Category Archives: Preparedness
By: Tom Chatham
It is a common reaction to ask, how much is that, when we see something we want or need. The question is answered with some monetary figure that people will recognize and use to determine if they can afford it. But what happens when the monetary system we know becomes so dysfunctional that common monetary values mean little.
This could happen due to massive inflation, currency collapse or a frozen banking system that prevents you from accessing your funds. If you have no way to pay for something, it does not matter how much or little it costs. It will be out of your reach unless you have some means to pay.
Some people keep cash on hand for just such a problem. They know they will be able to pay cash when everything else stops working. That will work for a time but eventually paper currency will be looked on as a diminishing asset as physical goods become more valuable to those that need them. Paper currency is not much different than a check you write on your account. If the account is empty your check is no good.
The same can be said for those entities that issue paper money. If they are bankrupt or shut down, the value of their printed certificates will be worth the same as the bad check. Nobody will want to accept it after they realize it may not be honored for the value it supposedly holds. While a local store may accept it out of habit, eventually businesses will figure out the truth.
In times like this alternative forms of money may become more viable to local individuals such as gold and silver. But, that may take some time and most people will not own any of these precious metals for trade. Some may resort to direct barter with some of the things they have amassed over the years to get the necessities they need and under these circumstances values will be variable and disconnected from reality at times.
Some people have stored barter items for this eventuality rather than precious metals and there is nothing wrong with that if it gives them the feeling of safety they desire. One of the reasons they desire goods instead of metals is the fear that governments will call in precious metals as they did in 1933 and that is a legitimate fear but must be taken with some reflection on the facts.
In 1933, gold and silver coinage was the circulating currency in the nation meaning most people had some in their possession. That is not the reality today as very few people have any knowledge of the value of metals and do not have them in their possession. The fact that the government can call in metals does not mean they will be able to relieve you of them.
In 1933, on the river where I grew up, there was a store on the bank of the river that did a good business with all of the ships that came by. When the gold was called in in 1933, the store owner did not want to turn it in so he kept it hidden away. At the time he had a small chest full of gold coins. He kept that chest of coins until the 1970’s when gold was legal to own again and then he sold it for a good profit. This is a true story and just one example of how hard it would be for the government to call in all of the metals in private hands.
It does not matter what you hold your savings in only that it will retain value when conventional paper currencies become a despised possession. When that happens you need the ability to buy the things you need with what you physically have on hand. The question you must answer is what will you have on hand when that day comes.
By: Tom Chatham
The events of the past few days show just how vulnerable the U.S. is to cyber warfare. Many people have read about the problems that can occur if the infrastructure is attacked and disabled or destroyed cutting everyone off to essential services. Here are some of the services that were compromised on just one day this week.
– The WSJ suffered computer problems resulting in outage
– Service providers such as Verizon, AT&T and Sprint suffered computer problems affecting their services
-The NYSE was down for almost 4 hours due to a computer “glitch”
– United Airlines was grounded nationwide as computer problems shut down their operations
These four incidents, while not officially due to cyber attack, are just an example of what is possible if cyber attackers wish to do some harm. These four incidents cover, transportation, communication, information and financial sectors of the economy. The very things society depends on to function correctly. The only one missing is power.
Some insiders believe this was just a beta test for things to come. If that is so then the American people have much to worry about. It is bad enough if these threats are foreign born but the American people have just as much to fear from their own government today. The executive orders and military posturing going on leave little room for speculation that elements of our government are planning and expecting something catastrophic to happen in the near future.
If the U.S. is hit with a massive cyber attack, it will cause chaos nationwide within minutes as services are interrupted and people find themselves without the support systems they rely on every day. The loss of services for a few hours is an inconvenience but the loss for several days or weeks would be life threatening. That is something most Americans are not prepared for. They have complete faith in the government to protect them and provide the things they need. That faith will be the undoing of many people when the time comes. That is because these people have abdicated their responsibility to take care of themselves and their family to the government.
The people that see or at least fear what could happen in an uncertain world, have taken the necessary steps to make a loss of services as minor as possible. Many of these people have gone off the grid to provide the every day necessities their family needs free of the trappings of modern society.
Even if you do not go completely off the grid, you can do many simple things to insure your family will be safe and secure when the electrons that modern society is built on stop flowing. There are many annual disasters and smaller problems that cut off services to people. It might be a flood, hurricane or ice storm that cuts you off from the outside world for days at a time. Many people have learned from their past experiences and taken steps to provide the things they will lose if that type of thing happens again. The problem is that the vast majority go back to their normal lives after suffering the hardship of disaster and think nothing more until it happens again.
When you think about the many different things that could happen to you it is easy to come up with a list of things you would suffer without. Being in a rural area and suffering from an ice storm that cuts off power, communications and travel ability is similar to what would happen if a cyber attack took down most systems in the winter.
