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January 22, 2012

Subculture of Americans prepares for civilization's collapse
(By Jim Forsyth - Reuters - Published - 1/21/12)

When Patty Tegeler looks out the window of her home overlooking the Appalachian Mountains in southwestern Virginia, she sees trouble on the horizon.

"In an instant, anything can happen," she told Reuters. "And I firmly believe that you have to be prepared."

Tegeler is among a growing subculture of Americans who refer to themselves informally as "preppers." Some are driven by a fear of imminent societal collapse, others are worried about terrorism, and many have a vague concern that an escalating series of natural disasters is leading to some type of environmental cataclysm.

They are following in the footsteps of hippies in the 1960s who set up communes to separate themselves from what they saw as a materialistic society, and the survivalists in the 1990s who were hoping to escape the dictates of what they perceived as an increasingly secular and oppressive government.
Preppers, though are, worried about no government.

Tegeler, 57, has turned her home in rural Virginia into a "survival center," complete with a large generator, portable heaters, water tanks, and a two-year supply of freeze-dried food that her sister recently gave her as a birthday present. She says that in case of emergency, she could survive indefinitely in her home. And she thinks that emergency could come soon.

"I think this economy is about to fall apart," she said.

A wide range of vendors market products to preppers, mainly online. They sell everything from water tanks to guns to survival skills.

Conservative talk radio host Glenn Beck seems to preach preppers' message when he tells listeners: "It's never too late to prepare for the end of the world as we know it."

"Unfortunately, given the increasing complexity and fragility of our modern technological society, the chances of a societal collapse are increasing year after year," said author James Wesley Rawles, whose Survival Blog is considered the guiding light of the prepper movement.

A former Army intelligence officer, Rawles has written fiction and non-fiction books on end-of-civilization topics, including "How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It," which is also known as the preppers' Bible.

"We could see a cascade of higher interest rates, margin calls, stock market collapses, bank runs, currency revaluations, mass street protests, and riots," he told Reuters. "The worst-case end result would be a Third World War, mass inflation, currency collapses, and long term power grid failures."

A sense of "suffering and being afraid" is usually at the root of this kind of thinking, according to Cathy Gutierrez, an expert on end-times beliefs at Sweet Briar College in Virginia. Such feelings are not unnatural in a time of economic recession and concerns about a growing national debt, she said.

"With our current dependence on things from the electric grid to the Internet, things that people have absolutely no control over, there is a feeling that a collapse scenario can easily emerge, with a belief that the end is coming, and it is all out of the individual's control," she told Reuters.

She compared the major technological developments of the past decade to the Industrial Revolution of the 1830s and 1840s, which led to the growth of the Millerites, the 19th-Century equivalent of the preppers. Followers of charismatic preacher Joseph Miller, many sold everything and gathered in 1844 for what they believed would be the second coming of Jesus Christ.

Many of today's preppers receive inspiration from the Internet, devouring information posted on websites like that run by attorney Michael T. Snider, who writes The Economic Collapse blog out of his home in northern Idaho.

"Modern preppers are much different from the survivalists of the old days," he said. "You could be living next door to a prepper and never even know it. Many suburbanites are turning spare rooms into food pantries and are going for survival training on the weekends."

Like other preppers, Snider is worried about the end of a functioning U.S. economy. He points out that tens of millions of Americans are on food stamps and that many U.S. children are living in poverty.
"Most people have a gut feeling that something has gone terribly wrong, but that doesn't mean that they understand what is happening," he said. "A lot of Americans sense that a massive economic storm is coming and they want to be prepared for it."

So, assuming there is no collapse of society -- which the preppers call "uncivilization" -- what is the future of the preppers?

Gutierrez said that unlike the Millerites -- or followers of radio preacher Harold Camping, who predicted the world would end last year -- preppers are not setting a date for the coming destruction. The Mayan Calendar predicts doom this December.

"The minute you set a date, you are courting disconfirmation," she said.

Tegeler, who recalls being hit by tornadoes and floods in her southwestern Virginia home, said that none of her "survival center" products will go to waste.

"I think it's silly not to be prepared," she said. "After all, anything can happen."

