Author Archives: sierra2one
By: Tom Chatham
The Chinese have made no secret of their discontent with the massive money printing by the U.S. that is threatening to diminish their massive holdings. They are currently on a massive buying spree to get every ounce of gold they can as fast as they can. The U.S. interests are holding down the price of PMs in an effort to fool the average person into believing that everything is just fine. This manipulation is playing right into the hands of China as they continue to buy.
The amount of gold moving from London to the east is creating a drain on vaults in the west and it is only a matter of time before they go empty. When that happens, the price of physical will skyrocket and no amount of paper will be able to stop it. The end of the line for paper gold and silver is getting close. With China buying over 1,000 tons of gold every year for the past few years plus what they mine themselves, their vaults are filling up fast. Once they have a sufficient amount, they will complete the destruction of the Dollar with massive dumping of their U.S. bonds.
China has already signaled the end of the dollar when it recently announced it would start invoicing all of its oil imports in Renminbi. It has also announced it will no longer be adding any more foreign reserves to its holdings. This is an indication that China will begin to build up its own middle class to absorb much of its production just as the U.S. did in the last century. This is a clear signal that the loss of reserve currency status for the U.S. is not far off.
As if to make an even bolder statement, China is working on an agreement with Nicaragua to build a canal that rivals the Panama Canal. China is also talking about operating their own oil futures market that will be priced in Yuan. At least half of the OPEC nations have expressed interest in the endeavor.
As if life were not difficult enough in the U.S. right now, the loss of reserve currency status will hit like a financial tsunami that will push Americans over the edge before they know what hit them. This will cause all of our imports to increase in price until we can no longer afford them. This is a fact that few Americans know or understand. Most like to pretend everything will be fine and keep their head in the sand to stop any negative information from getting through but this crisis is going to run up and bite them in the ass whether they want to know or not. This is why so many will lose everything they have in the coming months. They can ignore reality but they will not be able to ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.
There are going to be rough times ahead and most Americans refuse to admit it and prepare for the worst. There has usually been someone or some thing to step in in the past and cushion the fall for most but this time there will be no one there to stop the pain. The death of the dollar will be one of those times in life that everyone will remember for many years to come.
By: Tom Chatham
The government decides to make everyone equal by starting them off with the same thing and always gives everyone the exact same thing every year. The first year the government gives everyone five acres of land and $20,000 dollars to start their life with. Joe buys some wood and tools and builds a home and with the rest he buys a used truck. Fred builds a home for $50,000 dollars that is identical to his capitalist neighbor and finances it for 20 years, buys a new car that he has to pay on for 5 years then has a lot of wild parties until all of his money is gone, then he cries unfairness because Joe does not have the massive debt that he must pay off.
Next the government gives Joe and Fred an oak log of the exact same size. Joe cuts up the log and builds a bed, table, chairs and a sofa for his home. Fred cuts up his log and burns it for firewood. Once all of Fred’s wood is gone he cries of unfairness because Joe has new furniture that he does not have.
Next the government gives them both a bushel of wheat. Joe keeps the bushel for seed and plants a field of wheat to which he harvests 25 bushels. Fred eats his wheat and when it is all gone he cries of unfairness because Joe has a lot of wheat that he does not have.
Next the government gives them both a grain mill for grinding grains. Joe uses the mill to grind his wheat and sell it as fresh bread making him a handsome profit allowing him to start a bakery. Fred sells his mill and uses the money to buy beer and cigarettes. When the beer and cigarettes are all gone Fred cries of the unfairness because Joe has money and his own business.
Next the government gives them both $5,000 dollars. Joe uses the money to build an addition onto his home. Fred uses the money to go out to dinner every night and have wild parties. When Fred runs out of money he cries of unfairness because Joe has a bigger home than he does.
At the end of 5 years Joe has a net worth of $50,000 dollars, a small business, and no debt. Fred has lost his home and car because he could not afford the payments and now is homeless.
The moral of the story is, no matter how even everyone starts off, the decisions they make and how well they utilize their available resources determines how well off they are in the end. You can give a million dollars to a stupid person and they will soon be poor again. You can take a million dollars away from a smart person and they will just go out and make another million dollars. That’s life. Deal with it.
By: Tom Chatham
Based on current estimates there are between 91 and 102 million working age Americans without a job. A nation cannot sustain a service based economy with that many unemployed people that contribute nothing to the economy. A service based economy requires a certain amount of money flowing through the hands of working people to support all of the service work done. When you eliminate a large percentage of those people the system becomes unsustainable and soon collapses in on itself. This is the situation we now find ourselves in as a nation.
The nation was sold on the idea of a service based economy as the new trend just as our manufacturing economy was being dismantled and moved overseas. This kept the masses quiet for a while but now the money created by workers that made real goods is drying up on main street. As the ability to make real products decreases, the ability to support service employees decreases with it. No amount of new service related jobs will fix the problem we now face because these people create no real wealth in the form of products to sell. As it has been said before, people cannot create wealth by doing each others laundry.
