By: Tom Chatham
When we look at all of the mass shootings that take place today we need to ask a simple question. What has changed in the last thirty years that has caused mass shootings to become an epidemic? It was only a few generations ago that some boys took their rifle to school with them so they could go hunting after school. Fifty years ago it was much easier to get a gun than it is now. So why didn’t we have mass shootings back then like we do now? What has changed?
If you have two men standing in front of you, one is a neighbor who shares your moral values and the other is a serial killer and both of them are handed a loaded weapon, which one would you fear the most? A liberal would say both but a rational person would fear the killer. That is because you know he has no prohibitions about killing someone while the moral person would have to override his conscience to do so.
I’m not saying it never happens but it is rare for a person with good moral values to go on a shooting spree. Why is that? Is it because they are taught from a young age that killing innocent people is wrong? Is it because they try to treat others as they want to be treated? Is it because they have a greater moral conscience than others?
Those raised in a violent atmosphere are more susceptible to doing questionable things than someone that is raised in an atmosphere of high moral standards. How a person grows up has a lot to do with their mental health and plays a big part in how we act but all things being equal, a persons morals determine what they are willing to do.
In the past forty years we have seen the result of the lefts war on God. They have removed the primary pillar of good morals from schools and replaced it with every kind of questionable behavior you can think of. Kids are confused enough growing up but now many do not even know what gender they are, Pushing an agenda of pedophilia, homosexuality, transgenderism, social justice and hate for anyone or anything the left does not proscribe to has left the nations youth in a confused and sometimes deranged state. Is it any wonder some of them would resort to murder to exercise their demons?
Social media also has a role in the destruction of our youth. When kids are constantly bombarded with sick and hateful ideas they become numb to the evil they see. It envelopes their daily life and pushes them over the edge sometimes. How many kids have committed suicide because of the hurtful things said about them on social media? How many people have committed murder because of something they saw on the internet that made them believe doing so would make them somebody important? Its just one more way of destroying a persons conscience.
The lack of respect and moral values that todays youth are trained in at home and at school also have a major role in the decay in society we are now witnessing. If nothing is taboo or unethical from a childs standpoint then we should not be surprised at the actions they take when the urge hits them. Violent actions not acceptable to society mean nothing to one who has no moral conscience.
Every time this happens the first response of certain groups is to blame the weapon used rather than the person wielding it as if the weapon has a mind of its own. Their cry is always, if we could only get rid of the weapons we would all be safe. The problem is anything can be used as a weapon. Few people know what 5 gallons of gasoline or a tank of propane can do under the right circumstances. They don’t know what a few household chemicals and some ball bearings can do when used in certain ways. We are surrounded by potential weapons of mass destruction because of our technological society and there is nothing we can do to totally eliminate the threat short of teaching people right from wrong.
Those who demand more gun control following an incident are so hypocritical they cannot even comprehend it. They feign outrage when 17 school children get killed but these same people constantly lobby for the right to kill over a million babies a year. Which is it? Are you for protecting children or killing them? You cannot have it both ways.
The cold hard truth is if somebody decides to kill, they will find a way to do it whether they have a gun or not. It might be an airplane, a truck, a bomb vest, a knife or even a hammer. They will find a way. The only thing we can do is try to rebuild our moral base and identify those that are a threat and remove them from society until they are no longer a threat. Unfortunately, that will not happen in the PC world we have created until people regain a moral conscience and place the blame where it belongs. As long as mental illness is celebrated as a lifestyle choice we will all be in danger.
By: Tom Chatham
The bulk of the money and credit we use today is created by bankers and politicians. Fiat money is a way for those in control to siphon wealth away from the working class in ways that most people cannot understand. Through taxes, inflation and predatory lending practices the population is systematically impoverished.
It has become difficult if not impossible for the average person to survive without access to money on a daily basis. Everything we do costs money and your access to it is your lifeline. Few people today pay with cash. This makes it easier for those controlling the technology we use to control the amount of access we have to our money. Electronic money also makes it easier to create money and credit out of thin air. The governments monetary policy can make life easy or hard depending on their actions.
Venezuela is a good example today. Most of the population is going hungry because their money is near worthless and they have little of it to buy necessities. Capital controls enacted by the government to keep prices down have done what they always do, created shortages. This is only true for the average person though. The wealthy and well connected can still get anything they want on a daily basis. Those with the money or control do not have to contend with the problems of the masses that rely solely on fiat money.