January 11, 2012

Why Revolutionary Realty thinks Wolves don't belong in North Idaho

!!WARNING - GRAPHIC!! - Click Here

December 30, 2011

Idaho has cheapest Electricity Cost in America: USA Today 12/13/11

Electric bills have skyrocketed in the last five years, a sharp reversal from a quarter-century when Americans enjoyed stable power bills even as they used more electricity. Households paid a record $1,419 on average for electricity in 2010, the fifth consecutive yearly increase above the inflation rate, a USA TODAY analysis of government data found. The jump has added about $300 a year to what households pay for electricity. That's the largest sustained increase since a run-up in electricity prices during the here for complete article and electricity bills by state chart .

August 21, 2010

Tax Increases for EVERYBODY? No, tell me it’s not so!!!

In less than six months, the largest tax hikes in the history of America will take effect. They will hit families and small businesses in three great waves on January 1, 2011:

First Wave: Expiration of 2001 and 2003 Tax Relief

In 2001 and 2003, the GOP Congress enacted several tax cuts for investors, small business owners, and families.

These will all expire on January 1, 2011:

Personal income tax rates will rise. The top income tax rate will rise from 35 to 39.6 percent (this is also the rate at which two-thirds of small business profits are taxed). The lowest rate will rise from 10 to 15 percent. All the rates in between will also rise. Itemized deductions and personal exemptions will again phase out, which has the same mathematical effect as higher marginal tax rates. The full list of marginal rate hikes is below:

The 10% bracket rises to 15%

The 25% bracket rises to 28%

The 28% bracket rises to 31%

The 33% bracket rises to 36%

The 35% bracket rises to 39.6%

Higher taxes on marriage and family. The "marriage penalty" (narrower tax brackets for married couples) will return from the first dollar of income. The child tax credit will be cut in half from $1000 to $500 per child. The standard deduction will no longer be doubled for married couples relative to the single level. The dependent care and adoption tax credits will be cut.

The return of the Death Tax. This year, there is no death tax. For those dying on or after January 1 2011, there is a 55 percent top death tax rate on estates over $1 million. A person leaving behind two homes and a retirement account could easily pass along a death tax bill to their loved ones.

Higher tax rates on savers and investors. The capital gains tax will rise from 15 percent this year to 20 percent in 2011. The dividends tax will rise from 15 percent this year to 39.6 percent in 2011. These rates will rise another 3.8 percent in 2013.

Second Wave: Obamacare

There are over 20 new or higher taxes in Obamacare. Several will first go into effect on January 1, 2011. They include:

The "Medicine Cabinet Tax" Thanks to Obamacare, Americans will no longer be able to use health savings account (HSA), flexible spending account (FSA), or health reimbursement (HRA) pre-tax dollars to purchase non-prescription, over-the-counter medicines (except insulin).

The "Special Needs Kids Tax" This provision of Obamacare imposes a cap on flexible spending accounts (FSAs) of $2500 (Currently, there is no federal government limit). There is one group of FSA owners for whom this new cap will be particularly cruel and onerous: parents of special needs children.

There are thousands of families with special needs children in the United States, and many of them use FSAs to pay for special needs education. Tuition rates at one leading school that teaches special needs children in Washington , D.C. ( National Child Research Center ) can easily exceed $14,000 per year. Under tax rules, FSA dollars can be used to pay for this type of special needs education.

The HSA Withdrawal Tax Hike. This provision of Obamacare increases the additional tax on non-medical early withdrawals from an HSA from 10 to 20 percent, disadvantaging them relative to IRAs and other tax-advantaged accounts, which remain at 10 percent.

Third Wave: The Alternative Minimum Tax and Employer Tax Hikes

When Americans prepare to file their tax returns in January of 2011, they'll be in for a nasty surprise-the AMT won't be held harmless, and many tax relief provisions will have expired. The major items include:

The AMT will ensnare over 28 million families, up from 4 million last year. According to the left-leaning Tax Policy Center , Congress' failure to index the AMT will lead to an explosion of AMT taxpaying families-rising from 4 million last year to 28.5 million. These families will have to calculate their tax burdens twice, and pay taxes at the higher level. The AMT was created in 1969 to ensnare a handful of taxpayers.

Small business expensing will be slashed and 50% expensing will disappear.

Small businesses can normally expense (rather than slowly-deduct, or "depreciate") equipment purchases up to $250,000. This will be cut all the way down to $25,000. Larger businesses can expense half of their purchases of equipment. In January of 2011, all of it will have to be "depreciated."

Taxes will be raised on all types of businesses.

