Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Beef Prices Soar....But You Already Knew That

The USDA reports beef prices went up 10% last year and will go up another 5% this year.  From the article:  "A drought across Texas and Oklahoma has made food and water scarce for cattle, which has kept herds small. The Department of Agriculture says there are 91 million cattle nationally, the smallest herd since 1952. Add to that the rising cost of feed and rising beef exports, and the price of beef in the states is surging."

Those of you who read my 2012 Outlook (which you can still receive for free by emailing me and requesting a copy) knew to expect stories like this.  Early this month, I wrote:

If 2011 reminded us of anything, it was the fact our agricultural sector remains susceptible to
changes in not only the weather but the financial markets as well. The recent collapse of MF
Global continues to send shock waves throughout the ag sector; we may not fully understand
the extent of it until later in the year.

Many of you may wonder why I would bother to provide insight into the agricultural sector.
Without going into a tremendous amount of detail here, we need to remember our growing
global population continues to tax our ability to produce enough food to feed us. While I don’t
subscribe to Malthusian economic theory, I do think it's fair to say we'll experience some
growing pains in our ability to feed ourselves in the coming years. Further, as discussed above,
inflation plays a key role in the price of food, which leaves less money to spend on other
necessities and niceties. And if you needed further proof, note that milk futures were one of
the best performing commodities in 2011.


Here’s the absolute minimum you need to know:
  • Agriculture will be a profitable investment in 2012. We should infer from that food prices won’t subside.
  • Global demand for food will remain strong, provided there are no significant disruptions to the global economy or geopolitical stability.
  • Devalued dollars continue to aid U.S. farm product exporters.
  • Unusual weather patterns may continue to put upward pressure on food prices.
(citations omitted).
I don't share this with you to say "I told you so" but rather to make a very simple but important point to all of you reading this: Anyone who is reading the news and paying attention can see what's happening to us. 
Friends, this isn't rocket science.  Just start reading the news...and not just about the local sports team or the new mall that's opening up down the street.  Start reading the stories that affect your every day life.  Stories about the economy, about what we're eating, about our rights being taken away from us by an overreaching government.  Start putting together your own file of articles, and then share them with friends.  Ask them for a simple favor: see if they will read the articles and tell you what their overall impressions of them are.  Do they reach the same conclusions as you?  If so, ask them, "what steps do you think we should be taking in response to our conclusions?"  This way, you are educating yourself and others, and you're encouraging others to prepare as well.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Hsoi Blogs, You Decide

My colleague from KR Training, the Mighty Hsoi, took the same Dynamic First Aid class on Saturday that I took on Sunday.  I planned to blog about my experiences, but after I read his account, I decided his was better than anything I would write.  I commend it to you. 

Young People Are Planning For Retirement...Yet They Don't Know The Basics

I thought I would be warmed by this story of young adults taking responsibility for their own retirement planning, having reached the inescapable conclusion early on in their lives that their grandparents and great grandparents have completely bankrupted our country.  Yet the more I read, the more disillusioned I became. 

For example, read what Jenny Stein, a 27-year-old senior tax accountant for Ernst & Young, had to say about planning for her retirement:

“I have a 401(k) with Fidelity through work, but it’s confusing. People say you need to be aggressive with your asset classes when you’re young. I don’t know what that means."

Think about this for a moment.  You're a senior tax accountant at E&Y (and as I am married to CPA and former Senior Manager from E&Y, I know you don't get to be a senior at a place like E&Y unless you know a thing or two), and yet you don't know what being aggressive with your asset classes within your 401(k) means?  So why is it then when I simply Google "401k aggressive investment" I get this link as my first response, which gives me at least some clue as to what I need to know?

I'm quite sure Ms. Stein is a bright woman.  What I don't understand is how someone who is a tax accountant at a major accounting firm can't figure out what aggressive investing means. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Look Into the Economy of the EU from the Eyes of the Youth

A young Italian woman fashioned a poignant collage of stories of the youth of the European Union.  Their stories are heartbreaking.  Will the young people in our country say the same thing in a few years?

Dynamic First Aid Class - A Great Course

I spent all of Sunday in a first aid class aimed at the gun community.  I took lots of notes and will share what I learned in the coming days.  I hope you will take time to learn or brush up on first aid skills in 2012.