Those that control the money supply can devalue the currency, reduce access to it or destroy it completely at will. This is the ever present threat that a controlled money supply has on the population. It is for this reason that society needs to realize how much peril they are in and take proactive measures to protect themselves from the actions that will surely come in the future as the economic system collapses from abuse of the monetary system as it is.
Gold and silver have been used as money for 5,000 years and are not controlled by any one person or country. They are the true world currencies that are stable by their very nature and people should once again embrace as the method to free themselves from the control of others. Most people today do not understand gold and silver because they have been slowly removed from the monetary system for the simple reason that people who hold this kind of wealth cannot be completely controlled by those in power.
This kind of wealth cannot be tracked, created out of thin air, or otherwise subverted by individuals because of its universal acceptance and ease of storage and portability. It can be traded between individuals privately, hidden for years just about anywhere and cannot be devalued by overproduction.
There was a man where I grew up that owned a store on the river. He acquired a small pile of gold coins over the years through normal business dealings. When the government called in all the gold in 1933 he kept his gold coins and hid them. In the 1970’s he sold these coins at a greatly inflated price. He was able to do this because the government did not know what he had. That is the beauty of gold and silver and why governments hate them so.
If you can feed yourself, protect yourself and carry wealth in a form that is free of government interference then you are largely beyond the control of the government in many ways and this is what they fear most.
To control the population the government only has to control the money and people will be forced to bow to their will. If people cannot get the things they need they will become desperate and desperate people are ripe for manipulation. This is the danger society faces if they have no alternative currency system in times of unrest. Holding gold and silver give individuals the power to resist government intrusion and manipulation and maintain their freedom.
If every household in America held three ounces of gold and a few dollars in silver currency, the nation would have sufficient real money to function in the absence of fiat monies. This idea may take some time to wrap your brain around but it is really that easy. The difficulty many have is trying to imagine todays prices in fiat money compared to the fiat price of gold and silver.
Many people today, especially government workers, make 50, 100 even 150 thousand dollars a year and the price of goods in the economy reflect those wages. One hundred years ago an average person only made about 600 dollars a year but that money was gold and silver money and the price of goods in the economy reflected those wages. This is what the average person needs to understand.
The people can be controlled by the government by manipulation of the fiat currency and this control will continue and increase in the future. The only way to break free of this manipulation is to hold real money that government cannot control or track. In the future the ability to engage in free market commerce will depend on your ability to hold and use real money that is not controlled by government but by free market principles. Your ability to survive a situation like the one in Venezuela may depend on your ability to pay for goods in gold and silver. That is something that is entirely under your control.
By: Tom Chatham
In a situation where national infrastructure and life sustaining resources are suddenly cut off , population density will have a lot to do with how well you get by in the days following the crisis. When it happens, what you have on hand will likely be all you have to work with for an extended time. Those that lack supplies will seek out and take what they need in an increasingly hostile manner as time goes on. This is why being in a large city will likely be hazardous to your well being.
Very few will argue that being in a rural area when something catastrophic happens will greatly increase your chances of survival. A lower population density and more available natural resources to help you get by will make long term survival much easier. This is why so many people advocate heading for a rural area when something happens. The problem is unless you are already established in a rural area, survival will not necessarily be easier.
Leaving the city when supplies and infrastructure are shut down would work only up to a point. Rural areas are like anywhere else. They have infrastructure designed to service a certain number of people that normally live there. The housing, restaurants, roadways, water systems and grocery stores will only handle a small excess of people even in the best of times. When the city dwellers suddenly evacuate to the rural areas in mass, they will simply be taking many of their big city problems with them. They will likely find no housing, food supplies or other infrastructure they need to live.
Because of this many small towns will likely close their roads at some point and prevent entry to anyone who does not live there. They will suddenly realize their already finite resources will not be enough for themselves much less thousands of new people. This realization will likely come only after they have been inundated with strangers demanding supplies and housing. It is for this reason that rural dwellers should hope cities are locked down fairly quickly to prevent people from leaving.
When Henry Kaiser built a new shipyard in Richmond, Ca. in the 1940’s the town was suddenly overwhelmed with new workers. People lived in shoddy trailers they towed in, some slept in boarding houses in shifts and the schools ran three shifts a day. Eventually they built the new infrastructure they needed and life went on but this only happened because they were living in normal times when everything was working properly. Imagine an influx of people into a small town when supplies are already limited and likely to get worse as time goes on.