There are literally scores of tax hikes on business that will take place. The biggest is the loss of the "research and experimentation tax credit," but there are many, many others. Combining high marginal tax rates with the loss of this tax relief will cost jobs.

Tax Benefits for Education and Teaching Reduced. The deduction for tuition and fees will not be available. Tax credits for education will be limited. Teachers will no longer be able to deduct classroom expenses. Covered Education Savings Accounts will be cut. Employer-provided educational assistance is curtailed. The student loan interest deduction will be disallowed for hundreds of thousands of families.

Charitable Contributions from IRAs no longer allowed. Under current law, a retired person with an IRA can contribute up to $100,000 per year directly to a charity from their IRA. This contribution also counts toward an annual "required minimum distribution." This ability will no longer be there.

PDF Version Read more:

Now your insurance is INCOME on your W2’s

One of the surprises we'll find come next year, is what follows - - a little "surprise" that 99% of us had no idea was included in the "new and improved" healthcare legislation . . . the dupes, er, dopes, who backed this administration will be astonished!

Starting in 2011, (next year folks), your W-2 tax form sent by your employer will be increased to show the value of whatever health insurance you are given by the company. It does not matter if that's a private concern or governmental body of some sort. If you're retired? So what; your gross will go up by the amount of insurance you get.

You will be required to pay taxes on a large sum of money that you have never seen. Take your tax form you just finished and see what $15,000 or $20,000 additional gross does to your tax debt. That's what you'll pay next year. For many, it also puts you into a new higher bracket so it's even worse.

This is how the government is going to buy insurance for the 15% that don't have insurance and it's only part of the tax increases.

Not believing this??? Here is a research of the summaries.....

On page 25 of 29: TITLE IX REVENUE PROVISIONS- SUBTITLE A: REVENUE OFFSET PROVISIONS-(sec. 9001, as modified by sec. 10901) Sec. 9002 "requires employers to include in the W-2 form of each employee the aggregate cost of applicable employer sponsored group health coverage that is excludable from the employees gross income."

Joan Pryde is the senior tax editor for the Kiplinger letters. Go to Kiplingers and read about 13 tax changes that could affect you . Number 3 is what is above.

People need to know the truth because an election is coming in November.

August 1, 2010

Are you thinking about Selling your home or Land; or for that matter Buying in the next year or two? If so, I think this bit of information might mean something to you, as it will affect all of us:

There is indeed a tax on the sale of real estate. It doesn’t apply to many people, but it WILL apply to some people that have profit from the sale of their homes. Starting in 2013, those with incomes over $200,000 will have to pay a 3.8% tax on profit from the sale of their primary residence or investment properties . The exact amount will be based on a formula that includes the profit from the property and the income above $200,000. The tax is not an income tax, but rather it is a “payroll tax”… officially it is a Medicare Tax.

It does not just apply to real estate, but also applies to investment income and dividends.

Something to keep in mind…

July 5, 2010

Sadly, I have seen many people who would have been easy to finance in 2006 get completely shut out of the Real Estate Market in 2010.

Regardless if the Loans are commercial or residential, the determining factors as to if a person or couple can receive a loan from commercial banks (or any institution for that matter) is pretty consistent for all property types. What I’ve seen lately that would qualify the average person for a conventional loan is the following:

720+ FICO score
Verifiable and sustainable employment or self employment for the last two years (minimum)
12+ months of mortgage payments in a cash/checking/savings account
A minimum of 25% in reserves if planning on purchasing an investment property
Two years experience as a landlord/property manager, if purchasing an investment property
No late payments or foreclosures on real estate debts
The world has changed a lot, when it comes to financing, so these requirements are the norm, and many banks are actually demanding more.

I’ve seen a ton of good solid people lose deals directly as a result of not being able to obtain financing from the same banks that we “Bailed out”. I think it’s a shame, but it’s also reality; if you want to get a loan from a Bank, on any form of Real Estate, the best & most available are government backed loans FHA/HUD and the conventional loans that aren’t backed by the Government are extremely hard to obtain.

June 15, 2010

When you leave Coeur d’Alene, Eastbound on I-90, you go up & over a few smaller mountains, but big enough that some people might call them a “Pass”. In any event, this is a Stunningly Beautiful drive, looking down over Lake Coeur d'Alene, Wolf Lodge Bay, and the surrounding Coeur d’Alene National Forest for miles & miles. The scenery is dramatic enough that plenty of people have crashed because they were so mesmerized by the views, so be careful if you’re driving here (please).

