Originally published at Notes from the bunker…. You can comment here or there.

I don’t like hippies…by and large theyre unattractive, smell bad, think every problem is solved by using my money, and live in a child-like fantasy land of unicorns, socialized medicine and VW minivans. However, once in a while one of these patchouli-scented annoyances will succumb to the dark side and actually, you know, try to make a living by getting into business. Ben and Jerry of Vermont ice cream fame spring to mind. Our local ‘health food’ store is actually an outstanding example of this. Selling ‘organic’ food, ‘fair wage’ products, and all the soy variations a human being could possibly want this place is actually a very slickly packaged, extremely upscale supermarket. Its demeanor belies its clientele. I go there for exactly two reasons:

First: Entertainment…. to get a rise out of outraged liberals when I wear one of my conservative t-shirts through the place. Secondly, they have an outstanding selection of bulk food. By bulk food, I mean they have bins full of rice (about thrity different types), grains (another dozen or so varieties), at least twenty dfferent types of beans, all sorts of flours, etc, etc. More importantly, they’ll sell that stuff in bulk at another 10% discount.

So, I was down there today ordering up 30# of orzo. I know what youre thinking..I’ve got 100+ pounds of rice, what the hell do I need rice shaped pasta for? Well, lately I’ve been experimenting with pasta/rice combinations (and that , my friends, is enough carbohydrates to make Dr Atkins explode in a greasy cloud of…whatever he’s made of) and figured since pasta stores reasonably well I’d see if its economical to stock up.

However, while I was there I threw a few curve balls at the customer service chick. (Who, contrary to my expectations from a hippie emporium like that one, did an outstanding job of being attentive, helpful and accomodating…must be a capitalist at heart) I asked about availability of powdered whole milk, tomato powder/crystals, dehydrated butter, dehydrated sour cream, etc. and please let me know if these are available in #10 cans, mkay?

“Making backcountry meals?”, she asks.


“Getting ready for summer. Fire camps.”, I reply.

She nods her head in agreement. “Gotcha”, she says.

Because as much as a Reagan-loving, gun-toting, money-grubbing, Commie-hating, meat-eating, sexist, free-thinking dude like myself may be out of place there I’d be even more out of place if I’d said “Nah, just a paranoid survivalist.”

So, I’ll go wash down some new buckets with bleach, break out the mylar liners and slap a Gamma Seal on them later next week. I know for a fact theres about 40# of pasta stuck away for normal everyday use, but it’ll be nice to have the orzo. Its excellent for soups, pilafs, and a few other dishes.

So..if you have a decent hippie market near you it might be worth checking out their bulk food section if they have one.

Link: Rebate Checks Could Spark Urge to Splurge

Originally published at Notes from the bunker…. You can comment here or there.

A little online article from Yahoo Finance about whether you should save or spend your ‘free money’ from Uncle Sam this spring.

That question should tell you, right off the bat, that we’re gonna have a problem. The whole point of this unprecedented disbursement is that the .gov wants people to go out and spend. Not save. Spend. If most people take the money and sock it away in case they lose their job or something (which, really, is probably the best course) then they are not injecting it back into the economy, the big ‘shot in the arm’ for the economy doesn’t work and we’re back to square one.

On the other hand, lets be realistic, unsound behavior with money is partly to blame for a great deal of the current economic situation. The same retards who make $35,000 a year and lied their way into a $800,000 house are the same retards who will grab that .gov check and run down to the WalMart and spend it the same day they get it.

Will I be doing my part for the economy by redistributing this money among various industries and businesses through commerce? Maybe. I think things are going to get a lot worse before they get better so I may wind up sinking it into relieving some debt burden (got an upcoming wedding that’s growing in cost every day it seems), or I might use it to prepare the girlfriend and I for the anticipated economic upheaval by getting more food put away.

Regardless of whether people spend it or save it, I think its not going to do anything to make a major impact in the current economic situation.

My own opinion, as it has been for the last couple years, is to circle the wagons and do what it takes to put oneself in a position of decreased vulnerability. What is that decreased vulnerability? Minimize or eliminate debt, have cash reserves on hand, plan for reduced income or job loss, buy tangibles now that will go up in price later…very basic elementary stuff.