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Contact Your U.S. Senator - Tell Them To Sponsor and Support S. 570

Senate Bill 570 would prohibit the Department of Justice from tracking and cataloguing the purchases of multiple rifles and shotguns.  It's none of the government's business how many guns you decide to purchase at any one time.  Tell your Senators to stand up for freedom and liberty.  I've already told mine to support this bill, which currently has 33 co-sponsors. 

Tomorrow's Training - Dynamic First Aid

I will be in class tomorrow learning more about this subject.  I was a medical responder years ago with the volunteer fire department, but it's a skill set that has substantially atrophied over the years.  This course will be a good refresher on trauma care.

Being prepared is not about stocking up on guns and ammo and MREs and camo.  It's about being prepared for multiple contingencies, many of which have nothing to do with George Soros' funded civil unrest or Al Qaeda.  Being a good citizen means being ready to step up and help others in their time of need.  In turn, we set a good example and by our actions encourage others to prepare as well.

Friday, January 27, 2012

George Soros: Team Owner

In my efforts to get people to start paying attention to what's happening, I'm rarely handed a gift like the one I am going to share with you this evening.

There seems to be a fair amount of evidence George Soros is supporting the Occupy Wall Street crowd.  He also predicts violence in America.  Seriously.  I know this sounds too Glenn Beck for most people, but as you read the article, it's all quite clear.  Some quotes:

  • "In America he predicts riots on the streets that will lead to a brutal clampdown that will dramatically curtail civil liberties. The global economic system could even collapse altogether."
  • From Soros: "The best-case scenario is a deflationary environment. The worst-case scenario is a collapse of the financial system.”
  • "Critics already allege he is stoking the fires by funding the Occupy movement through Adbusters, the Canadian provocateurs who sparked the movement." (a claim he denies, although there seems to be a fair amount of circumstantial evidence his critics are correct).
  • "As anger rises, riots on the streets of American cities are inevitable. 'Yes, yes, yes,' he says, almost gleefully. The response to the unrest could be more damaging than the violence itself. 'It will be an excuse for cracking down and using strong-arm tactics to maintain law and order, which, carried to an extreme, could bring about a repressive political system, a society where individual liberty is much more constrained, which would be a break with the tradition of the United States.'”
One might say Soros is simply saying that because he's invested in such a way where he will profit from such events, and as a result, needs those events to come to fruition.  Regardless, he is clearly not holding back in telling the world what he thinks will happen.

If you won't listen to me, will you listen to George?

The Six Week List

Earlier this week, I had an opportunity to travel five hours across Texas with two co-workers.  With that much windshield time, we had plenty of opportunity to talk about a number of things.

Both of these co-workers are smart, successful people.  They aren't lawyers, so they don't come with the typical lawyer hang ups (i.e., they don't see danger everywhere they look).  And so I like to ask people like them whether they are fearful of some sort of civil disruption and what they plan to do to prepare.

Like a lot of people, they read the news, and they reported they had concerns about the global economy, the issues with Iran, and the effect of those things on our economy here at home.  If those things came to fruition, they reported they are concerned about our economy not being able to function properly.

One of them asked me: "so what should we do to prepare?"  Later that evening, sitting in the hotel room, I sketched out a basic six week supply list I think is within reach of most Americans.  These include:

