Monthly Archives: August 2013
By: Tom Chatham
When one nation attacks another with bombs and missiles and eventually ground troops, it is an act of war. It does not matter if you dislike the leader of the attacked nation. It does not matter if you dislike their politics or human rights violations. It does not matter if you feel you have a moral obligation to do something. When you attack them, it is an act of war.
Does anyone remember Pearl Harbor? Does anyone remember Poland in 1939? How about France, China or Hungary? How about Manchuria, Singapore or Burma? Does anyone remember 9/11?
Most nations of the world are aligned with others as part of a defensive strategy. That is what NATO is all about. If you attack one NATO country, it is essentially an act of war against all of them. If Syria has a military alliance with Iran, Russia or China then an attack on Syria is an attack on them all.
As such, the aggressor becomes a legitimate military target to those attacked. That means if the U.S. attacks Syria for any reason, they have a right to retaliate against us. This is part of the war making process that I do not think most Americans understand. Just because we have been able to bomb some smaller nations in the past without serious threat of retaliation, it does not mean it is entirely off the table.
If the U.S. starts a bombing campaign in Syria and they retaliate in some way, the first response by Americans will be, how dare they, but that is how war works. Sovereign nations have the right to defend themselves. That is true whether you agree with their leadership or not.
The United States government has been supplying Syrian rebels with hardware. They support the rebels and have admitted as much several times. Some of these rebels are the same Al Qaeda fighters the U.S. is currently in a worldwide war with. The same fighters that have killed and maimed thousands of American soldiers since 2001 are receiving material support from the U.S. government. Can you say treason?
The U.S. government is aiding and abetting terrorists and enemy combatants in a time of war. This same government is now preparing to take actions that will put American citizens in harms way. If the U.S. government attacks Syria, it is not just an attack on Syria but an attack on the rule of law. If the U.S. attacks Syria, it is inviting an attack on the U.S. and I believe this time it will happen. And just to be clear, it will be an attack by foreign services on U.S. assets which we need to distinguish from a false flag attack by our own government which will likely happen as well to build up a war fervor in Americans against our next target.
The Actions of the U.S. government over the past several years have shown they have no regard for American lives or the rule of law. This can be blamed on Democrats and Republicans alike. If the U.S. attacks Syria it is an attack on everything Americans believe in and is nothing short of an act of war against Americans themselves. The U.S. government says the use of chemical weapons is not acceptable. I guess times change because it was acceptable when we used Agent Orange in Vietnam eventually killing some of our own troops and it was acceptable when we supplied Saddam Hussein with chemical weapons to use during the Iran-Iraq war.
The U.S. government is about to write a check that this nation cannot cash. For those that think no one can hurt us, I submit that all China and Russia have to do is dump U.S. treasuries en mass and cause us to lose reserve currency status which will destroy our economy and hurt us like no bomb ever could. We are approaching the banker’s end game and it is nothing less than an act of war that will cause massive casualties unlike anything since WWII. Prepare yourself for that. At this point it is a mathematical certainty.
By: Tom Chatham
It has been surmised and reported for years by some in the know that detention camps will be used to contain dissidents during and after a collapse scenario. It has also been widely reported by many that some enforcement personnel may not show up to work during a breakdown, in order to stay home and protect their own families. It seems logical that a percentage of enforcement and possibly military personnel would do this. This is the conundrum the government will find itself in if a collapse does happen.
You can be sure they have already run the numbers and know this will cause them many problems. They already know that a percentage of the people they will rely on to carry out their plans will reject the illegal actions that will certainly occur at the hands of government sociopaths that will be giving the orders. They know that a percentage of the military will reject confiscation of weapons and detention of patriotic Americans.
The government would be hard pressed to control the nation even if every government employee did as told. There are just not enough enforcers compared to citizens. Outside forces may be brought in to help but if a percentage of government employee’s desert with the knowledge and training they have, it would be devastating to government operations. So, what to do?
It is a good bet that dissenters of the state and those with things the state wants will be rounded up and detained for an indefinite time. Many may be eliminated at some point. Even so, this roundup will not solve all of the states problems with control of the populace and its’ own people.