If you have the bucks, now (or not too long from now) will be a great time to buy property… or, really, any other big-ticket item that people are going to be wanting to get out from under. Sometimes someone elses misfortune is your gain. If you can live with making bank off of someone’s heartbreak, you may get some bargains. In many cases you may be helping them out by giving the $85,000 for a home they paid $155,000 for two years ago. Im of mixed mind…part of me is a pragmatist and thinks that theres no reason to be reluctant to capitalize off of someone elses misfortune but another part of me is too compassionate and empathetic to want to be part of someones dreams collapsing (even if they brought it on themselves). Usually, for me, it comes down to what I believe is best for me and the girlfriend. Your mileage may, of course, vary.

Back to my original thoughts, though… this whole .gov rebate plan just seems like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. When the captain issues buckets to the passengers and says “bail” its time to do exactly that…right towards the lifeboats.

Gamma Seal bucket lids, books, weather, bikes, Shelterbox

Originally published at Notes from the bunker…. You can comment here or there.

No matter if you’re an optimist, a pessimist, a realist, an objectivist or a pragmatist there is one thing that is fairly hard to deny: these are some very interesting times. Intellectually, it’s a fascinating time to be alive…just observing these changes and situations that arise. The tough part is detaching yourself enough to watch them without thinking “Oh man, I’m screwed”. Take notes and observe everything, kids…years from now the younger folk will talk to you like we talk to our grandparents who went through the Great Depression or the Cuban missle crisis.


Im putting in a bulk order for a large quantity of the Gamma Seal bucket lids. Cant say what the exact final cost is, nor what shipping will be, until they get here but it’ll be extremely competitive. Im getting these mostly for my own use but to bring the prices down I needed to order several cases worth. So this’ll be an opportunity for anyone interested in picking a few up at a decent price. When I have more details, there’ll be a longer post about it.


A few posts back someone asked me what the books are on my bookshelf. Man, there are so many theres no way Im going to sit down and list them all…it would just take too much time. But, Im willing to take a good high-res picture of the books and you can read the titles for yourself. If I can remember I’ll try to do that in the next few days. I;ve long felt that a good, solid personal library of usefeul references, manual, instructions, textbooks, references and other works on relevant topics is as important as the food, fuel, guns, ammo and money that we stock away. And, quite often, it’s the cheapest part of your preparations.


Weather is slightly warming up here in the great state of Montana. Mud season rapidly approaches. However, its starting to hit the stage where the weather gives us 25 degree evenings and 55 degree days. Heck, 55 is warm enough to start riding the bike again. And, really, you should have yourself a durable, rugged bicycle. They’re excellent for commuting around town when gas is $3 a gallon and someday when gas is unavailable at any price you’ll be glad you have a reliable and efficient way of getting from point A to point B at a faster-than-walking speed. I remember when I was a kid and saw my first mountain bike. I thought they were embarrassingly stupid looking…not like the racing twelve-speed bicycles with the skinny tires we all rode. Ah, the idiocy of youth. The guy who bought those mountain bikes for him and his wife were way ahead of his time. I’d wager that the mountain bikes are a far better choice for the urban environment than the bikes we used to ride. Bouncing off of curbs, over pavement and grass, down stairs, etc, etc, are tasks much better accomplished with the knobby-tired, stable-at-slow-speed mountain bikes. I will say that I wouldn’t taking mine apart and taking the frame out to be powder coated a nice olive green. But, that’s a low priority and nothing I couldn’t do with a can of spray paint if it the situation really called for it. The really nice ting is that the mountain bikes fit in the back of the truck so if the road turns into a parking lot I can still outrun the masses.


This looks interesting..found the link on arfcom: Shelterbox

Humanitarian interests aside, I suppose a person could grab a nice sized Rubbermaid container and make something similar for their own use.

Web Dominator, .22 prices, Castro

Originally published at Notes from the bunker…. You can comment here or there.

I know, ‘Web Dominator’ sounds like either a very cool new browser or a $19.95-a-month bondage pornsite.

Heres the item in question:

Its purpose is to keep excess webbing from flopping around after youve made your adjustments to the various straps on your gear. You can either wind the excess around the product and then use the elastic to keep it from unravelling or simply fold back the excess and tuck it under the elastic. This particular product is available from Maxpedition who make some interesting gear.