  • Six weeks of food per person.  This need not be expensive - canned goods and dried goods (such as beans, rice and pasta, all of which you can get at the store) will work.
  • Cash - $500 per person.  Note this isn't an expense.   Rather, it's part of your savings.  Rather than keep it in the bank, you keep it in a lock box at home, for true emergencies (such as the ATMs don't work and you need food or gas).
  • Water purification.  I'd buy $20 worth of bleach.  If you have extra funds, spent $200 on a Berkey water filtration system.  You can use it year round (we use ours daily).  Berkey filtered water is excellent.
  • Paper towels/toilet paper/kleenex.  Buy enough for each person in the house for six weeks.
  • Prescription meds.  Get a six week supply.  Talk to your doctor about how to do that.
  • Multivitamins.  Get a six week supply, per person.
  • Laundry detergent.  Six week supply.  You'll also need a way to wash the clothes if the power is out.  A five gallon bucket with a little detergent and water works great.  You'll also want some rope in order to create a clothes line.
  • Water.  Ideally, for six weeks, you'd have 100 gallons per person.  That's tough to do, but if you have a way to store a number of 55 gallon barrels in an out of the way place, it's not impossible.
  • Silver/Gold.  I would suggest storing $100 worth (market value, not face value) per person.  It's unclear whether we would need it, but the market seems to indicate the metals will continue to go up in value.  This isn't an expense, either, as it's part of your savings.
  • Matches.  Six boxes of high quality matches should suffice.  You'll want these for candles, lighting stoves, etc.
  • Candles.  Quantity varies.  Think about the last time you had a power outage.  How many did you use, if any?  Note candles necessarily involve an open flame and thus some risk, but properly managed they can be a great tool.
  • Batteries.  There's never such a thing as too few batteries.  If you don't need the extras, your neighbors will be happy to use them.
  • Basic First Aid Kid.  Rather than buying one that has lots of a few items, buy one (or make one) that has a few number of many items.  Diversity is your friend when it comes to a good first aid kit.  This includes obtaining a good supply of over the counter meds.
  • Gun.  Yes.  If you are serious about being prepared, you need one.  There have been books and articles written on what's the best one gun for preparedness if you can only have one gun.  If it were me, I'd want something that shoots .223 ammo.  That leads me to either an AR-15 or a Ruger Mini-14, with a strong bias towards the AR.  This will likely be the most expensive acquisition on your list, so if you already have a quality rifle in a caliber larger than .22 or a quality shotgun with at least a five round capacity, I would use my funds to obtain other things on this list.  Of course, I'm inferring you'll also need plenty of ammo on hand for your gun as well.
  • Battery powered AM/FM radio.  This will become your new best friend in an extended emergency.  If you want to splurge, get one that has shortwave radio capabilities to enable you to hear news from around the world.
  • Propane stove with spare propane tanks.  You can cook a lot of food with a propane stove.  Just make sure you have plenty of propane on hand to feed it.
Now before you start nitpicking my list, remember - it's a basic list.  If you have these things on hand, you should be able to ride out some short term emergencies without much trouble.  It may not be fun, but it will be tolerable.  Our forefathers made do with far less.

With the exception of the gun and the possible Berkey water filter system, this isn't an expensive list.  Think of it as insurance....you make the investment now and hope you never have to use it.  But if you do, you know you will make it.

Monday, January 23, 2012

SDS Briefing for Monday, January 23, 2012

More Talk At Davos....On Food Security

I know this may not be the most exciting topic for many people, but we in the Suburban Dad Nation don't simply read up on guns and MREs and Rambo knives.  We focus on the true threats to our lives.  And one of those is the issue of food production and food security.

The global elite meet in Davos, Switzerland this week to talk about the global economy.  One of the topics on their agenda is global food production.  Lest we think food shortages is something that only happens to "those people" and does not affect us, it clearly does affect our food prices and global security.  In this month's newsletter, financial newsletter publisher Porter Stansberry writes we should expect commodities - like food - to spike up in Q3 this year.  We'll see if he's right.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

SDS Briefing for Sunday, January 22, 2012

Please Bookmark This Site...

For those of you visiting when prompted by my Facebook posts, please note fewer prompts will be appearing on Facebook in the coming days. 

Reuters Talks About Preppers

I always find it interesting to read articles on how the main stream media portrays preppers.  Here's the latest missive.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Weekend Readings for Friday, January 20, 2012

Your Weekend Reading

  • Supermarkets and farmers are wasting food.  This trend must stop, especially given the growing population and the strains on the ag sector to feed it.  Game ball to Jahna the Gladiator for sharing this story.
  • What would a Greek default look like?  Here's CNBC's prognosis.  Pay attention to the very last slide.  It's the most important one of all.
  • Rick Santelli, once again, explains why we are screwed.
  • Inflation update: oil, food down; core CPI up.
  • "One is too many; two is too many.  Three should send an alarm."  Mexican drug cartel-style beheadings seen in South Texas.  The influence of evil from these godless cartels continues to drift northward.
  • Stratfor is out with their global food commodities update
  • Permabear Marc Faber says U.S. bonds are junk.  He says we're in the mess we're in due to excessive debt load and excessive leverage.  He is bullish on commodities and even some stocks. 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

SDS Briefing for Sunday, January 15, 2012

Don't Worry: Bank Of America Can "Sell Branches In Some Parts Of The Country If It Needed To Raise Capital In An Emergency."

