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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

fair share 2


FAIR SHARE 2

An innocent soul, confused as to what all the hooting and hollering is about the end of growth, might say something silly but forgivable such as “if we all just grew permaculture eco-villages and braided our armpit hair and sung around a fire to Forest Spirits, why would we need to worry about if our resources were contracting or not?  We could just live within the solar economy as in days of yore”.  Do they have any idea why folks were able to live within their solar energy ration?  I would imagine not.  It was because enough people died every year that the new babies didn’t eat anything extra.  It was pretty much as simple as that.  So, Joe Blow Hippy, when your medicine women uses natural herbs to care for a birth event, and the baby is healthy, and all the eco-tribe are healthy old adults, and every young adult is healthy and procreating like mad little rabbits ( if you can imagine an Alice In Wonderland type rabbit in coattails and top hats he made himself because this is a self-sustaining village and so he got lead poisoning and went quite bat crap crazy ), where do your next generation pair of young adults go to start their own Hobbit House eco-farm?  The village needs to expand, doesn’t it?  If you don’t have room to expand, if there isn’t enough fertile land or neighbors hem you in, then you have to embrace the old school methods of birth control which were NOT too much fun or peaceful or very groovy, man.  Things like war and infanticide and geriatricide. 

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Growth isn’t just because bankers need it to survive ( the interest needs to be paid and to add money to the system to pay the interest you need growth ).  That is mainly what we see today and you can pretty much blame the whole coming die-off ( we are already in collapse ) with depleted aquifers and lack of soil fertility and Gulf Of Mexico dead zones and paved over farmland and gross overpopulation and illegal immigration and gang warfare and whatever else I can think of on greedy friggin bankers who need the vig paid back on their loan shark debts.  The countries tomorrow fighting over oil, all the oil and all the resources, polluting the earth with radioactivity, they are all mostly going to do so because they have to keep growth.  The Russians out of fear of being overrun by Asians, the Asians out of necessity to feed their masses and the US to keep the bankers profits up.  It isn’t something silly like a One World government.  Don’t be retarded.  You don’t centralize in an energy contraction.  You decentralize.  But everyone WILL be motivated by growth.  Growth or death!  Literally.  No one’s system shall allow otherwise.

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Monday, September 29, 2014

fair share


FAIR SHARE

We all know the script for the coming collapse, should it stick with the Resource Depletion theme.  The US stops being the only winner in the game and due to her economy and next years ( or the year after, tops, more than likely ) frack oil supply crash, plus the end of the petro-dollar ( hard to time, anywhere from in the next minute to years from now- sorry, the flakes of snow accumulating to form an avalanche are rarely accommodating in their behavior ), serious war breaks out.  No, not the favorite of those lacking imagination, the WWII repeat.  That conflict was over control of an abundant resource.  The coming one will be conflict over the scarce remaining resources.  In a resource depleted atmosphere, you can’t mobilize an economy to fight a Total War ( the last one we attempted was Vietnam and that plus our local Peak Oil killed our industrial economy.  In Russia, their local peak plus Afghanistan killed their empire ).  There will be NO repeats.  I can’t guess how the major economies fight the last Oil War, but I think a safe bet is some kind of nuclear exchange.  Add that radiation to the coming meltdown of 400 reactors after Grid Down and there is your species Bottleneck Event ( hat tip to McPherson on that worry ), potentially.  But I shan’t digress on that subject.  The point today is that the coming conflict, so far clandestine and monetary rather than a hot military outbreak, is really going to intensify.  Because nobody is fighting for “their fair share”.  They are fighting for the Whole Enchilada ( hmmm, enchiladas.  Now I’m hungry ).

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Today, we are all pretty satisfied with the status quo, and resources are roughly divided according to the winners of the game played over the last several decades.  The US keeps its quarter of global oil production.  China is allowed to be the worlds factory.  Nobody pays much mind to Japan anymore, a zombie nation both from irradiation and an economy in non-stop depression ( their situation is better than when they first became the US Asian aircraft carrier, but not for much longer ).  Everyone, even if they don’t like it, is used to their Fair Share.  They are surviving on it and their elite are thriving on it ( those of us here in America are NOT going to join the elite, the 1%, and we are already living in a Third World Country despite the freshly painted stucco look.  No need to look for a tropical country to expatriate to, New Orleans or  Florida will do ).  But when the conflict heats up over resources, suddenly the game board gets overturned and every player will be trying to steal everything for themselves.  They won’t be sharing this time, as they do now, to minimize conflict.  It is winner take all, musical chairs time.  The fighting will be for survival, not profit.  Expect the conflict to reflect that.

