Assume the Crash Position

As it might have been obvious, yesterday, I had some trouble getting myself organized enough to write. I have a novel and a novella grossly overdue (technically two novels) and I finally can see the end of Through Fire (you really are going to have your minds blown. Mine is still in shards. I figured out I was tyring to impose the wrong end on this and the real end is… well! ) As for the novella, I know how every line goes. It’s just…

I made the mistake of reading the news yesterday. There was this link from insty. And then I got the article from L. Neil Smith who is usually more upbeat than I am… This one wasn’t it. His thoughts echoed some of my back of the brain ferment, some of which I don’t even want to put here because it – still – sounds crazy. At the same time, I got an email from Commentary liking to this article.

Where to begin?

Normally I am relentlessly positive, to the point of quarreling with another member of the evil league of evil about the best days for the US being ahead of us.

Mind you, most of the reason I’m relentlessly positive is that by nature I’m extremely depressive, and nothing can be served by my becoming so depressed I can’t work. The second part of this is that I’ve found that the worst doesn’t normally happen. To expect the worst to happen in catastrophic situations is just as unreasonable as to expect the best to happen. Neither are realistic outcomes.

For instance, even if we seem to be heading towards a cooling period (we’ve had maybe three hot days so far this year) I don’t expect us to revert to the age of cavemen and hunt mammoths. It’s a very inconvenient mode of the human brain that we tend to think in stories. So when we talk about a crash people expect the middle ages. In fact, that is in the article at PJM.

The middle ages are grossly unlikely. Grossly, bizarrely unlikely. Technology doesn’t go backwards when the economy and society collapse. It just becomes… dingy.

My experience in Portugal through the hard times is that electricity became… unreliable. Food on shelves became iffy (so you stockpiled when you could) and there were a hundred others daily inconveniences. I understand if it had advanced all the way to a communist state it would have got even worse, but never, mind you, like the middle ages. Here’s the thing, even in the soviet union, life was dingy, dangerous and icky, but it was still life in an industrial state.

So some of these fears make me want to laugh. I wish all of them did.

I’ve been, in recent days, understanding the wisdom of Robert A. Heinlein who, during World War II refused to read the news daily. The news make me – to put things bluntly – want to slit my throat to stop the pain.

It is an extended version of the rage-filled days after 9-11-12 where I couldn’t believe any administration of ours had left our people to die in foreign lands, nor that NO ONE was going to denounce it.

We’ve traveled a long road since then, and even then these last few weeks have left me stupefied.

I cannot believe what we’re doing in foreign policy, essentially abdicating the burden of the Pax Americana. I can’t believe what we’re doing in the States themselves. If you haven’t heard, our “growth” has been revised to minus 1.7 for the first quarter. Yes, you read that correctly, the growth is almost two negative points, and this is with pulling every dodge in the book to avoid telling the truth. And our imperial ruler is trying to outlaw coal, which means those of us in the snow states are supposed to freeze in the dark. The story my indie sales tell makes me wonder what traditional publishing is doing. I mean, at Dave’s release, how many of you told me you didn’t have the money to buy? And I know how money is here too.

And there’s the fact that a talk with a neighbor confirmed my guess that the entire neighborhood hit the wall at the same time. We are preparing to move and to put this place up for sale, and given my preference for urban neighborhoods, and our willingness to take on another financial burden till this sells (we can’t sell the house with the cats in this, so we’ll have to rent) I suddenly wonder what I really SHOULD be doing. Will the city be safer when the SHTF? Will the country? Any part of the country we could get to? It is an American belief the middle of nowhere is safe, but in other collapses in modern days, it hasn’t been.

There’s also the fact that a trip to Portugal WILL have to be fitted into the summer, somehow, because mom isn’t telling me what’s wrong, but is so insistent on my visiting I know something is. And that for whatever reason, when I travel, all h*ll breaks lose.

So – what does all this add to ? The websites are abuzz again, with the old question “dunce or traitor?” I fail to see why it’s one or the other. I very much think it’s both. It’s traitor because he was raised to be a traitor. I don’t know how to link L. Neil Smith’s article, so I’ll just say that he pointed out that someone who was raised as a communist, is in fact a communist. Why would he be anything else? It would require a Road of Damascus experience, and I don’t remember his telling us of one. And trust me, he would have.

So, there’s the traitor part. But in it there’s the dunce part too.

Look, I’m not going to consider whether or not communists can be very smart. Maybe they can. I’ve never met any, though.

Oh, raw IQ, sure. But people don’t move and choose through raw IQ. My brother is brilliant. He’s also a deeply conventional man. This mean his thoughts move only in the “approved thoughts for brilliant people” mode of the last century – that is, leftist. We have a childhood friend who is an European communist leader (I suppose not openly, but who knows?) Is he stupid? Not raw IQ. But communism requires him to believe certain things. Such as “the right people” will naturally seize power after a collapse.

That’s what we’re dealing with here. Given Obama’s performance off script, I don’t think his dunceness is that smart. Look, as with his being a red diaper baby, it doesn’t even take much guessing. The evidence is RIGHT before our eyes. If he were smart, it would have been shouted from the rooftops. IQ? Grades? Achievement of some sort?

Come on, the biggest thing they have to tout is the fact that he was editor of the Harvard Law review, even if he published nothing. That means IQ, grades and achievement are all of a nullity or very close. Which – yes, I’m going to be crude here – in an age of political correctness when Harvard would want to give him a “win” (i.e. good grades/honors) just because of his color and his exotic religious background, means he must be something special in the way of dumb.

That is important, to an extent, because it means to the extent he’s in control, we’ll get dunce-moves.

But he’s not fully in control. From the disabled credit card checks, to the carefully scripted campaign that he clearly had bugger all to do with, it’s been clear all along someone else is driving this train. And that person might or might not be a dunce, but they are, definitely a true believer.

The problem posed by “dunce or traitor” is that the answer is both. He is a traitor, but to the extent that it’s not working, it’s because he’s also a dunce. And whether he’s a dunce in IQ or an ideology-impaired-dunce the result is the same.

For instance, have you guys figured out yet that OWS’s was supposed to be an attempt at a “proletarian revolution”? No? If you look at it, it becomes clear. Raised on stories of proletarian revolution, they thought if they squeezed us just enough, and then provided a spark – OWS screaming about the 1% — the country would spontaneously rise up in a communist revolution.

This was obvious to me, because I KNOW communist myth.

Then there was gun control, which has failed, even despite Fast and Furious. And Fast and Furious is something that only crazy, delusional and dumb people would dream up.

But there are things he can still do – crash the economy (the continuous money printing can’t go on) disarm (while China arms) and effectively switch sides in the war on terror.

These might be enough. I can see a very difficult winter ahead. I am still/again afraid that we’ll lose at least a city, and possibly more to enemy action. And I’m very afraid both my sons will end up in uniform and possibly dying to pay for this massive mistake.

So… It’s time to assume crash position.

This is somewhat difficult because nobody knows what form the crash will take. Again, I am stuck not knowing whether to move to an urban center or the country. There are precedents that say either or both are dangerous… or safe.

Some things we do know – when we cross our new distributed media with the crash, some things become clear:

–          Cultivate multiple, distributed sources of income. Things will change very fast. Even in a collapse you need to eat. Grandma lived through a time when money wasn’t worth anything. There’s still trade. Commerce will find a way. Just keep working.

–          Arrange for unreliable power/net. Spare batteries for your laptop might seem like a ridiculous precaution against collapse, but in the end if you make a living from intellectual work, you need your laptop to work. Get three. Get four. Keep them charged.

–          Arrange for some food set aside, and food for your pets too. We call our supply shelf “food for Armageddon” but if the issues in Portugal hold true here, it’s more “food for delays”. The same with medicine. If there’s something you can’t do without, lay it by.