You would need the same back-up systems in both cases. You would need food, water, light and heat at the very least. Non-electric systems are a must when something like this happens. About the only thing you need electrical power for is refrigeration over long periods and winter weather could help with that if you have a window box or cooler to take advantage of the outside refrigeration capability. In warmer climates the possession of an absorption or propane refrigerator will allow you to keep items frozen or cool for several weeks with only a few 20lb.cannisters of propane.
Propane will also take care of heating, cooking and lighting needs if you want to go that route. Otherwise, wood heat and basic lighting such as kerosene lamps, candles or small battery powered lamps can take care of your other environmental needs. The storage of basic foods, especially canned goods, and sufficient water will also insure your family has the things they need to ride out the situation. In the event you can buy or trade in the aftermath of the disaster it is always good to have some cash on hand and maybe some gold or silver for long term problems.
These basic things are the basis of being immune from the types of problems brought about by a loss of electrical technologies that bring society to a halt. The ability to communicate with others in the absence of public communication systems and the ability to maintain security in the absence of law enforcement are also things that need to be looked at for serious, long term situations. The ability to provide for sanitation during disasters is also something few prepare for so that needs to be addressed as well. A simple outhouse is worth its weight in gold when sanitation systems cease to function properly.
These items are practically immune from any cyber attack and will allow you to maintain minimum living standards for long periods of time in the event it becomes necessary. One does not have to go to extremes to become cyber proof. The security provided by normal camping supplies and preparations will go a long way to keeping you safe and healthy when technology fails. If everyone was a prepper, disasters would be non-events for most people and cyber threats would be little more than minor inconveniences.
By: Tom Chatham
There is no shortage of dangers in the world today. It seems every day something else appears from out of the blue and adds to the pile of potential problems we have to deal with. Some of these problems are covered over or ignored all together. They are hidden in the shadows to prevent people from protecting themselves from the dangers.
The whole premise of hiding these dangers is that when someone loses in the future, someone else will profit from it. In our case, when many people lose, a few will profit massively. That is how the system has been set up. The people have been set up and the time is near when the plug will be pulled and chaos will be the order of the day. When that day comes many of the seemingly unconnected problems we face will coalesce into a massive problem few will understand or be equipped to deal with, and that is the hope of some. Here are some of the problems that will come together in the future and spell disaster for many.
Drought conditions in the western U.S are going into their fourth year with no change expected in the near future. This is causing a water shortage that could leave many western cities with little or no water in the near future, forcing mass relocations if it continues for another year.
Drought conditions in California are destroying a large percentage of the produce this nation relies on for food and jobs.
The federal government continues to lie about the economic numbers in hopes they will change soon for the better or at the very least nobody will notice they are unemployed and broke.
Current estimates are that over 101 million working age people are unemployed in the U.S today. The U.S. is a consumer driven economy and the destruction of the middle class means things will not get better until more people have jobs and money to spend. People will not have more jobs until the economy gets better. We are now in a catch 22 situation.
The FED cannot raise rates without exploding trillions in derivatives and keeping them low will result in a loss of confidence at some point in the near future. The only thing they can do is print more money and hope things get better, somehow.
Factory farming has seen the decimation of poultry by avian flu this year, pigs succumbing to porcine disease last year and cattle herds dropping to 1950 levels due to drought. This is likely only the beginning of stress on the food system that will increase as society and environmental conditions continue to deteriorate over time. That will mean more expensive food over time.
The government has embarked on a program to decimate the armed forces in America making us less safe while simultaneously building a civilian government army just as powerful and just as well armed as the military. They are building detainment centers around the country and have bought over 2 billion rounds of ammo. They continue to pass draconian laws that insure less freedom in the future. These laws and executive orders now give the government the authority, in their eyes, to take everything you have and use you as slave labor.
The government continues to leave the southern border open allowing mass illegal immigration into the U.S. Large numbers of refugees resulting from American intervention in foreign nations are being allowed into the U.S without proper screening. Some of these refugees are militants determined to destroy America. They will not assimilate our culture and seek to replace western law with Sharia law in the U.S. Over 30 Islamic training camps are now active in the U.S and the government refuses to do anything about them.
The U.S. government has been infiltrated at the highest levels by the Muslim Brotherhood. These people are now making national policy and hate everything that is American. The POTUS has said he would side with Muslims if he had to make the choice and he has demonstrated his distaste for everything American.
The government continues to press for gun control and the abolition of guns and ammo in the hands of citizens. Every shooting is utilized as an excuse to push the agenda further along. Every opportunity is used to restrict the current access to guns and ammo and it is increasing daily until gun control is complete.
The ability to produce your own food in America is slowly being revoked by government agencies that will ultimately allow the government to use food as a weapon against uncooperative Americans. The corruption of seed stocks with GMO’s is a strategic operation that will lead to food scarcity.