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Sunday, September 28, 2014

an empire if you can buy it


AN EMPIRE IF YOU CAN BUY IT

A common complaint amongst Commonwealth troops ( or, at least, amongst the governments who had sent them ) was that they were stuck in the muddy trenches in Europe while English troops were being squandered in pointless fighting or occupation in the middle east.  Indeed, how was one to defeat the Hun if you were looking for him in the wrong places?  From the point of view of folks that thought ending an entire generation for the glory of overthrowing a few monarchs and instilling democratic governments ( hint, cough, hint, Woodrow Bankers Asswhore Wilson ) was a super wonderful idea, it just seemed like one more bonehead move the Limey’s were so keen at.  Ah, but even back when the Brits had been barely doing more than dipping their big toe into the waters of the Oil Age, they knew how vital the stuff was.  Vital enough to place their treasury in jeopardy and go to war over it ( it wasn’t just an obscure archduke being assassinated but WHERE he was knocked off- a critical junction at the soon to be constructed Berlin-Bagdad railroad which would have given Germany middle eastern petroleum supplies [ at that time in the Syrian area, which also concerned the French ] ).  But their victory was for the most part Pyrrhic.  Being bankrupted from the conflict to the point they couldn’t keep their possessions, or keep them out of the United States hands, British control of oil was a fleeting thing.

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The UK for all intents and purposes controlled the middle east.  And could not hold on to it.  Just because you capture the prize does not mean you can keep it.  Which seems to be the situation the US is in today.  It would seem, at first glance and without the clear hindsight of looking back at history, our economic collapse is denuding our ability to hold militarily.  We are e-printing money like mad as country after country is oh so carefully sliding away from our currency as a trading chit in oil.  Rather than being an either/or, an on or an off, it would seem that just the slight loss of control we have already seen is enough to have tipped us over the edge of control ability.  ISIS taking back Iraq would therefore not be just an embarrassing blunder on the part of the most embarrassing President of this soon to be defunct Republic but a harbinger of more things to come.  If the center can not hold, what do you get?  This proclamation of the end of military mastery will of course be met with derisive catcalls of jingoistic fervor, as is to be expected.  And this might just be a false alarm.  But if you don’t expect Black Swan events, that bird usually takes a big crap on your head before slamming into your torso and self-destructing in a fiery fireball.  Just saying.

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Saturday, September 27, 2014

solar fridge


SOLAR FRIDGE

There was just a most excellent article on converting your chest freezer to a refrigerator:


Now, this is nothing new.  If I’m not mistaken Rawles covered this years ago when an Oz dweller came up with the idea ( I might be fuzzy on the details- please refrain from rude comments ).  But that was one of those home hacked systems in its infancy.  The above article points you to a simple plug in $50 part that does all the conversion for you- it’s plug and play!  That’s what is new and exciting.  I don’t necessarily advocate such a system, as it is a luxury rather than a necessity.  I still think you are much better off with an actual ice box.  I’ll compare the two systems, but the main thing to keep in mind is that if you are trying to get the wife to move out to the boonies this might very well be one of those necessities you must splurge on.  Kind of like spending a grand on a factory built composting system instead of the $4 bucket one.  If you have some spare lumber and a window, composting toilets are one bucket and one black plastic lined hole away.  But the “ick” factory must be considered.  If you have to spend a little more to get the missus out to the country, it still saves you big bucks in the end.

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Okay, bare minimum for the electric fridge is going to be $600.  This is usually cheaper than a propane fridge, not counting in fuel.  But say you got the propane unit for free.  In two years you’ve spent $720 in propane fuel, at current $3 a gallon cost.  Solar compares very favorably.  A new freezer is give or take-it’s been a few years since I’ve priced them-$150 ( no sense in going cheap and getting a used one, not since you’ll be spending so much on the rest of the system ).  A 250 watt mono solar panel is $350.  I’d prefer a lot more watts to make sure the power drain on the battery is never serious, but you can futz by on this.  $50 for the conversion unit and $50 in tax or another battery or whatever.  Now, compare that $600 to an ice chest.  The freezer, not needing to be functional-you are using it for an insulated box- is best used.  Free to $20 for a scraped unit.  A new dorm size fridge is $80 ( you need the compressor and parts from the back, not the box ).  $20 for the book “Sunshine To Dollars” for the instructions.  A 50 watt panel is $130 ( you are making ice at about 90 watts, which takes about two hours on a hot day ).  $230 total, close to one third the cost ( you will need salt in this process, but I count it as a negligible cost ).  Also, beware.  Neither system is long term post-apocalypse ready.  This is for off grid modern living.  The batteries needed are your weak link.

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Friday, September 26, 2014

crazy cracker blog bloviaters


CRAZY CRACKER BLOG BLOVIATERS

So, you want to write a blog so you can get away from the city and move to the backwoods and be a true blue super ninja survivalist?  Got plenty of great ideas?  Graduated from high school?  You friggin idiot!!!!  Do NOT write a blog.  Writing a blog is a chumps game.  Writing a blog expecting to make money is like a book writer expecting to be the next Stephen King.  There is one or two of each and all the rest are cannon fodder in that battle to the top.  Guess what-Rawles is on the throne.  You ain’t gonna de-throne his ass.  Can you make money?  Of course.  I make good money for only having 500 readers.  I also could only survive on that, barely, if I turned lacto-vegetarian except for the rabbits I fought the coyotes for.  I could just barely eat on my writing income.  Which was kind of my point writing all these years.  But if I wasn’t so egotistical and narcissistic, so utterly paranoid and hence in lust with the whole concept of doom and gloom ( and let’s face it, so pissed off at the world I won’t be sorry to see them go ), I wouldn’t have done this so long for so little reward.  You WILL be rewarded if you have a modicum of talent and a LOT of great ideas.  You will merely be rewarded in small amounts.  It won’t be enough to finance a retreat.