This weekend, I was driving home on I-90, and I was following a big Harley Davidson Bike. This guy was taking his time, breathing in the clean air, and enjoying the views on a sunny North Idaho day. Just past the top of the pass, there is a huge, majestic bridge named the “Veterans Memorial Centennial Bridge”.

I watched this biker let go of the right handlebar, and make the crispest, fullest salute I’ve seen in a long time, just before he crossed onto the bridge.

And this struck me.

As I watched this bike ride along in front of me, a couple of things came to mind; one is that I think that this pony tailed biker was either a Vietnam Vet (and a BIG THANK YOU for your service would be in order) or he is one of these awesome people who understands what our Vets have paid for our Freedoms over the years, and especially right now, with all that is Iraq & Afghanistan. He could easily be both.

In any event, I pushed my vehicle right up to 90 MPH to catch this guy, right at my exit, and as he looked over at the lunatic passing him on his right, this Veteran saluted him back.

I’m glad to see guys like that, and equally happy that I served for them.

America THE Beautiful.

May 25, 2010

Late Spring has arrived in Beautiful Coeur d'Alene, but the winter passed by quickly for all of us who are lucky enough to have enjoyed the great outdoor experiences available in North Idaho , with snowmobiling, skating, skiing, ice fishing and exploring the breathtaking snowscaped Rocky Mountains taking up a lot of our time. Last weekend, Memorial Day Weekend, we skied at Silver Mountain one last time-in 71 degree weather!

With each and every seasonal transformation comes more exciting opportunities for everyone and anyone who enjoys all that a 4 season activity center such as Coeur d'Alene has to offer.

Our local area lakes are Crystal clear, the rivers serenely clear of ice and flowing free, blossoms now appearing everywhere and it's a great time for hiking enthusiasts and bicyclists to travel the trails, explore history or simply enjoy the rebirth of nature in it's purest form.

Springtime temps are expected to be mild while warming steadily, great news for area gardeners who have a unique dedication to home grown specialties while at the same time saving on that family budget.

Now is a great time to enjoy North Idaho's outdoors; golfers, fishermen, bikers, bicyclists, shoppers, all can expect a ton of sun, warm days & cool nights.


April 22, 2010

The people of the Coeur d'Alene & North Idaho enjoy a great many natural and National wonders they can be very proud of, however, outside of the obvious natural beauty of Coeur d'Alene's Rocky Mountains I came across another category which again places Idaho residents in first place overall throughout the entire nation.

A National Drivers Test which consists of questions compiled from all 50 states reflects that Idaho is top of the list with regards to safe drivers. While the test is not indicative of actual citations issued or accident claims presented per capita, it is positively a result which verifies that Idaho residents have a greater awareness to rules of the road and the law in general.

This makes me proud of my fellow Idahoans, and from my perspective, people here are fairly friendly on the roads, seeming to always lend a hand when someone is in need.

In order to follow the law of the land, a person has to know the law; and the number one ranking again proves that Idahoans work pretty hard to do the right thing, making good common sense decisions when driving.

Bravo Idaho!

April 10, 2010

Lake Coeur d’Alene Spring Fishing

The temps are warming and the northern pike have now become very aggressive in Lake Coeur d'Alene Our Beautiful Lake contains an abundance of trophy sized pike, many capable of surpassing the 25 pound range. Most pike anglers would expect to find this caliber of fishing in the desolate reaches of far off Canadian fly in trips but it is also located right here in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.

Hooking into the whopper northern pike isn’t uncommon, experiment with Silver Crankbaits, the more action produced by the lure the better your chances, hook up with live bait, suckers or shiners in the 6 inch plus category. A great technique while drifting is to lay a large smelt a reasonable distance behind your boat. Shore fishermen can have great success simply by using frozen smelt under a big bobber, watch the bobber being pulled around by the sucker until the bobber disappears underwater, when it does, set the hook hard because the fun has just begun.

After you've landed the Northern, don't forget to remove those “Y” bones during the fillet process. Fillet and skin the pike as usual, then cut a line down the entire length just above the line of “Y” bones, then cut on an angle upward just below the line of y bones, remove the bothersome y bones in one connected section and slice the fillets into 3 inch lengths for a delicious home fried dinner or shore lunch. When you catch the really big one, double fillet the sides, they'll fry up much more efficient and complete.

Have fun!



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