–          I wouldn’t live in a major East Coast city just now, but other than that, I really don’t know where best to survive what’s coming.

–          I reiterate: we’re not going back to the middle ages, or even the fifties. Yes, practical ability in something like computer/car repair might come in handy, but it’s unlikely to be the be all/save all.

–          I guarantee as rough as it will get here, it will be worse everywhere else. Americans are often not aware of the extent to which the world depends on America. And that worries me, because I remember the seventies. It’s going to get very, very rough.

–          We’re still Americans. Look, he can hurt us, but he can’t make us be anything else. Americans are, if nothing else, unpredictable. Communists, whether dreamers or practical plotters, rely on one thing: reliability. In fact they expect people to be far more reliable than they’ve ever been. I don’t think they get that. Not in America.

So, is it time to put your head between your knees and kiss your *ss goodbye? Oh, heck no. It’s time to plan. It’s time to make connections. You can’t be both urban and rural, but you can have somewhere to run to, when things get ugly. It’s time to think, plan and prepare.

But as much as this situation scares me, and as much as I pray for my friends in large coastal cities, it’s not time to give up.

We’re Americans. We don’t give up. And believe it or not, if some of the primary source stuff I’ve read on WWII is true, Obama is in fact true to his idol, FDR. And we pulled out from that one.

Sometimes, as with addicts, you need to hit bottom before you start the climb again.

And I need to stop reading daily news, and leave them, maybe, for Fridays, just before the weekly two fingers of Devil’s Cut.

Because I am an American and I’m not going to fold. I have books to write, and other stuff to take care of.

I don’t really care what our government is doing or whether it has utterly betrayed the constitution. This country was never a country of government or politicians, but a country of citizens. This citizen is going to stay on the post, and make sure our flag is still there.

You do likewise.

The future is never guaranteed, and sometimes it’s downright scary.  But our ancestors survived, and we can too.  This is no time to get wobbly.  Keep calm and work rationally to overcome this late-hit of the Soviet machine.

I trust and pray that the last best hope of mankind is not going to die more futilely than any seventies writer could have imagined.

Not on my watch.

I suspect it’s too late to avoid a crash, but not to late to make sure it’s temporary and not as deep as it could be.

Now put your shoulder to the load and lift!


544 thoughts on “Assume the Crash Position

  1. Earlier this week I was wasting my time arguing with an idiot leftist (but I repeat myself) who was, in a very unspecific way, praising Obama’s accomplishments, and he even had the balls to say that the press was against him. My gast was flabbered, as we say now. He even insisted that “Drinking the Kool Aid” was a racist expression against Obama. How he got there, I wasn’t able to ascertain, since he did what liberals do and declared victory, then blocked me (Right after I had written a comment explaining the whole Jim Jones thing and why he was an idiot, yet again, what a waste).

    1. He even insisted that “Drinking the Kool Aid” was a racist expression against Obama. How he got there, I wasn’t able to ascertain, since he did what liberals do and declared victory, then blocked me (Right after I had written a comment explaining the whole Jim Jones thing and why he was an idiot, yet again, what a waste).

      I actually do. There is a racial stereotype that black drink Kool Aid. Now, almost everyone I ever knew drank Kool Aid at one point in time or another, but the stereotype persists. However, it’s not really a negative stereotype necessarily. It’s kind of like the “fried chicken and watermelon” thing.

      What’s particularly telling is that they saw it in such a light. Most people who have heard the phrase assume its a reference to Jim Jones. Him going in that direction (even though the phrase predates the Obama Administration) tells me more about this guy than it does with you. After all, he’s the one who saw “Kool Aid” and thought “black guy”.

      1. Yeah, he was full of racism. I even teed one up for him and he walked right up and smacked it, calling conservative blacks sell-outs.

          1. Of course, the idea that “minorities” must be doctrinaire Leftists, while white men can think what they will, is close to naked racism. White men get a right denied to non-whites and women.

            1. Yeah, but that is TOTALLY different.

              You see, it’s not that they can’t. It’s just that if they do, then clearly they’ve completely lost touch with what makes them “special” (You know, skin tone or genitalia), and must be reminded badgered into submission.

              But oh, they’re like, totally free to be evil if they really, really wanna be.

        1. On another site, there was this guy (black) who was mentally stuck in the 1970’s. [Frown]

        2. You know I’ve been keeping my political photos off Deviant(9/11 mosque, stuff, my buddy Art giving a speech at a tea party, Occupy) because I didn’t think it was appropriate. I think I just changed my mind.

      2. Oh, so I guess by that brilliant nonlogic of that idiot, I’m black because I drank Kool-Aid as a kid.

        Y’know, to us folks elsewhere, Kool-Aid was a drink the kids enjoyed. (Tang was more popular in the Philippines. Powdered juice drinks are not common here where I live though… *sigh!* So I ration my pink lemonade as a Special Treat.)

        1. I was born and raised in the Deep South. My home town is 70 percent black right now. That number has continued in increase since the mid 80’s at least.

          There are many, many things I’ve seen in the black community. The ironic thing with this tool? Blacks are no more or less likely to drink Kool Aid than anyone else.

          That just makes Dr. Mauser’s target look even dumber.

              1. Oh, and guess what, the world’s weakest troll must be reading this blog still, because he zeroed in on that link and threw in a comment at the end of the thread. I guess I’m on his list now. Well, he’s on mine too….

                1. Oh, he’s following plenty of blogs, even if he’s not allowed to comment.

                  I’m perpetually amused at any loser who feels the need to read every word written by writers he dislikes so long as those words are free. I mean, the writers I dislike? I just don’t read them and move on.

                  Of course, I think he’s secretly in love with all these writers work and can’t admit it to himself. 🙂

                    1. Yeah, I’ve read it. Had to go to the emergency room afterward. That much laughing is painful.

                      I also remember one of his favorite lines being something about nanocameras floating in the air like fish semen. Really? Fish semen?

                      He made the comment that he wished he could write that well…and frankly, I wish he could too. As bad as the fish semen line is, it’s still better than anything he could come up with.

                    2. Wait, he didn’t write that?* Who the hell did? And he thinks he is the arbiter of whose writing is crap or not?

                      *Granted, if he’d written it, he would have included a thesaurus of garishly conflicting colors to describe it, and left out any active verbs.

                    3. I’d have to look. He said who wrote it in a post over at Brad Torgersen’s blog during the height of the Hugo stuff. I’ll have to see if I can find it.

                    4. I’d seen that. Tom Kratman hurt himself laughing over the description of his ‘hero’ being utterly mezmerized by the sun glittering on icicles. In the middle of the night.

                      Oh oh, if you want an epic takedown of his thesaurus vomit (or two) send me an email and I’ll send you a couple of links.

                    5. I know.

                      The funny thing is, you don’t have to actively do anything to piss him off. He gets very unhappy if any of my pictures on Deviantart get faved, or commented on positively.

                      Just converse as normal. Sell a few copies of your works. Someone buying or liking your art or work or blogposts. Have fun, a life, dreams, friends.


                      That’s enough to ruin his day.

                    6. If existing is enough, then success must be far, far too much for him to handle.

                      In that case, we must all strive to make you a household name. The head explosion would be a thing of beauty.

                    7. Thank you for the kind compliment. It falls to me then to ensure my work is worthy of being a household name, and my stories entertainment that is sought! I’d not be satisfied with less.

                      This quote from Neil Gaiman is what I aspire to:

                      I think I’d just remind people of the power of stories, and why they exist in the first place. I’d put up the four words that anyone telling a story wants to hear. The ones that show that it’s working, and that pages will be turned:

                      “… and then what happened?”

                      ― Neil Gaiman

                    8. Shadowdancer, you should show them the video your friend made of himself reviewing that story. It made me laugh uncontrollably for minutes.

            1. On his profile, he brags about blocking people after arguing with them.

              Good grief.