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Advertisers pay for results.  A simple concept.  Rawles delivers them tens of thousands of higher income individuals to whom $100 case of MRE’s is acceptable because God granted them wealth for their piety and rather than running and screaming toward the light to meet him, they are going to do everything they can to stay alive and spread His word.  And then smite all unbelievers.  Probably after they torture them to show them Gods love.  This is the standard successful survivalist blog financial system.  It is the equivalent of selling $200 a year financial newsletters.  If you must write, if you must disseminate an idea, write a book.  They cost zero to publish, either in print form ( print on demand ) or Kindle.  With a blog, once those great ideas run out, you got nothing.  There is pressure to always come up with more, new, better material, free.  I love writing.  I can’t stop.  Yet writing a blog does suck.  Do not fall into its Siren call as you will be pulled into quicksand.  Find another way to make money out in the boonies.  If you have to commute, remember, it is better to owe on a car and have it repoed than to owe on land and become homeless.  Own the land, commute to a job.  That model is far from perfect.  You’d better be able to bug out back to the homestead, perhaps even off-road to avoid road blocks.  But counting on a blog to get you out to a retreat?  Worse idea.  And just to write a blog for the pleasure of it? HAH!  That won’t last very long.  I still love you all, my very generous yet very diminutive community of minions.  Peace.

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

guerrillas and narcs


GUERRILLAS AND NARCS

I hope you’ve seen the movie “Michael Collins”.  It came out in the 90’s which seemed to be a time Hollywood was okay with putting out strong anti-government films such as Legends Of The Fall, Braveheart  and others.  Okay, to be fair they were anti-bad government films and Michael Collins itself was far more anti-imperial than anti-government, and a bit more nuanced than just a rebel shoot-em up.  It was actually a great guerrilla manual, as well as portraying society at war with itself and all the tangled webs of deceit and general asshatedness of folks fighting each other.  As long as you are careful not to take this as a history book, allowing for a few inaccuracies, this is a very top notch film ( it was one of the top grossing films in Ireland, which might or might not be saying something.  Look at the film “Jaws” which was very popular.  Why?  I’m not the only one who knows that in actual fact sharks are viscous demons from the lower bowels of hell who want to eat you ).  I think I watched it three or four times, and despite the subtleties you pick up on repeat viewings my favorite part was always the simple ‘burning peat on the police station to smoke out the constabulary and seize their weapons’.  Again, this might not have actually happened.  Something far less romantic like they just bought their guns on the black market.  But what an inspiring idea.

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The movie didn’t shy away from Collins declaration of death to British collaborators.  In fact, it celebrated it as good and proper and just.  That is what stinking traitors deserve, right?  But being a traitor is in the pages of the victors history book, isn’t it?  If Ireland was never given its independence ( I know, I know.  The SOUTHERN part was given its independence ), Collins et al would have just been stinking terrorists.  Those folks that collaborated with the Viet Cong were shown no mercy by us in Vietnam ( because we are writing our own history book, even if we didn’t win ), despite given little choice and in the final tally were defending against invaders.  Many collaborators were just after their pieces of silver ( the current vote for independence in Scotland was overwhelmingly defeated by Seniors, protecting their pensions ), true enough.  A death sentence was a bit harsh for those just protecting their financial interests ( which is why you do NOT incite or participate in a rebellion against our current overlords.  Every other citizen is bribed by them and will turn you in pronto.  Let them sink on their own- I guarantee it will happen ).  But that is what happens in a war-collateral damage.  You are probably targeted as such, living in the city.  When the government cuts out the electric, or the rebels do, you freeze to death in the winter-unable to escape through the cordon.  Need a little inspiration for conducting guerrilla war, or a lesson in real politics?  Watch the film.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

movie the day


MOVIE THE DAY

Yes, another friggin movie review.  So what?  How many post-apocalypse movies do you think are out there?  This doesn’t happen very often.  The last one on the basement fallout shelter, and now “The Day”.  Like all good post-apocalypse movies ( the last successful one, The Postman, was near twenty years ago ), this one disguises itself as horror so that it isn’t rejected out of hand by the studios or customers.  Unlike the 70’s, when collapse movies went hand in hand with an actual economic collapse, today it seems that only happy, happy joy, joy movies are made.  Nothing to see here, folks, move along.  No collapse on the House Negroes watch.  The level of denial is astounding.  Let me just start out by saying that this one is WAY better than the last.  The last one left lingering philosophical questions, which was great, but the movie itself was on the lame-ass side.  Terrible script.  It passed, but barely.  This one, made in 2011 and staring unknowns to me, doesn’t reach for the stars trying to question everything, but the story was much better and this is the movie that The Road should have been ( although, how much can you do from a book that is 99% naval gazing and 1% post-apocalypse? ).  You want seriously dark and insanely brooding?  The Day is it.  Forget The Road and its gay male genitalia flashes and its god awfully irritating worry about the future shtick.