That is why it is essential that you establish yourself in a rural area before something happens. Simply hoping to show up following an event is no plan and will likely cause resentment by the locals when supplies run low.
Rural areas offer the opportunity to be much more self reliant than city spaces. This is the reason rural areas offer people a better chance to survive something like a grid down scenario. This is only true until the carrying capacity of the rural area is breached. That is when the city problems become rural problems. Simply moving a mass of unprepared people to another area with even less infrastructure will not solve the problem, it will only change the surroundings and create other problems.
There is an old saying that you never eat your seed stock. Self sufficient people know this because if they eat their seeds or butcher their breeding stock they will not have anything to raise the following year which will lead to eventual starvation or loss of future income. To an unprepared person that thinks food is produced in a factory, preserving seed stock makes no sense when they are hungry right now. They do not care about next year, they only care about today which is why they got into their situation in the first place. This is the type of situation that can doom a society if they lose the ability to produce future crops, even on a small scale.
Will rural areas be safer in a SHTF situation? Only if they can maintain order and protect the resources they have to insure long term sustainability of the community. Most communities are not prepared for this type of situation and will need a steep learning curve if they are to survive it. Many will likely not survive it.
Modern farming communities do not have the infrastructure to maintain themselves like many once did. Factory farming has moved much of the local production to central locations around the nation and few farmers produce their own seed locally. These and other modern systems will make it difficult for many farm communities to even care for their own much less thousands of new arrivals.
The only communities that are likely to survive in tact are the ones that are mostly self sufficient already and have a plan to maintain production and protect themselves from looters and overcrowding. Simply running to a rural area in a time of crisis is no cure all. Wherever you are, the key to survival will be advance preparation and a good plan.
By: Tom Chatham
Surviving an EMP event without prior preparation would be difficult at best for the population and here is why. Many people have read the reports that claim we would be sent back to 19th century living levels following an event and many simply think they could bear that for a short period until things get fixed. The problem is we no longer have 19th century infrastructure to support that level of existence. We do not have the transportation systems based on horses and steam locomotives, the ability to grow, harvest and process food the 19th century way, the local water sources to support populations, the sanitation systems or the medical systems that do not rely on technology or the ability to heat and cook the 19th century way. We have the knowledge to build these systems but that takes time and resources we may not have especially in the large cities. Without these types of systems waiting on the sidelines to be readily put into action, society as it is would collapse into tribal warfare as groups fight for the few resources that still exist. Even with these systems we could not support the number of people we now have. In short, many people would die even in the best of circumstances. Those that have these types of systems would have the ability to survive if they could protect these resources long enough.
If you own a large boat and suddenly sink for some reason many miles from shore, there is an easy way to survive this situation and a hard way to survive. You can have a good life boat, supplies and a radio to call for help and wait in relative safety or you can float around in the ocean with nothing but a life jacket hoping somebody finds you in time.
Any type of disaster can be looked at in these terms. Preparation makes all the difference when things happen. With all of the talk about a possible EMP happening it is important to think in these terms and provide yourself the best possible way to survive events should they happen. This means realizing what could happen and what supplies you need that can survive the initial effects of the disaster.
An EMP has its own special problems when it comes to storing supplies, especially equipment, to survive the aftermath. The special nature of an EMP make many types of equipment unreliable following an event without proper storage. Even with proper storage the use of a super EMP could overwhelm many basic storage devices such as homemade faraday cages. The U.S. hardened some of its military infrastructure to withstand a pulse of 50 kilovolts/meter. The problem is that Russia has weapons that can produce up to 200 kilovolts/meter which would likely overwhelm our most hardened components. Until it actually happens you don’t really know what will survive. This is the crux of the problem trying to decide what to store to survive an EMP.
I go about this in a two fold manner. I store electronic devices in the safest manner I can but I also have a non-electric backup system in the event that fails. As with any preparations, two is always better than one. This means if one system fails you have another to go to you can be sure will work when needed. This means preparing systems in depth to assure availability.
Just as an example, if you know you will need transportation following an event you could have an older vehicle stored in a metal building to protect it and certain electronic components for that vehicle stored with additional shielding in the event the vehicle is damaged. This will allow repairs following the event. Then you could have a secondary mode of transportation such as horses, a bicycle or a boat depending on your circumstances. This provides you with many options no matter how bad the event was. Just keep in mind that the simpler the system, the more likely it will still work when needed.
