Economic Collapse

Preparedness Community: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Too big to fail globalists want us to believe their titillating noble lies. Their mouthpiece, the Main Stream Media (MSM), denies the Newspeak coming from elite lips and to disguise  what their hands are doing. To reduce thought and critical thinking, truth is labeled ‘conspiracy theories.’ You’re a whack-job if you believe alternative news sources.

Elitists hate individuals. To them, we’re a pebble in their jack boots.

MSM is not their only promoter. Public schools are shills for the Collective. It matters not whether the school is populated by offspring of mostly conservative, liberal, or fence sitters. Every government-run school in America is a decoy for State enslavement – for the good of the group.

For those unfamiliar with the term collectivism, it is the complete opposite of individualism. Many times my students yell the answer of the math problem, 4 – 10 = 6. The answer given is the complete opposite of the correct answer, (- 6). Leaving out the negative sign seems like such a trivial matter. I point out the ‘simple’ error more times than I care to admit. The two numbers are on opposite ends of the number line.

“The answer is correct, except for that little sign,” Mr. Walker.

The importance of building resilient communities for not only survival, but to thrive in the coming days, can not be overemphasized. Neighboring Matters was an article I wrote about the importance of community in dealing with unknown unknowns. Today, some of the unknowns are turning into knowns. Confiscation in Cyprus ring any bells?

We’re social animals and thrive in community. What we don’t do well is live in the societal super-organism called the Collective. In this living, breathing entity, the individual merely survives by sacrificing his/her own self-interest for the “good of the group” – unless you’re at the top of the elitist pyramid.

“Collectivism often sounds humane because it stresses the importance of human needs. In reality, it is little more than a rationalization for sacrificing you and me to the desires of others.” — Jarret B. Wollstein

Individualism and Community

First, let’s explore building community based on individualism. By community, I’m referring to building mutual assistance and aid based on voluntary association without force, coercion, or treat of violence.

What makes you happy?

In a community of individuals (anti-collectivists), one is able to exercise his natural right to pursue life, liberty, and happiness. A moral individual wishing to pursue her happiness will find it necessary to cooperate with other like-minded individuals, not just in trading goods and services, but sharing knowledge, and developing genuine relationships as well.

The aim of building community should be to increase our quality of life. In a true free-market, these pursuits (life, liberty, and happiness) would be more easily attained.

Individuals make up a community, obviously. We’ve all witnessed how individuals come together during a crisis to serve (voluntarily) to help others in their community. Remember the devastation of Hurricane Katrina? The communities that rebounded quickly took matters into their own hands. They weren’t coerced into giving charity. They saw a need and made a decision to help neighbors.

The recovery time of any natural or manmade disaster takes longer when collectivist thinking dominates a community or society. Charity to your neighbor becomes a duty – enforced by the State. Give until it hurts or until the-powers-that-be say stop. Violating my rights in no way motivates me to give. I’ll gladly and willingly help others out of love for my fellow man and mutual benefit. However, coerce me and I resist.

No amount of guilt, force, or pressure applied by the Collective can be matched by the power of individuals motivated to pursue their own self-interest.

Individuals in the Collective are like oil and water. They don’t mix.

Collectivism and Controllers

Look no further for a shining example of that living super-organism called the Collective than our public schools. Students are trained to snitch on individuals who don’t play by the rules. Schools are a reflection of our nanny state encouraging “see something, say something”. The Powers of Fairness rule schools. Individualism is ferreted out and dealt with brutally for the good of the group. Parents chained to their office cubicles see no way out of their compassionate cage and allow the hostage taking to continue.

It’s only fair, right?

There seems to be no escape.

Ask yourself this question: Who benefits from those dependent on the Collective?

From an evolutionary point of view, bad ideas should die out. The Collective not only controls the bad idea factory, they have the State in their pocket to enforce their insanity. As the bad idea of collectivism becomes worse, it manifests destruction, an unproductive class, theft, vice, and pure evil. The Controller’s matrix punishes producers and rewards dependence. Before long, your proper position in the food chain is established.

Exposing the self-sufficiency myth

There’s a myth (or dream) floating around the prepper community about being completely self-reliant and self-sufficient. I’ve been guilty of falling for and even promoting the myth. Is it really achievable or just selling snake oil? With so many odds against us, I sometimes feel like I’m constantly selling some secret elixir out the back of a wagon.

The main obstacle to self-sufficiency is not money, resources, land, or skills. The biggest hurdle is the Collective.

That pesky Collective keeps us dependent on their matrix. I’ve got to keep my health insurance, pay for shelter, food, and other needs – rinse and repeat. Stop paying rent (property taxes) on what you may call ‘free and clear’ land or house, and the Controllers send in goons to take what you once called home. Fiat greenbacks are required to pay tribute. Bartering in this situation won’t work.

Is there a better way to earn your freedom and escape the Collective cage? Freedom and liberty trump control and forced servitude. I’ve tried to wrap my mind around living off the land, hiding in caves, or some other Hollywood Doomsday lifestyle. It’s not for me, DRG, or our loved ones. If you think you’d enjoy that lifestyle, more power to you. I enjoy things that satisfy me personally and connect me to my true nature – without extravagance. This forces me to rethink my preparedness paradigm.

Redefining preparedness 

  1. Get your mind right. Ditch the spin doctors. Whatever label you have pasted to your forehead, spinning your version of truth doesn’t apply to everyone. We’re individuals. Not groups crammed into the Collective. Absent regulatory control, the free market will expose fraud and bad ideas. The Medical Industrial Complex, Industrial Food Machine, mass media, and whoever you voted for are cogs in the collective wheel.
  2. Adopt a depression lifestyle. This one involves distinguishing between the needs and wants. Take pleasure in withholding produce from the Collective. They need me more than I need them. Play their game better than they do. Do it all legally and above-board. Shrug.
  3. Bloom where you’re planted. If you’re not already living in a sparsely populated western state, and don’t have the resources to relocate, or better yet, don’t want to relocate to what experts call the safe haven states, what’s a prepared family or individual to do? Bloom right where you are. No doubt the number of potential roving gangs of looters drops in less populated regions, but if every follower of this brand of prepping acted on this advice, wouldn’t these states quickly grow in population? Yes, but they’d all have the right mindset. Don’t be so sure of that. Follow your gut.
  4. Down size. Learn to love less. Houses, cars, gadgets, etc. Decide what’s a priority in meeting needs, not wants. Tangibles and quality equipment and tools and things that hold value over time are stuff to go after. When the balloon goes up, you’ll be glad you collected stuff smartly.
  5. Take advantage of living in our modern world with our modern conveniences. Use technology to resurrect lost skills – and make them better. Alternative energy (passive solar, hydro, and even wood gasification) will be a key element to bouncing back from chaos. Every family needs at least one geek. Khan Academy is an example of a ‘geek’ who has bypassed traditional brick and mortar classrooms to teach effectively online. The same strategy can be applied to starve the Collective and build resilience. Geek on!
  6. Resilient health. Health is wasted on youth – among other things. After our personal SHTF experience, we don’t take our health for granted. Be proactive about what you put into your body. This one act alone can reprogram your health. You’ll also need proper amounts of sleep, exercise, sunshine, play, and down time. The last thing you want is to be dependent on the medical/pharma system to keep your ticking. This is one more step in pulling the plug on the Collective.

Not everyone is going to grab the flag and lead the charge. But once one person storms the hill, they won’t be alone. Many will follow. If you haven’t begun building a group or community, it’s not too late. It’ll take some time, but it can happen, one individual at a time.

If you found this helpful, consider helping get the word out by sharing it with your social network, family, and friends. We certainly appreciate all the support we get from you!

Also, please follow me on Twitter for updates on our journey: @SurvivalSherpa

Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Economic Collapse, Preparedness, Survival | Tags: , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

5 Must Do’s Before the National Nipple Runs Dry

by Todd Walker

I hate labels. I’ve spent the better part of my adult life dodging bumper sticker nomenclature.

Prepping, survivalism, back to basics, resilience, self-reliance, sustainable, self-sufficient, homesteading, simple living, etc. all have a common philosophy: Taking responsibility for you own life. I wrote about chasing the simple life here. Sherpa Simple is…

Living in a way that is economical, sustainable, individualized, self-sufficient, comfortable, practical, resilient, and in harmony with nature and neighbors. It’s all about helping each other as we chase the simple life.

Weaning ourselves off the National Nipple requires time, energy, self-education, and force in some cases. And here’s the thing – the more we drink, the more we believe that the State udder will never stop flowing. We become addicted. Suckling becomes a basic right.

