Category Archives: Commentary

Things Change, But Not Always For The Better

By: Tom Chatham

The whole universe operates in cycles. Just as the seasons change on a regular basis, all other things change on schedule as well. A person is born, they go to school, they get a job, they get married and buy a home. Later they have children, buy a bigger home, send their children to school and save for retirement. Their children grow and leave home, they get a smaller home and retire. These are predictable cycles most people go through in life but never pay much attention to.

Knowing that these cycles occur can give a person an idea of what to prepare for in the future. We know that the national debt doubles about every 8 years. We know that the economy goes into a recession every 6 to 8 years. We know that the FED manipulates the economy with money printing and interest rates. We know politicians spend money we don’t have to get reelected. We know from history that these things eventually cause problems that we must deal with as individuals.

When we realize these things we can make plans to deal with these problems before they happen and limit the affects they have on us. The problem is that most people do not see these things coming because they are kept occupied with other trivial things and they have short memories. Then when these disruptions occur they are caught seemingly unaware and suffer for it. To be aware is to be prepared.

We are coming to the end of many different cycles at once and the disruptions that will occur will be larger and more disruptive than anything most people have ever had to deal with in their lifetimes. We appear to be coming to the end of a 300 year economic cycle. When long term cycles end they tend to be very disruptive. More so than regular short term cycles. It also appears we are coming to the end of long term weather cycle. The last time we had as few sun spots as now was during the little ice age from around 1645 to 1715. Global cooling can cause serious problems for food production and people need to be aware of that. When taken in combination these two things can be more serious than the great depression. And keep in mind these are only two of the cycles that are about to come to an end. We are potentially looking at a change in the cycles of war, society, philosophical beliefs, world leadership and morality.

It is difficult to give specific dates when certain things may happen but we know these things happen within certain periods of time so to be aware of this provides you with the ability to see the future in some respects and prepare for the disruptions that will ultimately occur. And keep in mind that these disruptions will occur just as surely as the changing of the seasons. You cannot stop it but you can prepare for it.

Between now and 2032 we will see many changes that will affect the way we live. These changes will be very disruptive and in some cases very deadly depending on where you live and how well prepared you are to weather the changes. Getting to the other side of the gulf will require you to be flexible and adapt to the changing times. There is no one best way to prepare for these changes. Your preparations will depend on who you are, what you know and what you are capable of doing to tailor a plan that will work best for you.

While these changes may happen over the next decade which sounds like a long time right now, you need to remember that many changes in the past seem like instant changes to us looking back. The fall of Rome, the little ice age, the civil war, the great depression and WWII were substantial periods of time for those living in those times but have been reduced to little more than footnotes to modern society. In the grand scheme of things, a decade or two is just the blink of an eye so do not be lulled into complacency by any seemingly long timelines.

We measure everything as a period of time. Time is a measure of change. The changes we are about to experience will define the future and in a few hundred years become another footnote to history but to those that must live through these coming times it will be a struggle for survival and a search for some meaning to it all. Things are constantly changing, but not always for the better.

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Are We Headed For A New Dark Age?

By: Tom Chatham

Those who dismiss the dark ages as an anomaly or never learned about them to begin with may get a chance to relive them. The economic forecast for the future is getting no better and many still cling to the hope that everything will go on as always. Hope is good but it should not prevent you from preparing for uncertain times. If a new dark age engulfed the world it would not be pretty as a review of the past can show.

Feudal lords ruled the land with an iron fist and everyone else was a serf. Money was hard to find. Life spans were short. The climate made growing food difficult or impossible depending on where you lived. Life was hard and the future looked bleak.

People relied on ox carts and horses and the streets were muddy open sewers. Some people may challenge the thought that we could ever devolve to such a state again but the stories coming out of San Francisco regarding the condition of their sanitation challenged streets would make even a skeptic think twice.

An economic or societal collapse does not have to mean the end of civilized society. A community that can come together in bad times can survive. The problem we now have is that certain forces in society are working hard to tear down the framework that would allow communities to come together. The bonds of religion, nuclear families, political beliefs, morality and patriotism have been attacked by those that seek to destroy the similarities we have and open the door for anarchy following some nation wide event.

If you knew that in the next few years the economy would crash like never before, everyone would become impoverished, life would become more difficult and the resources you depend on would be difficult to get, what would you do today to make that transition easier and less disruptive in your life?