A nation’s wealth is based on the products it has to sell. Nothing else can create prosperity but the creation of real things. The only way to stabilize the American economy or any other for that matter is to have a sufficient amount of real production in that nation. The financial sector has been the best job market to be employed in the country for some years but merely shuffling money from one person to another creates no more real goods than someone shuffling paperwork around an office all their lives. With the manufacturing sector shrinking in the country something must take its’ place in order to maintain employment in real production jobs at sustainable levels.
With our manufacturing capability captured by other countries two of the only sectors left that cannot be shipped overseas are the mining industry and the agricultural industry. These industries create real goods that can be sold here and abroad. It is these industries that will inevitably help us to stabilize our job market.
The mining industry requires a great deal of investment in most areas to operate As a result this enterprise is not something individuals are able to do in mass. The number of large machines and people needed to pursue this type of production is beyond the ability of most job seekers with little in the way of funding. That leaves this industry to those companies with the knowledge and funding to make it possible. Even then, the hostile attitude toward mining our resources by the current government makes this a difficult proposition at this time. This is evident by the war on coal now embraced by certain individuals.
The agricultural industry is a different matter in many regards. It is within the ability of many individuals to create and operate a working farm from scratch. On a farm you can literally grow a product from seemingly nothing. Whether it is a field of corn or a herd of beef cattle, it is something individuals can do to create a real product to sell.
Because farming is a vocation that can be done by individuals or families, it provides the opportunity for those in need of employment to create their own job from thin air so to speak. A farmer does not get an automatic paycheck every week like his city cousin. Anything the farmer gets must be earned by real work. Real work producing real goods is the only cure for a nation slowly falling into an abyss of unemployment.
In the early 20th century about 30% of the nation still worked and lived on farms. This meant that the other 70% were employed in the other job sectors. Many of these jobs were in manufacturing and mining. The service industry was small and manageable at this time. There was sufficient real production in America to carry this small number of service employees.
In the current situation we now find ourselves in, we must rethink the dynamics of the past and incorporate that into our future. Only about 2% of the current population lives and works on farms today. The bulk of our production is carried out by large corporate farms and by the use of modern equipment costing in the many thousands of dollars that is used by most private farms to operate the large acreage they have.
In the last several decades the small family farm has been displaced by corporate monoculture farming. The small farm with its small size and equipment needs was well suited to families that could produce goods and make a reasonable living. It is this small family size farm that will be necessary to the rebuilding of the nation and to end the large numbers of jobless Americans. The expansion of small farms will be at the cost of the large corporate farms but that is a necessity for longterm viability and job creation.
In order for the nation to stabilize the employment in this nation, the farming sector must be repopulated by small farms providing homes, jobs and a real product that can be sold. The farm population needs to be expanded from the current 2% into the 20% range. This will relieve the joblessness and help to take the pressure off of the mining and manufacturing sectors longterm. Having this much of the population that is self employed and self sufficient in housing and food will reduce the strain on the need for public assistance as well.
The additional benefit of this many farms in America also provides a cushion in the event of a national disaster that cuts off transportation ability. The ability of small scattered farms to produce food and distribute it to local communities is a strategic asset in times of emergency that cannot be replicated any other way.
By rethinking the way we live and work we can repair some of the damage already done to the nation but we can by no means return to the level of production and prosperity we once had. Those days are gone and we must now focus on the basics of survival as a nation. The future will require a drastic lowering of our living standards but that does not mean we must lose our quality of life as a society. We must return to the simple pleasures we once knew as a nation and a people.
We must improvise, adapt and overcome to insure we have a future worth handing down to the next generation. The future is a longterm prospect that requires longterm solutions. The quick and easy methods of our current society must be refocused to the realities of the life we now must face. There are solutions to our current problems, but only if we are willing to seek them out and accept the inevitable pain that will come with the medicine
By: Tom Chatham
When a person with limited funds wants to build a homestead the conventional way is to save until you have enough or to borrow the money in order to build a conventional home that costs a lot of money. Neither of these is likely an acceptable solution to someone who wants to get started as soon as possible with minimal funds. The primary expense in starting a homestead is the purchase of land. Usually this action leaves the person with little or no excess funds to build up the land and provide the necessary structures to operate from.
When a person decides to homestead on limited funds they will need to proceed in a similar fashion to days gone by when a homestead was built out of the land itself. The majority of people that seek to start a homestead usually have a certain amount of creativity and unconventional attitude toward the future. They are usually ready to embrace the old and tested ways already known but long forgotten by modern day suburbia. There are some time tested ways to build on your land with little or no monetary expense.
Logs – Where stands of timber can be found, logs offer a ready source of quality building material. This can be in the form of logs or milled boards.
Adobe – The earth itself is a source of building materials to provide shelter from the elements. Adobe is usually found in arid regions such as the American southwest.
Cob – This type of building material has been used for centuries and is very durable. Some homes in England that are made from cob are several centuries old and still inhabited.
Straw bales – This is a type of building construction that offers a viable material where agriculture is practiced.
Chord wood – Where whole logs are not available for construction, small sections of wood can be used to produce a sturdy structure with walls over a foot thick.
Compressed earth blocks – The compression of mixed materials results in the formation of blocks or bricks of earth that can be used as conventional masonry to build structures.