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In The Day, the characters do keep a hold of hope.  Barely.  That is all the bands leaders thing.  Once he is gone ( spoiler alert-almost everyone dies ) the hope isn’t all that and the bag of chips it used to be.  Now, the one thing I found that was confusing and ill defined was how long ago the collapse had occurred.  I swear I heard both two and ten years.  Perhaps the ten years was when things started going down hill and the two years ago was when the actual die-off started.  Whatever.  You want a movie that isn’t actually a caricature?  One whose characters feel real and not forced?  This is the one.  The female lead that forges through the pain and becomes stronger makes Linda Hamilton look like a cardboard cut-out, and I don’t say that lightly with The Terminator ( #1 ) being one of the best post-apocalypse movies ever and with Linda being my number one female warrior lusts ever ( even better than the Latino machinegunner in Aliens- for one, she didn’t show boob ).  And, should all of the above prove nary enough for you, this is also a great portrayal of the possible ways you can bring a knife to a gunfight and still win.  Plus, cool bayonet use at the end as the ammunition is all gone!  I got my DVD copy for about $5 after shipping at Amazon and if you can afford a copy I would highly recommend this movie.  I’d put it in the top half dozen post-apoc movies.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

vesuvius survivalists


VESUVIUS SURVIVALISTS
Note: Many thanks for the very generous and useful gift from RB.  A case of #10 cans of storage food.  My nipples were atingle ).
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Vesuvius, as you should all know by now because they just came out with a movie about it which is how most of us get educated about history, blew in AD 79 and decimated Pompeii.  The volcano had one hundred thousand times the thermal energy of Hiroshima ( I’m not sure what thermal energy is, but it sounds cool in comparison to man’s puny attempts ).  Always some of the smartest naked apes around, Italians learn just as well from history as Americans and have flocked to the area to live, procreate and eat lots of nasty food like tomatoes and squid.  Three million people currently live in the shadow of Vesuvius.  But I shan’t get distracted by the poor life choices of fuzzy foreigners.  Except the tomato part.  No excuse for that.  Americans are far worse, accepting absolutely zero lessons from ages past which don’t include growth as the only paradigm ( 1600 on it was growth by genocide and then growth by empire and oil ).  We all laugh and chuckle at the pasta eaters for getting their asses kicked in Africa in WWII and then we can’t defeat a bunch of Skinnies chewing their cuds, a few ragheads following us into Iraq or even a bunch of greasy Latino drug dealers for that matter.  It still amazes me how scared of the Federal Police most Patriots are, clutching their semi-auto carbines in fear and loathing.  Look at their track record.  Unless they zero in on you and gang up on you hundreds to one, they are largely a Keystone Cop routine gone horribly wrong.

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I was going somewhere with this.  Vesuvius Survivalists are those poor fools whose plan is basically to wait for the volcano to erupt before they go screaming and running away.  They think that because they have a cool armored escape vehicle they will be fine.  You are still a friggin refugee, and the more expensive your escape conveyance the less likely you are to escape unscathed.  Why?  Because you are deluded.  You cling to the talisman of Yuppie Scum peacock feathers as if they were a practical tool rather than just the status symbol they actually are.  I’m not saying that every last survivalist out there planning on bugging out is an idiot.  For some, you just aren’t ready yet to move from the large metro areas.  I stayed several years too long myself, reluctant to move from family.  Now, I see them every six months rather than once a month.  Even long ago when we were only three miles apart and there were grandchildren to visit, many months only saw two or three visits.  Unless you live right next door, different work schedules always seem to keep family apart.  Are you sure they are a good enough excuse to stay in a danger zone?   All I’m saying here is that if you strip away the excuses, you might see how ridiculous it is to be waiting for the volcano to blow.

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Monday, September 22, 2014

big picture grain


BIG PICTURE GRAIN

California just keeps on with its problems in agriculture, from population increase to suburbanizing ag land to watering golf courses from shrinking snow pack to losing market share after NAFTA to Mexico to over pumping ( they are getting into the “never replaceable in our lifetimes“ depths ).  Problems continue apace with the countries main aquifer, from totally drying up in the south to diverting and polluting it in the north with oil and gas fracking.  Yet, even amongst supposed educated survivalists, the eighty year old myth of US agricultural dominance and abundance still reign.  Least you forget your history, mechanization, petroleum inputs and an abnormal weather pattern of global mild ( read, less severe ) climate was what made up The Green Revolution.  Genetically modified organisms are not part of that story but rather one of corporate greed and desperation.  We are now looking at the end of our mild weather ( which has gone on long enough to qualify as a trend ), petroleum supply decline and mechanization being a trap of diminishing returns rather than a force multiplier.  Here are a few sobering statistics for you.  1986 saw the phase out of the US land set aside ( you were paid to NOT farm ).  In 2001 the world carry over of grain stocks was 107 days.  By 2007 it had dropped to 74 days ( I don’t have the stats for later years, and I’m sure they are so scary I don’t want to know ).  By those two fun filled facts, we can conclude that we have lost both surplus land and surplus stocks of grain.