You need to determine what critical systems you will need or want following an event and determine what you will need to store to have those capabilities. This prior planning is essential so you do not waste time and limited resources on items you do not need or will not survive the initial phases of the event.
If you want power following an event you need to do a good assessment and determine what components will give you the most bang for the buck. A generator is good but you would also want to store electronic components that can break or burn out as well as items like carburetor kits and spare spark plugs. You would need a good fuel supply on hand and possibly an alternative fuel source like propane or wood gas. If this system fails to work following an event you would need a secondary energy source. Solar or wind is good but you would need all of the components to make a complete energy system including charge controllers, batteries and power inverters.
If you have solar panels and batteries and these are the only things to survive you will still have generating and energy storage capability. Having panels hooked directly to batteries would require close monitoring to prevent damage and a simple voltage meter would be helpful in this regard. This would give you 12v or 24v power to utilize in an emergency and there are many products out there that run on these voltages. This would provide you with a viable energy system as a backup and some capabilities even if you only had a 12v lighting system and a 12v absorption refrigerator to use. Planning ahead and breaking it down to the most likely components to survive will avoid wasted time and money.
Propane appliances are a good way to go when planning for electrical disruptions. Old school propane appliances that lack a lot of electronics will insure operability when you need it. A good supply of propane is also easy to get at this time allowing you to run appliances for months or years depending on your storage capacity. This can give you the time needed to survive and adjust to long term realities.
At the bottom tier of your alternatives should be manual tools and equipment that can replace electrical and energy dependent devices to accomplish the tasks you deem necessary following an EMP event. These are the systems you can depend on to work no matter what happens. This is your last line of defense in a worst case scenario. When planning systems I try to buy the manual items first simply because they are usually cheaper and if something happens before I buy everything I want, I know what I have will work.
Thinking ahead and identifying the weak links now will allow you to survive much easier than the general population will if such an event comes to pass. Having even a handful of backup systems that still function following an event will give you a definite edge when survival becomes a daily task. Every capability you have following an event gives you that much more to insure survival. Surviving an EMP event will be no piece of cake by any means but would you rather be afloat in relative safety or simply fighting to keep your head above water?
By: Tom Chatham
I touched on this in a previous article. You need to imagine the many forms a disaster will take and have a plan to cope with the changing situation.
I am sure there were many people in the areas affected by the recent hurricanes that had prepared for such an occurrence only to find they were still lacking in some form. It is good to have several months of supplies on hand to deal with a crisis but how many of these people had to evacuate due to flood waters and leave the bulk of these supplies behind? I often wonder how many ended up in evacuation sites anyway and how many had a plan and were able to load up their supplies and get to an alternate safe location.
It is difficult to know how any disaster will play out but your response to it is only limited to how much imagination you put into planning for it. I’m often accused of having crazy ideas but those ideas provide me with a data base to draw on in times of crisis. It is often hard to think straight when disaster approaches and time is short and it is in those moments that you must rely on what you already know.
For instance, following the unprecedented flooding in the gulf states I wondered what I would do if I suddenly found my home surrounded by rising flood waters. I live on a small hill which is one of the highest places in the area. Any flooding would cut off vehicle evacuation long before water reached the house. I concluded my only options would be to sink or float.
I keep a number of empty drums around to store animal feed in that are water tight. After some thought I concluded I could strap some of these drums under one of the sheds in the back yard and load it with supplies and other items I did not want to lose. I calculated the displacement of these drums and arrived at a total weight I could expect to float. Is the idea crazy? Sure it is but it would also work. I seriously doubt I would ever have to resort to something like that but there is a plan to deal with it should it occur in the future.
This is the type of imagination you need to put into planning disasters so you are never caught in a situation with no course of action to get out of it. You may not have drums around to use but if you live in a flood plain and think you may want a boat, how about this. Buy a pontoon boat and put a light enclosure on it basically turning it into a small houseboat. You could use it for storage, a work shop or man cave during normal times. It will float, you can pull it down the highway on a trailer and it can serve as a camper if you have to evacuate. Add a few solar panels, a battery pack and a small wood stove and you could ride out just about anything.