Buzzers Image Ana Ivanovic Nipple

This is what the National Nipple will do for you

“Once the government becomes the supplier of people’s needs, there is no limit to the needs that will be claimed as a basic right.”

– Lawrence Auster

Even if you’re thumping your chest with pride for never wrapping your proverbial lips around the golden udder, we’re all affected by the overwhelming dependency bred into our culture. The State is the great equalizer dispensing fairness for the collective good. This arrangement is not voluntary. It’s sustained by force. “Legitimate” force.

If you knew the day our National Nipple would run dry, wouldn’t you live differently. It’s not a matter of if, but when. And ‘when’ happens, there will be more than a bit of bawling and screaming. Everyone will fill the pain – your elderly parents on medicare and fixed incomes, your neighbor working in the public sector, all the public school teachers (and there are a lot of us), owners of stocks and bonds, retired veterans, everyone. I’m not even counting those totally dependent government for food, houses, and cell phones. The reset will happen.

How could it not. The truth behind the recovery propaganda should cause some of us to begin self-weaning. The feral Federal Reserve will continue the train wreck by printing more fiat paper. The productive class will continue to shrink. It’s becoming more and more difficult for middle class families to provide basic necessities, much less save for that rainy day.

Retirement looks further away by the minute. The elites keep sending their handlers back to the kitchen to cook more numbers to keep the herd happy. Does this make me vigilant and awake or a conspiracy theorist?

You decide. Search economic collapse for yourself. Here’s a small sampling to get you started:

•             Personal Incomes & The Decline Of The American Saver

•             Comparing the past to predict the future

•             A chart proving that the MSM is lying about unemployment

The picture painted is scary. As people come up for air while nursing on the National Nipple, there may be some that begin to wean themselves. For those of you already standing back from the feeding frenzy, you need to get into high gear with your preparedness plan.

You may think I’m hardnosed or uncaring by my next statement. I prefer a sudden reset over a long, drawn out collapse. I never liked tip-toeing into our cold lake. I found jumping in head-first to best for me. My body adapted to the shock of cold water better with total immersing. Let me clarify. I’d prefer no collapse at all. But that ain’t happening.

You only have power over people so long as you don’t take everything away from them. But when you’ve robbed a man of everything, he’s no longer in your power – he’s free again.  — Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

The list of nations spiraling towards collapse is growing. What steps should Joe and Jane Average take now to build a hedge against financial Armageddon? This is not a step-by-step plan. It requires thought, creativity, and determination – no matter what your financial status. To answer the previous question, do what we know is the right thing to do. Simplify. Less is more. ‘Less’ dependence on the fragile systems of mono-crop corporate farming, fractional reserve banking, and our ‘sick’ care medical establishment.

Building resilience in these areas one step at a time will only increase your chances of survival. And may actually help you thrive.

While this list is not exhaustive, it points us in the right direction.

Food

Grow your own or buy from local farmers. Doing this will accomplish several things:

  • Strengthen your local food system. These producers live where you live. Small family owned and operated farms will contribute to your overall health and resilience in return.
  • Reconnect with your food and community. Build relationship with food producers that don’t live 2,000 miles from your house. Better to meet them now than after the balloon goes up.
  • Save resources. The amount of packaging material and fuel is drastically reduced by purchasing/bartering for groceries you can’t produce for yourself. Find farmers that practice sustainable growing practices.
  • Education. Many local farmers/producers are happy to help you learn how to grow your own. Plus, you’ll begin to know where your food comes from.
  • Food storage you’ll actually eat. When you preserve the harvest from you garden or local farmer’s market, you’re putting away food that you’ll actually enjoy eating and not some pre-packaged, processed items or MRE resembling food. Dehydrating, canning, and proper storage techniques will go a long way in supplying your family with stores of food for the long run.

Health Vigilante – physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

  • 90% of what we eat is the cause of our chronic health conditions.
  • Be your own health vigilante. Take your health into your own hands. This past year taught DRG and me that modern medicine is run by pharmaceutical companies. There’s a chemical soup in pill form for everything.
  • Explore holistic health practices.
  • Eat nutrient dense foods. Avoid processed junk foods. I recommend the Primal Lifestyle. Your mileage may vary.
  • Regular exercise without being married to the gym. Develop a mindset of functional fitness. Lift heavy things, move slowly every day, and sprint (max capacity) once every 7 to 10 days.

Invest in assets and skills

  • By assets, I mean tangible items that hold value. Look up Alpha Strategy. That case of ammo you bought last year was a good investment after all. 
  • Focus on your strengths. You’ve got one or two skills that you’re very good at. Develop those even more. But don’t forget to add more resilience-adding skills to your toolbox.
  • Barter is becoming more important these days. It may one day be a crucial skill for acquiring basic necessities.
  • Learn permaculture. Hiding food in plain sight.

 Build Community

  • Most of us don’t live in a rural homestead self-sufficiently. We live mostly in urban and suburban neighborhoods. Your neighbors will play a huge part in your families ability to survive and thrive in coming days. I’ve written some thoughts on the importance of neighboring here
  • With proper planning and the existence of basic resources, your neighborhood is very defensible and livable in SHTF scenarios. More on this in a later post.

Housing – Living big in small places

  • Learning to live big in small places (locally) means re-educating ourselves on what resilience really means.
  • Simplifying your life gets rid of all the clutter. If you’re like me, that’s a hard thing to do. Letting go of things I’m going to do something with one day. It forces me to really evaluate what’s important. Prioritizing my stuff allows me more free time to focus on what’s really important.
  • Consider downsizing your home. We’ve downsized twice since the housing bubble popped. Talk about freeing up time!

I’m aware there are many more must do’s before the National Nipple runs dry. This is intended to spark a discussion on adding to our list. Please feel free to comment on the list and add your valuable insight. Or email me your thoughts via the contact tab at the top of my blog.

Follow me on Twitter for the latest on our journey to self-reliance, preparedness, and resilient living: @SurvivalSherpa

Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Barter, Canning, Economic Collapse, Food Storage, Frugal Preps, Functional Fitness, Homeopathy, Homesteading, Investing/Tangibles, Permaculture, Preparedness | Tags: , , , | 10 Comments

Six Dangerous Miseducation Lessons You Should Unlearn Immediately

by Todd Walker

Schools teach many things. These dangerous lessons may not be explicitly taught, but they are definitely ‘caught’ by every student – even parents. Good or bad depends which side of the desk you’re on.

the Radical Roldans UNschool + LIFEschool + HOMEschool

As an insider, I’m giving you my top six most dangerous lessons that need to be destroyed before the coming chaos. Before sending me angry comments that this is just another teacher bash session, honestly explore the list with your school aged children or grandchildren at the dinner table. You may be convinced, if they’re allowed to talk freely. As I’ve said before many times, I work with some of the most dedicated, selfless, and knowledgable teachers who aren’t allowed to do the job they are passionate about – to teach.

Ready to be un-schooled? Warning: Unlearning these lessons carry a heavy price tag. But the freedom you discover is priceless.

A.) The Powers That Be knows what’s best for you. Questioning authority – or even worse – resisting TPTB will land you in the re-education compliance camp. Once labeled and drugged, your status and future path is set. Your child knows some of the system’s victims. Just ask.

B.) Learning only takes place in the classroom. Just ask TPTB. Students are taught inside the box. Some teachers encourage outside-the-box thinking. The problem with thinking outside the box is that students don’t have time to even explore the edges. Every minute of their day is planned and spoken for. Even after the last blaring dismissal bell screams, schooling follows them to their bedroom. Homework eats the remains of the day. Forget playing outside (some kids still do that, right?), stomping through mud to the creek to observe crawdads and tadpoles, or reading a book of her choosing for pleasure.

Discovery is replaced with memorizing facts from revisionist historians. We teachers correct ‘wrong thinking’. Constant correcting teaches the student to be dependent on us – the “experts”. Critical thinking dies.

C.) Going to college is your only hope of elevating your worth. TPTB plaster school walls with posters comparing different levels of ‘education’ with earning potential. Why all the one-size-fits-all college propaganda? Our rulers need more debt slaves.

Here’s my advice. If you’re in college now, drop out. If you’re 18, you probably have no idea what you want to do with your life. Don’t buy the lie that you’ll get left behind if you don’t go to college. College will not teach you real world skills. You learn that doing what interests you in the real world. College is pure theoretical. I’ve worked in different fields over my life and have found nothing beats the school of hard knocks. What I learned in college was that I had to perform to get a permission slip to teach kids. It’s a hoop I jumped through. Letters behind our names does NOT qualify us to teach your children.