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But, as the commercials say, WAIT!  There is more.  Population growth is almost a quarter million people a day.  With its income growth, China now eats more meat than the US.  And, as I never tire of repeating, the ethanol program.  Population growth is pretty self-explanatory.  All those little bastards being born every stinking day means every day there is more and more pressure on the food available.  Most of that growth is in urban population.  They don’t grow a lot of food.  Even if China’s economy took a nose dive, the whole world is in an economic contraction.  Everyone else would dive alongside it.  In relative terms, China will grow as long as its energy supply grows.  That can be from African exploration, Russian purchases, South China Sea control, more coal use, whatever.  Income growth from energy growth ( the US is in an energy decline, albeit slowly.  Fracking is replacing imports, not increasing supply ) means increasingly better diets for them, less so for us.  Ethanol, sweet ethanol.  Who else would use ONE FRIGGIN THIRD- let me repeat that for you- One.  Friggin.  Third!- of their total grain supply and call it a great idea?  Our total grain supply.  One third.  Already the irrigation and soil infertility and rising cost of a shrinking supply of petroleum inputs problem isn’t enough?  You need to take a third of our grain to supply a mere 10% of gasoline?  Food is security, yet our fearless leaders only concern themselves with keeping the SUV’s running.  Pure genius.  If you aren’t scared by the long term trend, if you aren’t stockpiling the crap out of grain, I weep for you.

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Sunday, September 21, 2014

let there be industrial revolutions


LET THERE BE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTIONS

Some people, such as myself, hate mathematics with a purple passion and have a hundred and one arguments why they never have any use for the crap if they ain’t an engineer ( I theorize your brain has to be wired a certain why to either visualize or appreciate higher math ).  Others, having been subjected to dull witted and dull spoken asswhore public school teachers, had history massacred for them and now hate the subject with a purple passion.  I can understand that, and I also think your mind has to be wired a certain way to appreciate dissecting and connecting and enjoying the nuances of social studies.  To me, it is a joy to always find another piece of the puzzle trying to see the rhythms of mankind and society.  To you that could care less, I do apologize.  Although I would think that settling in to become an elite lifetime subscriber Bison Loyal Minion, one would pretty much figure out the kind of stuff I love yakking on about ( for those wondering what all this has to do with survivalism, you can’t fathom the possible future without knowing the past ).  I’m starting to read Ronald Wright’s “What Is America” last night and the thing is proving to be simply fascinating AND well written which is always like waking up Christmas morning at 14 years old and discovering Santa left an anatomically correct sex doll. 

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The Industrial Revolution, in short, was realized by Incan gold.  This is nothing new, Karl Marx said as such ( not that I had ever heard it, such was my successful early anti-communist indoctrination in the military-“kill a commie for mommy” ).  But besides that, New World food crops made it possible.  The New World made the New World Order, as the author blithely puts it ( using the Order as in the Industrial Age, not the new One World Government ).  Here’s the deal.  Spain introduced smallpox into the New World.  Upwards to 95% of the populations of vast agricultural empires ( in North, as well as South America ) were wiped out by this epidemic.  The way cleared for Whitey ( it is postulated that the English North American east coast settlements were only possible as the new arrivals found abandoned corn storage from dead villages, then moved to surviving ones to steal more.  In an effort to stop the rapine the settlers were taught to grow their own ), conquest was pretty easy ( superior metal was negligible- imagine a lone high tech tank surrounded in a field by a legion of peasants each holding a rock.  They will eventually win with minimal loses to themselves as they clog up the treads and fill in the barrel, etc., then stone the starving inhabitants upon leaving the confines of their fortress ). 

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Gold flooded into Spain, and they decided that in the name of God they were going to kick the scrawny ass of every non-believer/not enough of a believer country around them.  Hey, God gave them all this gold, right?  They were NOT going to waste such a gift.  This continual war brought the continent into an arms race and the northern countries advanced their armaments industry. To the point that advances in metal working and better tolerances paved the way for the eventual machines needed to build other machines for industry.  Yet, that alone wouldn’t have been enough.  To get to the point that machines could feed factory workers, you needed a food surplus to prime that water pump.  The New World both supplied sugar, a very affordable calorie source from the Caribbean that fueled factory workers with the extra calories needed ( and you thought Americans with soda were the original “sugar diet” practitioners ), and supplied new crops that fed more people from the same land ( that would be corn and potatoes ).  Tobacco paid for settlements later on, but food surplus was what met with the first machines ( cannon, muskets ) to allow coal to even have a purpose besides dirty fuel for homes.  Think that set of circumstances can be duplicated after the collapse, even if there was another fuel supply?