You are only limited by your imagination and preps do not have to cost a lot if you use that imagination to think up cheap options to accomplish the same goals. The drums I use only cost me ten dollars each and have many uses around the house especially for prepping projects. If you cannot afford buckets of long term storage food from venders you can make your own with plastic buckets and dry pack items from the supermarket. There are many things like oatmeal, rice, dry beans, potato flakes, cornmeal, ramen noodles, hot chocolate, macaroni or spaghetti that you can use as a starter to build a food supply around, Most of these things are relatively cheap and store for a long time and a little can go a long way.
Just as a mental exercise I worked out a basic field ration to use if I had to travel on foot for a few days at a time. From some of the things I normally store I could use two servings of oatmeal, a package of ramen noodles, four servings of rice, a can of Vienna sausage, a 12oz. can of pork &beans and a packet of hot chocolate. This ration would provide me with over 2,000 calories per day and only requires hot water to prepare most of the items. This list of items would cost me just over two dollars which is not bad for a full days ration. Using this type of methodology, it is easy to come up with a ration tailored to your taste for very little cost.
If you feel there are disasters in your future it will put you way ahead of the curve to imagine those scenarios now and develop a plan to deal with them even if only on paper. The more you plan the more you will feel the need to take the next step and acquire supplies. It is only through this type of self education that you will learn how vulnerable you really are. Those that reject the idea of facing their fears are the ones that routinely find themselves unable to care for themselves following an event and wait for the government to come to their rescue.
Every day it becomes more obvious to those that prepare that there will surely come a time when some crisis will render normal disaster response impotent and everyone will be thrust back onto their own resources. Things are only impossible until they happen. That is a lesson many people are taught over and over again and fail to learn.
By: Tom Chatham
Many people that want to be prepared for disasters hesitate because of the potential cost of many items. This is because many people look at the ideal amount of materials to have on hand instead of starting with the basics and building on that over time. How many people have you seen following the recent hurricanes that do not have even the most basic things to stay alive?
Every time we have a weather event approaching we see people rush out to spend inordinate amounts of money on things like generators and bottled water when thy could provide these items for much less money if they only took time to plan ahead. When we have a weather event coming I fill a few one gallon jugs with water and set them in the corner in case I need them. Boom, water supply, done, for free. I have several different inverters to use if I need power during an outage. Even a simple plan ahead of time can have a large impact following an event. Here is a small list of things I came up with that a family could store for a small amount of money that would allow them to get through a crisis for 30 days.
2 LED bulbs
300watt power inverter
50’ extension cord
20watt solar panel
4 – 42oz. Oatmeal
10lb. Pancake mix
30 cans vegetables
2 – 30gal. Trash cans
2 – 30gal. food grade plastic liners
2 – 20lb. Propane cylinders filled
Gas grill or propane camp stove
5gal. Sanitation bucket with lid
15 – 5gal. plastic waste bags
4 – rolls toilet paper
The cost of these items will vary depending on how and where you shop. I can purchase all of these items for about $282 dollars. What does this give you?
You can use your car as a generator and battery supply to power a few lights and a TV or radio for a few hours a day. The solar panel allows you to use minimal power without having to run the car thus saving gas which may be hard to get at that point. The use of a larger inverter will allow you to power items such as freezers for a few hours a day to keep items frozen but may require the running of your car a few hours a day to maintain maximum battery charge.
This basic food supply can provide 4 people with two basic meals a day for a month.
The two trash cans can store 60 gallons of water providing ½ gallon a day per person for 4 people for a month. These can be filled from a faucet in the home costing you much less than bottled water from the store which may be in short supply.
The propane and stove allows for cooking of meals for the month. It can also provide a heat source for short periods of time.
The sanitation bucket and liners allows for waste disposal for 4 people for a month when conventional systems may not be functioning.
This is all very basic and does not seem too much for the average person to acquire yet very few people have even these basic items. If everyone stored just these few things there would be much less desperation immediately following a disaster. This list may differ from family to family but it gives you an idea of what things you need to provide for and a basic way to go about it.
Your preparations will vary depending on your particular circumstances. If you live in an apartment and connecting to your car is not an option you may want to buy a deep cycle battery and trickle charger to keep it fully charged. Then when you need it you can hook a 100watt solar panel and inverter to it for a stand alone power supply. Your options are only limited by your finances and imagination.
I can understand people being desperate for food and water if their home was washed away or burned to the ground but many of the desperate people we see still have a home to some extent but had no supplies to get them through the aftermath. It also bothers me to see people standing in line for hours just to buy overpriced bottled water when it is so easy to fill a few containers beforehand. I understand city water is not that good but a simple water filter can take care of that.