Alternatives to college until you figure out what you want to do…

  • Start a business. Become a producer.
  • Travel. Save all your money – you’ve got a job, right – while living in your mom’s basement. Explore places you’ve always wanted to see. Pay attention to the local culture. Ask lots of questions. Take notes in your travel journal. Maybe even self-publish it.
  • Volunteer. Not because someone says it’s the ‘right’ thing to do. Go help feed hungry people, build shelters, or work the local farmers market – for free. You’ve got low overhead living in your mom’s basement remember. This may not be your career path, but giving without expecting anything in return will expand your horizons, make you thankful, and even make connections for later life. It’s an antidote for self-absorbed navel-gazing.
  • Self-educate. Take your education into your own hands. Figure it out. Teach yourself to play an instrument, write computer code, or draw.
  • Work in a trade, find a skilled tradesman and become his/her apprentice. Contrary to what you’ve been told by your high school guidance counselor, you don’t start at the top – at least not in the real world.

D.) High Stakes Testing measures your future contributions to the collective. The dirty little secret about state standardized tests is that if your child ‘met the standard’ (passes a subject with a score of 800), little Susie only got 50% of the test questions right. And the parents breathe a sigh of relief and throw a pizza party for kids that score a 50. What kids learn is that vomiting facts and test taking skills are all answer-centered. Problem solving is not taught. It’s hard to when schooling institution’s accreditation (Federal and State money) is on the line. Right answers pay off for good students – the State gets especially giddy. Welcome to Answerland.

Kids in school seem to use a fairly consistent strategy…it is answer-centred rather than problem-centred…

– John Holt – from ‘How Children Fail

The ridiculous amount of energy, time, and money spent on High Stakes Testing has kids walking blindfolded into a train tunnel – with their parents cheering them on. These tests do not measure true value.

E.) We own you. Nothing about forced schooling teaches self-ownership. On the contrary, we (the State Collective) dictate what students need to learn, how to dress,  what to eat, when to talk, how to obey, how to think, and that you don’t own yourself. You have no right to privacy. We can search you and your possessions without cause anytime. You are under constant surveillance. Even that picture your first grader drew, or the app your high schooler created is fair game in one school district in Maryland. I’m sure this will be a catchy trend. The lesson: You belong to the State.

F.) Learning is separate from living. Some things in life should be dropped. Schooling is one of them. Compulsory schooling is a type of child abuse. Yes, I just went there. Every child that enters school at age 5 will have his or her creativity, curiosity, confidence, individualism, playfulness, independence, intuition, and self-reliance crushed under the school steamroller. It’s painful, but these poor lumps of clay have to be molded into what the State thinks they should be.

What passes for ‘education’ today promotes fear of making mistakes, fear of failing, constant pursuit of everybody-is-a-winner awards (Student of the Month bumper stickers and gold stars, for instance), and conforming to the collective. We group students according to age. They spend their most formative years never exposed to adults or other children outside their age bracket. They are now dependent on the one ‘expert’ standing in front of them to gain all the knowledge they need. Sure, we’ll invite an occasional guest into talk about their job in the real world. But that’s far enough. These commoners don’t possess the credentials to ‘teach’ kids – anything.

If you’re curious, here’s a list of people who quit being schooled and ended up doing something with their lives.

  • William Faulkner – dropped out of high school
  • Walt Disney – high school drop out
  • Wilber and Orville Wright – never graduated. They tinkered with things.
  • Richard Branson – Branson’s dyslexia caused him a great deal of trouble as a student, so when he was 16 he left school to go into business for himself.
  • Thomas Edison – Dropped out of school to be taught at home – over 1,000 patents followed.
  • Albert Einstein – Dropped out at age 15. He later went back to get a diploma so he could enter the university. He failed the entrance exam twice.
  • Colonel Harland Sanders founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken dropped out of elementary school.

If you’ve attended, or you have children in public schools, the chances are very high you need to unlearn these dangerous lessons. Un-schooling your mind is your first step in becoming prepared.

I have hope and confidence in the human spirit. Once freed, there’s no limit to what we can accomplish.

Feel free to share your miseducated lessons in the comments.

Follow me on Twitter for the latest on our journey to self-reliance, preparedness, and resilient living: @SurvivalSherpa

 

 

Categories: Economic Collapse, Government "Education", Preparedness, Self Ownership, Self-reliance, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 25 Comments

7 Surprising Reasons Why Americans Aren’t Prepared for What’s Coming

by Todd Walker

I’ve never suffered a gunshot wound.

I had a friend who was ventilated by some grudge-holding thug. Apparently, this idiot wanted to get even for a business deal that went south. He chased my friend through the bays of his car wash shooting at him with a .22 revolver. Fortunately, only his love handles got pierced.  After recovering, my buddy began making a plan to never get caught defenseless again.

Tobacco Smoke Enema – Nice!

What follows may be painful for some. It may hurt as much as the old tobacco smoke enema. The only difference is that I’m NOT blowing smoke up yours.

Why do so many Americans refuse to prepare for worst case situations?

Or better yet, why do they not even prep for potential everyday emergencies? You’ve seen them pass you on their donut tire at 67 miles per hour heading to the 7-11 to get their winning lotto ticket. I’m sure with all their winnings they’ll be able to prepare, right?

Being prepared doesn’t take huge financial windfalls. So why do so many people think it’s a stupid idea to be prepared? Here’s my list.

A) Peer Pressure. Remember school days? Who wants to be standing outside looking in on the popular group? We all want to feel important and part of a group. We’re social animals. The group we associate with can determine our future.

My daddy always told me, “If you lay down with dogs, you’ll get up with fleas.” If you hang out with prepared individuals, you’re likely to become more prepared. As prepping goes more mainstream, many in the media portray preppers as crazy, racist, isolationist, anti-everything survivalist. None of us want that label. There’s always a few fringe types in any group that make media salivary glands wet. The new growth to the prepper movement is fueled by “normal” people like soccer moms, taxpaying business owners, and law-abiding folk.

B) Government Schools. My day job is to teach at a local school government indoctrination center. My advice to any preparedness minded parent of school aged children: AVOID GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS NO MATTER THE COST! Government schools manage ignorance for profit. Read more here.

Preparedness and survival requires self-reliance and the ability to think for yourself. The State forces kids to spend their most formative 12 years (16+ including college) learning how not to learn, but conform. Finding learning in government schools is as hard as finding a corner in a round room. A quarter of their lives circle the toilet bowl taking the path of least resistance to the collective’s sewage plant to be recycled and made “safe” and useful tax-payers.

Parent choices greatly increase or decrease their kid’s survivability. So what’s the solution for educating prepared individuals? Homeschooling may seem impossible. Both parents have to work to keep the family feed, clothed and sheltered. It comes down to our priorities. What “important” stuff can we kick to the curb to rescue our kids from government gulags and offer them a real education? I can’t answer that for you. Humans are individuals with unique situations. One size does not fit all. Homeschool, unschool, anything but government school.

C) Dependence. We’ve abandoned our roots. Due to reason # (B), our history is intentionally distorted. I often ask kids to tell me about historical figures and events like Abraham Lincoln, the War of Northern Aggression, or more recently – the Federal Reserve. As to Lincoln and the unCivil War, kids today are taught that Lincoln invaded the south to free the slaves. While I abhor the concept of someone owning another person, I know that Lincoln didn’t care about slaves being freed. Follow the money.

When my ancestors stepped off a boat in 1735, there was no free lunch or welcome basket full of government goodies. dependence on their own ability, family, and immediate like-minded friends started my family journey in America. Their self-reliant skills didn’t insulate them from set-backs and calamities. The find-a-way-to-get-the-job-done attitude is what helped me and my family survive to this point. Thankfully, I’m part of the remnant of self-reliance left in our country. When their Katrina-style disasters hit, communities rebuilt without the help of FEMA. This spirit of pioneering one’s own life has been traded for dependence. Even after natural and man-made disasters, I’m amazed at the false hope Americans place in our government’s ability to sweep in for the rescue. It’s a stupid idea most Americans hold.

D) MBM (Morally Bankrupt Morons). “All I need is guns and ammo to survive. When the SHTF, I’ll just take what I need.” I’ve read this statement, or similar sentiments on many preparedness/survival forums. I want to think they were just trolls. But I know there are lazy, corrupt individuals that will resort to this style of survival – for a while. Do they think that the very people they plan to plunder are not able and ready to defend their personal property?