END
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Saturday, September 20, 2014

guest article


 

Guest Article Part 3

 

Adjust the Bison Plan in the 2nd guest article to fit your needs but hit these points.

 

Junk Land – your FIRST purchase.

What is “junk land”? This is land that few people want. It is usually outside city limits (good for us, less laws) It usually has few or no utilities ( good for us, we won’t be relying on them come the collapse) It may have limited access (mixed bag, road access helps you get to it, but may help raiders, tax men,  and bureaucrats  find it too). It is often smaller (or bigger!) than other more valuable lots in the area, making it less usable.  My lot is too small (at 20+ acres!) for any of the farmers or ranchers in the area to have any interest in, and too far from town at about 10 miles to interest most others, it was a state land auction sale and no one else even tried to bid.

 

Junk land should be your first significant purchase. IF you can’t find any land in your price range in the area you are now? Expand your search area.  Plan to move to where you can buy outright cash on the barrel head or with simple, low payment, short-term owner financing.  Don’t even try to bother getting a bank loan on it even with stellar credit. If no place within biking distance of employment is available in your price range in your state, you probably have to change states or give up the bike element of the plan (bad idea but can be worked around if you are VERY careful). MD Creekmore, James Dakin, and others in the survival blog sphere all recommend this as the primary element of your long term survival plan.

 

If somehow you are in worse financial shape than Jim, you can do the tent or vehicle camping while squatting on public land or changing parking lots every few days. Yes this is basically being homeless. But while working even part time collecting cans you should be able to eventually find yourself a legal place to park your shelter. Better yet, if you can save enough to get the junk land you can build your own earth sheltered shack like Jim (the BPOD) to supplement or replace your other shelter. This should absolutely be your first goal while hitting up the soup kitchen for your meals.

 

If you are in better shape financially than Jim don’t spend a lot of it on land, keep your property purchase small/ near junk in value. Taxes will eat you alive when you lose your job if the land isn’t ‘junk’ enough.  Instead use your money to secretly improve the utility of the land, and get your other preps in order, or get multiple lots of junk- you can always sell or abandon to the state ones you don’t want/can’t use. 

 

Avoid any place with a lot of zoning rules or an HOA or nosy neighbors that will interfere in your use of the land. They mean you are too close to town or in too populated of an area.

 

If you get a windfall or can otherwise arrange it, see about legally ‘homesteading’ or otherwise protecting your land for the future, maybe with a living or revocable trust? That calls for a lawyer but if you have the money knowing a lawyer is good practices anyway.  Just making certain that your descendants won’t lose it by accident or easily sell it for 3 magic beans, give you a legacy that will survive you, and the descendants may acclaim or curse your name for it, but they won’t forget you.

 

Shelter – What to get next.

                Unless you are willing and able to build your shelter out of local materials on your junk land in less than a month you will need to find some sort of affordable shelter right away. Or if you can’t find the junk land at this time for some reason,  you will still need shelter, and a travel trailer or RV fits this bill pretty well. It also allows for some element of mobility should your junk land become completely untenable. You can park it in a parking lot at Wally mart, or a theme park, or at a rest stop, or a campground or any other vacant land you can find. Heck you can use it to take vacations in if you have that sort of luxury! Almost no one thinks twice about your buying a travel trailer – they certainly don’t think it makes you a survivalist unless you make it obvious with armor and gun ports.

 

Since I am still on the hunt for one myself I won’t get into travel trailers further other than to say to check thoroughly for leaks  and other suitability (if your allergic to mold, or formaldehyde, or….).

 

But travel trailers have some major draw backs. For my situation, -40 degree winters for months at a time is one of them.  So you will also likely find the need for other shelter beyond your trailer. An earth sheltered structure of some sort is usually ideal; it can be a hole in the ground with a roof, or a deluxe 4000 sq. ft.  concrete bunker bermed with 6 feet of dirt on all sides. Your available resources will mandate what you can get. I highly recommend doing as much of the work yourself as you can and use as much local materials as you can. Avoid zoning, keep it small and simple especially if you have to deal with a building inspector, and don’t initially call it a residence. Call it a ‘root cellar’ or ‘storm cellar’ or garage, or tool shed, or whatever you can to avoid the bureaucrats attention. You can always add on later if you plan for it initially. More than likely the first draft building you make won’t be completely to your liking and you will have to rebuild it or build another elsewhere on your junk land so plan for that too.

80 year olds, and pioneers with no experience, both built their own structures - you can too. 

Plan, plan, plan, and take advantage of the current surplus of our industrial age, plastic, glass, metal, and most of all insulation are the things you should be bringing to your land to build with. Lumber, siding, stone, and concrete should all be minimized (expensive, hard to haul, attention getting).  Junk yard and salvage finds are your friends, as are auctions and social networking. Lots of people throw out things even now at the start of the collapse, that you can make lots of use of.

I personally like the idea of bermed earth bag buildings and passive annual heat storage, but your plans need to be yours and need to take local conditions and resources into account...