The government considers anyone who stores more than 2 weeks worth of food a terrorist and enemy of the state. They consider anyone who owns guns an enemy of the state. They consider anyone who home schools an enemy of the state. They consider anyone who is a veteran, especially those serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, as an enemy of the state. They consider anyone who is a Christian an enemy of the state.
The government has armed local police forces with military grade weapons and are now seeking to federalize these same forces. The goal can be nothing other than the establishment of a total police state. This combined with the information gathering devices deployed by government is all encompassing and for the express purpose of depriving people of their freedom.
New laws such as the TPP will relinquish national sovereignty to multi national corporations that will be controlled by a hand full of oligarchs beholden to nobody. The corporate model has led to the destruction of local jobs and wealth in the hands of workers.
Large investors and funds have begun to dump stocks and accumulate gold and other hard assets as the economic numbers become more distorted and defy logic. China, Russia and some large institutions are accumulating gold as fast as they can in the prelude to paper asset destruction.
Central banks led by the BIS have brought us to the ultimate destruction of paper currencies. When all paper assets are destroyed, the people will have little choice but to succumb to the demands of bankers and corporations. The only other choice will be revolution but by then, most of the people will have no ability to fight or resist and most do not have the will to fight to begin with.
When you take all of these things into consideration, the future seems to be a veritable minefield of obstacles. It is hard enough to navigate the world when everything is supposedly working well but when everything is suddenly working against you, you need to have a plan to deal with it.
In the face of adversity, the real you will come out. It is surprising how some people rise to the occasion and just as amazing how some people will withdraw into the corner and assume the fetal position. There is a storm coming unlike anything people have seen before. Are you prepared to deal with it?
By: Tom Chatham
One of the consequences of an American civil war would be a worldwide food shortage for many years. The disruption of the agricultural sector of the American economy during a nationwide war would virtually eliminate the tons of food exported to other nations from the U.S. A large percentage of these exports are grain that keeps many third world nations stable and peaceful.
Any national chaos would disable the system of seed production that allows farmers to plant the millions of acres in the U.S. It would also disable the production and distribution of fuels and fertilizers that farmers depend on to plant, grow and harvest.
The only way the food production system would continue operating is if the government or a corporate entity seized control of the large tracts of farmland in the Midwest and continued to operate them. Given the executive orders now on the books this is always a possibility. It is also likely that if that happened, food would be used as a weapon against those areas of the country in rebellion against government rule.
Some in the U.S. would possibly continue to eek out an existence on locally grown products but the vast majority of the country and the countries that depend on the surplus grain would either have to find another source or starve. Growing any food in the U.S. under those conditions would be very difficult and very dangerous. That is the main reason individuals must have ample supplies laid in for chaos that lasts for several years.
Even if a person does not have the financial means to store several years worth of regular meals, they can store some of the basics that will allow them to get by along with any fresh produce they are able to scavenge off the land. That may sound like a very extreme case but we are likely headed for unprecedented times and nothing should be taken for granted.
In his book, Nuclear War Survival Skills, Cresson Kearny provides a list of basic foods that will get a person through the difficult times. He provides the following basic survival ration for multi-year storage.
Amount Per day
Whole kernel hard wheat – 16oz.
Beans – 5oz.
Non-fat milk powder – 2oz.
Vegetable oil – 1oz.
Sugar – 2oz.
Salt (iodized) – 1/3oz.
Multi vitamin pills – 1 per day
This ration will provide you with about 2600 calories a day and is nutritionally balanced. The two disadvantages of this ration are that it requires cooking and most people are not accustomed to such a diet. He also provides an emergency ration for infants.
Amount Per Day
Instant non-fat dry milk – 1 cup + 2 tablespoons ( 2 3/4 oz.)
Vegetable cooking oil – 3 tablespoons (1 oz.)
Sugar – 2 tablespoons (0.7 0z.)
Standard daily multi vitamin – 1/3 pill
Safe water – 4 cups
The items listed can be bought in bulk and are relatively cheap at this time so there is no excuse not having even these few items in storage. The need to rely on a basic ration with little variety may result in taste fatigue over time but the ability to eat daily and supply your body with sufficient calories to deal with the crisis will enable you to get through it.
The list of emergencies that could impose starvation on the population is long. It is the responsibility of every parent to take care of their family under any circumstances and nothing is as important in a long crisis as eating. When the next world changing crisis appears, will you be ready for it?
By: Tom Chatham
With over 93 million unemployed working age adults in America and the economy beginning to go negative again, if you are fortunate enough to have a job it may not last much longer. It is easy to keep a positive attitude about the economy when you get a paycheck every week but life after the paychecks stop will change your outlook a great deal. That is the reality that is about to overtake the working class in the coming months.
