Your Five Must-Read Articles This Week

Dear Black Bag Confidential Reader,

There is so much going on in the world, it’s impossible to stay up-to-date on the latest threats to your safety and liberty.

Which is why each week, I’ll comb the web for five must-read articles to keep you informed.

Think of this as your “defensive dossier.” Because it’s easier to prepare for any kind of danger if you can see it coming.

Read on for this week’s selection and your action to take.

1. What’s Mike Pence Hiding in His Emails?

Brace yourself for a new email scandal. Vice President-elect Mike Pence and his administration are attempting to rewrite the interpretation of open record laws in a pending court case. This case questions Pence’s decision to hire outside council — at Indiana taxpayers’ expense — in a federal lawsuit against the Obama administration, rather than join the 16 other states who filed suit together. Indianapolis attorney William Groth asserts that, not only was this a waste of taxpayer money, the amount of money spent is a matter of public record. Legal experts argue it would set a dangerous legal precedent if the Indiana Supreme Court’s initial ruling is upheld. According to Gerry Langosa, an Indiana University media professor specializing in public records law, as quoted in the IndyStar, “It comes down to this — the court is giving up its ability to check another branch of government, and that should worry people.”

The Indiana Court of Appeals will begin hearing arguments at 1 p.m. on Nov. 21.

2. Guns Win Big on Election Day

The National Rifle Association spent over $30 million dollars this election season — almost three times their expenditure in 2012. And it looks like it paid off because they were victorious in almost every race in which they invested. This presents some good news and some bad news. The good news is that, for another four years at least, your guns are safe. And with a Republican-controlled Congress in addition to a Republican in the White House, the gun rights movement will be pushing for concealed carry permits to be recognized in all 50 states, just like driver’s licenses. The bad news? Several gun stocks lost traction in the markets. Smith & Wesson (NASDAQ: SWHC), which rebranded itself as American Outdoor Brands last Monday, had a terrible week. It fell 20% at one point, and last Wednesday it wound up down over 15%, while Sturm Ruger (NYSE: RGR) fell over 14%. The amazing fact is a Republican-led country is bad for gun manufacturers! So yes, your guns may be safe, but unfortunately, gun-related investments are not.

3. As Civil Unrest Brews, Wealthy Go Underground in Luxury Bunker Community

I’ve seen various iterations of this article floating around the internet since the election, and every time it makes me chuckle. Don’t get me wrong, civil unrest is certainly an alarming prospect. But I’ve said time and time again that you don’t need a fancy multi-million dollar bunker or a state-of the-art panic room to stay safe in the event of a social breakdown. There are many ways you can prepare to hunker down at home — or escape to a more remote area — without breaking the bank. If you’re not already a subscriber to my Spy & Survival Briefing, I highly suggest clicking here to sign up. If you’re already a member, there are several special reports you can take advantage of to prepare for a societal collapse, including The Escape Bag Blueprint, How to Make Your Home Your Personal Fortress and the 30-Day Urban Survival Guide. Feel free to check them out on the exclusive, members-only website, here.

4. Sony Wants to Patent a System for Scoring Journalists’ “Veracity”

Where to begin? First of all, I’m not sure any journalist is completely trustworthy these days. Every news outlet is busy promoting its own agenda. And it’s easy — virtually effortless — to get trapped in a “filter bubble,” where you only read stories that support your existing opinions. There’s a fantastic TED Talk where organizer and author Eli Pariser argues why this phenomenon spells trouble for democracy. It’s a few years old, but as various web companies develop more sophisticated ways to tailor their content, the problem is only getting worse. This is why it is critical to cultivate a diversified worldview. It’s important to read reports on both sides of an issue. I bet you’d be surprised how different two takes on the same story can be.

5. Reports of Bias-Based Attacks Tick Upward After Election

As if the world wasn’t dangerous enough… Any of my loyal readers can attest, I constantly promote the importance of situational awareness. There are four stages of situational awareness, designated by the colors white, yellow, orange and red. In Condition White, you are totally unaware of your surroundings. You probably have your head buried in your smartphone or you’re busy daydreaming with headphones on. I usually recommend operating in Condition Yellow, where there’s no specific threat, but you remain alert and aware. You aren’t so distracted that you won’t notice a car coming at you or a person heading toward you with ill intent. But perhaps given the current climate, you should upgrade to Condition Orange, where you prepare yourself by putting your hand on your tactical pen or getting out your cellphone to call for help. And if you don’t have a tactical pen, I highly suggest buying one — not only for yourself, but for every person who you love. It’s the number one self-defense weapon I recommend because anyone can wield it and it can travel with you anywhere. To get your own, click here, now.

If you find an interesting article, feel free to send it my way. Just shoot an email to and your suggestion might be featured in a future alert.

Stay safe,

Jason Hanson

Jason Hanson

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