From an economic standpoint things are not going to get much better than they are now so you should take this opportunity to prepare at least at a basic level. Your wellbeing and that of your family will almost certainly depend on it in the future at some point.
A wise man learns from his mistakes. A genius learns from the mistakes of others.
By: Tom Chatham
The recent disasters around the world have shown most people are ill prepared for sudden disruptions to normal life. Just as there was a lack of imagination that allowed 9/11 to happen, the population suffers from a lack of imagination that allows them to suffer from sudden occurrences. Survival favors the prepared mind.
Simply having supplies piled up in preparation for some occurrence is not enough to insure your survival. There are several other things you must keep in mind and balance out among your preparations.
You must imagine the potential catastrophic possibilities
You must prepare yourself mentally to deal with whatever happens
You must have knowledge of how best to employ your resources
You need to use your imagination to think outside the box
You must be able to improvise, adapt and overcome obstacles
You must have a flexible plan to guide you
Many people have spewed hateful rhetoric at preppers over the years and today some are finding themselves in dire circumstances as infrastructure and supplies are cut off for an indefinite period of time. Those unprepared individuals have few options and now rely on the actions of others to insure their survival.
As many in the Caribbean can now attest to, having to wait for help to come from hundreds or even thousands of miles away is slow and stressful to those who wait. They do not know when help will arrive and what resources will be available when they arrive. It could take years for many locations to return to some type of normalcy and this is at a time when help is available and forthcoming. What happens when that help is not available following an event?
In the world we now live in the bulk of the population is conditioned to wait for help to come. They are not encouraged to perform self help to minimize their suffering. This leads to many more victims to deal with overloading services and resources available to the public. This is happening in good times. What happens when things deteriorate and no help is available to communities or cities? What will happen when people and equipment do not come because damage is wide scale? What happens when all expendable resources are exhausted and cannot be replaced?
Preppers already know the answers to those questions and that is why they prepare. They know that someday an event could happen where no help will be available and they will be on their own for weeks or months. They know if something happens, what they have on hand is all they will likely have to work with for the duration. They know those that have not planned will be victims and most will expect someone to help them and their family. This creates a difficult situation for preppers and victims alike.
The act of learned helplessness is the only thing many people know today and that will lead to a reduced chance of survival for many depending on the depth of the event. A prepper can only do so much to help others in this type of situation but the main thing they possess are the leadership qualities and survival skills the masses need to come through the situation.
Following an event there will be a certain number of survivors that will see the light and understand what preppers have been trying to tell them for years. These people will differ from those that will still have the entitlement mentality and expect others to care for them and provide resources they need. These newly enlightened individuals are the ones that preppers will be able to help the most.
The true leaders in society will be able to direct these individuals on courses of action that will allow them to slowly recover and build up some resilience over time. These are the actions that will be necessary to reduce the chaos in society and provide some stabilization. These people will help provide a buffer between preppers and the hostile unprepared masses that manage to survive.
Make no mistake about it. There will be groups with varying mindsets roaming about following an event and it is advantageous to have as many of them on your side as possible. There is little you can do about the entitled victims except defend against their actions. In this case, there will be safety in numbers.
While a prepper cannot foresee every problem, they can plan ahead and set aside some resources that can help solidify your leadership among those you are able to work with. This could take the form of setting aside a few drums of bulk grains like oats or beans that can be purchased cheaply now but will allow you to feed a small group of people a basic meal for several weeks. The small price of a few drums of grain could buy a lot of goodwill.
Being able to provide clean drinking water to a small group by purchasing a good spare water filter will help eliminate the spread of disease among the group. Having a few medications that can help a few individuals that do manage to become sick will mean a lot to their families. Having a few extra radios that the group can share will help with security for everyone. Having a means to provide a small power source for lighting or battery recharging could mean a great deal to those with no power. In some locations having an extra wood stove to share and some wood will provide these people with heat and cooking ability.
There are many little things that could be worth a great deal to unprepared survivors that will help to stabilize their situation and insure they do not become a hostile force you would eventually have to deal with. You may not be able to help everyone or provide everything they need but being able to help a few can have long term benefits.
In a survival situation there will be many that become threats to you no matter what you do but the more you can eliminate from that potential pool the safer life will be for you. No matter what type of event takes place or how long the effects last eventually there will come a time of stabilization. The type of people in control of that stable situation could be a good thing or a very bad thing. As a prepper you could have a lot of influence over the outcome.