One simple way to enforce the governments will among the enforcement community would be to control the enforcers’ families. Under the pretext of moving the government employees’ families out of harms way, the government could move them into some of the internment camps for “safety reasons”. Under the pretext of keeping them safe while the government employees do their job, the government would then have the leverage it needs to force compliance of the government workers. They would have to do as told or their families would be deemed potential enemies and be subjected to who knows what.
There are many that would defy the government even at the risk of their lives but when it is the lives of their family it is a different story. This is the tool used by totalitarian governments throughout history to insure compliance. It would be the only way to keep many of the military and civilian workers in line as the government brutality escalated.
This is only a possibility but given the governments actions over the past few years it is a likely scenario and government personnel should take heed. Once this family evacuation happens, it will then be too late to stop it without risking their lives. This is one scenario I don’t believe enforcement personnel in this country have prepared for or will contemplate until it happens.
Unless government personnel have a plan to deal with this when chaos starts, they may be locked into a scenario they cannot escape. Once in it will be all or nothing. This will leave them in a situation of force compliance to the bitter end. Just as the Nazis forced compliance to the end, so will the American government. We all know how that ended and we do not want to repeat it.
Unfortunately we are now on a spiral to disaster and if we are not able to stop it many will pay the price. This threat to family members may be the reason many top ranking government officials have left their jobs in recent years and moved their families into self sufficient enclaves with other former government employees. Those that know are not saying at least not directly given the war this administration is currently engaged in with whistleblowers. When taken in this light, the events we are now witness to make much more sense.
Those that place their faith in the government are making a deal with the devil and the details will become painfully evident when it all finally unfolds. All government employees out there need to consider the possibility of this and decide now what is most important to them. There will be no second chances to get it right.
By: Tom Chatham
More and more we are hearing the word sustainable being thrown around. The economy, the job market, the environment, agriculture, water, energy and a host of other necessities are coming under pressure from some unseen force.
It is easy to be successful in times of plenty but what happens when the plenty starts to run out? Why is there plenty one day and shortages the next?
When something is used it must be replaced before someone else can use it or benefit from it. That is something most people don’t think about and don’t care about. They expect it to be here as long as they need it and don’t want any excuses why it is all gone. This is the mentality many people have been brought up to believe in.
When you use something faster than you can replace it you end up with shortages. If you are lucky, the market forces will adjust and increase the output to provide everyone with what they want. This is the system we have grown up with, and it is beginning to fail.
Resources that are increasingly hard to find or extract are running head on into an increasing population that wants more of everything. There are limits to everything and we are just beginning to realize it in a very painful way. And don’t worry. If you have not felt the pain yet, you will because things are going to get tighter until people adjust the way they live.
For most people, their standard of living depends on services and products produced by others. When resources are misallocated in the economy, it can cause shortages in many connected areas. If money is directed into the financial sector instead of the manufacturing sector, eventually you will have lots of excess financial products but a shortage of real goods. The financial sector may make some people rich but that is done at the expense of everyone else. You end up with a few people with piles of money but less and less to spend it on. As this continues, access to real goods becomes harder as resources dry up and people are displaced in the sector that produces real goods. More people with less money to spend results in fewer jobs and less access to products while others have excess to spend and cause excessive waste of available resources.
The whole economic scheme we are using will ultimately cause resource depletion and scarcity. More people chasing fewer goods usually ends in war. The element that has caused a lot of the problems is the use of fiat money. It can be increased faster than resources can be produced and bears no relation to actual availability of resources.
Those that rely on unproductive jobs that produce no useful products ultimately consume more than they should. Until the actual production of individuals begins to achieve a balance with the available resources, there will continue to be a decrease in the standard of living. It will decline until people become more productive while consuming less.
There is too much excess currency in society which causes too much excess waste. If you do not understand, just go to craigslist or ebay and look at all of the things for sale. This is excess stuff that these people really did not need to begin with. You can even find people giving away stuff just to get rid of it. A person with free time and transportation could furnish a house in a few weeks time with just the free stuff available. This is the massive misallocation of wealth we suffer from. We have used our future resources today and the time is approaching when we must balance that out.
When you look at what you have, can you say you have actually been that productive in life or have you just been fortunate to have a high paying job? When all of the excess currency in society implodes and people can no longer buy to excess, they will be forced to live within their means once again and the amount of actual production they are capable of will determine what their standard of living will be. This is one of the ways that dwindling resources will be rebalanced with needs.