Sod – The most basic of earth construction is the venerable sod house that many pioneers built in the early days of the nation.
Rammed earth – When packed into forms, rammed earth offers a cheap material to provide walls for a structure
Stone – The availability of stone on your land can provide a building material that will last for centuries if built properly.
Recycled materials – The use of reclaimed wood from older homes and buildings, old tires and many other discarded materials can be the foundation of a sound structure to utilize at a small expense.
Bamboo – In areas where it can be grown, bamboo offers a good building material to work with to frame small structures or provide reinforcement to other materials.
Grass – This material has been used for centuries to shelter man from the elements. In the drier areas it may provide a good building material until something more permanent can be built. It can also offer internal reinforcement to soil type materials giving it more strength.
This article only touches on the types of materials that may be used for shelter construction on your property. An in depth look at each can cover many chapters so it is left to you to do further research into the systems you feel relevant to your situation. These building materials provide a person on limited budget or in a survival situation the ability to construct a shelter that will protect them and their family utilizing the minimal of tools and equipment. In a desperate situation where you may only own raw land, these building systems offer you the ability to live a somewhat normal existence until you can improve your situation.
The ability to own even a small piece of land in troubling times gives you the ability to provide the basics to your family and live up to your responsibilities to them. With just a few tools such as a shovel, saw, ax and a few seeds, you can provide shelter and food in the most basic way. This is the most basic system to resort to when you are thrown back on your own resources which may be few in number. When you think about it, it really is amazing what you can do with some dirt, grass and logs.
The early pioneers relied on these most basic systems but today they are mostly forgotten by a society that lives for the moment and cannot wait for anything. The inability of people to utilize the resources around them can and will cause hardship unless this knowledge is maintained by them for future use when the situation dictates it. Even knowing the basics of one or two of these building techniques can be a major factor in maintaining the confidence to get through a difficult time when all seems lost.
Knowledge is the key to open many doors. As Ben Franklin once said, when a man pours his wallet into his head no one can take it from him. Keep that in mind as you prepare for the future.
By: Tom Chatham
Those that are aware of the machinations unfolding in America today see a potentially deadly situation beginning to unfold. The talk of detention camps and foreign soldiers being prepositioned. The Stalinist purge of many top ranking military officers and arming of government agencies to insane levels. The slow deterioration of our industrial capability and ability of families to feed themselves. The erosion of civil liberties and government attacks on patriotic Americans. The massive spy network established to contain and control the population. The failure to guard our borders and dismantling of our military. All of these actions lead in one direction.
For those who think that a financial collapse causing the loss of their savings and livelihood are the worst that could happen, they might want to consider this possibility.
The global elite that have their hand on all the switches know how individualistic and enterprising many Americans are. If this country were destroyed economically and our infrastructure were destroyed we have the ability to rebuild it all over time. Many of the global players know that a small core of Americans can never be subjugated and could cause many problems for years to come if left to their own devices. In a country as big as America it would be almost impossible to round up all of them so something more drastic may be needed.
Let us not forget the goal of some to return the Earth to a population of 500 million. This means the eradication of 6.5 billion people. Why would Americans think they are exempt from this depopulation event.
It has been said before that the goal of an economic collapse would be to not only take America down to third world levels but even lower so Americans would have no chance to rebuild and cause the globalists any serious problems in the future. Even with a collapse much of our infrastructure and knowledge and raw materials would still be available to rebuild.
The goal of Agenda 21 is to return large portions of the land to wilderness and eliminate the human element in these places. When you start to look at the things that some want to happen here a frightening picture begins to form.
- Destroy economy and peoples wealth
- Destroy infrastructure and return land to wilderness
- Destroy peoples ability to rebuild
- Destroy population to return to sustainable global levels
The only things under human control that could do all of these things is a global pandemic of biblical proportions or a major world war. Either or both could be in the works at this time.
The elite have made no secret that they wish to destroy American hegemony at all costs. A pandemic would certainly accomplish many of the goals listed but it is not guaranteed. Even some survivors would be capable of rebuilding some of the nation and that possibility is not acceptable.
The other option is a major war. As any person who knows the history of WWII and the destruction of Europe knows, destruction of people and materials through warefare is very effective. The end of WWII saw the U.S. as the most powerful nation left standing because we came out of it relatively unscathed. Our vaults were full of gold and our factories were second to none.
That cannot be allowed to happen again in America so the next war must bring total destruction to this land.
America will likely be exposed to an attack so fierce that nothing will remain to rebuild. A force that occupies the nation and systematically reduces the population through a series of initiatives from bullets to chemical weapons to starvation will help to accomplish the Agenda 21 result. If the globalists really want to reduce the world population do you really think they will leave all Americans standing?
They will destroy or remove any and all equipment that allows people to survive and care for themselves long term. They will remove any resources that they can use and destroy the rest. Essentially a scorched earth policy will unfold in America that leaves a barren wilderness unable to sustain any large group of people. When that is accomplished the destroyers will likely go home to some large degree. The mineral resources here are well known and can be extracted any time the globalists want in the future.