I saw an episode of Doomsday Preppers where one in their group stated that they don’t buy weapons and ammo. Their plan, when the armed  horde of hungry looters show up, is to show them all their food and offer more if they leave them unharmed. Maybe some MBM’s will live to loot another day. I wouldn’t place my hopes of survival in this strategy. Your mileage may very.

Some people have an aversion, even a fear of tools called guns. In the wake of Sandy Hook, I’m encouraged by the bare ammo shelves and empty gun stores. It gives me hope that people are listening to their “gut” and making preparations for their future. Defending their life, liberty, and property against enemies, foreign and domestic, seems to be catching on. Why shouldn’t it? It’s our natural right.

I’ll put real simple here. I don’t care who, whether pastor, clergyman, senator, family member, or Santa Clause tells you guns are evil and you don’t need them, put as much distance between them and you as possible. Part ways. Period.

Back to the MBM. These individuals embody the entitlement mentality and our moral backsliding in this country. Hunger is a strong motivator for stupid stuff. I’ve never been shot, and I’ve never shot anyone else. I pray to Papa that I never have to face the choice of kill or be killed. If that time comes, and I’m afraid it will, we each have to wrestle before hand with our resolve to protect our life, liberty, and happiness.

Read the signs and heed legitimate warnings. Don’t live in fear. Prepare accordingly my friends. Avoid being low hanging fruit.

E) Nationalism. Arrogance leads to a fall. It could never happen here. This is America! We’re the envy of the world. I’m convinced that this is the thinking of the mentally ill – or the historically illiterate. I hear the disdain coming from ‘educated’ folk all the time. I think they suffer from altitude sickness in their ivory towers. Totalitarianism happens one step at a time. As long as we are allowed to wake up in our homes, drink our coffee, go to work, watch our TV programs, rinse and repeat, tyranny becomes routine. Vigilance dies. It’s frog-boiling 101. Gradually heat the pot of water and the frogs don’t jump out.

I love my country. I love my freedom more. Humility and honesty seem to be lost traits. I hope that there are enough people waking up to help rebuild our crumbling republic. .

F) Mental Enslavement. With enough time, falling water can cut through rock. Is what we call ‘freedom’ really freedom? Many in the patriot movement call themselves “freedom lovers” yet accept tyranny as normal. We’ve all heard the battle cry of patriot-lite types. You’ll have to pry my guns from my cold dead fingers! No worries. The State will gladly oblige. Yet, the water fall of tyranny continues to eroded our liberties. It’s like watching a catastrophic train wreck in slow motion.

“Necessity is the excuse for every infringement of human freedom.” – William Pitt

We have as much freedom and liberty as the State allows. To realize and enjoy our natural rights, we must free our minds. Stop listening to talking heads. Free your mind. Don’t be deceived. The smoke screen isn’t just coming from the liberal media types. I use to listen to conservative talk radio religiously. I can’t stomach the party line talk anymore. Some pundits distinguish themselves as conservative, not republican. Liberal vs. conservative, Democrat vs. Republican. They are just different sides of the same liberty-destroying coin. Flip the coin to choose your master.

Ancient Chinese proverb: “The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names.”

G) Stifled Self-government. Critical thinking is dead (See # F). Passivity is encouraged, even demanded. Habits form us. We prefer  our guardians of darkness. It hides our secret need for fake security. We are addicted to our velvet chains. The principles of non-aggression and self-ownership have been systematically eradicated. Most Americans favor State coercion over individualism and self-reliance. Voluntary relationships between free individuals is no longer viewed as common sense. Our State monopoly on schooling crusades for government dependence and even sites individualism as a mental disorder.

Rejecting government dogma invites the use of ‘legal’ force, or the threat of force, to reform rebellious subjects of the State’s idea of being a good citizen. We have to get over ourselves and our dependency on government ‘safety’ nets. That is, if we want to be self-reliant. Breaking the addiction sometimes comes step-by-step. Sometimes it’s cold turkey that works. We’re all different. Do what works for you.

Don’t wait. Take one step towards building preparedness and resilience each day. What physical, mental, spiritual, emotional steps did you make today?

Don’t beat yourself up if any of these 7 reasons apply to you. It’s hard not to relate to some of these reasons. But who wants to be the person walking out of the restaurant bathroom with a strip of toilet paper stuck to their heel? How embarrassing.

So much is riding on you – your family, community, and even what’s left of our country.

Free you mind!

Follow me on Twitter for the latest on our journey to self-reliance, preparedness, and resilient living: @SurvivalSherpa

Categories: Economic Collapse, Life-Liberty-Happiness, Preparedness, Self Defense, Self-reliance, SHTF | Tags: , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Economy Plummet In 3,2,1…

This article was originally published at My Family Survival Plan and is republished here with the author’s permission.

Source: My Family Survival Plan

By Alec Deacon

In case you were wondering when the brand new economic failure would settle in… well, wonder no more! The most recent reports show that it has already begun since January. So, to all those thinking all the “fuss” about a new financial crisis in 2013 is just fear mongering… here`s some bad news: the FACTS prove not only that it`s going to happen this year…. but that it`s already happening and it`s only getting worse.

Unfortunately, these people don`t read this site unless it`s by accidents. I know the MFSP community is made of concerned Americans, who are very aware of the realities of our times and try their best to protect their families against the looming crisis. On the other hand, most Americans are completely ignorant to these events and here`s the best example of their ignorance:

U.S. Incomes Fall

source: online.wsj.com

A decline in incomes was expected in January, but the estimated numbers were wrong. According to WSJ, personal incomes dropped 3.6% in January, as the Commerce Department said Friday. However, economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires expected a 2.5% decline. This marks the most dramatic decline since January 1993.

Now, what`s troubling is not the income plummet itself. The fact that numbers are bigger than expected is not all that surprising. In December, the monthly income was unusually high, because companies preferred to pay out early dividends to avoid 2013 upcoming tax hikes. A lot of $billion companies, such as Wal-Mart, Oracle, and Costco Wholesale Corp chose to pay dividends to their shareholders at the end of 2012 and not wait until 2013 and pay more on taxes. Therefore, when you compare January 2013 to December 2012, it`s absolutely natural for the numbers to be bigger than estimated. So the problem doesn`t necessarily lie here, but in what`s to happen in the next three to four months. And by that, I`m referring mainly to consumer behaviour.

Consumer behaviour

source: rt.com

What did Americans do when a chunk of their paychecks suddenly vanished?“Households responded to this hit to income by reducing their savings, rather than by reducing their purchases, Paul Dales of Capital Economics said in a written analysis of the report.” (www.csmonitor.com)

In January, the spending rate rose 0.2%, while the personal-savings rate dropped to 2.4% from 6.4% in December. That`s the lowest rate since November 2007. I don`t what you think of this, but I think this is completely irresponsible, especially since…

Inflation is soaring!

Inflation

source: telegraph.co.uk

You don`t need to be an economist to see how obvious it is. Prices are the best indicator and judging by the amount we spend just on groceries or on gas, inflation feels as real as it gets. But people don`t seem to learn their lesson. Remember 2008, when the crisis was just about to burst, and Americans were spending much more than they actually HAD? You`d think the crisis taught them to cherish saving more than irrational spending…

Well, here we are in 2013 and, after a so-called “slow, yet steady economic growth”, as our government lies in official numbers, Americans have easily adapted their old bad habits again. Even now, barely half of the population has more money in their savings account then they owe in credit card debt. (rt.com)

And you know what`s worse? The government thinks it`s a good sign. Consumer spending accounts for ⅔ of the U.S. economy, so let people shop like crazy and get the economy back on its feet! But what happens when they don`t spend their OWN money? What happens when their savings get lower (like it`s already started to), while their debt gets higher? It`s the same vicious circle that got us into the 2008 crisis in the first place. So, for God`s sake, for once in your lives, learn something from past mistakes (especially since they`re so recent!) and stop trying to push the economy forward in a toxic manner.

 

Categories: Economic Collapse, Preparedness | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Top 5 Resilience Resolutions with Homework Assignments for 2013

by Todd Walker

What a year!

Pic credit

January 12, 2012 is etched in our memory, hearts, family, and bodies. Fear in her voice was relayed as I held the phone. “They found a mass in my lung,” she said. Four days later it was official. Dirt Road Girl was diagnosed with cancer in her lung and brain. The past 12 months was like riding the Scream Machine for the first time – with no seat belt or safety bar to hold us in the roller coaster. The good news is that DRG has made amazing progress in her fight for life.