For a person that lives a self sufficient life, it just seems natural that what they have is in direct proportion to what they can produce. They must labor for any excess and that in itself prevents resource depletion in many ways. When you have to raise your own food you are more cautious with what you have and strive to reduce waste to a minimum. When you have to labor to produce excess to trade for other items, you are limited by how productive you really are. Your productive capability defines your standard of living as it should be and it is something you cannot escape from.
Those who’s labor is defined by sitting behind a desk and shuffling paperwork every day live by a distorted standard where their annual pay is in many cases several times that of those that actually produce goods. This distorted standard allows for excessive use of resources that must be produced by others. In the end someone will have to do without the resources they have actually worked for. This is the situation we are now headed for as a culture.
The current allocation of resources is not sustainable due to gross malfeasance and misallocation in the financial sector and the culture that has evolved around it. When this paradigm ends it will shock many and cause chaos as people try to rebalance society and reallocate resources. For those that have prospered in the world of paper assets, it would be wise to reallocate some of those assets into real assets that provide real production to insure you can maintain a reasonable standard of living in the future. Nothing in life is free. Everything has a price and at some point you will have to pay the bill for all you have used in life. For many, that bill will be much more than they are capable of ever paying.
By: Tom Chatham
Energy can be found in many different forms. Our need for energy determines how fast the economy can grow or how much work each of us can do. The world would be much different without the many types of energy available today. If energy becomes scarce in the future, your life may depend on what you know about it.
A good man is said to be about equal to 1/10th horsepower. Even that little amount of power can be used to grow food, produce small amounts of electrical power by hand and move loads. It is the smallest unit of power that you want to have available to you. If you are very young or very old that power will be limited and other sources will be needed to make up the difference.
The availability of draft animals can increase your production many times over that of human power. Animals can be used not only to pull loads and plow fields but to provide power for mechanical devices to increase output. The ability to fuel these animals with locally produced foods, many of which are unrefined and unharvested, gives you the self sufficiency required to produce under most circumstances.
The ability to convert most energy sources for use provides the means to power mechanical devices to do a multitude of jobs both small and large. Whether it is a waterwheel used to grind grains, a horse to press sorghum, an engine to provide transportation or a tractor to plow a field, most energy sources are converted into mechanical energy for useful work. The more energy available, the more work you can do.
Electricity is a cornerstone of modern life. Nearly everything we do relies on electricity. Most of the devices we use are just advanced models of the manual devices in use many years ago. Electricity can be produced by generators powered by mechanical devices or from chemical reactions. It can be used as it is produced or stored in various ways for later use.
The ability to convert heat energy into other forms is one of the first ways man learned to harness power. Steam engines to power machines, steam to heat buildings and cook food and the burning of solid materials to alter molecular structures of resources are just some of the ways we use heat to provide the materials we need and to accomplish work. With a thermoelectric generator you can convert heat directly into electricity similar to how a solar cell produces electricity.
The ability to convert solid energy into liquid products that concentrate the energy and make it more useful has been beneficial to the human race. Petroleum, alcohol, LPG, animal fats, and other plant based fuels provide us with an energy source that is highly mobile and easily utilized.
Solid fuel sources almost all started as something else before achieving a solid state. Wood, coal and animal dung are some of the sources of energy we rely on for everyday use around the world. Most solid energy sources rely on a combination of hydrogen and carbon content to provide the energy they emit. At the most basic level, solid fuels are the most readily available energy source for individuals. There are very few energy systems that we use that wood and coal cannot provide the power for. They can be converted into a gas by burning to be used in internal combustion engines or burned to provide heat for other processes.
The use of combustible gasses as a source of energy is more difficult and requires special equipment to be useful. It can be derived from a multitude of sources which makes it a good energy source. It can be extracted from gas deposits in the ground or produced by the decay or burning of plant material. The production of wood gas and methane from animal waste products is a process within the capabilities of the individual.
Diesel power plants for closed loop operation in an underground base was studied for practicality. The system would utilize sodium hydroxide for disposal of carbon dioxide in the exhaust gas, liquid oxygen for the combustion of the fuel in the engines and fuel oil stored in tanks to power the engines. Fuel cells and nuclear power were deemed more cost effective in the end.
