Friday, September 25, 2009

SHTF Scenario: Ventilator Rationing

Some health authorities are pushing ahead with plans to ration ventilators in the event of a severe pandemic:
"ProPublica, a nonprofit online news organization, published a story this week that says 'state and federal officials are pushing ahead with plans that -- during a severe flu outbreak -- would deny use of scarce ventilators by some patients to assure they would be available for patients judged to benefit the most from them.'

'The plans have been drawn up to give doctors specific guidelines for extreme circumstances and they include procedures under which patients who weren't improving would be removed from life support with or without permission of their families.'

The story, which criticizes the 'scant public input' given in the process, says the plans are designed to go into effect if the U.S. were struck by a pandemic comparable to the 1918 outbreak that killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide. It notes that
state and federal health officials have concluded that 'such a pandemic would sicken far more people needing ventilators than could be treated by the available supplies.'"

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Guess what? Iran has the bomb

AP NewsBreak: Nuke agency says Iran can make bomb

This should come as a surprise to absolutely no one who has been paying any attention for the last few years.

And on a related note:

Israel may attack Iran by December
Link to news article courtesy of the Joel Rosenberg weblog.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Bad Sign: Insiders Selling Stocks

From Insiders sell like there's no tomorrow

NEW YORK (Fortune) -- Can hundreds of stock-selling insiders be wrong?

The stock market has mounted an historic rally since it hit a low in March. The S&P 500 is up 55%, as U.S. job losses have slowed and credit markets have stabilized.

But against that improving backdrop, one indicator has turned distinctly bearish: Corporate officers and directors have been selling shares at a pace last seen just before the onset of the subprime malaise two years ago.

While a wave of insider selling doesn't necessarily foretell a stock market downturn, it suggests that those with the first read on business trends don't believe current stock prices are justified by economic fundamentals.

"It's not a very complicated story," said Charles Biderman, who runs market research firm Trim Tabs. "Insiders know better than you and me. If prices are too high, they sell."

Biderman, who says there were $31 worth of insider stock sales in August for every $1 of insider buys, isn't the only one who has taken note. Ben Silverman, director of research at the web site that tracks trading action, said insiders are selling at their most aggressive clip since the summer of 2007.

Silverman said the "orgy of selling" is noteworthy because corporate insiders were aggressive buyers of the market's spring dip. The S&P 500 dropped as low as 666 in early March before the recent rally took it back above 1,000. "That was a great call," Silverman said. "They were buying when prices were low, so it makes sense to look at what they're doing now that prices are higher."

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

SHTF Scenario: Suitcase Nukes

Kellene Bishop at Preparedness Pro posted a warning today about the impending 9/11 anniversary and the possibility of suitcase nukes being detonated over large urban centers.

If this scenario could apply to you, as it does to me, then this information from will be helpful in assessing the ramifications of such an attack. I will note that it assumes a 10-kiloton payload; the information I found on Wikipedia suggested that a 5-6 kiloton device may be more likely, making the Global Security website's information a useful and reasonable "worst-case scenario."