The primary mechanism that has tipped the economy onto a downhill trajectory is the route that circulating money has taken in the past few decades. In the past much of the money was kept in circulation in the local economy resulting in the creation of many local jobs. With the new corporate model, most of the profit is siphoned out of the local economy and goes to wall street profiteers. This has resulted in the destruction of many local jobs while the few at the top of the wealth pyramid get richer much faster as time goes on.
The only way a nation can maintain a middle class is to keep money circulating in the local arena. The lack of this local circulation has finally caught up to the middle class and it has begun to shrink at an alarming rate. If the corporate model plays out to the end, it will mean the total destruction of the middle class and the beginnings of a two tiered system where there are a few very wealthy persons lording over a very large poverty stricken majority. That is where we are heading.
When this happens the only thing that will restore a functional middle class is the recreation of the local economy where the vast majority of the money remains in the local economy. This will require the reestablishment of local businesses and craftsmen to create the items needed by the local community.
In most cases the service sectors of the economy can only function when sufficient excess wealth exists in the hands of workers that seek to improve their living conditions. Basic needs must be met first before persons will seek any improvement in living conditions. This provides a road map of sorts for those that seek to create a stream of income in the local economy. The creation of physical goods that people need must be satisfied before the economy will demand the lesser wants of society.
As the basic needs of society are fulfilled, the income from these goods will slowly create more jobs and more demand from society. As the cycle continues it will slowly lift the economy and the living standards of the people. This is how the American economy was created from the beginning of settlement to the industrial base that we once had.
Wealth is created by raw materials, labor, skills and demand for goods. The corporate model has pushed the small businessman out of the market by utilizing mass production and cheap labor combined with cheap transportation systems to provide cheap goods to the masses. This model is destined to collapse at some point due to rising costs of labor, rising energy costs and unsustainable production systems.
Keeping these things in mind, if you need a job where one does not exist, you must create a job that produces a product that society must have to insure demand. As the basic needs of society are met, you can move into goods and services that are less of a need and more of a want by society. To become a successful independent businessman you must listen to the community and access its needs and wants to have the right products to sell.
The amount of destruction caused by the corporate model will determine where the starting point will be when a reset is required. It is also important to keep in mind that the lack of a rebuilt local economy will lead to a feudal type of society where the poor become serfs controlled by the few wealthy lords that control the wealth.
When a community lacks the ability to provide the things people need, they become easy prey for those that can get the goods society needs. People today are held captive by the financial system created by those with wealth. Debt is the control mechanism and when the current debt based system fails those with the remaining wealth will create another system to keep the poor subdued. It is inevitable unless communities do the hard work of creating their own economy and goods to maintain individual freedoms and keep the wealthy in their proper place.
For a community to recreate the local economy it must determine what resources it has, what resources it must get and what skilled labor they have in order to devise a functional system they can control. Much of this will be done on the individual level as people seek to use the resources and skills they have to provide for their families. This is the foundation of free market capitalism.
In 1776 America about 40% of men worked their own farm. Another 30% worked as laborers on farms. About 20% owned large farms or plantations. The remaining 10% or so who were professional businessmen frequently owned modest farms where they might raise a cow, some chickens and have a garden to provide for the home table. Even those townspeople that had no farm usually had a cow, some chickens and a kitchen garden for home use.
In those days nobody was completely self sufficient. Some people worked metal. Some grew fiber crops and others turned the fibers into cloth. In the process of providing for their families and selling any excess they produced, these people created the local economy. In early America unemployment was an almost unknown concept. Now, the social programs available to people make unemployment not only possible for the masses but it has become a socially acceptable situation. You must think in these terms if you desire to recreate the local economy not only for your benefit but for the benefit of the community as a whole.
To create your own job you must determine what skills you have that can be utilized for your benefit as well as can be sold for income. This will also entail an assessment of your available resources. To work for yourself you must also be ready to take advantage of any opportunities that present themselves.
Recently there has been an outbreak of avian flu in the poultry flocks in the upper Midwest. Millions of birds including many laying hens have been destroyed resulting in a disruption of the egg supply nationwide. As a result of this a person with even a modest layer flock might find sale in the local economy where there once was no demand. The drought conditions in California are beginning to increase prices in produce grown there providing the local producer in other sections of the nation the opportunity to fill the local demand for some of those items.
Beef cattle numbers are at a 50 year low because of the drought conditions forcing ranchers to sell their herds. Last year a disease moved through the pig population in the central U.S killing millions of hogs meant for consumption. These problems provide the small local producer the opportunity to get back into the game locally where before they were unable to compete with the corporations.
In the event that the dollar crashes as many have predicted, it will make many of the imports we depend on too expensive for persons to buy. This would allow someone with some metal working and welding ability to make items now mostly imported such as garden tools.
A good businessman looks ahead to see what is coming and takes actions to utilize that knowledge to create wealth. The problems previously listed can provide the local businessman the opportunity to create local supply and develop markets during this time of disruptions to move the production base of the nation back to the local area where it belongs.