When they are done all that will remain of this nation will be a vast wilderness with a few scattered people with no ability to confront the globalists. It will be much as it was when the Europeans fist set foot here.
For those willing to sacrifice and do the hard work it may still be possible to salvage the nation from this destruction. For those with the indomitable spirit to go on and rebuild it is possible for this phoenix to rise again from the ashes. But for that to happen, some things will have to be preserved from the destruction to allow a new start.
- raw materials such as scrap metal and chemicals
- knowledge in the form of professionals and books
- equipment for building in the form of machining equipment
- basic medical equipment
- equipment for casting and refining
- equipment to make copper wire
- farm equipment and implements that can be duplicated
- livestock that can be bred and expanded
- seed stocks that can be grown and processed
- equipment to process fibers for cloth and rope
- electrical equipment such as generators and communications gear
No one person could store all of these things so it must fall on multiple groups with various knowledge and abilities to preserve this core of technological abilities. These items would have to be literally buried to escape detection and destruction for the duration of the event. That is possible if done in time and right now time grows short.
For many it would be easy to hide some resources for later use to rebuild and enjoy a rustic lifestyle without all of the technology. The only problem with that is eventually you may be faced with the spectre of the destroyers returning and any lone homesteads with little technological means would be easy prey for another assault. The only way to rebuild and expand with the ability to defend is to establish communities that are connected and technologically capable.
The scenario laid out here is not a happy one but it is survivable if actions are taken in time. Only the hardiest of individuals would likely live through something like this but they are the ones that history calls nation builders. To dismiss this scenario as impossible is to do so at your own peril should events come to pass. Something is impossible until it’s not.
By: Tom Chatham
The electrification of the nation and to a larger degree the technology now seen as a necessary part of American life, are the Achilles heel of life in this country today. From cooking to sanitation to transportation to communication, most Americans can no longer do even menial day to day tasks without some kind of electrically powered equipment. We have come to rely on technology more and more as a crutch rather than a lever.
We have been blessed as a society to have tools that can multiply our strengths while covering up our weaknesses. When technology fails on a monumental scale, those strengths disappear and our weaknesses are laid bare before us. When this happens we must cope with it one way or another. Society has become so fragile today that the coping mechanism of most people is a distant memory relegated to our forefathers who could convert a four legged creature into their next meal.
Coping is a matter of knowledge and equipment. The more of both that you have in a situation, the more coping ability you will have. Ever wonder why a soldier heading off to war is so cocky? Knowledge and equipment. If you have good equipment and know how to use it your confidence is through the roof when something happens. It gives you the sense of control you need to overcome obstacles. Of the two, knowledge is by far the most important item to have. You may not have any equipment but if you need to start a fire and know 10 ways to do it without matches, you will eventually find what you need to make it happen. Knowing what to look for is the key to overcoming that obstacle.
When the power disappears and you are left with a room full of electronic paperweights, you need to have the knowledge and equipment to move to the next level of sustainability to cope with the problem. On one end of the spectrum you have full service, full bore idiot proof electrification to do most of your thinking for you. On the other end of the spectrum you have the clothes on your back and the mush between your ears with the power of a small appliance bulb. Knowledge turns that small appliance bulb into a finely tuned laser capable of destroying any obstacle. With the proper knowledge and equipment you can maintain your sustainability near the upper end of the spectrum no matter how bad it gets.
There are different levels to preparing for loss of power. It can go from a temporary loss for a few hours to total loss of all electrical equipment for years. The greater the problem is the lower down the levels you will go making sustainability more challenging. The following levels will deal mainly with power concerns so only brief mention will be given to food, water, sanitation and security concerns. FEMA recommends that every home have a two week supply of food and water. That should be a minimum.
Level one – normal operations with full access to electrical devices and power
Level two- disruption of power systems for less than 24 hours
Level three- loss of power systems up to two weeks
Level four- loss of power systems for two weeks or longer
Level five- catastrophic destruction of power systems and some electrical devices
Level six- catastrophic destruction of power systems globally along with most or all electrical devices
Level one- All systems are functional and nothing out of the ordinary is experienced. All creature comforts are available and accessible.
Level two- Power disruptions are experienced for any of a number of reasons. The power outage will require some alternate systems to be employed to maintain normalcy. Refrigeration will cease so units should remain closed to prevent frozen foods from defrosting. Alternative power systems may include generators, power inverters or alternate energy systems to maintain limited power requirements although for this level no power is likely necessary given the short duration. This level is a survivable event even without preparations except for individuals that require medical devices for lifecare which must be addressed. As a minimum, flashlights, portable radios, candles and matches/lighters should be kept. Foods such as dry cereal, power bars and fresh produce will be sufficient to maintain most people until power returns. Bottled water, fruit juice and sodas will provide sufficient hydration under most circumstances until power returns. The security situation should be relatively normal in most cases.
Fire extinguisher 5 lb.