By: Tom Chatham
Most people say they want to be free but will also say we must do as we are told. They see government controls as safety from the world surrounding them. You cannot be free and be under someone’s total control at the same time. They force compliance by threatening to take away the things you need.
The more independent from the system you are the less control they have on you. The less stuff you need the less money you will need. The less money you need the less dependant you will be on the source of that money and the financial system in general.
I have said before that in order to solve some of our problems, we need 20% of the people going back to live on small family farms. Living on a small farm reduces the amount of things you are dependant on from others.
A farm provides you with shelter, food, energy, clothing and employment just to name a few. Providing these things for yourself should not be underestimated when it comes to having more freedom. The more power you have over your life the more freedom you have.
You can build a home to live in of any shape and size without many of the rules and regulations that hamper city living. Governments like everything to conform to their visions and they could care less what you want. Many areas force you to build homes of a certain size and type to insure you will be paying sufficient property taxes every year.
On a farm you can grow the types of food you want without all of the pesticides and chemicals now used. You can produce your own electricity with solar and wind or fuels like biodiesel and ethanol from your own crops. You can choose to home school your kids and teach them a vocation at the same time. You can make some of your own clothes from the leather, wool or cotton you produce. You can free yourself from the bondage of working for a company where you could be fired at any time for any reason.
Being more independent does not mean you need a 200 acre farm. A small 5 or 10 acre farm will provide most of the things you need to get by and even excess to sell for income. By taking control of your life you inevitably achieve more freedom as time goes on.
As the government gets deeper into debt they will ultimately become more repressive as they try to strip assets away from individuals in order to stay afloat. The more dependant you are on the system, the easier it will be for them to do this. Those with no other recourse will have to grin and bear it. It does not have to be this way for you if you depend less on the system.
Being independent will allow you to stand your ground as others falter in the face of shortages and chaos. Being independent gives you options that the dependant will not have. You will have strength instead of fear.
When you have freedom you have the ability to follow your conscience instead of doing as you are told. Desperate people will often resort to desperate actions that lead to totalitarian practices. The only weapon that can defeat this is independence from the oppressive system some wish to impose on you.
The amount of freedom you possess is directly correlated to the amount of independence you have from controlled systems that are designed to keep you compliant. In the coming months this will become more evident to many that thought they had freedom just to find it was just an illusion. As governments at all levels become desperate to maintain their control and income, they will devolve into more despotic rule of the masses as they try to strip away the few remaining assets they can get their hands on. Those that do not have the means to resist will lose everything including their lives.
By: Tom Chatham
Rural America is dying a slow and miserable death but only the local inhabitants seem to notice. It was happening slowly but now it is happening faster. The crown jewels of the rural areas, the graduating children, are leaving and taking their potential with them. As rural businesses shut down and opportunities dwindle, younger people are leaving to seek out greener pastures. That is a travesty for small towns and the traditions they have maintained for generations.
There are two main reasons why the youth of America are leaving small towns. One is the economy and the other is the social environment. There are no good jobs and there is nothing to do outside of work. Growing youth need to be kept busy with something and lacking that they will seek out excitement. When the community they grow up in fails to provide them with the opportunities they need they eventually leave and never come back. This is leading to ever smaller towns that are beginning to disappear as the older generation dies off.
If rural communities want to reverse this trend they will have to solve those two problems. They will need to promote locally owned businesses to provide the jobs needed to keep people from moving to cities and they will need to provide a certain amount of entertainment to keep the youth happy.
Multinational companies have stripped the economic base out of small towns as the profits from these businesses get sent to wall street instead of being held locally providing capital for growth and innovation. Smaller local operations employing 5 to 10 people can capitalize on local resources to provide good paying jobs to entice the youth so they can stay local and start a family there. Replacing a few multinational companies with dozens of local operations will make the local area more resilient during economic downturns and insure local access to products produced there.
This type of return to a local economy will happen eventually anyway if economic conditions deteriorate to the point of cutting off goods and services to rural areas. Out of necessity these areas will reconstitute an economic base to provide necessities to the population unless government gets in the way. Multinational companies will pull out and go to where the money is in the world leaving the impoverished towns in their wake after having stripped them economically.