From the "I'm Not Making This Stuff Up Stack," Reuters reported late last week that Bank of America's leadership indicates it could sell branches and other assets if needed to raise capital "in an emergency."  Note "emergency" is their word and not mine.

Ask yourself:  Why is BoA having to reassure the Fed it can meet capital requirements if it needed to in a pinch?  We're not talking about First Community State Bank in Somewhere, Iowa.  Bank of America is the second largest bank in the U.S. by assets and fourth largest by market capitalization.  Does it concern you a bank that size is having discussions about "emergency" liquidations to meet capital requirements?  Moreover, are other banks in the same league as BoA having the same discussions with the Fed?

No Surprise Here: More QE Likely On The Way

Frequent readers of this blog will know we've been discussing the likelihood of more quantitative easing - the injection of more money into the economy - as a way to prop up the economy.  CNBC reports the make up of the Federal Reserve board will likely increase the possibility of yet another round of easing. 

If this comes to fruition, I would expect the stock markets to continue to on their recent upward trend.  However, if the volume of shares traded remains low, I would not expect the rally to last for long. 

Unemployment Rate To Rise?

That's what one official with the Federal Reserve fears.  The short article to which I've linked is good; many of the comments to the article are even better.

Don't Mess With Michael Leon Ward.

Just take my word for it.  Given what he's done, hurting you is nothing.  But if you want to know why he should be left alone, you can read about it here.  And be sure to read the comments to this article, too.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

SDS Breifing for the weekeend of January 14, 2012

Krugman speaks.  Yawn.

New York Times columnist and Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman takes the position that having an experienced businessman like Mitt Romney as president would harm the country.  Now, I am no fan of Mitt Romney, but given the track record of the professional politicians we've had for presidents the last fifty years, he can't be any worse. 

Taste Test - Ready Reserve Foods

Ready Reserve Foods recently ran a special - for about $10, they would send you a sample pack of their favorite items.  Today, using my solar oven I made lunch using their ABC soup, diced carrots, potato cubes, and beef stock.  I don't have a sophisticated pallet, but I will say this was fairly tasty.  I sprinkled a little of the cheese powder they sent in their sample pack, along with my trusty Tabasco sauce.  Even my wife had a bite and thought it tasted good. 

I'm preparing to make some major storeable food purchases in 2012.  Sampling the various brands is helping me make my decisions.

Friday, January 13, 2012

SDS Briefing for Friday, January 13, 2012

Veronique de Rugy Is Awesome.

If I could name any five people, living or dead, with whom I could have lunch, Veronique de Rugy would be on that list.  An economist and researcher at George Mason University, de Rugy often writes for the Libertarian publication Reason magazine. 

I ran across this piece she wrote in July regarding the debt ceiling issue, which is timely today given the fact we are fast approaching the recently raised debt ceiling - again.  In short, she uses studies from Harvard to demonstrate the best way to reduce debt and the size of government is not by raising taxes, but rather by cutting both government spending and taxes.  While a bit technical in its jargon, it demonstrates clearly what is needed to pull us back from failure.

And lest you think I am fear mongering (I get accused of that regularly....although my "mongering" is pulled straight from the headlines of mainstream news sources.  I am just connecting the dots.), de Rugy drops this gem in the middle of her article: "According to the Congressional Budget Office, [our national debt] will reach 200 percent in 2037- if the economy doesn't collapse first (which it likely will)."  (emphasis added). 

Did you catch that?  A respected economist who isn't buying or selling a book or a subscription to a financial newsletter just said our economy will "likely collapse" in the next 25 years due to our political leaders' collective inability to manage our finances.  And sadly, that 200 percent figure does not include unfunded and unaccounted liabilities (discussed in the article) for things like Medicare and Social Security.

Again, I rhetorically ask the Suburban Dad Nation: if you disagree with my conclusions, what are yours?  And how did you arrive at them?

Please Bookmark This Site.

I know most of you find this site via Facebook.  I am divesting time from Facebook in the coming weeks; in the coming days, I will stop posting notices on my wall indicating my blog is updated.  If you like what you are reading here, please bookmark it for future reference.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

SDS Briefing for the Thursday, January 12, 2012

Take A Really Good Look At This.