1st aid kit
Level Three- After the initial 24 hrs. power disruptions will start to have serious consequences for society. Refrigerated foods that are not eaten risk spoilage. People will begin to suffer from dehydration as water supplies disappear. After 72 hrs. the security situation will degrade sufficiently in urban areas to become a threat. At this level an alternative energy source is necessary to maintain living standards at acceptable levels. A generator can be utilized to maintain refrigeration and charge batteries. Generators only provide power when running and they use a lot of fuel when run continuously so to make the best use of small fuel supplies a generator should only be run a few hours in the morning and in the late afternoon to maintain refrigeration, charge batteries and cook food. The remainder of the time a power inverter/battery pack can provide limited power for CF lights and communications to keep informed. This system will provide you with power 24/7 while using the least amount of fuel which will likely be difficult to find. To conserve power, camping equipment can fill some needs such as propane for cooking and lighting. A pressure cooker can also reduce power usage by allowing some foods to be cooked much faster. Sanitation during this time will become more difficult. Urban systems will require a portable system to be used while independent septic systems will only require a supply of water to continue functioning. For apartment dwellers, a battery/inverter system recharged with a vehicle may be the most viable system for electrical power while using propane for cooking. A two week food and water supply would get you through this level.
All level two items plus
Fuel – 5 gal. to 50 gal. depending on duration
3,000w power inverter
Deep cycle batteries
HD Extension cords
Sanitation, town system – portable toilet and waste storage means. Water to bathe
Sanitation, septic system – water supply to flush and bathe, 5 gal./person/day
Heat source to cook – Camp stove, grill, hot plate
Propane – for stove/grill 1 lb. per day
Water storage – drinking/cooking/sanitation
Manual can opener
Pressure cooker 4 qt.
1st aid kit
Defense weapon and ammo
Level Four – If this level is reached it is assumed that food and water supplies are not being transported so it is no longer viable to stay in an urban area and relocation to a less populated area is likely necessary. Without power a sustainable situation will require resources and space that are only possible in suburban or rural areas. This level can last months or even years depending on the situation. Because the duration will not be known at the time, it must be assumed at this point that the situation will continue for some time and a sustainable system of power and supply must be utilized. Renewable energy systems and food production will be a core necessity of this level. Propane appliances would be beneficial especially for refrigeration.
All items in level three plus
Fuel Storage – 500 gal.
Propane – 400 lbs.+
Solar Panels – 1kw +
Additional deep cycle batteries
Wind turbine – 500w +
Wood gassifier system
Wood stove -Alternate source of heating/cooking
Tools – Chainsaw w/maintenance eq. & oil, ax, wood saw
Source of wood
Pressure cooker 21 qt.
Source of water / rain catchment system
Hunting weapon and ammo
Salt – 100 lbs +
Level Five – This situation will likely result from an EMP/CME of limited duration and scope. In this instance some devices may still work if power is available so alternate sustainable systems must be utilized. Destruction of major components may impede recovery for many months making self sufficiency a key to survival. The difference between levels four and five are that a level five situation would likely disable or destroy electrical equipment that would be difficult to replace short term. In level four this equipment is still usable if the necessary power can be found to run it.
Generator- inside a faraday cage for storage
Wood gassifier system
Tools – ax, wood saw
Solar panels/wind turbine/hydropower
Deep cycle batteries
Woodstove – heating and cooking
Pressure cooker 21 qt.
Source of water / rain catchment system
Fire extinguisher 5 lb.
Hunting weapon and ammo
Salt 100 lbs. +
Misc. medical supplies w/antibiotics
Tube type radio – DC power
Level Six – This level would be the result of severe space weather or earth changes that cause catastrophic damage to electrical components worldwide. The damage to electrical equipment would be complete making recovery of technology a long and difficult process. With technology destroyed, sustainable systems from the past would have to be revived to provide the necessities of society. This is the worst case scenario. Alternative mechanical systems would be needed to rebuild the technology base. Computer chips are the pinnacle of our technology and the production of them requires several layers of technology to produce unlike the casting and assembly of things such as an engine.
Tools – ax, wood saw, files
Pressure cooker 21 qt.
Source of water / rain catchment system
Fire extinguisher 2 – 5 lb.
Hunting weapon and ammo
Salt 100 lbs. +
Misc. medical supplies w/antibiotics
Mountain bike w/repair parts
Gramophone w/vinyl records
Typewriter w/extra ribbons
Gas appliances – refrigeration, heating, cooking, hot water, lighting
Bio-gas production unit
Steam engine – machine power
Hydro systems – machine power
While this listing is not exhaustive, it provides a window into the various levels a person will encounter over different time spans and situations. Some forethought about your particular living situation will allow you to devise a plan that will allow the least amount of deprivation during the situation you encounter. The time to prepare is before the lights go out. Once it happens it is too late. When this happens, the lack of resources will make your well being entirely dependant on the knowledge you carry. In this instance, knowing what to do if you are caught without resources will allow you to react quickly and decisively in the first few critical hours of an event.
A brief look at the various levels of potential blackout will help you determine what resources are best suited to your particular circumstances. Every plan needs to be tailored to individual needs and expectations. In a level six situation, most of the equipment to repair the technology base will be destroyed so antiquated technology systems will be essential to long term recovery. Since most of this old technology is no longer common knowledge, the storage of this knowledge is necessary outside of the technology systems for later retrieval. This can also be said for any necessary knowledge during short term situations as well.