I picked up a bunch of these because every so often I get tired of the excess strapping hanging off my bag like some sort of nylon cyprus tree shedding its bark. I wont say that neatness counts, but if I have to throw my bag on a conveyor belt at an airport or something it’d be nice not to have the surplus webbing winding up getting caught in the gears. Not because I care about TSA’s intrusive and invasive security devices, but rather because if I spend $200 on a nice backpack Id like it to stay as serviceable as possible.

Anyway, I’ll be playing with these and I’ll let you know what I think.


Id heard rumours that the price of the ubiquitous brick-o-22 at WallyWorld had gone up. Sure enough, It jumped about 24% from $9.99 to around $12.40 a brick.  Its not unexpected, its just annoying. But you know what? Its gonna cost even more next year. So..buy it now. I’ve got probably about 25,000 rounds tucked away and thats nothing. You can reload pretty much everything else but reloading a .22LR is an exercise in appreciation of modern manufacturing. yes you can do it but you’ll wish to hell you’d just ponied up ten bucks and bought another brick instead. And can you really disagree that its the mmost common round in the US and probably the world? Now, go get some.


Does Castro’s stepping down from power mean anything to me? No, it wont affect me directly except I might possibly get more site hits from Alpha 66 members than I already do. Castro is an excellent example of how sheer blind luck and the ineptidtude of your enemy can make even a bumbling idealist a winner. If you read the historical accounts, Castro only succeeded because his opponents were inept, public opinion and support fell his way, and he got blindingly lucky a time or two.

Castro is also an excellent example of how men-of-a-certain-age should stop wearing fatigues.

Politics, Vacuum sealing

Originally published at Notes from the bunker…. You can comment here or there.

I know you’re tired of hearing it from me…believe me, Im tired of saying it. But, if theres any firearms related item you’ve been needing for your stash you need to get your act together, pick up the phone and order it in the extremely near future. It really is only going to get worse.


It occurs to me that from time to time I mention vacuum sealing various items but I never actually go into details about the vacuum sealing itself. So, for those who have a few bucks to spend and can appreciate the possibilities, I’m going to recount my experiences.

First off, you’ve got to be prepared to fork out about $200. Maybe you can find a used vacuum sealer, maybe you can buy the ElCheapo from WalMart…good luck with that. I figure I’d pay the money up front, bitch about it, get over it, and then have a good machine.

I wound up getting mine at CostCo. It’s a Tilia FoodSaver. There are other models FoodSaver II, FoodSaver Deluxe, FoodSaver Suck-O-Matic 6000, whatever…I have just the regular one and its served me quite well. Some friends picked up a newer model that looks much nicer than mine and has a built in bag cutter but otherwise they all pretty much do the same thing.

You take a bag, put your goodies in it, lay the mouth of the bag flat on the vacuum surface, close the lid, hold the button, and the air is withdrawn and the bag sealed. What makes this possible is that the bags have an irregular surface of channels so that when the bag collapses on itself theres still passages for the air to be withdrawn. Whats this mean to you? Basically it means you must use the proper bag material. Sticking a Baggie in there won’t do it.

The bags can come pre-cut like a regular sandwich bag but for versatility you want to get the stuff that comes on rolls. What you get is a roll of bag material. The roll is a long tube of material so you’ll need to close one end to form the bag. You cut off a piece at the length you want, close one end of it using the vacuum sealer and you’ve created a bag. Load it up, vacuum out the air, seal the other end and you’ve got a complete sealed package.

The bags are sealed using a heating element that melts the plastic, sealing and filling the air channels of the bag. Its tough to describe, but most of these products come with an instructional video that explains it more than I ever could.

So that’s the process. Whats the advantages? These things are an absolute must if you’re going to get serious on food storage. As you’ve figured out by now, buying in bulk is the way to go. Buying a 16# tray of steaks usually gets you a good price but that money is wasted if three months later you pull a dried out, freezer burned, odd tasting lump of meat out of your freezer. The vacuum sealer, which at this point Im just gonna abbreviate to VS, Removes the air from around the food (which is a main factor in freezer burn, which is actually not a burn but rather a sort of dessication of a section of meat), protects it from taking on weird tastes from odors or whatnot in the fridge, and make thawing a snap (simply immerse the sealed pouch in a pan of warm water for a while). I routinely eat meat out of my freezer that is several years old and have never had any problems.

The bag material is usually microwaveable and boilable. This means if you make something like chili, for example, you can freeze a bowl-sized serving and when you want it simply drop the bag into a pot of boiling water. Boil-in-the-bag convenience….very handy if you’re cooking over a campstove in a blackout and don’t want to have to mess with pots and pans to clean.