If the world suddenly fell into another dark age I would rather be in a position to become a feudal lord than a needy serf dependant on the goodness of others. That does not mean you need to become an evil person taking advantage of others, it merely means you can be the glue that holds the community together. How you prepare for the many unknowns in our future will determine what your capabilities will be and how well you get by. It will also determine what you can do for others that you enlist into your kingdom.

It is important to remember that many of the ills in society emanate from peoples minds and not always from environmental problems. People can create horrors for society that rival the worst nature can produce and they can do it with a smile while thinking they are doing something great for posterity. In many ways we are our own worst enemies.

When societal shifts come there are certain things you can do to minimize the dangers and sufferings of your family. Simply having some extra food stored, a means of energy production that you control, a means of defending yourself, a few rolls of silver coins and the moral conviction to do the right thing can make all of the difference in getting you to the other side of whatever perils may come your way.

A dark age can take many different forms. The things that can define a dark age are the sufferings of the population for want of food, freedom, security, sanitation, morality and hope for the future. It takes a person with vision for the things that can be to hold the community together and lead them to a new prosperity. It will take many leaders to see society through the difficult days we face and emerge with the freedom and prosperity we are capable of as a people.

A dark age does not have to be the end but can be a rebirth of the ideals we hold dear that have proven successful in raising people up from poverty to live the American Dream. It seems inevitable that a collapse of some sort is in the offering. It is the result of the massive damage done to the economy by mismanagement of the currency and moral decline imposed on the population by intellectuals who live in a fantasy world.

We control the environment we live in and only we can fix the problems we have allowed to fester for decades. Fixing the problems will either be a simple and peaceful endeavor or it will be a violent and bloody one. Either way, the problems will be resolved, and what we are left with will be our endowment to the future.

Things Work Until They Don’t

By: Tom Chatham

As the world begins its next adventure in financial chaos and rolls over to expose its soft underbelly of lies and deceit that have been perpetrated on the public, those that see the truth have been warning the people once again. You can give people the truth but you cannot make them believe it. That is for them to come to grips with.

Trade wars are usually bad for all parties in the end but between the beginning and the end there can be some surprising developments. Human actions and delusions on the part of the public can produce strange results at times. All of our systems are based on trust. When that trust is lost, everything will come crashing down. Until then, things will go on.

If trade tariffs with China have the short term effect of creating American jobs, that could have a wealth effect by creating more disposable income in American pockets. That in turn can have a positive effect on the stock market and consumer confidence. Also, commodities are set to soar in price soon and this could carry the stock market up with it for a while.

Richard Russell once said he believed we would have a third leg in the current bull market before the bears take charge. He was right in the past and could be right again, only time will tell. This situation can not last long due to the enormous mal-investment built up in the system over many decades. A house of cards will eventually fall and the taller the house the longer and harder the fall will be.

One thing that could destroy the temporary high could be the destruction of the financial system due to loss of the reserve currency status and the replacement of the petrodollar system. If and when that happens things will not be looking good for America for a very long time. China is taking actions that could result in just that type of outcome. Their new silk road initiative and oil trading system utilizing Yuan to gold will eventually have serious consequences for Americas standard of living.

Total debts and derivatives in the world amount to 30-50 times of world GDP. The bulk of this is derivatives and when they fail they will become worthless. The 250 trillion or so in global debt will default when asset prices implode and interest rates explode. When the debt bubble explodes stocks could decline by as much as 95%. Interest rates could exceed the 20% rates we saw in the 1970’s.

In the last 100 years the value of major currencies have declined by 97-99 % relative to purchasing power in gold. The last 1-3% will follow very soon. When the financial system collapses due to losses from derivatives and stocks it will erase all of the savings, and retirement funds people were expecting to get at some future date. This will instantly impoverish the bulk of the population.

As the system collapses the banks will likely try to re-inflate assets by massive money printing which will only cause hyperinflation at some point. As hyperinflation kicks in the price of many assets like stocks, bonds, investment properties and art will likely collapse in real terms. Items like gold, silver and productive farmland will likely fare better.

Eventually deflation will carry all asset prices down as the world falls into a global depression, possibly for decades. All of these things will likely result in social unrest and wars as people become hungry and angry at a system they took for granted for so many years. The trust will be broken and people will look for something else to believe in.