We prepare for the unknown unknowns as best we can. This is the time of the year people usually make resolutions as to what they are going to stop doing or start doing. Out with the bad habits and in with the new, good habits. I’m no longer a big fan of goal setting. I prefer a life theme. Goals have always been an act of implementation. Start – work – achieve – now what? Once the target is met, there is a great sense of accomplishment usually. However, in my experience, goal setting seems to be less effective than adopting a lifestyle theme. It’s an individual choice. YMMV.

With the approaching new year, I go into reflection mode and tweak my theme. What did I do right last year? How can I improve our life in the new year?

There’s so much doom and gloom in the main stream media: Fiscal cliff, school shootings, never-ending wars, unemployment, and talk of gun confiscation. DRG’s journey has taught me that we aren’t guaranteed today, tomorrow, or next year. We’ve always given lip service to that fact. But how do we start living it, practicing it, and owning it?

I hated homework in school. That’s why I don’t assign any to my students. “You’re a bad teacher, Mr. Walker!” Really? Homework is designed to take up valuable time that could be used by students to pursue something that really interests them. Following their interest is how they discover learning and not just studying to pass some silly state standardized test.

Here is my top 5 list of ways to prepare for the new year. I’m going to break my No-Homework rule and give each of you a simple assignment. By the way, it’s for a grade. Extra credit if you share it with someone else.

1.) Health

Diets are not sustainable. Most diets aren’t even healthy. Once the bathroom scale stops screaming for relief and the mirror smiles at your naked body, how do you maintain the new you?

This is a foundational theme for our family. I think it was Ben Franklin who was credited with saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This is never more true than when it comes to our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. More and more evidence shows the link between our eating and health. You are what you eat. The S.A.D. (Standard American Diet) is recommended by the government food pyramid and most prepper experts. The strategy to store food for disasters and end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it scenarios is smart. If you’ve followed my blog at all, you already know my beef with SAD food storage.

The prepper community, like most Americans, bought the lie about high fat, low carb eating plans. I had a receipt for my purchase until three years ago. If simply surviving is you goal, spend your cash on all the SAD foods you can afford to cache. Just remember that pesky notion about being what we eat. Why not adopt a new theme – a natural, healthy, unconventional lifestyle – for the new year. 2013 may force us all to prepare like cavemen. Go ahead and get a jump on the herd.

Homework Assignment: Dust the chalk board erasers, forget everything you’ve been taught about “healthy diets,” and take a 30 day challenge (heck, just try it for 21 days) – and report back with your results.

  • Mark’s Daily Apple – Mark Sisson helps you follow the Primal Blueprint with help of “worker bees” and real community of primal lifestylers.
  • The Organic Prepper – Daisy Luther offers practical advice on healthy prepping and low-tech solutions. We’ve featured several of her articles here.
  • Bug Out Nutrition – A blog that applies the science of nutrition to survival.
  • Mercola.com – Dr. Joseph Mercola’s excellent natural health website.

2.) Learn Liberty. Free Your Mind. Take the red pill.

Homework Assignment: Your reading and viewing assignments are listed below:

  • Watch The Matrix. Rent it. Buy it. Watch it.
  • LewRockwell.com. Visit regularly.
  • Stop watching mainstream propaganda news for 30 days. I stopped 5 years ago. Ditched talk radio too. Here are a few of the alternative news sources I read regularly.
  1. LewRockwell.com
  2. Zero Hedge
  3. Eric Peters Auto
  4. Living Freedom
  5. Before It’s News – They publish my RSS feed under “Self-Sufficiency”

3.) Build Tribe. Even if the gun-grabbers don’t get their unconstitutional bill passed, I’ve made this a priority. I met a gentleman a week ago to buy a tool for DRG. We made the transaction and I noticed the welding machine on his truck. He builds safes and safe-rooms. He also builds some very cool steel targets for pistol and rifle practice. I’d like to buy the welding machine from him. But I’ll have to settle for a few targets. Once I try them out I’ll post a review. By meeting this stranger, we found we have a lot in common. We plan on eating lunch together soon.

Coming in contact with others that you’d like to build tribe with sometimes happens accidentally. Other times I initiate the contact. I’ve got a meeting with a fellow blogger next week to begin building tribe. I’ve followed his blog for a while now and like how he thinks. Don’t forget your neighbors.

Homework Assignment: Approach at least one person outside your immediate family about building mutual assistance, relationship, and tribe. Use common sense. Don’t ask the first stranger in line at the grocery store to be in your tribe.

4.) Build Resilience. Resilience is defined by Dictionary.com as:

1. the power or ability to return to the original form, position, etc., after being bent, compressed, or stretched; elasticity.
2. ability to recover readily from illness, depression, adversity, or the like; buoyancy.
I get the feeling in my gut that we will all be bent, compressed, and stretched in 2013. Not really a gut feeling. Reality is staring us in the face. I’m no financial wizard or mystic. I’m just a simply country boy at heart. Even simple folk like me can see the handwriting on the wall – even without watching the propaganda robots on TV.

Our plan to build resilience doesn’t just include our family’s needs. We understand that a resilient community (physical location) opens many avenues to preparedness. See building Tribe above. Every step we take this year to become more self-reliant builds more resilience. Will it be enough? Probably not. But we’re one step closer – plus, we enjoy the journey.

Pic credit

Practical Steps To Becoming Resilient

  • Contact local farmer’s markets, food co-ops, and farmers. Here’s a unique approach to buying locally – Locally Grown. It started about 12 years ago as the first online farmers market. Unlike other co-ops, buying clubs, or CSAs where everyone gets the same box of stuff (and you don’t know what you’re getting until you get it), with Locally Grown you get to order what you want, in the quantities that you want, from the farms that you want. If you don’t see a market close to you and you know one or more growers ready to sell their products, you can create your own new market! Also, try Eat Wild, or Local Harvest. Also, do a little cowpooling to help keep cost down.
  • Hone your skills and build your kits in these key areas:
  1. Potable Water. Have as many methods of making and storing potable water as possible. I’m not going into how-to details here. There’s plenty of info on the net and books on how to do this stuff. Dependent on “city water” (as Daddy calls it) leaves many high and dry when grid-down disasters strike. Even if you have “country well water”, it won’t pump itself out of the ground. You may be ahead of the game and have an alternative pumping method (hand pump, solar, hydroelectric, etc.). We own a Berkey filter for our home and portable MRS filter for our G.O.O.D. bags. Options are plentiful.
  2. Food. Eating happens. Store stuff you already eat. Most of us can’t or don’t know how to grow all our fruits and vegetables. But even a few patio tomato plants is one step towards building resilience. It may seem difficult to store nutrient-dense, healthy food, but it’s really not. Click here for my plan.
  3. Band Aids. The medical aspect of preparedness is overwhelming to me. Beyond basic first aid, I defer to others with real skills.
  4. Protection. This isn’t all about bullets. Guns are tools in my kit that have redundant purposes. The recent run on battle rifles and full capacity magazines shows the psyche of Americans. They’re securing their liberty with each ammo and gun purchase. This can’t escape notice of TPTB. The protection category also includes investing in tangibles that will only go up in value as the dollar crashes. Purchasing items now that will help you become a producer is a wise hedge against the unknowns.
  • Be A Connector. This dovetails with building community. For the non-introverts, this comes easy. The digital age has opened so many opportunities to network. No matter what you’re interested in, its easy to find like-minded people willing to do the stuff with you.

Homework Assignment: Locate one source of locally produced meat and vegetables available to you. Extra credit if you raise your own meat/protein/veggie.

5.) Build Barter Networks. You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours. With the economy in a tailspin, bartering has become more common. Many forums and websites have established local barter networks. When bartering, trade value for value. A hair cut wouldn’t be of any value to me, since I shave my head. But there might be a service the local barber has to offer that I need.

In my latest hard-copy edition of Backwoods Home Magazine, John Silveira wrote an article called, “Bartering for bad times.” Click here for the online version. He covers physical barter items such as food, seeds, silver and gold, ammo, garden tools, tobacco, booze, medical marijuana, coffee, water, and solar power. You don’t have a stockpile of these items to trade? Try trading your skills.