In November 2003 NASA detected a CME that they later determined to be at the X28+ level. Fortunately this was not directed toward Earth. If it had interacted with Earth we would be living in a very different world today. In 2005 an X17 was recorded and in 2006 an X9 was recorded just to give an idea of how often and extreme these occurrences are. You must decide what level you should prepare for and seek the means to overcome the situation. When you prepare for the worst case scenario, you will be well prepared for almost any contingency and anything less should be easily handled, but that level of preparedness is a personal choice.
Coping with the loss of technology is a personal responsibility that cannot be farmed out to others. When the unexpected happens it is the responsibility of the head of the household to continue to care for their family no matter what situation they find themselves in. It is always good to have outside help when the unexpected happens but to rely solely on others in these circumstances is to put your family at great potential unnecessary risk.
By: Tom Chatham
When you speak of growing an investment most people automatically think of investing their money in some sort of financial scheme that increases the amount of financial units they trade in. In our case this is the dollar denominated world of crony capitalism and ponzi schemes. Anyone who gambles knows the house always wins. The house in this case is the banking system and its’ offshoot, the federal government.
People have been led to believe that they can magically get 6, 8 or 10% annual interest into perpetuity making them rich in the end. This means the amount of money in existence must increase at that rate. Some have done it but they are the exception to the rule. As with any ponzi scheme, the first in wins and everyone else loses. Money is only as good as the assets it can buy. If assets cannot expand as fast as money creation, the magical accumulation of it will ultimately buy less and less if everyone is allowed to accumulate it. In order for you to win the interest game, someone must lose.
As Chris Martenson has stated, there are limits to growth. Everything has a limit and debt creation is no different. If something grows without limits, it eventually outstrips the available resources that feed it. We are now seeing the limits of that growth evidenced by the stalled economy we have now inherited. This means the easy accumulation of money and debt that we are accustomed to will have to change. This will mean a redefining of the standard of living we will enjoy in the future. When the current ponzi scheme ends, some will win but most will lose. So, where does this leave those that are just now entering the economy and seek to build a nest egg to retire on.
The best way to build up assets is to literally grow them. The money printers can print to infinity and as they do so the value of that money will change. As I have said before, a can of ham will always be a can of ham. That means a pound of ham will always perform the same function in society regardless of the price or the amount of paper currency in circulation. That pound of ham represents a real asset. It may have a limited shelf life but it has real value.
It takes time and energy to produce that pound of ham just as it takes time and energy to produce beef, dairy products, wood, grain and any other commodity. Those commodities are limited by natural forces. It may be water, soil condition, growing area or pestilence. You can only produce so much of any commodity before you reach the upper limit of growth. The world can only produce so much grain every year so the available amount produces a cap on available supplies. This is similar to limiting the amount of currency in circulation. That means that a commodity will hold its value over time unlike a devaluing currency. In Argentina the recent currency devaluations have caused farmers to hoard their grain as a way to store their wealth until they can spend it.
For an individual that has a few acres of land, growing a commodity is a good way to build up their assets until they are needed. With a small pasture you can buy a bull calf from a dairy for as little as $35 and raise it on pasture until it is full grown. That full grown steer will now be worth $800 or more dollars if sold on the hoof. For a small investment in money and time, you will have increased your net assets by a huge amount. It is not that much more difficult to care for 5 calves than one which allows you to leverage your resources and compound your gains.
If you are someone that likes to grow things, you could start with a handful of heritage grain seeds and compound that small holding into a whole field of grain in a few years. If you have limited room for growing grains you may be able to grow just a few heritage seeds that thrive in your area and break the harvest into small packets of seeds to sell. Doing so can yield hundreds of dollars per bushel in some cases.
By growing your own seed and increasing the plantings, you will ultimately increase your net worth just as if you were earning interest in a bank only you will have complete control over the asset. For someone that uses sustainable growing techniques and maintains their own seed stocks and breeder stocks, which is the way our great grandparents accumulated wealth, it will be one of the few ways to accumulate wealth in the future outside of the manipulated systems we now have. A good woodlot with some selected woods can produce an impressive amount of wealth when sold. For someone with the ability to mill their own wood, they can get the maximum amount of wealth from their woodlot.
When you grow your assets in a financial institution, you are at the mercy of a host of unscrupulous persons that work for the house. The house will always win by eating away at your assets through taxes, fees, devaluation and outright theft as we have seen recently. When you literally grow your assets in the back yard, you are at the mercy of nature and the free market and they are much more forgiving than bankers and politicians. By doing so you carry no counterparty risk and give yourself every opportunity to prosper.
In the end you must decide what is more secure, a bunch of digits in a computer or a herd of cattle in the pasture. In the future those digits may be in limited supply and hard to come by if you do not work for the house so another more equitable way to accumulate wealth must be used by the population. By producing farm commodities that will always be in demand and storing some of that production in livestock, seeds or other elements like gold and silver, you can accumulate and preserve the wealth you need for the future.
By: Tom Chatham
I have seen quite a few articles on OPSEC concerning supplies and distribution to the needy during a collapse but not very many concerning farms. Here are just a few things for you to think about between now and then.