The ability of some chemicals to emit energy when combined in certain combinations is useful in some applications. A simple storage battery allows the storing of electrical power in chemical form. A fuel cell can combine hydrogen and oxygen or other combinations to produce usable power. Water can be electrolyzed to break it into these two gasses for storage.
An interesting note on chemical power is a system the government developed for powering underground bases. Boeing determined that iron-chlorine fuel cells would be the most efficient. This power scheme utilized underground tanks filled with liquid chlorine that was combined with hydrogen to form hydrochloric acid (HCL). This reaction created electricity in the fuel cells. The HCL is then pumped into tanks filled with small iron balls. This reaction results in ferrous chloride and hydrogen gas which is pumped back to the fuel cell to be combined with liquid chlorine starting the cycle over. It was determined that this was the most cost effective method up to four years use while liquid metal cooled nuclear reactors would be more cost effective for longer periods.
Natural power sources-
Some of the available energy sources we have to draw on do no fit neatly into other categories. Sunlight to produce electricity, wind to turn a generator, flowing water to turn a shaft and nuclear energy all provide energy we can harness with special equipment. Many types of natural forces exist that have the potential to provide energy. We are only now starting to unlock some of the secrets of this little known world. Men like Tesla are thought to have discovered some of these secrets only to have them lost to time.
In many ways, most of the energy sources we depend on today can be traced back to the sun itself. Solar energy causes the earth to heat and cool causing wind. It enables plants to grow which can produce gasses when they decay or in some cases store energy while living that can be used like the wood in trees. Plant life can lead to sources of stored energy like coal and petroleum. The heating of the planet causes evaporation which leads to rain that flows downhill providing a source of water power. With some simple materials the heat of the sun can be harnessed for power and the light itself can be converted into electrical power. The sun is the ultimate expression of energy and the many forms it can take that can be harnessed for human use.
Some of the easiest energy sources for the individual to tap into are:
The primary use for sunlight is to grow things. Photosynthesis makes the world we know possible. Sunlight can be harnessed to produce electricity directly utilizing solar cells or with panels to trap the heat for multiple uses. The heat can be used to produce steam, heat food or power absorption type refrigeration units. Passive and active systems can also be used to heat homes.
Wind can be harnessed to propel a ship or turn a windmill. With a windmill you can turn a shaft to do mechanical work like grind grain, turn a generator or pump water.
Water flowing from a high place to lower levels can be harnessed to turn a shaft to do mechanical work much as a windmill can. With a stored body of water, you can control when you use it and how much work you do. In some regards, it is much like a storage battery.
Fuel sources like wood or coal can be burned to power many types of devices. They can be burned to produce heat or turned into a gas to be used in gas appliances or internal combustion engines. In the 1800’s prior to electricity, town gas was used to power stoves, heaters and gas lamps. The town gas was produced by burning coal.
A gas burns more efficiently than a solid or a liquid because it can mix more thoroughly with air to achieve more complete combustion. Propane and natural gas are the most utilized types of gas in use today. Unless you have a natural gas well in your yard, it would be difficult to get one of these gasses if supplies were cut off for some reason. A gas made from wood or coal may be adaptable for modern appliances with some experimentation. Methane made from animal waste is a viable alternative if a sufficient supply exists. By storing this waste in an enclosed container with some water and other organic material, bacteria will release the methane from the waste and provide a usable gas. In some third world countries this gas is used to power stoves for cooking. In the U.S. some large livestock operations such as dairy farms, use this gas for producing electricity. With wood or coal gas a person can power engines such as generators or vehicles.
The most common liquid fuels used today are derived from petroleum. Petroleum fuels are derived from complex distillation techniques that result in products with dozens or even hundreds of different chemicals in them. It would be difficult for the average person to effectively refine petroleum from crude oil. It is possible to reprocess some petroleum products individually. One fuel a person can make is black diesel. It is made from used motor oil and can be used to power older diesel engines. Some newer engines have sensors that monitor the fuel and the dark fuel prevents them from registering properly so it may not work on them properly. Diesel can also be made from plant based oils such as those used in cooking.