What skills/services can you offer to improve the quality of life for others who have stuff you need? I’m not a plumber by trade, but the skills my daddy taught me growing up are in demand now and will continue into the next Great Depression. Mr. Silveira recommends the following useful skills for trading value:

  • Barber
  • Poker
  • Repairing stuff
  • Gardening
  • Tutoring
  • Fuel for heating
  • Clothes: Making and Mending
  • Caregiver: Babies and Elderly

I really like what Alt-Market promotes and purses. Their mission is “to facilitate networking, local community action, and the exchange of knowledge and ideas. We promote decentralization, localism, and the de-globalization of human economic systems. We aim to work with and support local economies, markets, barter networks, and farmers cooperatives; and to promote alternative currencies and monetary systems.”

Homework Assignment: Transact one or more barter exchanges in the month of January.

This kind of free market trade is something that the Feds hate and want to control. Trading value for value voluntarily, between consenting parties is a skill we should all learn…sooner, than later.

What are you’re ideas for resilience in 2013?

Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Barter, Economic Collapse, Investing/Tangibles, Primal/Paleo Lifestyle, Self-reliance, Survival | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

Death of the Nickel: A Hoarding Strategy

Source: LewRockwell.com

Storing Nickels

by David Hathaway

Are you doing due diligence with nickels? As many LRC readers know, nickels are the only real “money” being distributed by the U.S. Government at this point in time. The value of the metal in a nickel equals the fiat value assigned to it by the state. This cannot be said about the currently produced pennies, dimes, quarters, or half dollars and certainly cannot be said about the paper money or the even more insidious and plentiful computer digit money that we are forced to use. Nickels are uniformly marked, impractical to counterfeit, and easily recognizable for their metallic content (75% copper, 25% nickel).

So, is it really that easy to get real money in exchange for the worthless stuff floating around? Yes, it still is. You walk into a bank, hand the teller a 20-dollar bill, and walk out with 10 rolls of nickels. There is no dealer markup. There is no sales tax. There are no shipping fees. There is no capital gains tax or value added tax. It almost seems impossible in this day and age. It soon will be impossible. We are temporarily in an era with nickels that is analogous to the pre-1965 silver coinage period. Coin composition is slated to changeduring the 2013 fiscal year. So, what are the issues that would preclude a person from taking advantage of the inevitable increase in the value of nickels when compared to the fiat dollar? Well, there is one small issue and one slightly bigger issue. The small issue is obtaining the nickels and the bigger issue is storage. Both issues can be resolved fairly easily for most people. First, let’s look at the smaller issue.

You don’t want to shoot yourself in the foot when obtaining nickels; not to mention your fellow hard-money brethren who are doing the same thing. Don’t go into a bank and make a grandiose gesture by asking to speak to the branch manager and discussing the bulk acquisition of $1000 or $10,000 worth of nickels. I have read articles where people proudly describe the incredulous looks they get from the bank employees and the follow-up questions administered by the bank staff from such an action. These articles usually include a description of how they schooled the bank employees about how the customer was hoarding nickels as a hedge against inflation. Don’t have this conversation with the bank. You don’t want to be the source of new bank policy restricting the acquisition of coinage. Some banks may charge a percentage for obtaining coins but, most still don’t. With nickels it is still so easy.

You need to have a systematic outlook. What you do is always lay down a 20 dollar bill and ask for 20 dollars in nickels. No more. That’s all. Make this fit into your lunch break at work, your commute, your exercise routine, or your shopping routine. You can go to one, two, or three banks fairly quickly. Don’t get the coins using your debit card or a check. Keep it to a simple hand-to-hand cash transaction. You don’t want multiple computer entries showing up on your bank account at different bank branches 10 minutes apart. It looks like you are doing something. Banks look for patterns and they will ask more questions. You aren’t doing anything wrong but, once again, you don’t want to make waves. You want to be able to continue getting your nickels. Giving out $20 in coins is no big deal to a major bank but, retailers that get coinage regularly usually do have to pay extra for the privilege. Small account holders and even non-account holders are usually given “small” amounts of pre-rolled coinage in exchange for paper currency as a courtesy at no charge. You want to be in the small customer “courtesy” realm on this issue. Being in a slightly bigger town is a plus but, not essential. If you happen to be on a lengthier shopping trip or road trip, you can get $20 worth of nickels ten times fairly quickly at ten different banks. Remember, you don’t want to be responsible for the issuance of new restrictive policies within your local banking world. Banks talk to each other. They go to conferences. If only a few guys in a town of a million people are trying to get large quantities of nickels on each transaction, the word will get out and policies will change.

You won’t believe how quickly you acquire nickels at this rate. You quickly get in and out of the bank since you are not doing account-related transactions. You get 400 nickels each time you hand over a 20-dollar bill. The transaction usually takes less than a minute. If you do this twice every day on your lunch break, you will have nickels coming out of your ears. Don’t try to do it at a quicker rate. You will end up causing problems.

The second issue, which is really the point of this article, is the storage of your nickels. One of the first rules for obtaining and storing metal as a hedge against inflation is to take possession of the metal yourself and to not trust someone else to store it for you. A warehouse receipt can be next to worthless in a hyperinflationary environment and is subject to the same type of mishandling that has been seen in metal futures, ETFs, and other paper forms of metal. Nickels do present a challenge for storage but, the challenge is not insurmountable.

Green military style ammo cans are a very tempting solution. They have one serious drawback. They look valuable. That wall of ammo cans in your basement really looks like a stash of something worth stealing. The larger size (generically called .50 caliber ammo cans) are too heavy when filled with nickels. The smaller size is easier to handle. They weigh about 35 pounds when filled. They hold about 88 rolls. Each roll contains $2 face value of nickels. So, you are preserving about $176 face value of nickels in one ammo can. To get up into multiple thousands of dollars, you will have quite a wall of ammo cans. They get harder and harder to conceal. They won’t fit in a floor safe or that hollow brick like your gold coins do.

So, what’s the answer? After years of experimenting, I have found the perfect solution. Home Depot sells pre-cut 24-inch sections of thick walled 4-inch black ABS pipe. They also sell the 4 inch ABS end caps and ABS cement. This combination makes a perfect long-term burial solution. The ABS cement causes a reaction to occur that is the chemical equivalent of welding the plastic end caps on by chemically softening, melting, and then permanently binding the adjoining surfaces of the two plastic pipe fittings together. PVC pipe also works. The nickels will last for decades in pristine condition underground when stored in these pipes.

I had an occasion to dig up 10 pipes recently containing a total of 560 pounds of nickels that had been buried for three years. The store bar-code stickers hadn’t even come off the pipes yet. The pipes with the caps glued on with the ABS cement still looked brand new. Each of these pipes holds 122 rolls of nickels on average. The pipes weigh about 56 pounds when finished. I have found that drilling a tiny hole with a small drill bit aids with pushing on the final cap since the glue makes the caps airtight and the air pressure makes it hard to push the second cap on. The air relief hole allows the cap to slide on easily before the cement binds the parts together permanently. The small hole can then be filled with ABS cement to make the pipe watertight. To get the nickels out, you will have to cut the pipe open with a saw.

After preparing multiple pipes, dig a trench. It will look like you are installing a water line or a sewage pipe. The 24″ X 4″ inch black pipes look like sections of sewer line. You can rent a trencher to make the process quicker and to reduce prying eyes. I have found that even sensitive metal detectors cannot detect the pipes when they are more than 12 inches deep. To be on the safe side, you can make your trench 18 to 24 inches deep. Even if they are buried less deep, they have the metal detector signature of a buried water pipe and won’t look like an attractive target to unearth.

I will address one more point since I hear this all the time. How do you cash in the nickels for the metal value? You don’t in the short run. This is not a buy and turn over proposition. You don’t have to worry about the legalities of melting coins. People don’t have to melt down pre-1965 silver coins to get the metal value. There will always be a market for the actual metal value in the coin. You don’t have to melt down gold coinage to get the metal value. Some day, when the effects of massive inflation are more evident, you will have your hedge against inflation and you will be able to sell your coins for their metallic value as you need to. In the case of nickels, they won’t have to be assayed. They are marked and it is obvious what they are. Their metallic content is common knowledge. There is no down side with nickels. If nothing else, you have gotten your money out of computer digits and you are holding it in tangible form for the coming banking crisis. It just so happens that you got full value for yours in incorruptible metal form with a picture of one of the less offensive presidents stamped on the side.

December 29, 2012

David Hathaway [send him mail] is a former supervisory DEA Agent who homeschools his nine children. He enjoys writing about the injustices of the state.