One thing is for certain. People today believe anything but reality and that will catch up to them all very soon in a very painful way. Things work until they don’t. Our economy has been rolling along for decades on the stored wealth of previous generations but that is about to run out of steam very soon. When it does it will be a shock to all but a few. You can ignore reality but you cannot ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.

Trade Wars With Silver Linings

By: Tom Chatham

The current trade war that is ramping up with China has many pitfalls but could have positive sides for Americans. The world cannot survive without American agricultural products, especially food. They may be able to replace most of it from somewhere else but not all.

The estimated loss of agricultural shipments to China is estimated at around 15-20 billion. This is small potatoes for a government spending 1.5 trillion a year on many questionable items. The U.S. government could do something to relieve the stress on American farmers and actually do something positive for Americans in the process.

The government could simply buy all of the excess farm products that would normally be shipped overseas and create a strategic food reserve for Americans. Anyone who has been keeping up with the food production over the years knows that we keep very little food stored for national emergencies anymore. We should have a food reserve similar to the oil reserve, just in case.

One of the positives for this type of investment is that unlike investing in wars or social projects we would actually be investing in something we could use or sell at a later time making the investment minimal in the grand scheme of things. Purchasing and storing these food reserves near large cities around the country would provide a strategic resource that could save many lives if the distribution system is ever disrupted for any reason such as fuel disruptions, cyber attacks or a grid down situation.

If we are going to spend billions of dollars a year for pet projects why not spend some of it on systems actually worth something to us. The world is not getting any safer and we need to have resources set aside for emergencies.

Removing these resources from the world market would have immediate and profound results. It would send a signal to the world that we do indeed have more than one arrow in our quiver and even in the face of massive deficits we are still relevant in the world.

The world cannot continue adding millions of people a year and expect to feed them all without the U.S. The U.S. has many natural resources and some of the best farmland in the world. We can survive the problems we face as a nation but the world cannot go on without our contributions.

We can get along without the electronic gadgets and trinkets we get from China but they cannot get along without our food. We need to use our resources in a smarter and more sustainable way to continue being relevant in the world. Simply printing our way to prosperity will no longer work. We need to provide real value in the world and our food supply is a valuable commodity. Our farmers are a strategic asset and a necessary one for our country to survive. We need to support them now so they can continue to support us in the future. If a trade war is the only way to solve our trade deficit then let them keep their trinkets and we will keep our food and we will see who is better off.

How Can We Make Schools Safer?

By: Tom Chatham

With the increase of school shootings the past few decades the safety of students has become a more difficult proposition. There are people on different sides of the issue arguing for their solution but few are actually sitting down to analyze the problem and put forth sensible solutions. No one solution will be best for all locations just like no one solution will work equally well for disaster preparedness in all locations. We need different approaches for different locations based on the threat posed.

One of the most needed changes to schools today is the reintroduction of moral standards to children to curb the hostile intents kids have for one another. You cannot eliminate these feelings completely but you can instill the fear of acting out on these feelings through moral standards and the knowledge there will be a price to pay for doing so.

Teaching kids not to kill one another is probably the simplest way to stop killings but there are those that have true mental problems that only therapy and proper medications will help. These individuals need to be identified and monitored to insure they do not become a threat. This can be done without violating their rights.

Some schools in crime ridden areas go to the extreme length of having metal detectors at the entrances. This has served some areas well but anyone determined to get weapons into the school could still do so if they wanted to bad enough. Simply breaking into the school after hours through a window and planting weapons inside for later retrieval is always possible. Only their willingness and imagination prevents it.

The first line of defense is to keep the hostile person out of the school to begin with. Having external doors that are secured during school hours is one way to minimize the access. External doors as well as exterior windows on the first floor that are bullet resistant will go a long way to making forced entry difficult.

Once a weapon or hostile individual is inside a school there need to be systems in place to deal with the threat. The most effective method is to have an armed security guard that can face the individuals and stop them with lethal force if necessary. This may be the best option for some areas but not necessarily all of them. Armed officers make sense where the threat is high but not all schools have a high threat level.

Inside the building, certain interior doors should be bullet resistant and have an internal bolt to lock the door preventing entry of even an armed person. Keeping a physical barrier between shooters and victims is essential to preventing casualties. If a shooter manages to breach a door those inside should be prepared to defend themselves. This is one thing children need to be taught. Never go down without a fight. This applies more to older children than to smaller children.