At that point the only question is whether the town is still big enough to rebuild a local economy or if the aging population will simply see the end of the community. With no youth to help rebuild the economy it will likely signal the end.
It has been said that the most important thing a farmer raises are a set of children with a good work ethic and a set of moral values. These two things are something that the current youth is desperately missing in America. As more people migrate to larger cities to find the life they seek, their urban children are left to their own devices as both of their parents work full time to provide a home where children no longer need to have a job and are entertained by the moral codes prevalent in the urban areas. This is creating a generation of entitlement minded youths that provide little value to their communities.
With fewer of these youths growing up in rural areas, the values that helped build this country are becoming obsolete. A new paradigm is building that will ultimately tear this country apart as the old world with its traditions and the new world with its entitlements fight for control. As the song says, you’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything, is a lesson today’s youth will have to learn through bitter experience.
As rural areas go, so goes the nation. The destruction of our rural heritage will signal the coming of a new paradigm that is not sustainable and will provide no hope for future generations. Unfortunately, that is what certain groups are hoping for. The destruction of the nuclear family will provide a future of chaos and confusion and allow a select few to maintain power over the many. Unless there is a shift back to rural communities and local production soon, the future of this country will be very different from the past, and not for the better.
By: Tom Chatham
The black market is merely the free market operating in the shadows when government rules and regulations become so oppressive that everything begins to seize up and all commerce and production stop. People can be very creative when there are needs to be filled but government has a way of destroying that potential as they try to maintain control as they slowly lose power.
As the government destroys the economy, people will only play along for so long before they seek out the things they need from any source, legal or not. This is where the free market rises up in the shadows to fulfill those needs. Rules and regulations are no substitute for actual goods and services but this is a notion that is lost on politicians.
When goods begin to disappear from the marketplace, people will try to cope until things get better. But as goods get harder to find, not easier, people will seek them out from those that have them to offer. Those with the resources to provide these goods will soon appear in back alleys and the back of vehicles to sell their goods to anyone with the means to buy them.
Prices will often be higher than before due to supply and demand principles. If you have excess resources at this time you will be in a position to operate an underground business that can likely provide you with a good living. For those that desire those resources, a means to pay for them will be required. In most cases the paper currency normally used may be worthless at some point. Those that do not possess an alternative form of money will likely be left in want. This is the cold hard reality we must live with.
For those that do no see potential supply disruptions soon enough and lay in a supply of goods or alternative payment means, they will suffer from lack of goods they need for their very existence. Unfortunately this will be the fate of a majority of the population that expects things to always be as normal or the government to care for them. You do not want to be one of these people.
Setting aside extra supplies is a reasonable thing to do in these uncertain times. Having excess in a few items will allow you to trade for items later that you had not planned on or for services that cannot be stored for later use.
When systems collapse and black markets arise a good means of exchange can be found in gold and silver. These metals are universal stores of value and can be used to get many types of goods and services in desperate times. Those storing even a few silver coins will be in a better position to deal in the black market for items than someone with household items to trade. In desperate times some things are just worth more than others.
By understanding the dynamics that take place in a functioning black market you can position yourself to function with it and insure access to the things you need. Those selling on the black market are providing goods that are difficult to obtain in the legal marketplace. For this reason you will pay a premium for what you want
The prices may not seem fair to you but this is how the free market works and that is what you need to be prepared for if you want to get what you need. That is why you need to store some gold and silver for trade if you ever have to deal on the black market.
Why gold and silver? Because they are already recognized as a universal medium of exchange. Gold and silver are the best all around mediums of trade because they are compact wealth that can be stored for as long as you need.
There are other goods you can store that will be valuable depending on the specific circumstances. Things like storable food, medicine, booze, fuel, tobacco products and chocolate have proven to be good trading mediums in some cases. It all depends on the prevailing circumstances you find yourself in and how long the troubles persist.
When the current bubble economy collapses there will be a transition period between the time the bubbles burst and the time that prices stabilize with the introduction of a new currency. It is in this period that you need to have the means to acquire the goods you need. You must have a physical medium of exchange that exists outside of government and banking control. The current war on cash is a way to stifle any black market activity following a currency crisis keeping people dependent on banking services under government control.
Gold and silver provide a means to operate within a black market but outside of government controls. Those holding gold and silver will also find some very good deals that could set them up for success following stabilization if they have the means to take advantage of these deals during the turmoil. When the normal market collapses for whatever reason, you need to be in a position to function in the world that follows.