Categories: Barter, DIY Preparedness Projects, Economic Collapse, Investing/Tangibles, Preparedness | Tags: , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Is It Too Late to Start Prepping?

by Daisy Luther

Author bio: Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor.  Her website, The Organic Prepper, offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. You can follow Daisy on Facebook and Twitter, and you can email her at daisy@theorganicprepper.ca

Is It Too Late to Start Prepping?

A lot of new folks are starting to realize that the outlook in North America is every bit as grim as the reality in European countries like Greece, Spain, Portugal and a host of others. When even the mainstream media is making dire predictions, the writing is truly on the wall.

If you’re new at this, you might be dipping your toe in the water, reading some survivalist and prepping websites, trying to figure out how to keep your family safe and well-fed in the difficult days ahead…and you may also read a host of discouraging comments saying that it’s too late to get started.  ”If you aren’t already prepared, there’s no time left,” many experienced preppers are saying dismally. “You’re screwed.

If you’ve already come upon some difficult times, you may think to yourself, “I’d like to prepare but I barely have enough money to keep a roof over our heads…We’re screwed.”

You might be reading these terrible prophecies, rolling pennies to buy milk at the grocery store, and watching the parade of terrible daily events and be ready to give up before you even get started.  You may agree, “Yep, it’s too late. I’m screwed.”

The thing is, I’m the eternal optimist, and I don’t believe that it really IS too late.  I don’t believe that you are screwed, even if tomorrow is the date of your first stockpile shopping trip!  If the stores are open, there’s still time.

While I agree that the situation is dire and that economic doom is getting closer every day, if you’re reading this site and others like it, you’ve taken the first step to preparedness already – just like a 12-Step program for addiction, you have recognized and admitted the problem.  This, in and of itself, puts you in the company of an estimated 3 million preppers who are aware that life as we know it today could change in the blink of an eye!

This recognition of the need to prepare puts you ahead of “the herd”.

  • This means that you will look at current events differently.
  • This means that you will think critically when presented with information via the media.
  • This means that you will truly weigh the pros and cons of fiat currency that you intend to spend.
  • This means that when you shop, you aren’t just looking to feed your family until the next grocery trip.

Even if you just have a little inkling in the back of your mind that things are not as they ought to be, you have crossed a thresh-hold and you can choose whether you want to step in to awareness or slam the door on that uneasy feeling and go about your life, doing things the way you have always done them.

If you’re still reading, then you may have decided to come on in and join the ranks of the prepared!

While it’s late in the game we aren’t in the last inning just yet – so let’s get started!

The wake-up call for many of us is a downturn in finances.  While it’s ideal to begin stocking up while your income is still good, don’t be discouraged if you’ve taken a financial hit. You won’t be able to buy a year’s supply in one marathon shopping trip but you can empower yourself by getting started.

Getting Started

The first step is to take inventory of what you have – you may be surprised to realize that you already have a week or a month of supplies in your pantry.  Read “If You Don’t Know What You Have, You Don’t Know What You Need!” for more detailed information on inventorying the items that you already have. (Note: the 52 Weeks to Preparedness section of the website Ready Nutrition contains a wealth of information for the beginning prepper. It’s a budget-friendly approach to getting prepared!)

Once you’ve figured out where you are as far as supplies are concerned, you must figure out a way to finance your prepping endeavors.  Your budget may be so tight that you can barely keep the lights on but there is still hope.  When you change the way you shop, you’ll soon find that some of the budgetary stress is relieved.  But first things first, you have to free up enough money to get started.

You might think that the week after Christmas is a terrible time to get started on something that costs money, but in actuality, you will probably never be in a better position to do so.  If your house is anything like mine, you probably have a whole refrigerator full of holiday leftovers – resist the urge to do your normal weekly shopping trip and feed your family leftovers combined with the goods you have in your pantry.  Use that money that you would normally spend for groceries and let’s get started!  No matter how small your budget is, you can begin building security for your family.  I am basing these prices on my teeny tiny small-town grocery store, this week. You may be able to get more, based on what’s on sale in your area.

$20 List

  • 2 pound bag of rice
  • 2 pound bag of beans
  • 4 cans of spaghetti sauce
  • 2 cans of peaches in water
  • 1 jar of peanut butter
  • 1 jug of white vinegar
  • 5 gallon jug of water

$50 List

everything in the $20 list and

  • 4 boxes of saltine crackers
  • 4 jars of unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 pounds of sugar
  • 5 pounds of flour
  • 1 liter of olive oil
  • 3 cans of green beans
  • 2 boxes of baking soda

$100 List

everything on the $20 list and the $50 list and

  • 1 canister of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 canister of baking powder
  • 10 pound bag of potatoes
  • 5 pound bag of onions
  • 5 pound bag of carrots
  • 2 pounds of powdered milk
  • 6 pounds of pasta
  • 5 bags of dried spices of choice
  • small assortment of treats (candy, chocolate chips, etc – you have $5 to spend on things that make life more pleasant!)

If you’ve read my other articles, you may think these lists are in conflict with the “organic” theme.  While I’d certainly love to see everyone give Monsanto the cold shoulder by buying local and organic, it’s just not always feasible, especially when you are just getting started. I’d rather see people begin to take control by having a supply like the one listed here – something that when combined with the foods in the cupboards might see you through a month of hard times.

What’s more, when you have this little bit of security – this one-month food investment, you can begin to build on this with healthier and more nutritious options.  You can start learning how to be more self-sufficient by growing what you can, by learning to preserve food and by buying in bulk.

It’s Not Over – There’s Time

That little voice whispering warnings is telling you something very important – it’s saying that things just aren’t right.   Call it instinct, the voice of God, or a premonition – but listen and get prepared. Start right now.   Even if you only have 2 weeks’ worth of food and water, that is two weeks that your family will not be hungry or thirsty. After Superstorm Sandy people were complaining that they hadn’t eaten after only two days.

None of us knows how long the dollar will last.  We, in North America, will be going the way of Greece – not if, but when.  Natural disasters occur, interrupting the flow of commerce and the availability of goods. Jobs are lost, illnesses occur, and storms blow in.  If you listen to that little voice telling you to get ready, you will not be standing in line with all of the rowdy crowds waiting for FEMA to dole out benevolence.

Take the time we have left and make the most of it.  Ignore the naysayers with their discouraging pronouncements that there isn’t enough time.  Every single meal you put aside, every book of matches, every candle and every alternative cooking method you invest in, increases the security of your family.

Focus on what you can do – and block out the static of those who say the word “can’t”.

If you are an experienced prepper, what budget-friendly suggestions do you have for the newcomer?  Post them here in the comments!

[Sherpa Note: Check out the comment section at the Organic Prepper to add your thoughts and read other suggestions to this list.]

Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Economic Collapse, Frugal Preps, Preparedness, Self-reliance, SHTF, Survival | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

How Many Pills Until Pharmageddon?

http://www.freakingnews.com/pictures/25000/Prozac-Santa-Claus-25108.jpg

by Todd Walker

Expert preppers recommend at least a years worth of the 3 B’s: food (beans), guns and ammo (bullets), and first aid supplies (band aids). I addressed this issue in a previous post about becoming a producer. All this stuff is consumable. What then?

A question I don’t see addressed by many experts is: What happens when the psychotropic drugs run out? How many Adam Lanza-types, armed and drugged, do we work with, live beside, or are married to?

The other day a fellow teacher told me that one of my students in his class must be off his meds. “What happened,” I asked.

“He was flopping on the floor like a fish and making strange sounds and had crazy eyes,” my friend said.

Most times, teachers just send out of control behavior to me to handle. I’ll ask if they took their medicine. The usual reply is negative.

The link between school shootings/violence and legal pharmaceuticals is disturbing to say the least. Here’s a sobering read on the effects of all the mind-altering pills swimming in public schools (Hat Tip to Caroline Cooper – a regular Sherpa commentista). What a disastrous mix: Big Pharma, Medical/Psychiatric Establishment, Industrial Food Complex, and Gun-Free Zone Government Schools. Our appetite for quick fixes, coupled with pharmaceutical profits, places America on top of other pill-popping nations consuming 60% of all psychotropic pills manufactured.

Every year it seems, we hear of another manufactured illness. Ever heard of ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder)? Here’s how the Mayo Clinic defines ODD: [NOTE: I added emphasis in bold, a helpful layman's interpretation for those not familiar with psychobabble, and alternative solutions to pills in brackets]

if your child or teen has a persistent pattern of tantrums [take Jane or Johnny to the woodshed], arguing, and angry or disruptive behavior [see Founding Fathers] toward you and other authority figures [Police State, the collective, Leviathan -  they know what's best for their subjects citizens] he or she may have oppositional defiant disorder (ODD).