              That’s supposed to be a last resort, after someone has shown that they are unable to be rational and/or have made three really big, obvious lies really close together. (I usually require that they be on different subjects, too.)

              I think I blocked one guy because his view of the world was just too different and he wouldn’t stop insisting that everyone else drop theirs and assume his. Not arguing, just insisting, and disqualifying anything anybody else said because there could have been SECRET times that proved the opposite, and THEY just didn’t let you know!

            2. “On his profile, he brags about blocking people after arguing with them.”

              Huh. So he’s publicly admitting being incapable of presenting effective discourse?


                  1. Nope; Nazo is unreachable. But the dozen or so (random guess) young impressionable teens who stumble across the discussion might get the impression that Nazo is right about the “kool-aid” phrase, because they’ve never heard of Jim Jones. Hence why there should at least be a link in the discussion refuting him. Not for his sake, but for the lurkers’ sake — who then have a better chance of seeing how unreasonable he is and taking the rest of his statements with appropriate levels* of salt.

                    * Unless they have high blood pressure, in which case such large intakes of sodium would be dangerous to their health.

                1. Me, I like all that stuff except the KFC. I’d rather have Jollibee Chickenjoy any time.

                  1. Heh. Every time after being overseas for a while, the inevitable food to head for is Jollibee and Red Ribbon.

                    I am very sad that they stopped making their blueberry cheesecake; and I still have not been able to find a Black Forest as yummy as theirs since I left the Philippines. (Their new offering of Tiramisu Meltdown… oh, decadent bliss! Without the getting drunk feeling.)

                    KFC’s all we got where I am. (At least there’s a Filipino store.)

              1. Hey! Fried Chicken was turned into a mass market by an old white dude!

                I still get a kick out of remembering the two Japanese guys who were doing language studies (not studying to learn the language, but studying quirks in the language, like how phrases sound when spoken quickly) on the Ohio State University campus. When they were done asking me their few questions, they asked where I was from, and when I told them Kentucky, their eyes lit up and they said, almost in unison, “Ah! Kentucky Fried Chicken!”

                With their accents, it was so hilarious I almost fell down laughing.

                  1. There is a place that does GF waffles. Another Chicago Place does GF chicken fingers. My goal is to take the chicken fingers, haul them to the waffle place, so I can have chicken and waffles.

                    1. Well, yeah — but only if the chicken is properly dressed: no shirt, no shoes, no service.

                      I gather they are a mite more liberal about waffle wear.

              2. I miss the summer get-togethers in Texas with fried chicken and watermelon (and potato salad and corn on the cob).

                We usually had iced tea instead of Kool-Ade, though.

                1. We could have a HunCon in TX. I vote for Dallas. However Austin might be more centrally located. Otoh, Dallas is the hub for both American Airlines(DFW) and Southwest(Love).

                  1. Austin – yes, it’s a hive of Vile Prog villany – but it IS centrally-located as far as Texas is concerned. Maybe in concert with the Texas Book Festival, in October….
                    There’s all kinds of book-things going on that weekend, so what better excuse to come to Texas? There are simply awesome numbers of hotels off the I-38 between Austin and Georgetown, and a good few more south between Austin and San Marcos.

            1. I’m a semi-celebrity in some circles (not these, but some), and my location is fairly well known, so no I don’t mind saying. I’m in Albany, Georgia. It’s in Southwest Georgia.

              1. I’ve lived ever since I met and married a man from Montgomery, AL. We’ve been living in Plano, TX (suburb of Dallas) for the last 8 years.

              2. Spent three years in Albany WAAAAY back (mid seventies) 1st through 3rd grade courtesy of growing up in the Marines.

                Another five years much later in St. Mary’s / Kingsland with the USS Maryland

          1. To understand how reference to Kool-Aid is racist you need to watch this collection of Kool-Aid commercials from the 1950s through the 90s. You probably need your Liberal Goggles and special Liberal hearing aids to catch the dog whistles —

            — but notice how lily-white the 1950s family is, representing a return to an America when only Whites had civil rights and a desire to eliminate the people of color from society (or at least relegate them to their proper (hidden) place.

            Sure, the 1960s ad depocts a racially mixed group, but they do it by incorporating Uncle Toms and Aunt Jemimas. The key to deciphering the code is to realize that the use on Monkees in the ad is a disguised racial slur while at the same time depicting (bragging about?) the cultural appropriation achieved by White America playing the Black Man’s music. (Did you know that on one Monkees concert tour they humiliated Jimi Hendrix by making him open for them?

            The ads from the Eighties and Nineties don’t really need explanation, do they? Nor need we examine just why “Kool-Aid Man was a person of color.

            1. Iced Tea is better. especially sweet tea, AKA do you want some tea with your sugar?

              1. 😀 my brother in law asked me that once, back in the day when Rhys and I were a new couple and I visited Australia for the first time. I’d caught a cold and brother-inlaw-to be’d made me a pot of soothing tea. He held out the big pantry container of sugar to me and said the line. The setup was just asking for it, and since the pot was rather big… When I finished adding sugar, he went out, and said in horrified tones to his mum, “She’s butchering the tea!”

                Rhys agreed with me that it was just asking for it.

              1. Maybe it’s just our evil little black hearts? Umm, Kool-Aid. Haven’t had any since the kids decided they were too old for it.

        2. … and I like both fried chicken and watermelons. And am one of the palest people who isn’t actually an albino. (Though my wife is slightly paler).

    2. This wasn’t the basis of his claim that “drink the Kool-Aid” was racist but it is a fact that a large percentage of Jim Jones followers were black.

      1. Interesting, I had never been aware of that. It certainly didn’t seem to be the case in the TV movie they made about it. And somehow, I doubt the Proglodyte knew this, since every other fact rolled off him like water from a duck’s back. (Seriously, he’s one of those guys who on the one hand says all government is corrupt and evil, but Obama has a lot of great ideas and shouldn’t have been blocked.)

          1. Of course, you do know why you don’t hear many jokes about Jonestown, dont you?

            The punch line is too long.

    3. “I say your term was racist so all your logic magically vanishes and I win and I can keep on drinking my poisoned but definitely not Kool-Aid drink because I believe!

  2. I’ve been thinking for some time that President Obama is a figure head. And, yes, it does feel like many policies are being written and enforced by people that do not have very much experience with people.

    1. Yes. Granted, I’ve probably read too many conspiracy novels, but some of those appointed advisers in the White House seem a lot more powerful than they should be. And the liberal billionaires suddenly propping up D candidates, so much so that a news article yesterday implied that Udall’s election in CO this fall has already been more-or-less bought and paid for, so it doesn’t matter if a very unpopular POTUS comes to campaign for him or not.

        1. She is likely the power behind the throne. As all other advisors and staffers have come and gone, she remains.

          1. You know, this morning I was talking about the current situation(s) with my daughter this morning as we walked the dogs – and the subject of Val-Jar came up. I said that I hoped that I would live long enough to see her treated like the French treated women collaborators who slept with German soldiers during the Occupation. Shaved head and made to walk naked down the streets.
            Yeah, I’m vicious that way. But of all the pieces of work associated with the current administration, I think she is far and away the worst of them.

              1. I’m going for deep shame and total abject humiliation here. Head shaved, stripped naked, painted with words describing exactly what she is, and made to walk barefoot down the avenues, by jeering crowds.
                Doing this to a fair selection of vile progs would have, I believe, a salutary effect. We’d have to hand out eye-bleach though, if Nancy Pelosi is included in this program, though.

              2. Doesn’t last long enough. As Celia said in her reply, jeering crowds would probably be a horrible crush to her ego, and I would encourage the throwing of rotten fruit.

                1. Actually what would be humiliating would be her role forever in history, in a negative light, along with the complete reversal of everything they’ve tried to achieve being done in her lifetime. And I hope she lives a long life after that.