Dry goods also benefit. Things like flour, cornmeal, and any other product that is prone to insect infestation can be protected from damp, bugs and spillage by VS’ing the whole bag. I usually just cut a bag to proper size, insert the whole five pound pag of [sugar/flour/etc] and seal it up. No more flour dust leaking from bag seams, no more small insects being found in the flour, and the sugar doesn’t seem to clump up over time. If you’re the cautious type you can dole out your wheat into 5# increments and seal them up, then store your sealed five pound packages in your favorite bucket. If it turns out theres a bug problem in your grain its limited to the one sealed package and not to your entire 50# drum.

So, as you can see, theres some very compelling reasons to have one of these things just from the food standpoint. The fun, however, does not stop there. Anything you want to protect from dirt, damp, water, elements or bugs can be sealed up within reason. Firestarting material for hunting trips always gets this treatment. It keeps it dry no matter what the circumstances. Same story for spare socks and underwear. Copies of important documents, rolled blankets for storage, small electronics like radios, etc, etc. can all be protected. However, there are some precautions one must take.

Obviously the weak link in all of this is the bag itself. If its punctured you lose the vacuum. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing…your non-food item will still be dry and protected from most environmental threats. The solution to keeping the bags integrity is simple – don’t puncture it.

Anything that you stick in the bag should have no sharp corners or edges. Cardboard boxes should have their corners ‘rounded’ by banging them on a hard surface. Don’t hesitate to wrap an item in some type of padding or covering to keep sharp edges or corners padded. If you’re going to store your sealed package in an environment that may promote damage (like under the seat of your truck where things will get bounced around) sandwiching the sealed bag between two pieces of thick cardboard will go a long way. Even padded with cardboard the package is still usually smaller than its non-VS version. If youre going to throw your VS goodie into a backpack or some such ruck, you’ll want to make sure its protected from punctures. Either sandwich it in cardboard or roll it up in some clothing in your bag.

Most of the vacuum sealers come with attachments to let you seal mason jars or special containers. My experience with these has been across-the-board negative. They just don’t form a lasting seal. If you want to store something in a mason jar, then pressure can it or water bath can it.

The big idea everyone seems to have is to VS their guns and/or ammo. I have mixed feelings on this. Guns have all sorts of edges and protrusions that can pierce the plastic. Wrapping the gun in, say, a rag or other covering would work but any moisture would be held in against the gun. Now, the way around that would be to make sure your gun is oiled or otherwise well preserved…but, I have no idea how solvents or lubricants will react with the plastic. So, for me, I long term store guns in either Pelican cases or ammo cans. ,Rawles suggested against vacuum sealing ammo in his blog because it may cause bullets or primers to loosen as the pressure inside the case is now greater than the pressure outside the case. I’m not sure if its really an issue or not…most military ammo is sealed against moisture to begin with. Again, an ammo can goes a long way to storing your ammo…and any event that would compromise the integrity of an ammo can would most assuredly be enough to compromise a plastic vacuum bag. However, I can see a couple cases where VS’ing a gun might be a good idea. If were to keep a gun hidden somewhere outdoors, maybe on the top shelf of a shed in the yard, hidden in an electrical service panel on the side of a building, etc…someplace where there would be genuine exposure to the elements…then it might be worth it. In those situations, the bulk of an ammo can or Pelican case would be prohibitive so the smallest package offering protection is called for.

So, are these things worth the initial expense. Absolutely. Just from a ‘being able to buy bulk food and store it properly’ standpoint you’ll be able to justify it. Their versatility in use with non-food items is just a nice bonus.

Shooting the CZ 308

Originally published at Notes from the bunker…. You can comment here or there.

One of the more popular shooting ranges around here has a max. range of 300 yds. However, 99% of the time, thats plenty far for what Im doing. Today me and two of the LMI’s grabbed our bolt guns and some silhouette targets and set ‘em up at 300 yards for ‘best group out of a cold barrel’ informal competition. Target was the classic B27 target. Weather was atrocious with very cold and very strong winds. In short, craptacular shooting weather. As we tromped through the slush to the targets we pounded each other on the shoulders and shouted “Real world conditions!”.