These are only some of the business opportunities that can be taken advantage of right now locally that can provide the local economy the ability to establish local markets and production assets that will benefit the community especially if things continue to deteriorate nationally in the future.
The failure to move production back to local communities will result in foreign corporations moving in when things deteriorate and establishing their own production systems that will once again siphon wealth out of the local community and send it to overseas entities. The buying spree by the Chinese in the past few years is proof of this possibility coming to pass.
The need for local production is more relevant now than it has ever been. Only those that make the leap now will have the opportunity to make a difference when things take a turn for the worse and people become desperate.
By: Tom Chatham
The talk of FEMA camps and martial law has been almost nonstop for the past few years. The actions by the government have led us to the current predicament where the surreal has become the new norm. It would have been unthinkable 20 years ago to imagine we would actually be talking about the subversion and downfall of the United States with little outcry from the population in general.
Many articles have made the case that at least some of the military and police would follow orders to put the population into submission by force if necessary. This would include the forced detention and possible execution of many antigovernment protestors.
If even a small percentage of the enforcers revolted against the government orders it would provide a very large armed component that would add to the armed civilian population and would provide a serious impediment to government operations even if external forces were brought in.
In a serious event it has been noted that many enforcers would simply abandon their posts and go home to protect their families. This is an ever present problem for the government pundits giving the orders. They will want to maintain control over the enforcers at all times and must have sufficient controls in place to do so in a chaotic situation.
One way to maintain that control is to move the family members of those enforcers to “safe” locations where they can be protected while the enforcers do their job. These locations could be FEMA camps or secure military bases that could prevent persons from leaving once inside. This would not only provide safe harbor for those family members but would act as a control mechanism as well.
Once the government has control of those family members, they would have sufficient leverage to force compliance and obedience of the enforcers in the face of immoral and illegal orders from the leadership. This is only one possibility but it would explain why some of the FEMA camps have playground equipment.
This possibility does not preclude the eventual use of these facilities as extermination centers at some later date. In Nazi Germany the concentration camps started out as reeducation camps for dissidents before evolving into death camps.
How many police and military would disobey orders if they knew their families might be killed or imprisoned for their noncompliance? I suspect many of those enforcers would do what they were told until they were able to get their families back.
I have no information showing this might happen, I only ask myself what I would do to compel compliance of some sadistic plan to destroy this country and its people if I were in charge.
If this scenario is a possibility it would be visible at some point. The enforcers would need to give the location and names of their family members to their leadership for possible evacuation in the event of social chaos during some future event. If police and military personnel are compelled to provide this type of information at some point it may be the only signal that this type of event is about to take place. This may be the only warning these people have to remove their families from government control if events come to pass.
It may be that they are told to bring their families in for safety only after chaos has broken out. If this ever happens they need to think about the possible consequences of these actions before they comply. The government has proven itself untrustworthy in the past and that is not likely to change any time soon.
The government has shown itself to be all consumed with its own survival under any circumstance even to the detriment of the citizens it is tasked to protect. When faced with chaos in society it is safe to assume that it will do what it deems necessary to control the situation and produce their desired result. Those that can exert the most force will have the option to follow their own agenda regardless of laws or demands. Might does not equal right but it does determine who is in charge.
To maintain overwhelming force to control the population the government must control the enforcers. This will likely require using force against the enforcers when necessary to force their compliance until they are no longer needed. This is the double edged sword the enforcers must deal with when the time comes. If they allow their families to become a part of this scheme they will lose the ability to follow their own conscience when the time comes to resist.
Given the past acts of this government it is not a stretch of the imagination to think they would resort to an option like this to achieve their goals. This is just one of the potential dangers that citizens should monitor in the months to come, especially if you are an enforcer.
By: Tom Chatham
The idea that life is about to take a turn for the worst is taken as a foregone conclusion by those tracking current events. It has been a long time coming and we are not at the end of the beginning yet but it is coming into view. In the days ahead two of the items you need to plan for are where you will live and what medium of exchange you will use.
Many have taken the stance that you should move to a small town to ride out the events that may unfold. This is not a bad idea but simply moving to a small town is not a cure-all for what will likely unfold. In many cases, the small towns in America are merely smaller versions of the city in many ways.
The small towns have a smaller population that allows many of the people to actually know their neighbors which in times of chaos can help due to the cohesiveness of the neighborhood. This is only one aspect that many people think of. A more serious aspect that needs to be examined is the production capability of the community.
If the distribution system stops for any reason, the small towns will lose their supplies just like the major cities will. Most small towns today are far different from the ones just a few generations ago. These small towns rely on a constant supply of goods from all over the world to maintain normalcy just as their city cousins.
Long gone are the days when many of the goods needed by the community are made in the local area. When the distribution system stops, the availability of local goods will be a primary factor in how well the community weathers the emergency.
