in Faraday cages so that they will not be affected by such a burst of energy. I will have more on that in later articles. Just understand that having the ability to communicate is priceless to anyone dealing with an emergency situation. Not knowing what is going on can be devastating to say the least.

For a list of locations to take your amateur radio license test(s) go to:

http://www.arrl.org/licensing-preparation-exams

http://www.w5yi.org/exam_locations_ama.php

For sites to take practice exams go to:

http://www.qrz.com/hamtest/

http://www.arrl.org/exam-practice

http://www.eham.net/exams/

http://www.kb6nu.com/tech-manual/

Good luck!

Matt Moody is a former Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps and a former Army Signal Officer. He has been a licensed amateur radio operator (Amateur Extra Class) for 36 years. He has been a Platoon Sergeant and a Platoon Leader/Team Leader. He was involved in numerous air assault operations in the late 70s and in Special Operations in the 80s. He was a member of the Marine Corps Base 29 Palms Shooting Team (’77-’79), shot in numerous Division Matches, and is sniper qualified. Matt is also a graduate of the rigorous Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center and the Marine Corps Escape and Evasion (E&E) Course. Matt holds an AAS degree in Special Studies (Military Science) from Ricks College and a BS in Criminal Justice from Utah Valley University. He is a former Supervisor with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) where he was assigned to the Salt Lake City and New York City (JFK) airports. He enjoys teaching emergency preparedness and communications courses to individual and groups. Matt presently serves as the Chief Security Officer (CSO) for a private company.

photos by: mrbill & Nite_Owl