Your shelter needs to be water proof. Ventilated, freely draining (no water proofing can survive water pooling against it all the time) and easily heated (small is good here). I also recommend making it fire resistant, above the likely flood level, easy to clean, easy to maintain, and disability friendly- you will get old and infirm eventually.

Something you can enclose quickly is a good idea. Once enclosed you can work on finishing the interior, making it pretty for the mate, etc.

And since you own the junk land, if you decide the structure isn’t to your liking for some reason, use it for a while as you build what is more to your liking. Then utilize it as storage or for a relative or tenant!

 

Water/Food – to be building up slowly

Don’t go spending thousands of dollars on freeze dried foods. At least not until you are done with the junk land and shelter! Instead pick up a couple hundred pounds of untreated whole kernel wheat at the local feed store, and some pounds of rice and beans from the grocery store every shopping trip. Also double up on any good priced shelf stable goods you are already consuming. If there is a sale on something you usually buy that can last a couple months on the shelf, pick up 2-4 times as much as you usually would.  This will quickly build up a cushion of food. Slowly introduce you family to the wheat rice and beans as a diet staple a including it in a few meals a week at least.

Spend the money for a couple of slow drip water filter elements Berkey, Katdyne, etc. These use no power , should be cleanable, and good for thousands of gallons of drinking water. You will probably also want to use the 5 gallon water jugs used on water coolers for drinking water storage. 1 gallon per person per is the recommendation so a single person needs 30 gallons for a month. I found this is incorrect. It is easily double that just to drink and cook with. If it is hot out and there is no available lower quality water you can triple or quadruple it! That is a lot of water storage. BUT you don’t have to have it all in special containers. Know how to turn off the water to your house, hot water tank, and other such things and you suddenly have more water for emergencies (and obviously you need to know how to get to the water.) If you are living on junk land, you will want a cistern. As big as you can afford to make. Read up on it, there is lots of info on cisterns. Do not rely on just a well with a pump – drought and power outages could leave you dry.  Have rainfall collection supplies, even if, like in much of the west, it is illegal to harvest it now- as the collapse accelerates it are unlikely anyone will care eventually.

Rain fall collection supplies are easy- a couple of screens, some barrels, and a modification to your rain gutters will work. Or rain collections can even just be a tarp draining into a kiddy pool until you can afford or make better.

Once your Junk Land is bought and Shelter is built. You should begin caching extra water and food supplies. Cache, cache, cache.

The tax man, raiders, nosy neighbors, nosier relatives, etc. They WILL find you on hand and most convenient preps. They will use, abuse, seize, and steal them. Fire Flood and pests will destroy them.  You will be left with nothing but hopefully the clothes on your back. A cache or dozen of your most essential supplies will allow you to withstand these sort of setbacks.  And of course all those setbacks can instead be visited on one or more of your caches instead, or, as well as your prime storage! So more than one cache is recommended.

Some future continuous source of food is recommended and needs to be planned for. Expect the hunting to be extremely picked over as the collapse accelerates, same with the fishing, and for gardens and livestock to be targets of theft. Trapping and guerilla gardens may be an option for your enviorment, look into them and plan for them in advance. Eventually the hunting and fishing will return and gardens and live stock will be less targeted. Plan for that as well.

 

 

Security

Lord Bison goes on at length about the advantages of a bolt action rifle.

I will not go over that much here other than to state that I mostly agree with many of his reasons. And AMMO, AMMO, AMMO, AMMO, AMMO- you can’t have enough.

But security is NOT just a matter of guns.  You need to also defensively landscape, setup alarms, watches, traps, etc. Also make yourself look poor. Really poor.  Like 3rd world landfill squatters would pity you poor.  And if events around you have negatively affected others (raiders, plagues, etc.) make it look like you too have been effected (burn marks above any windows, trash strewn about, quarantine signs, etc.

Don’t be a target, and be the hardest poorest target you can be.

I recommend a side arm be worn at all times, concealed or not. In your hovel, or working in the garden. Also a knife, the biggest you can that doesn’t violate law or get in the way too much. 

And don’t neglect the ‘archaic’ weapons. Swords, staffs, canes, bows, slings, axes, hammers. The government might come for a few of them as well as the guns and ammo, but so many of them are ‘tools’ or can be easily improvised and or disguised. Know the basics of how to use them all, practice a little every once in a while, you don’t need to be a ‘master’, just competent with the basics will put you well ahead of most muggers, etc. and able to cost an attacker more than they intended to pay for their assault. Remember your rock paper scissors game as a kid? It applies to weapons for defense too.

For example a knife beats a fist, a cane beats a knife, a staff beats a cane, a hammer beats a staff, an axe beats a hammer, a sword beats an axe- from a range a thrown stone beats them all, a sling beats a hand thrown stone, a bow or cross bow beats a sling. And a gun beats them all close or range- if, and only if, it has AMMO!