          2. There has been speculation that back in the day, Iranian money bought Obama. Said speculation usually assumes Valerie is more or less the trustee.

              1. It is noteworthy that while the Obamites fret furiously over “hidden donors” supporting Republican candidates (and positively froth at the mouth over funding conservative candidates) the Obama campaigns in 2008 and 2012 received enormous amounts of untraceable donations through internet portals lacking (i.e,. with disabled) filters to ensure the donations came from within the United States.

                Say, for example, you are the Chinese government and can order 50 million people to each make a $50 donation over the internet, knowing that such donations do not require reporting to the F.E.C. …. Gotta protect their bond holdings, right?

                1. What’s more, some of these Democratic donors are of a nature such that their donations come with blackmail opportunities attached. If the Clintons displease the Chinese, they can simply make their activities on his behalf public and wreck Hilary’s chances at the Presidency. That gives them much more influence over her than would the mere money.

            1. They have worked harder for rapprochement with Iran than any other country and there are hints that State dept was cut out of those negotiations during Hillary’s tenure.

        2. Penny Pritzker is another of Obama’s Backers Who Inherited Wealth, along with Bill “Mad Bomber” Ayers. What so many of Obama’s supporters have in common is they don’t know how to create wealth, merely redistribute it.

        3. I find it extremely scary that the Democrats don’t seem to mind that the most influential adviser to the President is deeply-connected with the current Iranian regime. In general, the Democrats seem to have this touching faith in Iran’s essential benevolence which is unsupported not only by the evidence but even by their own experiences in dealing with Iran.

          Have they somehow forgotten Iran’s role in bringing down Jimmy Carter’s Presidency? Absent the Hostage Crisis, Carter might well have been two-term President. Do they have the minds of fruit-flies?

          How can they imagine that the conquest of southern Iraq — you know, the part with the ports — by Iran is going to be a good thing for world stablity. This will put Iran right on the border with Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, meaning they can invade any time they like without all the logistical difficulty (and ease of American interception) of a cross-water operation.

          Are the Democrats totally lacking in basic common sense and military understanding?

            1. You shouldn’t talk like that. It’s not nice. What have fruit flies ever done to you?

          1. You wrote:
            “Are the Democrats totally lacking in basic common sense and military understanding?”

            Yes they are. What’s worse is that I don’t think that they are living on the same planet as/inhabiting the same reality.

            1. Yes they are. What’s worse is that I don’t think that they are living on the same planet as/inhabiting the same reality as us.

          2. Have you seen the reporting on the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll question asking voters to rate this administration’s competence?

            Very Competent . . . . . . . . 11%
            Somewhat Competent . . . .39%
            Not Too Competent . . . . . 19%
            Not Competent At All . . . . 31%

            Heck, I would probably have “voted” somewhat competent! Sure seem competent at hacking the Constitution, abusing the legitimate power of the government (don’t get me started counting the ways) and very competent at getting away with it.

            And if you like what they’re doing you must be racist. As Hillary says, we can’t be letting a minority of the nation hold views that terrorize the majority.

    2. I knew that from the minute he started his first campaign… and then no doubts after the teleprompter fiascos (really good with teleprompter, not good without one)

  3. Having just returned from the D Day anniversary in Normandy where more American flags fly than in my neighborhood, I am discouraged to see the mess that our government is allowing to metastasize, both in our country and around the world.

    Though you sound, Sarah Hoyt, more like Glenn Beck in this post, sadly I believe you are right. The American spirit, though smothered in pop culture, still burns brightly in many of us. While we prepare for the future, unfortunately, our administration apparently is unconcerned.

    Incompetence, stupidity and an elitist separatist detachment from reality have driven us to the place where are now.

  4. But communism requires him to believe certain things. Such as “the right people” will naturally seize power after a collapse.

    It’s funny that they believe that, because just the world around them should show the kind of people who actively and actually seek power are never the “right people”. Whenever you create a vacuum, which a successful revolution will do, you’re bound to create such a vacuum.

    The only reason the United States seemed immune was because the leadership was sort of already in place from a time when there was little power to be hand.

  5. Well said Sarah, and it’s time to talk to ‘friends’ now rather than later. Remember the old PPP rule.. Plan ahead then it won’t be an emergency on your part. Myself, I’m doing my damnest to get OUT of any urban/metro area. Somewhere close to a water source (and food if you like fish and have patience) isn’t a bad idea.

  6. Stockpiling is a good idea, regardless of how people mock it. I’m stockpiling coffee – I can grow most foods, and my wife and I know how to can. But I’ve read Flint’s 1632 series, and know mostly it’s the little, important items. Like coffee. Potato chips I can do without.
    But without coffee – Sarah, did you watch the vid I sent you? Barring age, that’s me in the morning if my coffee is delayed.
    And instead of deer proofing my garden, I’ll sit out with a rifle. It’s good for hunting as well. But if it gets real bad, I’ll be watching for ‘Varmints” of various leg counts.
    And if we do rejoin the ‘caveman’ period, comfort yourself in that you’re in prime cave country. There’s a rather large, albeit artificial, one close to you.
    But I expect Texas will go independent. And the GDP per capita will increase. And we’ll have to guard the northern border as well.
    Might consider moving to the Texas Hill Country: no mountains, but rugged terrain. And good connections to major metros and burgeoning tech industry. And most important – you’d be welcome.

    1. I’m growing my own vegetables right now. Enough to feed my family for a year. Mostly its poverty talking. $50 in heirloom seeds in addition to the canning supplies is going to save a whole hell of a lot in groceries.

      The fact that it’ll also help us regardless of what the economy does is a big bonus.

      Now I just need to make some plantings to secure my crops. Throny blackberry bushes along the fences, etc. 😀

      1. I’m not sure how I’d store veggies for a year, but my Garden is fun, when I can do it. Alas, this year it seems a lot of my seeds were too old, and they’re not coming up. The weeds though are doing just fine surviving round-up and rototilling.

        It doesn’t help that someone’s outdoor cat is using the plot as a litterbox about once a week, and the little bastard dug up the beans in the process, rather than the clover and other undesirables. I can’t bring myself to be cruel to a cat, but man, I am in the market now for one of those motion-controlled sprinklers….

        1. Well, with storing for that long, most of them have to be either frozen or canned. I tend to prefer canning, just because it’s not subject to whatever happens with our power supply.

          1. Every now and then I talk to my hubby about us investing perhaps in a large property. It’s a bit of a worry though, where to live. Yeah, the sense of needing to build fortifications, prepare homesteads and start stockpiling food is… huge.

            1. Yeah. I’m in a fairly nice neighborhood not too far from the edge of town. My family owns a duplex. My mother is on one side, we’re on the other. All together, we have a half acre of land.

              The biggest problem is that we’re surrounded by renters, which isn’t a problem now, but it also means we can’t count on neighbors for bad times because who the hell knows if they’ll still be here or not. :/

              1. I really can’t explain why I have this urge to start stockpiling, building fortifications… ‘zombieproofing’ ourselves, as it were. I look at alternative energy sources, wish I could print the information I keep getting off the net related to such… but lack the money to do the actual prep. (Living in a rental sucks for trying to plant anything. I keep saying I want mini trees in barrels, but Rhys is a Voice of Reason, since we’re a military family and are likely to get moved a lot.) Maybe it’s a hold-over from the time we were trapped for days during the 2009 Hurricane Ketsana floods in the Philippines, where a stockpile of canned goods were what kept us fed, and I can never forget being afraid of starving, running out of food and water, what to do with the children. I kept it to myself, but since by that time I’d become more or less the family head, it… stuck.

                1. you also have the difficulties of defending you and your stuff put in the way by the nannies in your country. Learn a bit of machining and find some ammo is all I can say.