Abandoned: Children are being dumped on Greece's streets by their poverty-stricken families who cannot afford to look after them any more (file picture)

This file photo appeared in today's edition of the UK's Mail Online.  The headline of the story carrying the picture says it all: "Children 'dumped in streets by Greek parents who can't afford to look after them any more'."  The child, who can't be more than five or six years old, is playing a drum, hoping for passerbys to give him change.

Some points from the article:

  • Youngsters abandoned as parents struggle 

  • 4-year-old found clutching note: 'I can't afford her' 

  • Country also running out of medicine 

  • Aspirin stocks low as austerity measures bite

  • Friends, this isn't from some third world country plagued with poverty for decades.  This is from Greece.  A member of the EU.  A developed country with a republican form of government.  One of the incubators of Western civilization.

    We Americans sometimes think we are immune from such hardship.  Yet the Great Depression ravaged our country less than one hundred years ago.  While I am not predicting we will face such hardship, it is a clear reminder we need to get our nation's financial house back in order.  A national debt that now exceeds our GDP, unfunded liabilities to the tune of 60 trillion dollars, a dysfunctional tax code, and a country where a large number of citizens feel they are entitled to things will not lead us into prosperity.  I fear it will lead us closer to where Greece is now.

    Prepare yourselves.  Minimize your debt.  Stock up on necessaries.  Watch less mindless TV and instead start paying attention to quality news outlets.  Get involved in local politics, whether as a candidate or as an engaged citizen. 

    Tuesday, January 10, 2012

    SDS Briefing for the Tuesday, January 10, 2012

    Suggested Readings

    • How long can the global economy sustain a major disaster?  About a week, according to experts. This short article provides a lot of information. 
    • Greeks feel the very real effects of economic crisis - and are begging for aspirin.  Literally.  While we'd like to think something like this couldn't happen here, we've had runs on drug supplies before during pandemic fears.  This is what the slow slide looks like.  I hope you are taking notes.
    • Is 2012 the year in which we live dangerously?  A guest at ZeroHedge seems to think so.  (Thanks to Big Jerid for the link). 

    Thursday, January 5, 2012

    SDS Briefing for Thursday, January 5, 2012

    I Know I Said I Would Blog Less...

    ...and I really need to stick to that.  With prepping for my next CHL class, writing my first article for Survivalist magazine, and all the other things I want to get done, this should be way down on my priority list.  However, there's simply too much critical information coming out right now that I think you need to be aware of.  So this will be quick on my end, but it will require some reading on yours.

    • What is the general population fearing these days, and how do they plan to respond to it?  Here's your answer.  Pay particular attention to slides 4 and 14.
    • As I mentioned in my 2012 Outlook (and if you need your free copy, email me at suburbandadsurvivalist@gmail.com), food prices will remain a concern for global markets. 
    • "True revolution" is coming to our financial markets, according to former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan.  You need to read this short article.

      Monday, January 2, 2012

      SDS Daily Briefing for Monday, January 2, 2012

      The SDS 2012 Outlook Report Is Available

      Email me at suburbandadsurvivalist@gmail.com if you'd like your free copy.  I've received several emails with very positive feedback; it's my hope it helps you think about and prepare for the next twelve months.

      "All we can do is the best we can to take care of business and those dear to us."

      My friend and former co-worker, Seven Eight State Johnny (nicknamed so because he is now licensed to practice law in a mind boggling eight states, making my bar memberships in three states look rather paltry) wrote me after reading my 2012 Outlook to share his thoughts.  We emailed back and forth a bit on various things.  In the last line of his last email, he typed the line I'm quoting above. 

      I'd like for us all to reflect on that for a moment.  We cannot guarantee our own safety and well being; nor can we do that for our family.  Being prepared is not a guarantee.  Rather, think of it as creating an opportunity - an opportunity to put you and your family in the best position to endure hardship and thrive afterwards.  Taking care of business - being a good employee, being a good steward of our finances, our health, our physical possessions - is a central part of preparedness.  Too many people in our movement believe they can simply sit on the couch, watch hours of Military Channel, buy an AR-15 or two with some MREs and a few hundred rounds of ammo, and think they are "prepared." 