Because of this, it is necessary to not only look for a small town but one that has a host of local production assets that will allow the citizens to maintain a certain degree of commerce of necessary items such as food, clothing, energy and medical care. Just because there are a lot of farms in an area it is not an indicator of sufficient local production. Many farmers rely on the grocery store for most of their food needs because many farms are mono crop farms now not the small diversified farms of yesterday.
A town may be surrounded by thousands of acres of wheat but what is their capability to convert that wheat into flour. This can be said for any type of grain produced in the area. Butchering a deer during hunting season is one thing but how about a few dozen beef cattle per week? Are there any chicken houses in the area and what is their ability to provide enough chicken and eggs to the community? Are there any dairy farms around and what is their production ability? Can the local farmers produce another crop after supplies are cut off? Do they have the capability to produce their own seeds and fertilizer? These are just some of the things a small town will need the ability to do to be a good place to stay after something happens.
The other issue is what medium of exchange you will use. It is now evident that banks and government entities are pushing us towards a cashless society. Chase will begin to charge large depositors a 1% fee for bank deposits in the near future. Some smaller banks around the country have sent notices to their business customers informing them that they will be charged a fee for bank deposits in the near future.
Negative interest rates are now here and it will only get worse. When banks start charging their customers for the privilege of holding their money, the system is seriously broken. This is one way the bankers are trying to induce spending into the broken economy. People will be forced to spend their money as fast as possible to avoid bank charges.
At the same time cash is becoming the new threat. Remember the alerts from the government implying people that use cash may be terrorists. This is the set up for removing cash from the system. That will allow the government to track all purchases you make and even freeze your account if you become a naughty person by utilizing your free speech or other rights against the government. If there is no cash to be used it will make being on the run from authorities almost impossible. It will be the end of anonymous purchases.
Because of this it will be imperative to have some type of medium of exchange to conduct business with other individuals if this comes to pass. The most obvious types of currency will be gold and silver coins. These items will be out of the reach of the government in most cases. They are not the only types of currency though. Other types of currency can take the form of local script, certain foods, salt, tea, ammo, spices and sugar to name a few. The commodity may be different from one community to another depending on the location and availability of common items.
Knowing now what types of production are available and what types of alternative mediums of exchange would work best in a particular community are two of the things you need to keep in mind as you plan alternatives to your current lifestyle. A small town will only be as good as its people and its production capability in the days to come.
By: Tom Chatham
There is much talk about the possibility of an EMP or CME that takes out the power grid causing chaos nationwide. Some have stated that having cash on hand is necessary to make some last minute shopping trips to top off supplies. That is a good idea but in today’s world how effective would that be?
In the early 80’s I worked in a small local grocery store after school like many kids in my generation. This store had two checkout lines of which only one was normally used except during rush hour when 5 or six people would be in line at once.
One Sunday morning the power went off for several hours. There were some people that made a usual stop at this store on Sunday mornings for their Sunday paper and to do some shopping. On this particular day they continued to come in as usual but we had no power.
My boss who was also the store owner did not want to lose the business so he improvised. He went to his office and brought back a small portable calculator that had a printer on top. He stood at the register and added up the items as the people came to the counter, they paid in cash as normal, he wrote down the total of the sale for his records, gave them a printed receipt from the calculator and they went on their way.
This was all possible for three reasons. We had a means to add up the items, the customers were able to pay in cash and the most important thing was that all of the items had a price stamped on them.
This sounds like a normal reaction to something like this but would it happen the same way today if the power went out?
Most of the people working at the registers would not be able to add up the items for sale if it were not for the computer doing all the work for them. Even if they wanted to sell items, practically all corporate owned stores use scanners to scan the prices. The days when items had the price stamped on them are long gone, at least as far as the major stores are concerned. This lack of prices would make it almost impossible for stores to sell items even if they wanted to. The cashiers have no idea what the prices are these days.
The other major factor is the ability to pay in cash. With the grid down and no POS terminals working, most people would have no way to pay for their goods. In the old days stores accepting credit cards had a manual machine they placed the card in along with a credit receipt and they would rack the press and imprint the receipt. The person would sign the slip and receive a copy of the credit transaction. The store would then send the credit receipt in to get their money. Unlike today, this antiquated system worked even if the power was off.
Today there is no manual fallback if the POS system does not work. This makes any longterm blackout a potential time bomb for any society that relies on immediate credit processing systems.
In the event of a blackout today, only small stores would likely have goods that are individually priced and a worker capable of adding the sale even if the person had some cash. These are the problems that modern society has created for itself. These are the things you need to keep in mind if you plan to shop after a blackout has occurred. You and your cash are only part of the equation. The store and its ability to sell during a blackout is on the other side of the equation.
Keeping these things in mind, it might be a good idea to scope out the local stores near you and assess their ability to sell during a blackout if the situation ever arises. Keeping some cash on hand for emergencies is always a good idea, just be aware of the limitations you may face in using that cash where you want to shop.