                2. I can’t say that I blame you.

                  When I was in the Navy, my home town got hit by a massive flood. It was bad. Bad enough that the effects linger on in a lot of minds.

                  There’s a reason my almost 70 year old mother has a bug out bag.

                  I understand completely.

                  1. The mindset existed before though; My dad used to have part of his car boot devoted to ‘in case of emergency…’ stuff. There was a slab of colas, little tins of fruit cocktails and spam, thick blankets, flashlights, tools. This was more ‘in case the car breaks down in the middle of the night off the side of the autobahn between Bonn and the Schwartzwald, in winter’ but it’s always made me uncomfortable that I don’t have something similar… yet.

                    Everyone jokes that my pantry is ready for an apocalypse. I disagree. That’s maybe only a week of food, or two, in my head.

                    1. Found an unexpected use for those things: giving to people who are holding a baby and a sign saying that they’ve got three hungry kids.

                      I’m still pretty sure she just wanted money, but….if her kids really are hungry, they’ve got a couple of meals worth of OK stuff.

                    2. Regardless of where it comes from, it’s a better place to be.

                      When hard times hit, and they always hit, it’s far better to be one of those who has the means to take care of their families than one of those begging for a handout from their merciful government that may or may not be giving anything out.

                3. Ice storm with a tornado chaser here. Nothing like going without power for a week in winter (at least we had water), or helping pick up after Mutha’ Nature has a temper fit, to make you go home and eyeball your stored supplies.

                4. As Sarah has emphasized various times, it’s not the catastrophes that we have to worry so much about, though those are important too. Food storage helps with all kinds of problems. When I was a younger shellfish and the Oyster clan went through some rough financial times, my parents’ household lived off of food storage for about six months to a year. Money went almost exclusively to pay bills; the only food that was purchased was milk and fresh fruit and vegetables, though there were a lot of canned pears, cherries, and peaches from the stock as well. The clan would never have gotten through that if it hadn’t been for the stockpile from years of frugality and foresight.

                  1. See, that’s the kind of thing I want to safeguard against. I want a huge cave of a cellar, with stoneware jars of preserves almost as tall as me, like the stuff my grandmother’s clan had. Okay, they also had like huge plantations, but still.

                    1. I don’t know about down under, but in most places I’ve lived in South and North America there have always been folks around who grew produce they didn’t use. Heck, one of the things I miss here in the States is the neighbor in São Paulo who would give us free rein to pillage whatever we wanted from the mango trees on his sítio (think microfarm on the edge of the suburbs). Even in the states, we’ve always found lots of people with fruit trees or vegetable gardens who don’t use all—or sometimes any—of the fruit they produce. And of course there’s always the bane of the zucchini. So the plantation isn’t essential. That cellar sounds about right, though. I need to see about the water table on my property; some places in this neighborhood are too wet for cellars, but I’ve not made a careful check of mine.

                    2. That’s the downside of living here. Limestone. Apparently pretty thick limestone. To the point where when the neighbors wanted to put in a cement pool, they apparently did a little blasting. That’s the rumor anyway.

                    3. I am right now telling anyone near me: you grow too much zucchini, I want it. Too much collard greens? I want them. We’ll also take snow peas and green beans, any amount. We might be at home for Mr. Cabbage, as well. (Because finely sliced, rolled in egg and seasoned low carb flower, then sprinkled with parmesan and fried… yeah.)

                    4. mmm, fried veg. My dad learned a recipe from an Iranian studying in the University of the Philippines, goes more or less with, thinly slice a red onion, mince garlic to taste, sautee lightly in olive oil. Peel and thinly slice a carrot and a potato (I’m going with singular count coz veg in the US tend to be… kinda huge to me). Add a bit more olive oil and toss the potato and carrot in the pan, stir-frying it. Cover, but stir frequently. Take 1/8 of a cabbage, slice it into thin strips and stir it into the vegetables. (You could also add snow peas if you wish). Use rough sea salt and pepper, season to taste. Serve when the potatoes and cabbage are just cooked, but still firm.

                    5. It might be a better idea to build up if there’s the slightest possibility of flooding– I bet you could make a rather awesome sort of trellis down the sides of a Hobbit inspired storage area. (Assuming you don’t have a handy hill.)

                    6. Ah, hadn’t considered livestock when you said plantation. Yeah, animals take space and resources to care for. Fortunately for me, I just discovered that one of my neighbors owns about 200 head of quality cattle, and they slaughter a few yearlings every fall. Money allowing, I’ll be picking up a half beef from him this year, and someone with more deer tags than freezer space has promised me a doe and a lesson in dressing it.

                    7. Cattle’s nice if you can get it, I guess. Goats and sheep; chickens and rabbits; pigs maybe (I’m … rather scared of them). I know they have deer farms here as well, but if one has enough feral deer wanting to come poke by… The nice thing is, Rhys’ family used to have a small herd of sheep before they decided to stop, so he knows how to butcher as well.

                    8. You can feed six goats on what it takes to feed one cow, and if you harvest them all for meat you get 1.5x the meat. More milk, too.

                    9. Everything was mild/medium. Really spicy doesn’t happen that far north. Something about the heat near the equator bakes people’s brains.

                    10. I also had noticed the tendency for equatorial cultures to have complexly spiced cuisines. While some argue it is to limit people’s ability to notice food spoilage (and yes, projectile vomiting and diarrhea are factors in noticing the entree had gone off) I maintain that it also serves as a form of deodorant in environment where sweating is not optional. Eating a well-spiced diet is a means of making you smell less unpleasant when epidermal bacteria get busy converting your heat transpiration product into their lunch.

                    11. Hoy spices serve the same seemingly contradictory function as hot drinks in such places: They promote even more sweating, thus leading to more cooling of the body.

                    12. It’s also a lot of fun at family gatherings. “Why, Cousin Sunil, your face appears nearly the color of the peppers I used in that vindaloo! Oh, you don’t like my Thirty Pepper Goat? Ah, well. I am crushed, CRUSHED, I tell you.”

                    13. When we say a spice is HOT, we are not kidding. It can burn your tongue — and do permanent damage.

                      A cuisine therefore is usually spiced similarly because it’s spiced for ability of those who eat it to taste subtle and mild tastes, or not.

            2. I started out wanting something so remote that I couldn’t be found. Then more research told me that I’d have to have a larger enough group to be able to guard the property 24/7. I think the current theory is to be close enough to a small community that you are seen as being part of the community but far enough away that you’re not in town. I *think* I got that from this book: There are a bunch of places in TX that fill that requirement.

      2. I’ll be doing as much canning as i can force myself to do the work for, when I move to the new house. I remember canning when I was little, and it was probably 10 years after my parents stopped that the last jar of green beans got eaten.

        1. Yeah, my folks did tons of canning when I was younger.

          It’s funny. I grew up in a city of about 100,000 people. However, I really grew up kind of country. We would visit farms during the summer and fall, farms that would let you pick your own vegetables. We’d pick bushels of beans, peas, whatever.

          Then, we’d go home and start shelling them. Everyone would watch TV with a big bowl of whatever in our laps, shelling beans and peas. My grandmother lived with us then, and between her, me, and my folks, we shelled the hell out of some stuff.

          A lot of stuff got frozen, particularly green beans, mostly because Mom had lost an entire crop of them because something didn’t take in canning. However, we also canned a butt load of other stuff, and that stuff was awesome to have around.

          I’m actually kind of glad to see canning making a comeback.

          1. Fun fact about canning (and dehydrating – going to do a lot of that with tomatoes this year, too), is that it can even help you if you buy your fruits and veggies from the grocery store. In season, they are far cheaper than out of season, so buying lots of them when they are cheap and preserving them for later makes sense.

              1. Plenty of instructional videos on the web. The biggest thing is the boiling water. When the lid goes on and the ring is on, put them in boiling water for a certain period of time (I forget). Then take them out and screw the rings on tighter. The will be vacuum packed – and as was said, good for years.