Many preppers have made their list and checked it twice and feel better for the effort. They have developed plans for most contingencies that may arise and have their stores well secured for the duration. One of the situations that many have talked about is the prospect of providing excess to those in need when the time comes. Some will share and some will not according to those that talk about it.
There are good points to be made for each side of this argument. It ultimately comes down to your particular circumstances. Some people will be ok sharing within their communities due to the cohesiveness there and the willingness to look out for one another. In these places a certain moral code will prevail.
In other places it would literally be suicide to advertise your ability to help others. In this situation if you felt the need to help others it should be done anonymously through third parties to protect yourself and your family. In either case it would be beneficial to have a third party system such as a church group to provide for unprepared neighbors, drifters and “outsiders” to help protect the whole community from foragers on the move. Those that have supplies stocked in depth may be able to keep them out of public view but what about those with livestock?
One of the goals of many is to become self sufficient so they can provide for their families in perpetuity. This means being able to grow crops and raise livestock. Due to the nature of this activity it is almost impossible to hide these things from full view. If you are a farmer and someone comes to your door asking for food, it is difficult to say you have none when you have a pasture full of beef walking around and roosters crowing in the backyard. This puts you in the unpleasant position of turning away desperate people, some of which may due you harm.
This is why a third party clearing house for excess foods is preferable in many cases. It is much easier for a farmer to say that all his excess food is sent to the local church for dispersal to the needy and give them directions there. This can defuse many possible encounters and ill will from others and those in need will soon learn that this distribution center is the only place to get any food. This will prevent many from continuously coming around seeking food. Once it is known where to go any individuals that show up on your farm will likely be trouble makers and you will know as soon as you see them.
When trouble makers show up, how you handle them depends on the situation but if they leave at gun point with an attitude, you will likely have more trouble from them later. These are the people to fear during a crisis. When it comes to this type of environment, you will have to take measures to prevent this situation from developing to begin with. There are several ways to handle it.
- Get rid of all livestock until things stabilize.
- Conceal livestock so animals are not visible
- Have the ability to guard animals 24/7 with deadly force
- Have a secluded location with no through traffic
- Have sacrifice animals positioned that will prevent a larger intrusion
Getting rid of all livestock is a desperation move because you do not know if you will be able to replace those animals when things stabilize. It may be possible to conceal animals to some extent by using structures, hedges, trees, solid fences or dirt berms to avoid detection by passersby but a rooster can be heard ¼ mile away and a cow over ½ mile so visual concealment alone may not be enough.
Having the manpower to guard a herd of livestock may be a viable option for some but it will not prevent some attempts. If someone is coming to steal a pig or cow they will not be alone and will probably have a vehicle. This means the more livestock you have the bigger the target you will make.
It is good if you have a secluded location a good distance from a travel route and one that is surrounded by forest. This will make it easier to block the entrance and prevent accidental discovery by outsiders. It will also necessitate vigilance on the farmers part because being secluded will make you a target if discovered unless you have the means to protect your farm. If your farm is assaulted by individuals, having animals outside your defensive perimeter will allow assailants to get what they came for without putting the rest of your farm in jeopardy. The only problem with this solution is that appeasement never works. Eventually they will be back for more so it is best to deal with this the first time and end the threat.
A solution that many will likely have to employ will involve all of the above solutions. Having a breeding stock that is well protected and concealed, good security, keeping only the minimum amount of livestock necessary, having a secluded location and if assaulted, having livestock exposed that will lead aggressors into an ambush where they can be dealt with.
No plan is perfect for everyone which is why each individual must analyze their own unique situation and determine what will work best for them. The more time you spend on planning and execution of your plan the fewer bugs you will have in it when the time comes to use it.
As for crops, it would be difficult to completely protect them from foragers. In that event it might be useful to have some disposable plantings around the perimeter of the field to prevent damage to the main crop. Most people have little understanding of what to do with small grain crops straight out of the field such as wheat, oats or barley so they would be less vulnerable than crops like corn and beans. Also, large plantings of crops like potatoes, kale and carrots may be best hidden in the middle of a crop of wheat or corn to prevent detection. To many these would look like nothing but weeds in the field. Hiding crops in plain sight should be employed when possible.
Protecting a working farm during a collapse when food is scarce is a daunting task. With the size of the perimeter it is unlikely most farmers will be able to guard it all so some sacrifices may have to be made. The core of the breeding stock and garden should be close and readily defendable at the very least. Seed stocks should be hidden and protected to ensure a crop can be planted when it is necessary. Farm equipment, liquid fuels, energy production equipment and transportation are all areas that need to be considered in the overall plan.
Farming is a complex business and doing so during a collapse will make it even more difficult. This article only touches on a few of the items you may need to consider. The every day needs of the farm must be planned in detail for long term viability due to possible lack of resources outside the farm during the events duration. Planning pays and lack of planning will cost dearly.