By: Tom Chatham
The bulk of humanity living in the western world are used to a life of comfort and leisure. This has been made possible by the production of cheap goods and a debt based economy. When this system fails it will cause much discomfort and even death for some that are not able to adapt to the changing times.
The ways of the modern western world are to work and save during the early working years in order to retire during the less productive older years. The act of retirement is a relatively new phenomenon for the working class. Until the 20th century, the only people able to cease working and enjoy their elder years were the rich among us. This changed with mass production and massive debt creation.
In the 1930’s the poor in America were thrown a lifeline in the form of social security. This program was meant to prevent some of the hardship for those struggling to survive. This program was never meant to replace savings and provide for a comfortable retirement all by itself. Over the years the political gerrymandering of politicians seeking reelection have sold the people on the notion that social security is an all encompassing retirement plan they can expect until they die.
The expectation of this program is one of the Achilles heels of the American culture. Very few save for retirement and many can not afford to with the ever increasing prices they must pay for necessary items. Many have no hope for the future except for this underfunded and soon to be extinct Frankenstein monster. When the government can no longer provide this and other programs to people barely surviving today as it is, hardship that is unknown to most will fall upon them like a pile of bricks.
When this happens these people will have no where to turn to ensure they have the items to survive daily life. This is the socialist bomb that is about to explode and very few want to acknowledge it and prepare for the inevitable problems that will occur.
When this house of cards collapses it will require every person to have a plan to maintain some semblance of a standard of living. This will require individuals to have one of two options available to them. They will either need to have sufficient funds to care for themselves or have the ability to earn a living and produce the things they need for themselves in the aftermath of this event.
Having sufficient funds to live on will necessitate having a medium of exchange that will survive the destruction of paper wealth. This will mean wealth in the form of precious metals or other similar options that will retain their buying power over the long term.
Those that work for others and depend on a paycheck to buy the things they need will suffer when that job no longer exists and they can not find another. This is a situation that is prevalent today with upwards of 94 million people in America. These people are non-persons according to the government as none of them are considered unemployed. Ignoring this problem will not change things when the number reaches the tipping point where these people have no option but to prey on those that still have the ability to provide for their families. This is where the golden hoard becomes mobile and begins to move across the land reaping a deadly harvest.
The Deagel.com site shows the population of America dropping from 316 million in 2015 to approximately 69 million in 2025. This has been characterized as a mass exodus from the U.S. to other nations as the working and living environment becomes untenable in America and people relocate to more hospitable locations. This is one possible scenario that we may see in the future if Americans fail to plan for disruptions to the economy and have no way to take care of themselves.
In a nation like America with all of the natural resources that we have available to us, it need not come to that. The one thing that we lack today is the motivation to do something positive about our looming situation. The current inhabitants of America no longer have the moral fiber that was common in the 1930’s when we last went through something like this. That will have to change or some other factor will have to be utilized to stabilize the population in the future. A mass exodus out of the country is just such a factor.
For those that have the moral fiber to make a stand and provide for their family it will be a trying time and a dangerous one for many years. Those that have the will to work through the problems will need to have either funds or resources to get them through. Simply having several months of food and supplies will not be enough. It will take a plan that spans two or three decades that you can enact to provide the things you and your family will need.
Something this encompassing will require many resources and the know-how to use them. The amount of resources can be a stopping point for many due to lack of funds to acquire them now but that is all the more reason to make plans and work towards a goal that you can accomplish. Many of the resources you may need can likely be made from scratch that can provide you with the things you need and even something to sell. It is not that hard to build a spinning wheel and floor loom to make cloth from raw cotton or wool. It just takes time and patience. The old ways are not fast or efficient by today’s standards but they allow you to produce something from the raw materials you can obtain. This is just one example of how you need to think in the days ahead.
You need to utilize the time, funds and skills you can obtain now to construct a plan to deal with the future and overcome the problems. If you need to house your family it is now common to get a loan and be in debt for 30 years. In the future it may be necessary to provide that home with what you have on hand to build it. That may entail using a few hand tools that you have and the available natural resources around you. A home made from sod, cobblestone, adobe or logs can be utilized to provide the shelter you need. It may not be pretty or what you are used to but our forefathers utilized this type of construction as a stepping stone to better things.
When the economy as we know it fails, the only thing you can do is to return to an earlier point in time that depended on a simpler more functional system and utilize the available resources. When mechanized farming fails it may be necessary to return to less mechanized methods and cheaper alternatives to grow the food and fibers we need for survival. The thought of having to go backwards to get to the future is not pretty and will likely be difficult but sometimes that is the only way to move forward.