                1. The local HEB grocery store here has started carrying Ball canning kits – kettles, lifter, tools, and selections of jars. It’s not hard – just follow directions. They have a good selection of canning stuff on Amazon, too – I just bought some Clear Jell so that I can do pie fillings. (My daughter scored a flat of strawberries at her delivery job for Edible Arrangements. Strawberries were too large, too small, or irregular for use.) Pickles, jams, preserved fruit and condiments are fairly easy and hard to mess up.
                  For meats and some other stuff you need a pressure canner – I’m not quite ready to go there myself.

                  1. I’ve got the pressure canner, I need the jars and everything else.

                    Plus, a lot of our existing stuff is wheat, and we just found out that our sweet daughter (the Queso kid) apparently has celiac, so there’s that.

                2. It depends on the food, the size of the can, the amount of sugar and/or acid. Water bath method is pretty easy, but can only be used for high acid and sugar foods. Low acid foods need a pressure cooker.

                  Just find a recipe from a credible source and follow it. If the can does not seal, just remember to refrigerate it and eat it before it goes bad!

                1. N.B. — the book is not so named because it provides instructions on how to can your balls (despite what you tennis players may think.)

          2. I’m from Western Pennsylvania and my parents were both survivors of the Great Depression. One of my favorite memories was going to one of those farmers markets in the fall and buying a whole bushel of apples, coming home and steaming them on the stove as my parents made enough apple sauce to last the winter. It was delicious and I never got tired of itl

            1. Yeah, we did the farmer’s markets some too.

              I miss those farms that used to let you pick your own though. Everyone won with those deals. The farmer got more than if he sold it to a middle man, but didn’t have to deal with the hassle of harvesting and hauling to a farmer’s market. We got veggies for a lot less than anywhere else and just had to put in a bit of sweat (and in Southwest Georgia? There is almost always sweat).

              1. Been looking around online on how to can stews. I wonder if you can cook the stew then can it; but I’ve been getting mixed results online about whether you cook the stew first as normal, or put the raw ingredients all together in the jar, pour boiled broth into the jar, then pressure-can…

                On the other hand, I think you’re supposed to cook it first if you’re using chicken…


                I think the link above does a really good job of explaining why she does things, especially why she prefers to ‘hot pack’ poultry. She even has bit for sausage!

                1. if the meat you get is anything like around here, there’s so much water added to it that it would drastically change your proportions, so I would cook the meat first. By the time you’re done canning it, it’s going to be cooked anyway, and the extra cooking time can only make it more tender.

                  1. In retrospect, a more vinegary, and more peppercorn-laced adobo would be better for preserving, wouldn’t it?

                    I do remember my grandmothers making a point of preparing adobo extra-greasy if it was to be taken on long trips. The fat would be a solid thing that would be removed (though some people loved to spread it over hot rice) and the cold meat would be ladled out with the now jelly-like sauce over the hot rice (perfect for eating with the hands…)

                    Ah well. a long way off; it’ll be a thing to plan for, especially with the pressure canner. Canning seems to be a thing here!

                    And drying foods… so much to study!

                  1. Some of the folks that use to do it in our area say that they were losing too much stuff in proportion to what was being harvested– people would pull plants out of the ground, drag off handfuls of berries and then only keep one, break limbs off of apple trees…..

                1. Hello: My wife is Filipina and she makes awesome adobo. It is such a simple recipe. Although I don’t like so much fat in the meat.

      3. Blackberries try to mount an assault over my back retaining wall every year, while slowly killing off the trees in the “greenspace” aka Mosquito breeding farm behind my house. You want some? You can have them. I still have jars of Jam I made the one year I decided to pick as many as I could, and got 53.5 pounds of them during the season.

        1. Sure! I’ve got a few plants that somehow ended up in my back yard, but not nearly enough.

          I’d really love to make my fence a wall of thorns that dissuades entry.

          The gate’s going to be tricky though.

          1. If you get anything approaching real rain, you’ll have to slash and burn ’em back. Just fair warning. We were always fighting the berry brambles, and ours were small.

          2. Mine the entrance. That dissuades most salesmen. And might even work on invaders of other sorts.
            Caged Rattlers are an idea, but not too likely. Hard to train.

            1. Unfortunately, I don’t have licenses for those, and local Code Enforcement makes a hobby of citing our property on a regular basis.

              Apparently, when you blast a city department in print for being ridiculous in a city where you have bigger problems than how high someone’s grass is, they take it personally.

              1. Get a big, angry-looking sweetheart of a dog with a bark to put fear in the lack-of-souls of revenuers. “Oh, don’t mind Ghengis; he’s really just a softy at heart.”

                1. Thought about that. I’m thinking a pit bull or a German shepherd for that purpose.

                  Just got to train them to stay out of the garden, and since I’m not really a dog person, I’ve never actually trained a dog. That will be a new experience.

                  1. Careful, pitts and german shepards are amazing animals, and can be loving, affectionate and protective members of a family.

                    However if you screw it up in the training early on(not consiitant, little or no socialization, letting them be in charge, etc..), you can have some very bad results with these dogs.

                    If your going to get a high activity working/guard dog, please talk to a professional trainer before or just after you get the animal.

                    Also don’t forget, deserved or not(and i firmly believe not) Pitt bulls are seen as a dangerous breed, which means some places(apartments, neighborhood associations, some military bases) will not let you live with them in the neighborhood. My good friend at fort hood has been dealing with this as he owns not 1, but 2 blue nosed pits. It doesn’t matter to on post housing that my nicknames for one of them consist of snuggle bunny and lap ninja. To Ft. Hood they are dangerous and therefor not allowed.

                    For a first time dog train it’s still hard to beat labs and golden retrievers. while you can get the same problems from poor training, it takes more (usually) to screw them up badly. Plus these dogs want to please the master. it’s part of their genes so training tends to be way simpler.

                    Personally i’m going to go mastiff. Yes they make human sized poop, but what do you expect when you hear a bark behind you in the middle of the night that is so deep it sounds like it came from the core of the earth. 🙂

                    Also from what i have seen and researched they tend to be fairly laid back, easy going dogs, who have not only a protective streak in them but also a nurturing streak that makes them remarkably tolerant to small children. There was a reason why nobility use to leave these dogs in the nursery with the toddlers. However, not the most trainable of dogs out there (they can be stubborn about things). and they most definetly think they are lap dogs… all 130 to 240 lbs of them.

                    Just my dos peso’s

                    1. Personally i’m going to go mastiff. Yes they make human sized poop, but what do you expect when you hear a bark behind you in the middle of the night that is so deep it sounds like it came from the core of the earth. 🙂

                      My daughter’s first word was to a mastiff puppy!

                      She was about a year and a half old, walked up to him, grabbed him by an ear and a flab of jaw and yelled at the top of her lungs: DOG!

                      Mommy was not amused with Daddy about Miss No Respect For Animals being near a puppy that was bigger than the dogs mommy grew up around, even if the dog did a great job and no harm was done. Mommy lost a year of growth….

                      So, yes, they can be very, very tolerant. Especially if someone is “introduced” as family.

                    2. Heh. My brother-in-law lost about a year of growth (that he really couldn’t stand to lose, the short little shit*), when his younger daughter was sitting in a high chair feeding tidbits to my German Shepherd/Collie (About 100lbs). She turned away from him for a second and something made her laugh, and her hand flopped over where his head was, and he naturally opened his mouth, whereupon her arm went about half-forearm deep in his mouth and he closed it.

                      He was good about taking food from people, though: he didn’t bite until he had the food separate from the hand, so he just opened his mouth and she jerked her hand back, laughing her head off. But her father was already halfway out of his chair and looked like he was going to faint.