All in all, very good performance. I knew my CZ was pretty much dead on at 200 yards and that at 300 yards I’d drop a few inches so I held on the juncture of shoulders and neck. Bulets landed nicely a few inches below in a somewhat tight vertical string. Amazingly, windage was nil…there was less than a 3/4″ horizontal dispersal in that crappy wind. Vertical, well, coulda been better…about 2.5″. Still, thats less than 1MOA. All shots landed right where the sternum would be.

The LMI did well also. Everyone on paper and in the black with groups running about 1.25 MOA. The wind was a major pain and it was quite cold…we were shaking as we shot trying to keep things steady sitting on cold metal stools at the bench. Still, the revolution aint gonna happen on a sunny summer day so you gotta be ready to play ‘em as theyre dealt.

So….mansize target at 300 yards? Piece of cake. Vitals at 300 yards? A bit trickier, but no problem. Keeping all five rounds on a group the size of a playing card? Quite do-able.

I need to sit down and work my ballistics to come up with adjustments for the scope. I could have dialed it in but I just decided to hold high and see what happened. Overall though, I am pleased. Under better conditions I have no doubt I could have shot better, but Im satisfied that Im on the right track with this gun.

Dressed for success

Originally published at Notes from the bunker…. You can comment here or there.

So whats the dress code going to be for TEOTWAWKI? Obviously, camo will become a bit more popular. But after that, what’s the best thing to wear? Glad you asked…….

For everyday wear whether its manning roadblocks, winching fallen trees off the road, dragging corpses out of houses, or sifting through rubble looking for edibles probably the article of clothing that will take the most abuse is your pants. Kneeling on broken concrete, crawling in the dirt, sliding on your ass down rooftops, sitting crates of supplies on your lap as you drive, etc, etc, nothing is going to take as much abuse as your pants (with the possible exception of your shoes. More on that later.)

Thus far, for sheer end-of-the-world durability I’ve been pleased with the Carhart work pants. Like every other preparation you make theres a tradeoff: money vs. utility. Im the first guy to stand up and say “Yes, I am a cheap bastard” but sometimes you gotta pay a little to get a lot. Jeans are excellent everyday pants but they don’t always have the pockets we need, the crotchroom we want for climbing over obstacles, or the durability of the rough-n-tumble ‘active lifestyle’ that will surely be the hallmark of whatever disaster you’re preparing for. Milsurp absolutely has its place, and the pants are usually everything we’re looking for but they have a distinctive military look to them and while theres a time and place for making a statement theres also a lot to be said for looking as unremarkable as possible.

I like the Carhart brand double-front work pants. They’re heavy, have an extra layer of material that runs from the waist to just below the knees, good sized pockets, and are cut generously for freedom of movement. The bad news is that, like a lot of other cool gear, they aren’t cheap. Around $45~ a pair. However, I wore mine 5 days a week for over a year working in a freight terminal and they performed exceptionally well. Hey, I wouldn’t recommend them if I didn’t believe in them. There are other, cheaper, brands of ‘work clothes’ out there…Dickeys, etc, etc. and they may be just as good in terms of quality but my only experience thus far has been with the Carhart product. In addition to their pants I can also recommend their heavy jackets/coats made of the same heavy fabric. Carhart is the standard wear for most of the loggers, timber cruisers and other woodticks here in western Montana so it isn’t just me thinking they’re good products.

For underwear, well it’s a personal pref. The tidy whities are a no-go..too restrictive which is going to lead to chafing and other issues in an active, possibly wet, physically exhausting environment. When youre wet and doing a bit of running, walking or even sitting for any period of time those things are gonna chafe. Boxerbriefs are something of an improvement and I think boxers are the first choice. Preferably in a dark color since who knows when we’re going to get to a real laundry facility. Boxers have the additional utility of being able to be worn as a somewhat socially acceptable outer garment if its 110 in the shade and the air conditioning is out.

T-shirts are a must for layering and for hot weather wear. I prefer dark neutral colors and a loose fit. I like the 100% cotton. Come the apocalypse wrinkles are one of the least of my worries.

Socks are a tough personal choice. Different footwear, in different environs, on different terrain, all call for a different sock. For general everyday wear a cotton/poly blend seems to work best. Winter calls for wool or wool blend. (or a combo of cotton sock and wool sock.)

A good long sleeved heavy workshirt is going to be handy. In cold weather you’ll probably strip down to it when you’re exerting yourself digging out your driveway or hauling supplies through the snow. I like button down shirts that have a few extra buttons sewn to the shirt bottom.