Surviving during a collapsing economy where systems we depend on cease to function requires individual actions to reduce the hardship that will ultimately overwhelm society and cause societal breakdown on most levels. Skills to lessen the hardships are critical to stabilization and recovery. These skills are the only way to utilize available resources to provide the necessities of society. The first things individuals strive to produce are food, shelter and clothing. These are the very basic things people need to survive over time. Later, other things such as security, medicine, communication and transportation become necessary to form a more cohesive community.
The skills to grow and store food, purify water, build shelter, make clothing, produce heat and light, produce energy to power machines, produce medicines and administer healthcare, harvest and move raw materials and communicate over long distances are skills necessary today and will continue to be vital in times of economic distress.
The skills and resources to provide these things are the foundation of a functional society. The lack of these things results in chaos and anarchy that prevents the construction of sustainable systems that a functional society needs to grow. The special skills needed to utilize available resources depends on the location of the person and the natural resources available for development. Because of this, different locations may develop along somewhat different lines but the destination is the same.
The need to know or learn these skills is necessary now while the social situation is stable enough to enable persons to plan and prepare for the hardships we will ultimately face as the economy fails due to fraud and mismanagement. Those with a lack of skills and resources will be a detracting factor on society as hardships increase and constitute an ever present danger for those with the resources to survive the times. These are the things that everyone must prepare for now while the system is still intact. There are no guarantees for tomorrow.
By: Tom Chatham
The military special operations forces that are scheduled to conduct training this summer in the American southwest have many Americans up in arms. The worry is that this is training for operations against Americans in the future. That may be so but there are other possible explanations.
There are three that make the most sense.
– SOF are training for operations against patriotic Americans.
– SOF are training for operations in CONUS for a possible enemy invasion.
– SOF are training for operations against hostile groups on U.S. soil other than patriotic Americans.
There are two old sayings in the army. Train like you fight. Train what you fight. This makes it unlikely these operations are being conducted to train for overseas operations. Training to blend into U.S. cities will not help you to blend into Arab cities. To blend you must consider looks, language, clothing and local customs.
One thing to keep in mind about SOF is that these are some of the best trained forces we have. They are normally only used for high value targets or insurgent operations where they train the local fighters. That is because these men are few in number and cost a lot to train so they are not used for operations where they might get killed for dumb reasons. These men are some of the most patriotic people we have and they are not dumb. They know more than most people what is really going on in the world. Having said that, it is possible they are training to take out patriots but that is not likely. That is what DHS is training for.
The more likely options are the other two. It is possible they know the U.S. will face a threat from hostile forces on U.S. soil and are training for that contingency. If the U.S. is suddenly occupied by hostile forces who have infiltrated our borders or from sudden airborne operations, these are the forces that we would need the most to conduct guerrilla operations.
The recent revelations about gang members and potential Islamic terrorists being allowed into the U.S. by the current administration would lend credibility to the threat of infiltration. If these groups ever decided to start a war in the American SW, they would have the upper hand to some degree. Resupply across the Mexican border would make these operations sustainable. A Russian has recently stated they might supply Mexico with arms to reconquer lands taken from Mexico by the U.S. in 1848. There are also reports that Mexico has been buying a large amount of weapons from the U.S. lately. This would be retaliation for America sending arms to Ukraine. More likely they would arm the Mexican drug gangs to start trouble since they would be harder to locate and target. There have also been reports of Mexican drug gangs working with Islamic groups and receiving weapons from them.
The other scenario would involve enemy troops inserted into America being reinforced from the Mexican side of the border. If the Mexican government cannot deal with the drug gangs effectively they would not be in any position to resist a foreign power either.
The current administration may indeed be training for action against patriots since that is their anti-gun position to date. This may be their intention. The problem with that is that many in the military do not like the current administration. That makes it unlikely they could be counted on to act against Americans, at least for a large number of them. Also, I cannot see the current administration preparing to defend our country when they have left the border open.
I think the administration is going forward with the intent of going after patriots. The military may be doing the drills so as not to tip their hand as to their loyalties just yet. The military may be using the operations to prepare for the real threat. If SOF are indeed planning to go against patriots then that does not bode well for any possible guerrilla operations against the government in the future.
The Sept.15 end date suggests some connection to the predictions of economic collapse around that time period. An economic collapse would give quite a bit of cover to any invasion or hostile acts perpetrated on U.S. soil. The acts of sabotage on power sub-stations and communications in that region in the past year would suggest someone is planning to do something in the not to distant future.
There are many different factions at work in this country with many different ideas for causing disruptions in the future. Without information from deep inside these organizations it is difficult to see how things will play out in the future. One can only follow the actions on the ground and prepare for several possible scenarios that may come to pass.
At this point all we can do is watch the actions on the ground and prepare accordingly and not take anything for granted. The need for preparedness has never been so great in this country. Regardless of why the operations are happening one thing is for sure. Something very bad could happen in the future and anyone not prepared will be left helpless to the machinations of others.