                      * Note that that is not a dig at short people in general. Just him. He’s a little shit. Head.

                    3. Heh, mastiffs. I’ve mentioned that idea to my hubby once and he said that if we went with a mastiff there was a good chance I wouldn’t need a pony to ride. Both he and are are more cat persons, but we do love a good dog. (I’ve been lucky and had some good dogs and cats who tolerated ANYTHING my babies did to them…)

                      Some of the stories I’ve heard about big English Bulldogs being very protective of babies are incredible. One friend related how a buddy of his has a bulldog and the dog was insanely protective of the baby when the baby was born. As in “Nobody allowed to come in nursery, except Mommy and Daddy, and visitors can hold baby ONLY if Mommy And Daddy Let Them.” Otherwise he’d sit between crib and guests and rumblegrowl the whole time – nothing more than that.

                      But then I read about some really horrifying stories and I get very scared. There was a case recently of a dog pulling the baby out of the baby carriage or knocked over the baby carriage, and the baby smashed her skull in on landing on the floor, while the mum saw the elder son out the door on his way to school. The mom came back in, her 2 week old daughter was dead and the dog was sitting on the couch. So… yeah.

                    4. It is really about how the dog is raised and handled around people. A well socialized animal who is taught that the newborn out ranks it in the social hierarchy will be far less likely to do things like that to the baby.

                      But again, horrible things can happen. The key is to look at the Curve, not the outliers. And a family dog pulling a baby out of a crib and killing it (accidentally or not) is definitely an outlier.

                      My two cents. kids much safer with a well raised dog, than without.

                    5. I don’t disagree with you there at all. My 7 year old son’s expressed a desire to have a pet here (we had dogs, chickens, lots of birds, cats and even at one point, ornamental ponds of carp and a very large turtle) but we’re holding off on it coz us grownups don’t have time to take care of a puppy. It’d be very nice, but…

            2. I’ve always favored a swivel gun on the porch railing. Black powder means it’s legal.

      4. OOOOO!!! Say me some heirloom seeds!! What kind?
        I have a little over 1/3 acre near the outskirts of town. A fairly malss garden, but I’m square footing it as I build up the soil more. TX Hill Country, unfortunately, grows lots of rocks in the caliche. But I have friends with horses ….

        1. I’ve got some Blue Lake pole beans, yellow straight neck summer squash, Amish Pie pumpkins, I can’t remember the variety of tomatoes, and black beauty zucchini.

          I’ve got some corn that’s hybrid, but it’s an experiment since we haven’t been able to get corn to grow successfully before.

          1. Not merely that they will breed true, but also that they will breed at all. Some commercial seeds are hybridized to the point they will not even produce offspring.

            And as for breeding true – that IS a big factor, since many of your hybrids will produce offspring that are inferior in many ways, depending on the plant. For example, if you successfully grow watermelon from the very few seeds in a “seedless” variety, the offspring will often be so full of seeds as to be almost not worth eating.

        1. I’m not he, but I’d bet it’s because with heirlooms you can be sure the seeds will breed true– well, if you only have the same strain in the area, anyways.

          It’s a trade off, but especially if you’re growing for at home eating and hand canning, the ability to just buy seeds once is worth it. (I’m not willing to gather seeds because I’m not sure stuff will LAST that long!)

          1. I’m not really sure what you were implying there, but my father has had tomato seeds keep for over 5 years, by taking a couple of very ripe tomatoes and scraping the seeds out onto a paper towel, letting them dry thoroughly on the counter, then rolling them up, paper towel and all, and putting a rubber band around them. Other types of seeds seem to do just as well.

            1. The stuff you harvest, not the seeds. 😀 The demands of industrial level harvesting, storage and shipping are different than home use.

        2. Because seeds harvested from heirloom plans will produce the same plants. My expenses are, basically, a one time outlay that isn’t dependent on a supply chain that may or may not be there next year.

  7. My fear is that the politicians will regulate us into 1930’s style shortages, when there’s no need for a shortage. I agree that Americans have always found a way to persevere by making up whatever they needed to in order to get things done. Perhaps it’s going to take a sizeable portion of the population to say ‘f*ck it. If you’re just going to create problems, we’re going to just ignore/work around you and leave your bum in the cold while we carry on” before the politicians get it.

      1. There may have been articles advocating it, but mostly it’s going to be a slow tide building up until the beginnings of real difficulties, when there will be a surge, as far as I can tell.

  8. If I may add:

    Talk to your LDS(ie, Mormon) neighbors/friends about how to prepare for fallback self-sufficiency. LDS stakes(local collections of congregations) have programs to help households set up and/or improve their long-term preparedness, and no-Mos are _unquestionably_ welcome to participate and learn.

    (Warning: Common side effects include the infiltration of ‘flip’, ‘fetch’, ‘heck’, and ‘darn’ to your list of swear words; side effects may also include a pair of polite young men or women wanting to talk to you. Side effects are generally mild and _will_ cease if you make it clear you aren’t interested.)

    1. I don’t have any Mormon neighbors that I know of. Is there a list of Mormon congregations or places to get this information? I’m in the Dallas area.

      1. Well, there’s over a dozen LDS stakes in Dallas(each stake is probably 10+ small congregations of 200-300 people; the only Mormon megachurch is the Church itself), but there’s also an LDS cannery in Carrollton, which is NNE of Dallas. The two phone numbers that I could find for it are (972) 242-8595 and (972) 985-9810.

        Assuming it’s open to non-LDS(most Church canneries are), that should be enough to start from. Dunno what their hours are, though, since I don’t live in Dallas.

    2. most of our friends and our sons’ other brother are LDS. Weirdly it hasn’t cured my ability to turn the air blue which has got markedly worse these last five years.
      The only time our best friends, who are Mormon, made a conversion touch was right after 9/11 and my answer was “look, hon, if I couldn’t go to bed with Jim Beam and get up with coffee I’d have slit my wrists this week.” (Also, I already have one religion and an overshadowing guilt for not practicing the other. I don’t need Mormonism too.)

  9. Some meds that are vital are regulated and can’t be stockpiled. Unused injectable insulin(lantus solostar) needs refrigeration. Hydrocodone is a class 3 regulated med that must be refilled every 30 days with a new prescription. Creon (pancreatic digestive enzyme) isn’t regulated but is on occasion hard to find. If you lack a pancreas you need both insulin and creon.
    Because of the above some of us are very vulnerable, possibly even “hosed.”

    1. Niven & Pournelle talked about insulin production issues in “Lucifer’s Hammer” – IIRC, it involved about one sheep per week.

  10. I’m working on growing as many things as possible in my own backyard … and I even went as far as to plant three fruit trees this year. Of course, it will take years for me to get any good out of them … but still. And I’m stockpiling food too, and loading up on canning and cheese-making supplies. I don’t think things will get to bad in Texas when the US hits the wall – there’s a lot of cranky independence here.
    I still wish that I had enough from books and funds the sale of some real estate last year to get serious about my little Hill Country redoubt – a place where I can keep a bigger gardens, and chickens and maybe go in with neighbors on the purchase of a cow or two…

    1. Celia, don’t know where in the Hill Country you are, but the area West of Fredericksburg off 290 is good country. Takes a lot of clearing – but Hey! it’s firewood for when the power goes down.
      And I still think Texas will go independent, with maybe a coouple of surrounding states joining us. I figure Oklahoma, New Mexico, Maybe Kansas. And possibly Nebraska. Colorado and Missouri are iffy. But the Dakotas for sure.
      United American States, I term it.

      1. And don’t get me started, cause I gots reams of notes I made for a trilogy I never finished.

      2. In my dreams, Doug, I am picturing something near Sisterdale – but Harper is nice enough. I did a library book event there. Good hunting, apparently. East of Fredericksburg, along the Pedernales, everything is going to wineries – so in the event of independence, we’ll be set with the good stuff!