But what wins against even a gun is running away and hiding before the fight! Keep your shoes in good repair and leave if the situation seems a little risky. Only fight when your back is against a wall and no other options are there. Remember – “violence is the last resort of the incompetent”. (If you think about it that quote can mean many different things…)

 

Bike and Transportation

I personally find it hard in my situation to completely give up motor transportation. Small town rural living and building on my junk land need at least something to haul stuff from a hundred miles away. But when I am not hauling from a hundred miles away I am using a bike. So is the rest of the family.  It is a weaning process for us.  We have just started biking to the homestead (junk land); it is far enough out of town we only do so for the ‘adventure’ of it for now.  But I am going to be in good enough shape next year (unless I back slide over the winter) to start doing it weekly.

Bikes should be kept simple – few to no gears. Flat free tires, big enough for you to ride comfortably.

And they need to be tuned up every so often. Chains tightened and lubed. Tires inflated. Brakes checked. Etc. Much of this is do it yourself. There is no need to pay a mechanic for most things.

Then you need to ride the bike. Daily. Bikes are still cheap enough you will find things you do and don’t need and will be able to afford to get now as the collapse is just starting. Get them as you discover them. Expect to need to replace your bike a time or two as you wear it out, and discover exactly what your environment calls for.

The good news is you can put down using it to “getting in shape” which is half true after all. You are getting in shape. Shape for surviving the PODA both physiologically and financially.

 

I personally found fenders (aka splash guards) a use full addition. A Trike with a basket behind the seat keeps the spouse happy to go grocery shopping via bike. Cool bling keeps the kids happy to be riding.

Places to carry cargo that are removable are nice. As is a bike trailer.

 

But you MUST use the bike daily ASAP. You can phase into it. A couple days a week to start with. Then go weeks then months with all your routine trips done mostly by bike. Then reduce your car bills (tell the insurance company it is just for driving on special occasions less that 1200 miles a year and get a big cut) - and eventually eliminate the car.

Or just sell it immediately if you are afraid you don’t have the necessary self – discipline.

 

Also don’t neglect your footwear.  Business loafers and most sneakers are purely for appearances sake. Get work boots, hiking boots, snow boots, and heavy duty work shoes that fit well and are made with quality from a company with a good reputation.  Two sets of boots if new should set you back at least as much as the bike. If you luck into some used ones, that is great, then you have less pressure on buying the new ones. But you must have the new boots. You can expect post collapse, even with repairs, to be going through a pair of cheap foot ware every 6 months or less. For quality you can extend that to at least 3-4 years with minimal repairs.  Don’t forget the footwear repair parts and tools. Once you find a brand of boots you like after wearing for a year or two buy some new ones, and polish and treat the old pair before putting them back as spares, get a new pair every year or so when you can afford them and you will soon have a stockpile of footwear to last your life.  Don’t forget also woolen socks, nylon inner socks, and laces.  Stock up now, they will never be cheaper.

 

Actually that last line applies to many, many, things.

The cheapest time to buy groceries was? Answer: yesterday (actually last century about 1960 –ish.)

The best time to get _____ was? Answer: Well before you needed it.

 

Medical

I am not a medical doctor. This is for educational and entertainment purposes only. That said-

Everyone has already told you to buy first aid supplies, bandages, painkillers, anti-biotics, etc.

You should also have been growing medicinal herbs and collecting some, and learning first aid, firefighting, and general emergency response.

Keeping in shape and having a healthy diet is probably the cheapest thing you can do to prevent medical issues. Don’t forget to wash frequently and brush those teeth!

Now while there is still a decent infrastructure is the time to get any bad teeth pulled or filled, and any other medical things dealt with that you can.

Don’t wait to have that odd growth checked out- if it is cancer this year it can probably be treated. If it is cancer 2 years from now it could be fatal. The same goes for any slight medical issue. Address it now while you can.

If your doctor wants you on prescription medicines find out if you can supplement or reduce the dependence on them with holistic or herbal remedies or lifestyle changes.

I had a good friend who died young because he would always refuse the lifestyle changes his diabetes needed him to make. He obviously was not a survivor. Learn his lesson. Make the lifestyle changes you need now.

A diet of daily leafy greens and vegetables. Low fat high protein in your main meals. NO processed junk. Simple whole grains and beans for your basic calories and bulk of your diet when leafy greens and veggies aren’t available. Don’t go hungry but don’t eat more than just enough to satisfy your apitite.

When you can do it by hand, do so. When you can’t, do as much of it by hand as you can.

Try not to eat more than you expend in calories- until post collapse, then staying ahead of calories expended might be harder, but that’s why you prep, right?

Don’t focus on weight – focus on the ability to DO- to lift, carry, bend, stretch, walk, bike, row, run, etc.

Lord bison tosses around weights all day as part of his job. If you are a cubicle drone (like me) find other things to do on the side that helps make up that lack. Building your shelter and other improvements on your junk land would help fill that bill.

 

Your Homework-

Your homework is simple, take the headings we hit on over and over again above. Write in how you plan to survive in that category when you get laid off in the near future. Imagine it happens in a way that means you will probably never again find good paying full time work.  Now, use your plan and survive, and leave your children more than they would have had otherwise.