Another liquid fuel an individual can produce is alcohol. Alcohol can be made from many different plants. Some plants produce more than others. One of the most widely used plants is corn. A professional distillery can extract about 2.5 gallons of alcohol from a bushel of corn. One of the misconceptions is that fuels for internal combustion engines must be liquid. While this is the current method it is very inefficient. In the 1930’s a man succeeded in improving the gas mileage of cars. He developed a system of fully vaporizing gasoline and cooling it sufficiently before entering the engine. His system resulted in consistent results of over 200 mpg. This is the root of all of the stories about a 100 mpg carburetor. Unfortunately when the results of his tests became known the system quickly disappeared and the experiment has never been repeated. The problem with vaporizing modern gasoline is that it contains so many different chemicals. It would need to be heated to over 400 degrees to fully vaporize.
Alcohol is a much better candidate for a vapor system. Since alcohol is a single chemical, it will vaporize at 180 degrees. This is within the normal operating temperature of a vehicle. When vaporized, the energy content of a gallon of alcohol should theoretically give you around 90 mpg. Just something to think about in the future.
No matter where you are, if you look around you will likely see several types of energy you can use if you are ever thrown back on your own resources. Most people see these things every day and never give them a second thought. When planning for the future, whatever your plans are, it is necessary to give some thought to energy sources, how they affect you and how you plan to utilize them. Whether it is food to live, fuel to cook, heat and provide transportation or light to see, you will require energy in many different ways even for a relatively simple lifestyle. The knowledge you can gain now is relatively cheap but will have incomprehensible value to you in the future whatever you may do.
By: Tom Chatham
There is one truism that anyone preparing for the future needs to keep in mind. Energy is everything. It does not matter if you are preparing for normal times, disaster or survival, everything depends on energy. Putting a man on the moon, driving a car, powering a freezer, growing food, cooking food or even keeping a human body functional all require energy in some form. The more energy you have the more capabilities you have.
In normal times, energy is available in many different forms, all for the asking but when people are thrown back on their own resources energy becomes in large part what they can find or make.
Energy can be converted from one form to another enabling it to be used for many different things. Some energy sources are easier to convert and use for individuals with limited resources or knowledge. Petroleum is one of our most used energy products and can be found all over the world but it must be pumped out of the ground and refined to be useful. This is beyond the capabilities of most individuals. Even if above ground supplies are available, they are limited and will eventually have to be replaced.
For the individual, there are many forms of energy that can be harvested and utilized. The more you know about energy production, the more potential capabilities you will have with time. With a hand powered mill you can grind several pounds of flour an hour, but with a mill attached to some type of machine power you can grind hundreds of pounds per hour. With a hand pulled cart you can move several bushels of grain a long distance but with animal or machine power you can move hundreds of bushels in the same time. The larger or more complex the energy source, the more it can do. A waterfall can be harnessed to provide mechanical power to many devices in contact with the waterwheel but that power is relegated to the immediate vicinity while electrical power can be produced from the same waterfall and be used far away and in many different devices.
The average person uses many different types of energy on a daily basis and rarely ever thinks about it. When that energy stops it can be a life altering experience. In modern times we are often confronted with power outages or fuel disruptions on a recurring basis but these things are usually regained soon and people return to their regular routines without further thought. If one day that energy should stop and not return in short order or should never return, it would be devastating for a large percentage of the population in the developed world. That simple little thing called energy would suddenly become a life and death situation.
Some of the most basic forms of energy are:
Food for animals
Plant material such as wood
Bio-fuels such as alcohol and bio-diesel
Bio-gasses such as methane from animal waste
Plant oils such as sunflower, corn or castor bean
These basic forms of energy are the basis of a sustainable existence which the individual can access with only a few materials and some basic knowledge of how to make and utilize them. Wood for example can be used to fuel a stove for heating, cooking and limited light. It can be used to produce steam which can power larger more powerful machines. Alcohol, bio-diesel, wood gas and methane can be used to power internal combustion engines to produce electricity or to provide heat, light and refrigeration.
Sunlight can be used to provide heat, light, steam or electricity. Something as simple as a copper sheet, coated with cuprous oxide on one side with wires attached to each side of the plate, can produce electricity when exposed to sunlight. Falling water can provide water for irrigation, producing electricity or be harnessed for doing mechanical work. A windmill can be used to turn a generator, work a water pump or grind grains. Plant oils can be used for fuel to burn, oil for cooking or as a lubricant for metal parts.
With a little knowledge of energy, a person can benefit greatly from saved money and the potential circumstances of loosing their energy systems from sudden unforeseen events.