In the movie ‘Transporter 2’ Jason Stathams impeccably dressed character gets into a brawl in a garage and ruins his shirt and tie. After the fight he returns to his car, opens the trunk, and pulls out a small plastic bag containing an extra change of clothes identical to what he’s wearing. Horrible movie, good idea. If you’ve got a vacuum sealer you can put together a pair of pants, socks, t-shirt and top shirt into a package about the size of a football. If you add a belt roll it up inside the pants so the buckles edges wont puncture the plastic bag. During hunting season I usually carry a vacuumsealed extra shirt and socks in case I get wet and when you need them nothing feels as good as putting on clean dry clothes.

Clothing is most important in winter. Reasons are obvious. This is a situation where the military stuff is going to be as good or superior to most civilian clothing. The most important pieces of gear will be outerwear. Several surplus outfits sell insulated winter pants from various Nordic militaries. Price is usually between twenty and forty bucks and they’re designed for spending a lot of time in a lot of cold. Add a good heavy parka and liner, gloves, hat, maybe a face mask depending on the situation and you can spend all day out in the subzero and come through none the worse for wear. Lately Sportsmans Guide HQ catalog has had some excellent cold weather surplus gear and I’d suggest starting there.

Footwear is an immensely personal choice and no two people will make the same choices. Just think about your location, weather, terrain and budget. A year-round set of boots may be the best way to go but if you can swing it a summer pair and a winter pair may be best. Whatever you get, make sure they’re reasonably watertight, are well made, and take care of them. Throw away the laces that come with them and invest in a well made pair of boot laces. Paracord can work but there are better choices out there. Almost any hardcore backpacking store will have a selection. No leather laces – they stretch, break, and are a pain in the ass to unknot when wet (or dry, actually.)

At a minimum you should have one complete change of clothes packaged in a manner that keeps them clean and dry. By complete, I mean complete – as in “I just ran out of my burning house and Im naked and its twenty degrees out here”. Your package of clothing should be such that it would be suitable for cold weather, you can always wear just the undershirt or top shirt by itself if it’s a warm summer day. Don’t skimp. Its tempting to go through your closet and pull out the old work pants that have ‘only a few small holes’ in them, some mismatched gym socks and your “Im with stupid” t-shirt your brother in law gave you. Don’t do it. If things have gotten serious enough that your going into your emergency stash of clothes then its serious enough that you want the best items for the situation.



Chertoff’s worries

Originally published at Notes from the bunker…. You can comment here or there.

I kind of miss Tom Ridge every so often. At least with Ridge you had the impression, if not fact, that the guy in charge was pretty harmless since he was way out of his league and in uncharted waters. Chertoff’s got some zealousness in him.

WASHINGTON – Homeland Security Chief Michael Chertoff’s eyes narrow and his voice develops a stern, urgent tone as he reveals America’s biggest vulnerability to terrorism.

“The great weapon they have is persistence and patience, and the one weakness that we have is the tendency to lose patience and become complacent,” Chertoff tells WTOP.

I like this part here:

Chertoff recognizes it has been more than six years since al Qaida launched the Sept. 11 attacks, but some experts say that’s how long it took to plan them, suggesting the U.S. may close in on another spectacular attempt by Osama bin Laden to topple the U.S. economy.

As the great Klingon warrior once said “You cannot tarnish a rusty blade”. Bin Laden toppling the economy would be like shooting out the streetlamps to make the sun go down.

But, as much as I dislike the guys at Fatherland Security, theres some merit to what they say. After all, theyve got billions of dollars to sink into investigating this sort of thing (and a vested interest in making sure something is going on so they have job security) so maybe theyre on to something. I do agree that the notion that we’re done with terroristic threats from the Middle Eastern crowd is highly unlikely. Theres too much going on around the world right now to think that.

It seems everyones focus right now is on the economy, which is understandable since it affects far more people directly than most terrorist acts. You can see the charred wreckage of a building in NYC and say thats terrible but it doesnt really impact your everyday life in Nebraska. On the other hand, when the economy tanks everyone in the US feels it everywhere. So, rightly or wrongly, the emphasis is on the economy right now and terrorism has been sort of pushed to the back burner. And, of course, thats when complacency comes into play.

So, I’ll say Chertoff is right on this. I still dont care for his agency, but when youre right youre right.