As a parent, you don’t have to go it alone in trying to manage [not raise] a child with oppositional defiant disorder. Doctors, counselors and child development experts [BEWARE of ALL 'experts'] can help.

Treatment of ODD involves therapy, training to help build positive family interactions, and possibly medications to treat related mental health conditions (follow the money equation: more patients = more money).

A “problem” child often gets labeled with a mental disorder by refusing to submit and obey the oppressive rules, constant spying, and authoritarian rule in public schools. A school counselor pointed out to me that one of my students (we’ll call him John) must have this dreaded ODD mental order. He would often refuse to sit down and shut up. His mom made the decision to take him off the prescription drugs the previous year. He was making great strides in my math class. Unfortunately, the target was already painted on his back. And he knew it. I responded to the genuinely concerned counselor by saying that I think I must have caught the ODD too. This young man and I had a great year together. I ran interference for him as much as possible to give him a chance to learn. You see, once a child gets labeled, the collective memory of staff and teachers can’t be erased. Finally, his mom moved him to another school.

Zombie Factories

Image credit

Government schools are the perfect Petri dishes for profitable pharmaceutical companies. Anti-psychotic drugs, once only prescribed to adults, are readily available to school aged children. Unruly children are drugged for social compliance more than for the mental health of the individual. I call it the zombiefication process. Mix a mind-numbing cocktail of strong anti-psychotic drugs and the invisible straightjacket turns any student into a compliant zombie. Even after John’s mom took him off the drugs, I believe his young, developing brain was badly affected.

Parents and teachers embrace and encourage the pill-popping culture in Zombie Factories. In this fantasy world of rainbows and flying unicorns, we can alter behavior with a prescription pill. We are no longer responsible. Big Psychiatry will “save the children” – some doctor, bought by Big Pharma, will make everything okay with a pill. Like I tell my students repeatedly, school is not the real world. The real world is not fair. Everyone doesn’t “win” and get a trophy. It’s even more cruel when living as mind-controlled zombies drugged on legally addictive pills.

Big Pharma’s Best Kept Secret

Can prescription drugs cause you to kill someone? “Absolutely”, says Dr. David Healy, author of Phamageddon. “Violence and other potentially criminal behavior caused by prescription drugs are medicine’s best kept secret,” he adds. Want to find out if the drugs you or a loved one are taking might cause violent behavior? Enter the name of the drug over at the Violence Zone. Even if it’s “just” a pill to help you quit smoking, side effects can be deadly. Don’t expect to hear about this on major media outlets. Pharmaceutical companies have a vested interest in keeping journalists inline.

Dr. Mercola reports on a disturbing top-ten list below.

Antidepressants Top List of Most Violence-Inducing Drugs

It’s certainly worth paying heed to drug interactions such as violence and homicidal leanings, both as a patient and as a concerned parent, family member or friend. According to a 2010 study published in the journal PLoS One, half of the top 10 drugs disproportionately linked with violent behavior are antidepressants:

  1. Varenicline (Chantix): The number one violence-inducing drug on the list, this anti-smoking medication is 18 times more likely to be linked with violence when compared to other drugs

  2. Fluoxetine (Prozac): This drug was the first well-known SSRI antidepressant

  3. Paroxetine (Paxil): Another SSRI antidepressant, Paxil is also linked with severe withdrawal symptoms and a risk of birth defects

  4. Amphetamines: (Various): Used to treat ADHD

  5. Mefoquine (Lariam): A treatment for malaria which is often linked with reports of strange behavior

  6. Atomoxetine (Strattera): An ADHD drug that affects the neurotransmitter noradrenaline

  7. Triazolam (Halcion): This potentially addictive drug is used to treat insomnia

  8. Fluvoxamine (Luvox): Another SSRI antidepressant

  9. Venlafaxine (Effexor): An antidepressant also used to treat anxiety disorders

  10. Desvenlafaxine (Pristiq): An antidepressant which affects both serotonin and noradrenaline

The big lie laid on our pill-for-everything culture destroys self-reliance and individual responsibility. The food I eat makes a huge difference in my overall health. The S.A.D. (Standard American Diet) served in government school lunchrooms won’t create physical specimens of students, much less mental health. Could our stomachs be connected to our mental health? I think so. I’m not alone. Below you can check out a few resources to put you on the road to enlightenment and self-healing.

The typical food storage recommendations by prepper experts are loaded with foods that destroy the brain-gut-axis. I wrote about my Primal Pantry here. My Down and Dirty Sauerkraut is loaded with gut-healing probiotics. Maybe it’s time to rethink food storage methods.

How many pills?

So, this brings me back to the original question: How many pills? What happens when your personal stock of antidepressants run out? The drug-altered fantasia will disappear when the pain of withdrawal grips the one in ten Americans dependent on psychotropic pills just to get through the day – when times were normal. Times won’t be “normal” when the sh*t hits the fan.

Images of maniacs shooting up innocent victims could pale in comparison once the prescription pill machine grinds to a halt. Adding insult to injury, all the  stuff needed to combat depression are the exact things that will be hard to come by in a prolonged SHTF situation. For instance, proper amounts of sleep, vitamins like B12 and D, omega-3 fats, and exercise all have been proven to help with mental well-being.

Educating yourself, then taking action, could save you and yours lots of future pain. A few small steps now could help you prepare for the coming Pharmageddon.

 

Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Economic Collapse, Natural Health, Preparedness, SHTF, TEOTWAWKI | Tags: , , , , , | 17 Comments

What Does It Mean to “Prepare for the Economic Collapse”?

Two days before Christmas y’all! Our 5 gallon bucket of coconut oil was delivered yesterday. Thankfully the Mayans were wrong :)

Tropical Traditions

Tropical Traditions

I deal with the denial Daisy describes in her article below everyday I walk into my school. Entitlement, dependency, and even violence when their world view is challenged. If you’re able, pay Daisy a visit and lend a word of support.

Still doing the stuff,

Todd

______________________________

December 22, 2012

Last week I wrote an article in response to the media’s vilification of preppers in the aftermath of the horrible tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut.  The article was quoted in an article on Yahoo.com, to my great astonishment, and that is when I saw how little most people understand about prepping.  You can see in most of the 4492 comments the article received that many folks just don’t “get it”.

My inbox was filled with a barrage of  hate mail and a number of people felt compelled to leave angry (and rather ignorant) comments on my website. I got messages from people that called me “batsh*t crazy”, messages from gun control advocates, messages from people who directly blamed me and all other preppers for the massacre, and even one particularly hate-filled email from a person who said “I hope that your kids are killed at the next school shooting.

All of this leads me to reconfirm my belief that people sincerely do not understand why we do what we do, and that ignorance leads to fear.

People fear what they don’t understand and hate what they can’t conquer. ~ Andrew Smith

If you go back through history, the “visionaries” or “wise ones” were always mocked at best and feared at worst.  They were  cast out of society to live alone at the edge of the village; children would sneak onto their property to show their bravery; they were burned at the stake as witches and heretics.  Anything the larger percentage of people does not understand is treated as something evil and frightening.

Am I saying that preppers are all visionaries and sages?  Not in a mystical “Joan of Arc” sense – but I am saying that preppers are willing to see the writing on the wall and search for a deeper understanding.

Many preppers are preparing for an economic collapse and the subsequent social collapse that will be close behind.

If you don’t think this is realistic, then you aren’t paying attention to the world around you.

People have this image of hunger – they see it as the skeletal dark-skinned children in some third world country, bellies protruding as malnutrition sets in.

But the face of hunger and poverty today is as close as your next door neighbor. Millions of North Americans can barely afford to put their next meal on the table. They are living in their cars, if they’re lucky, and without shelter if they are not so lucky.

For many people the economic collapse has arrived. Their “end of the world” event has already occurred in the form of a job loss, the foreclosure of the family home, or an illness that has caused such massive personal debt that there is truly no way out of it.  Less than 60% of Americans who are of age to be in the work force have a full time job.  When you tally that, it means that more than 100 million people are out of work.    More than 100 million people in the United States have no jobs.  For more than 100 million people, the economic collapse has arrived in full force.

Read the rest here

Author bio: Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor.  Her website, The Organic Prepper, offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. You can follow Daisy on Facebook and Twitter, and you can email her at daisy@theorganicprepper.ca

Categories: Economic Collapse, Preparedness, Self-reliance, Survival | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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