The most basic energy system we have, food, is at the mercy of energy that must be extracted from the ground, refined, transported, used to make fertilizers and pesticides, harvest the crops, transport and refine the products and deliver to you. Any breakdown in this system can be disastrous for a population that depends on systems out of their control. Sunlight is another part of this food chain. Without sunlight there is no plant life which means there is no animal life. There are alternatives to natural sunlight but they all require energy in some form.
This is just one of the ways energy plays a part in our lives and few give any notice to it. By taking the time to learn basic knowledge about the energy systems we depend on, each person will be better situated to respond to any disruptions in the future. They will have a better understanding of what systems they have available to them and which ones they can develop individually if the situation dictates their personal involvement in it. There are many different types of energy and we will look at each of them to provide a basic starting point for their implementation.
By: Tom Chatham
Great debates are now going on between economists as to whether we are experiencing inflation or deflation. The conclusion as to which we have determines what actions need to be taken to correct the economic situation and restore balance to the system. Each has offered facts to back up their claims but what if they are both right? Can we have inflation and deflation at the same time and what would cause that to happen? It is necessary to understand this phenomenon because our collective financial futures depend on it. During difficult times, debt laden governments have either collapsed or massively devalued their currency to stay afloat.
With inflation the currency unit is less valuable and as a result the price of goods goes up. With deflation the currency unit is more valuable and the price of goods goes down.
With biflation you have inflation in commodity based assets while you experience deflation in debt laden assets. To put it another way you have simultaneous inflation in things such as food, energy and precious metals while having deflation in things such as real estate, cars and boats. One explanation for this is that debt laden assets are elevated to artificially high prices due to excessive amounts of credit in the system and when the currency units cease to increase at sufficient levels to service the debt, deflation sets in as the debt becomes harder to repay and must be written off or reduced.
In an effort to prop up debt laden assets, the FED increases the currency supply but deflation has set in and the excess currency from the FED finds its way into the commodity based assets and causes inflation. That is the disconnect the FED has with the economy. The FED is fighting deflation in debt based assets while ignoring the inflation being created in commodity assets.
The dollar is the currency standard for the time being. Gold and silver are the anti-currency standard. When one goes up the other goes down but manipulation in the financial arena has kept the anti-currency at a lower level than it should be with the current real value of the dollar.
Biflation causes assets to inflate in relation to currency units while deflating in terms of anti-currency units. As time goes on gold and silver will keep up with or ahead of inflation in commodity assets and will increase many times over in regard to debt based assets as deflation continues to its natural ends.
In Yugoslavia in the 1990’s, a currency crisis ensued that eventually caused prices to double every 1.4 days. This destroyed the economy and peoples savings. To put that in perspective, if you had a $100,000 CD and prices doubled every 1.4 days, the purchasing power of that CD would be reduced to less than $1 in 29 days.
Many Americans hold the belief that, it can’t happen here, but consider an American in their early 40’s with $200,000 in a retirement account that is meant to provide for them in their retirement. Most working adults are aware of the price increases in food and energy over the past few years. If we only experienced inflation that doubled every 1.4 years, in 29 years your retirement account would equal only a few dollars in real value.
Today’s dollar is equal to about 3 cents in 1913 dollars. Over the past few years the FED has decreed that inflation is only 2-3% annually when in reality it has been 8-11% annually. This is one way persons receiving benefits with cost of living increases and those dependant on interest bearing investments are being impoverished little by little by the government. This is why people are having a more difficult time paying for necessities as time goes on.
People are loosing their savings and purchasing power to inflation as we speak and very few realize it. Many are losing their stored wealth in debt based vehicles such as homes as deflation reduces the dollar value of these assets as commodity inflation makes the dollar worth less. Just as the people of Yugoslavia didn’t see it coming, the American people will not see the reality of inflation until it is too late.
Gold and silver are the anti-currency and as history has shown many times over, it is the only way to preserve your purchasing power for future use. As the price of precious metals rise it is a clear indicator of the losses that are mounting in the financial sector to the detriment of savers.
The U.S. is not immune from the laws of economics. Biflation is destroying peoples’ savings and purchasing power from both ends at once. With all of the machinations that are now in play within our financial system, conditions are ripe for a significant event.