      Nonsense.  Those people won't make it long; in fact, they could turn out to be rather dangerous to themselves or others.  Focus on doing the basics very, very well.  Have some savings.  Have the right insurance for your health, your life and your property.  Maintain your vehicles and homes.  Invest in your relationships with those you love and care about.  These things are more critical than the number of MREs you have or the new scope you put on your assault rifle. 

      In 2012, I will work harder to heed Eight State's advice.

      Lest You Think I Am The Only One Concerned About How 2012 Will Turn Out....

      While I was pounding away at my 2012 Outlook, three news articles came out over the last 48 hours which warrant your attention. 

      First, Reuters ran an article entitled "You Thought 2011 Was Tough?"  From the article: "With a spiraling debt crisis in Europe, political upheaval around the world, and crumbling creditworthiness in major industrial nations, 2011 was a tough year to know where to invest. 2012 is unlikely to offer much respite."

      Not to be outdone, the UK's Daily Mail ran this piece ominously titled "The spectre of 1932: How a loss of faith in politicians and democracy could make 2012 the most frightening year in living memory."  (And you people think I am a downer.)  The intro is too good not to share:

      Here in Britain, many economists believe that by the end of 2012 we could well have slipped into a second devastating recession. The Coalition remains delicately poised; it would take only one or two resignations to provoke a wider schism and a general election.

      But the real dangers lie overseas. In the Middle East, the excitement of the Arab Spring has long since curdled into sectarian tension and fears of Islamic fundamentalism. And with so many of the world’s oil supplies concentrated in the Persian Gulf, British families will be keeping an anxious eye on events in the Arab world.

      Meanwhile, as the eurozone slides towards disaster, the prospects for Europe have rarely been bleaker. Already the European elite have installed compliant technocratic governments in Greece and Italy, and with the markets now putting pressure on France, few observers can be optimistic that the Continent can avoid a total meltdown.

      As commentators often remark, the world picture has not been grimmer since the dark days of the mid-Seventies, when the OPEC oil shock, the rise of stagflation and the surge of nationalist terrorism cast a heavy shadow over the Western world.

      Next on the hit parade, Breitbart ran this piece labeled "France's future hangs in balance in 2012: Sarkozy."  The French President remarked that ""This [financial] crisis... probably the most serious since World War II, this crisis is not over." 

      And let me be clear - these articles do not come from Glenn Beck, Alex Jones, or Rush Limbaugh.  These are mainstream sources, save Breitbart (although he's just quoting what Sarkozy said, apparently doing so without controversy).  When major media outlets run stories with headlines like that, we should pay attention.

      Which reminds me - when you talk to your friends and others who think you're wrong to worry about economic stability, civil liberties, and the risk of unrest here, ask them this:  "You've read all the dire predictions from pundits in the mainstream media, correct?  If you have, and if you think my preparedness efforts in the wake of those reports is irrational, what should my response be?"  I've asked that question many a time to someone who snickered at the thought of me working on preparedness for the various crises which could affect us.  Not once has anyone given me a plausible alternative theory supporting an outlook that this will all be over soon and everything will get back to normal. 

      And Apparently, More People Are Getting The Message

      People are beginning to tune in and pay attention.  Exhibit A:  Gun sales for Black Friday and for the days leading up to Christmas were through the roof.  Sales records smashed in November 2011 were short lived, as December 2011 proved to be an even bigger month for sales.  According to the article, "It was the highest number ever in a single month, surpassing the previous record set in November. On Dec[ember] 23 alone, there were 102,222 background checks, making it the second busiest single day for buying guns in history."

      Why all the fuss?  "Explanations for America's surge in gun buying include that it is a response to the stalled economy with people fearing crime waves. Another theory is that buyers are rushing to gun shops because they believe tighter firearms laws will be introduced in the future."

      And what demographic is helping fuel this surge in sales?  Women.  According to a December 27 piece from CBS news

      Female participation in target shooting in the U.S. has nearly doubled in the last decade, growing to nearly five million women since 2001.  Pistol-shooting mommas and rifle-wielding yoga instructors may not be the type of woman who comes to mind when you hear about female shooters, but they're dominating the sport.  They say they shoot not only for self-protection, but because it relieves stress, helps them find peace and concentration and - feel feminine.

      Take heart.  More and more people are preparing.  Our ranks are growing quickly.  And for that, I am very thankful.

      Sunday, January 1, 2012