By: Tom Chatham
When is a debt ceiling not a ceiling? When it has been removed. That is the solution that was enacted on Wednesday night to fund the government for the next 90 days. This will last from Oct. 17, 2013 until Feb. 7, 2014. This has some very dangerous implications for Americans. It means as of right now there is no debt ceiling and the federals can spend as much as they like. With all of the previous spending by DHS, and the impending economic crash that we face in the near future, it is terrifying to think what the federals might buy in the next 90 days that they can use against American citizens.
With this scenario in place the writing is on the wall and foreigners can read it well even if Americans cannot. The dumping of treasuries will likely increase substantially over the next few months as the collapse becomes evident to everyone but Americans. This is the end game and most people don’t even know they are in it.
With the debt ceiling removed even temporarily, the government has the ability to overspend and when the ceiling is reinstated in 90 days any new debt over the current limit will not be debatable. The limit will automatically have to be raised to that amount. That is why President Obama answered “no” when asked if there would be a renewed debt debate next year. He knows he can bypass it. When the time comes for the House to raise the debt limit they will either have to raise it to encompass the additional spending or not raise it and possibly trigger a default. Either way the Democrats can blame the Republicans for the additional debt increase or a default.
It could go something like this. The government decides how much extra money they will need until after the elections next year and borrow it now. The money is dispersed into the usual slush funds until needed to avoid any new debt debates before the election. The Republicans will lose the ability to stop uncontrolled government growth next year and the Democrats will deprive them of any debt debates before Nov. This will give the Democrats a big edge in the elections and could allow them to take some seats in the house. Not that changing from one party to the other will change anything, it will just determine how fast we collapse.
By this time next year I suspect the Petrodollar will be on life support if not completely dead and high inflation will be rearing its’ ugly head. The governments answer to this will be price controls which will lead to shortages. Then things go downhill fast from there. That’s if we actually make it to next fall without a serious incident in the U.S. before then.
These are truly perilous times for the U.S. and everyone should prepare as they deem appropriate. The west line has shifted and we are now on the trailing edge of history. If we are to survive as a nation and prosper again we must learn to operate with a smaller more efficient economy as others before us have done. This will entail a smaller more localized economy with more small producers and a stable medium of exchange. The only alternative is to become a failed third world nation with no future.
By: Tom Chatham
When you ask someone why they climbed the mountain some will say, because it’s there. I wanted to know if I could do it. It is the same drive that makes people want to win at sports.
Why do preppers prep? What is the point? If something so catastrophic happens that the world is drastically changed or destroyed, why would we want to survive to live anymore?
Dieing is easy. All you have to do is give up and quit. It’s living that is so hard. One of the hardest things a person can do is to wake up in the morning and get out of bed when they know the world is stacked against them. So why do it?
There are three types of people in the world. Those that can do, those that are afraid to do, and those that don’t know what they should do.
I’m the kind of person that will take the time to hammer out a bent piece of metal even if I don’t need it and could easily go buy another one. I like a challenge and I like the feeling of accomplishment when I succeed.
Last year I was working on one of my vehicles when it bent some of the pushrods almost into an S. I could have run down to the parts store and bought new ones but being the cheapskate that I am and loving a challenge, I decided to try to straighten them out. I managed to straighten out 3 but had to buy one new one that was too far gone. They were not expensive but I saw it as a challenge.
About 20 years ago we had a bad winter storm that left several inches of ice on the road. I had to drive 15 miles on these icy roads to get home. About 2 miles from home I rounded a turn and the truck began to slide. My small Chevy 4×4 slid sideways and the front end dropped into a deep ditch until the chassis was touching the ground. I could push up the opposite side of the ditchbank a few inches but could not get enough traction to back out.
A short time later a neighbor came by and a couple of guys tried to help push it out with no success. They said I would need to call a tow truck and offered me a ride. I declined and said I would keep trying. A few minutes after they left I finally stopped and analyzed my situation a little more. I knew I needed to get the front end up and get some traction, but how. I then went into the woods and found a few small logs and threw them behind the wheels. I pushed up the opposite bank a few inches allowing the logs to roll into the bottom of the ditch. When I rolled back the truck pulled itself out of the ditch with little effort.
The point of this story is that I decided I would get it out and would not stop until I had exhausted every possible idea. You don’t know what you are capable of unless you try.
I think preppers are willing to go to extremes and prepare not because they fear death or hardship but because they are willing to explore their absolute limits. They want to know if they are capable of overcoming the obstacle just because it’s there and they have more fear of walking away not knowing than of trying and failing. Some in business might call it the drive to succeed and others might call it the drive to win.
Everyone has their limits and some will prevail when others fail but in the end, the act of trying and not giving up is what’s important. That is what prepping is about to me. If I see a potential obstacle in my future I will try to prepare to overcome it then move on but if I fail and the worst happens I will have a clear conscience. That is what prepping is. Being prepared to face a challenge and giving yourself every chance to overcome it.
When people ridicule those that see potential danger and prepare to overcome it, it is like someone looking at Mt. Everest and saying, oh it’s just a little hill no different than all the others we have crossed, and then they proceed to walk up it with no supplies or equipment. Experience is a virtue that preppers relish and others simply scoff at, at their own peril. To a prepper, the future is a Mt. Everest with no visible top that they are prepared to climb.
Why do people prep for catastrophic situations? Because it’s there.