The most vulnerable time for a shooter is when they move through a doorway. They can not see what is on the other side of the wall and that is where resistance needs to come from. Being up close to a shooter leaves them little room to maneuver for a shot. When assaulted by several persons at once up close a shooter can be overwhelmed and brought under control. Using a simple weapon such as a piece of wood or pipe and striking them in the head as they move through the door can take them down long enough to get control of them.

There is much debate about arming teachers in schools. This may be the best option in some areas. The more friendly weapons you can bring to bear against an intruder, the greater your chances are of ending the event quickly. There are many that do not like this option due to their fear of guns in general.

One possible compromise to the arming of teachers could be to arm them with less than lethal weapons. Arming every teacher in certain schools with tasers and providing them proper instruction on their use can also provide a deterrent to hostile individuals. The type of tasers that many police departments use can take down an assailant from several feet away very effectively. This type of weapon would reduce the fear of accidental discharges in schools.

Using a mixture of the items listed can make schools safer and give children some piece of mind while they are in school. Every school is different as are the communities scattered across the nation. Only by analyzing the needs and fears of each school can we begin to secure these locations and end the threats posed by people who wish to do harm to others.

Are Liberal Values To Blame For Mass Killings?

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.

Would Rural Areas Be Safer In A SHTF Situation?

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.

You Are Either A Prepper Or A Future Victim

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.

Technology Is The Master of Modern Slavery

By: Tom Chatham

The recent cyber attack on computers worldwide is just the latest wakeup call to the future we are blindly building for ourselves. The vast majority of humanity embraces technology like it is their next breath of air. Without it, they feel like they will die.

Technology is a double edged sword that we wield that must be handled with care less we cut off one of our own limbs. Technology allows us to be more productive and work faster than without it but as we embrace more technology to relieve us of many manual tasks we must not let it rule our very existence.

Technology must be used as a lever, not a crutch. When we give up our ability to function in daily life and allow technology to rule our every move, we ultimately give up our freedom. To allow technology to dictate what we can do and when we can do it is to reduce ourselves to nothing more than compliant slaves to it.

When a hospital cannot perform operations or even see patients because their computers are down or we cannot communicate or travel because of computer hacking, we have allowed technology to become a crutch that prevents us from falling on our faces in its absence. When we cannot buy food or fuel or depend on electrical power for basic needs we have become too dependant on the technology we invented to assist us.

The use of technology is a good thing that allows us to move forward and build things we never dreamed of before but when it becomes a weakness, we need to reexamine our use of it. If we become so dependant on technology that we cannot function without it we are preparing ourselves for a doomsday scenario when it eventually fails and we are helpless to care for ourselves.

It is only logical to have backup systems to utilize in the event our technology fails for some reason. This is the whole reason we have people to warn us before hand such as the EMP Commission to tell us we are in danger if certain events happen. Technology provides us with many good things but it also leaves us susceptible to many bad things as well if we ignore our responsibility to use it wisely and not become too dependant on it.

Many people today can actually have withdrawal symptoms if they lose access to their technology for any length of time. This should be an alarm to society but most just brush it off as fear mongering. When the loss of technology causes a business to completely stop operations, that should be an indication they do not have sufficient backup systems to fall back on.

One of the prime tenants of the prepper movement is that they have multiple backup systems to rely on if technology stops working. This is just a logical step taken by people that have taken the time to analyze the threats posed by the loss our technology and determine action is warranted for the preservation of life following certain events. The less technology you require to take care of daily activities, the more freedom you have to live a normal life.

Most people still do not take the threat of technological disruptions to society seriously. They think that if something happens, someone will fix it and life will go on as normal. What they refuse to contemplate is if something happens and nobody can fix it. As society moves along this technological road they become more dependent on it and the risk to their lives increases as they lose the ability to do basic tasks. Hopefully this latest cyber attack will instill in people the need to have backup systems in place to continue their daily activities and live life as a free person and not be a slave to the technology they so eagerly seek.

Local Civil Defense Needs To Be Revived

By: Tom Chatham

The ability to provide emergency assistance to the local population following an event is critical to preservation of law and order, not to mention life. The ability to keep the population calm in the face of mass destruction will make recovery much easier by freeing up valuable manpower for recovery efforts. The ability to provide food and water will be the primary resources that will be needed to maintain control of the situation for long periods of time. A food storage and distribution system will be needed to provide sustenance to local populations very quickly following an event.

The need of civil defense personnel to provide the manpower for this function can not be over emphasized. Following an event such as a nuclear war or EMP strike, communication, transportation and deployment of personnel will be difficult if not impossible. If CD personnel are already present in the local communities nationwide, deployment will be automatic and immediate. There will be no need to find available personnel and transport them to the site. Local CD personnel can begin emergency operations within a few hours of an event providing the stability and direction the community will need to face the event.

A local CD program can be as small or as extensive as the community wishes. It can consist of a few dozen families on the same street or a whole town. It can simply have food stores to distribute or it can provide food, medical assistance, fuel supplies, power generation, shelter and transportation abilities. Food is the most basic need and must be stored before anything else, For a food distribution system, minimal equipment will be required if bulk storage is located locally and CD members have a distribution plan already mapped out for the worst case scenario.

A basic ration that can provide suitable calories to survivors can be packaged and dispersed on a monthly basis at designated dispersal areas. Local individuals can be issued a ration card in the initial days following an event that can be used to receive monthly rations. The card can have designated boxes that can be punched out every month when rations are received. Parents can be issued cards for each child to insure each person will get a monthly ration. A basic ration can consist of the following items.

183 lbs. Hard Wheat 15.25lbs./month
45 lbs. Oats 3.75lbs./ month
137 lbs. Corn 11.4lbs./ month
113 lbs. Beans 9.4lbs./ month
46 lbs. dry milk 3.8lbs./ month
1.5 Gal. Veg. oil 16oz./ month
45 lbs. Sugar 3.75lbs./ month
7.5 lbs. iodized salt .625lbs./ month

These items and amounts will provide one person with a basic daily ration for one year or month as noted. The ability to store these items in bulk will provide an efficient means to store a food supply for a community that can feed them for up to a year. One simply has to multiply these amounts by the number of people you will need to feed to determine the total amount of food you should store for such an event.

A community that knows it will have basic food supplies regardless of the situation will prevent acts of violence and desperation following an event when people will normally panic due to the many unknowns in their future. Providing them with a certain number of knowns will keep the panic to a minimum and allow the community to focus human energies on alleviating their longer term problems.

Power for basic systems can be provided by fuel storage and ultimately by the use of wood gas generators for longer term situations when fuel resupply is not possible. Wood gas can also be used for vehicle fuel if functional vehicles are available. The ability to provide local energy for critical systems like water and sewage pumping will go far in alleviating suffering due to lack of functional infrastructure. It will also provide power needed for any functional communication systems available to the community.

A local civil defense corps can fill many of the needs a community will face following a catastrophic event and is one of the only solutions that can be run by local communities that offers immediate results. Local governments like to think they have a plan to deal with most emergencies but when it comes to the low probability/ high impact events, they are all largely ill equipped to handle them. A power grid failure can cascade into something much worse if the problem is not resolved fairly quickly. It is the potential for these cascading failures to occur that makes modern life so deadly for the population.

Government entities do not possess the ability to care for the entire population of the country if everything stops suddenly. The government has little in the way of food stores that can feed the nation without going to individuals and companies and taking what they have to be distributed in an ad hoc fashion.

Having bulk supplies in every community nationwide is the only way to insure we have the means to survive the worst if it ever happens. By explaining the potential dangers to locals and gaining their support by real leadership, money can be raised in the community and used to construct bulk storage sites and equip a civil defense unit. When our previous civil defense organization was folded into FEMA we lost all local control of any response and the benefits it brought to local communities and individuals.

As with most things, you do not have to do it all at once. Simply buying 9 food grade 55 gallon drums and filling 4 with wheat, 2 with beans, 2 with corn and 1 with oats, you will have sufficient grains and beans to feed over 50 people for a month. This is at a cost of about $310 dollars at current prices. That is a small investment to insure 20 families are working together rather than against one another. It should also be noted that those with the resources following an event will have control over the population. Would you rather some government entity have that control or your community.

While there are no simple answers that will work equally well for all communities, having something to work with in an emergency is a far better situation than having nothing. We often forget that in our just in time delivery system we can go from everything to nothing in a matter of hours. When something goes wrong, how well our communities handle the aftermath will depend on what they have to handle it with. With the many dangers we face today, it is likely only a matter of time before we are forced to respond to an event, and what price will we pay in our current state of readiness?