  11. For instance, have you guys figured out yet that OWS’s was supposed to be an attempt at a “proletarian revolution”?

    Well, after it was known that it was all over the country, rather than just Wall Street, I thought it was rather obvious, even though I didn’t think of it in those terms, because I hardly ever think of Marx’s terminology.

    But yes, it was obviously an attempt at getting the ball rolling for a large-scale takeover by the Left.

    1. 😀 They tried to do that in Manila, and everyone just ignored the Occupy attempt because everyone was too busy working. I laughed.

      People have priorities when you have to work to keep a roof over your head, food in your belly, and the utilities running.

    2. Or look how the totally-not-biased media built up Occupy while tearing down the Tea Party at every opportunity. To the point that Anderson Cooper invented the “teabagger” slur which every leftie immediately started using.

      1. I found it most telling that the majority of Tea Party folks had no idea what the slur meant and had to have it explained to them. The lefties OTOH seemed to be quite familiar with the term.

        1. I knew what it meant, but actually from Gaming. Specifically Halo. After killing an enemy, he would remain in place on the ground for a short time before he would restart. The player would add insult to injury by going up to the “corpse” and hitting the crouch button, which would make it look like he was doing the act.

          1. I knew the term from gaming too, but had no idea that it had an actual meaning outside of gaming, or that the gaming term had derived from that meaning. I thought it was a weird way to say “shoving your virtual-alter-ego’s crotch in your defeated opponent’s face as a way to humiliate him and brag over your victory”, and no idea what teabags had to do with that. Not until Anderson Cooper… “explained” it to me.

            Thanks for that, Cooper. Thanks a lot. 😦

        2. Well, the kinda guy who spent his college days fragging and teabagging n00bs in (insert hot new AAA title here) may not be qualified to become one of the 1% by effort.

    3. I was amused that “Occupy: Amarillo” came to something like eight people waving signs on the usual street corner and making vague demands. I was doing research at the central library in downtown Amarillo and happened to pass their corner one morning. Not impressed. IIRC Occupy:Omaha had even worse turn out in population percentage numbers.

      1. Oh, yeah. Occupy Honolulu had a whole street corner (just one of four on that intersection), and a tiny fraction of the more or less permanent homeless population a few miles away at Ala Moana Park.

        1. Los Angeles had to have people in hazmat gear clean out the park once they finally got rid of the Occupiers.

          1. Very much so. I was a bit surprised, too. It may have been more of a thing toward the beginning, but I suspect Hawaii’s endemic laziness to have taken an early toll. I mean, why hang out in the park, brah, the beach is still a mile makai, and there’s da kine waves today.

          2. I know that SOME folks manage it, but I’d be pretty hard pressed to work up a really big case of outrage if I was living in Hawaii. And I don’t even like the tropics.

      2. The funniest Occupiers were the ones in New York and Boston. The ones in New York stockpiled tremendous amounts of condoms but no blankets in preparation for their “occupation” (apparently they thought it was going to be one very wild party, and did not consider that Winter Was Coming). The one in Boston, IIRC, was planning to deal with the winter like the Native Americans by building igloos. They clearly did not know the difference between Eskimos and Algonquins, or consider why one does not want to build a snow house in a climate in which the weather usually only drops below freezing at night, even in winter.

        The occcupations pretty much ended in winter, for the obvious reason.

        1. Though when I went up for Christmas Revels, the gates to Harvard Yard were still closed.

  12. And now we’re hearing rumors that Obama wants Iran’s help in stabilizing Iraq. Yes, that’s a great idea. What could possibly go wrong?

      1. Since I suspect he’s been groomed since childhood, I’d say Russia. Now, I have had people argue that they couldn’t possibly pick out one person and be sure they could get him elected President, but isn’t the likelihood that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of such people out there, and he just happens to have been the one who made it?

        OK, yeah, major conspiracy theory time, but let’s face it, that was during the height of the Cold War.

        1. Saying it’s a deliberate conspiracy may be giving him too much credit. He puts so much naïve faith in the power of good intentions, he might really believe aligning the US with an enemy power will lead to peace.

        2. I tend to go with an unorganized conspiracy theory. Nobody has an actual plan, and there’s no grand conspirator, but there are people with similar ideas, and little pieces of the plan, and when they have a chance, they help it along. Obama was seen as the opportunity to help the plan along by anyone who came into contact with him.

          1. Agreed Dr. People fall for conspiracy theories for one major reason. They want to believe human intelligence is more powerful than human incompetence. They get some perverse comfort from the idea that “something is in charge” even if that “something is (cue: Darth Vader theme) EEEEEVVVVVVIIIIILLLLLL!

            1. Better that someone evil be in charge — he can be removed, in theory — than live in a world where bad things can just happen.

            2. It is easier, by far, to blame an “enemy” than to accept the fact that it is not for Reality to adapt to you, it is for you to adapt to Reality.

              1. I think the problem is more “group think” than conspiracies.

                1. The Group thinks there’s a Conspiracy, and they all want to be a part of it, so they act the way they think the conspiracy would want them to, in the hopes they’ll be brought in on it.

  13. My fears is the backlash against minorities, being black I fear we will be the poster child for this disaster by some who need to denied their involvement (vile red progressive becoming a very K shade of white) and some who will want to obtain power in the vacuum that will be created.

    1. THAT too. I tan rather easily and have an accent. My kids look more “Hispanic” than I do. Worries the living daylights out of me.
      And I feel it in me already. I always had black friends, but now when I meet a black person, the first thing I think is “Obama Voter.” For this I apologize.

      1. Having grown up in Hawaii, when it really was a “melting pot”, speaking American is the criteria, not skin color. Da kine pidgen is OK too.

      2. I have a similar reaction to meeting a black person for the first time that I do meeting a woman for the first time: “How easily do they get offended, and what can I respond with if they do?”

        I hate reacting like that, but there it is. And the thing is, I’ve only ever met a small handful of either who got all butthurt because of something I said. It’s all because of the ones who get media time.

      3. Why? 9 times out of 10 you will be right.

        Oh, and Craig? Racism is what progs do. We tend to judge by content of character here.

    2. I also apologize ahead of time Craig. I have had some good black friends in the military, (early 90s), but nowadays when I see one I think “Obama voter” or racist. Actually I feel the same of anyone of any race under the age of 30. So apologize to all of you who are that age as well.

    3. Craig, I really don’t think you have much to fear from Tea Partiers. Now, Liberals …!

    4. Well, there is my theses that the purported change in the Demcratic Party from white supremacist to commie was only ever cosmetic in the first place.

      An alternative hypothesis is that the ones I know of in my neck of the woods were simply bad people who liked power, and the ideology was never more than a means to an end, acceptable in their eyes.

    5. No apology necessary, since I didn’t vote for the Muad’Dib wannabe, I seem to be a rare species, living in Chicago.

      1. a former co-worker who was retired Navy would lament that his relatives seemed only to see 0bama’s color. “Aren’t you listening to him? Can’t you see what he stands for?” He said his family it turns out were the people LBJ was referring to when he said he’d have them voting Dem for 200 years.

      2. actually what was really funny was being at a Romney rally next to a huge black family, and having the thought cross my mind and then “No! Not here!” And then not thinking of them as “the enemy” Yeah. They were, btw, FAR more p*ssed off than even I was.

      3. Oh, I’m sure a couple of the times you voted it was for Barry. It’s just that you weren’t at the polling station at the time.

        1. Perhaps it is time to start protesting for voter ID, stealing* the “Not In My Name” meme from the antiwar fifth columnists.

          Sigh — have you seen what the New “We still aren’t as far Left as The Nation” Republic is trying to do to Governor Walker with their latest cover story? Reality Based Community??? More like the Really Free-Basing Community.

          *Not really stealing as they deny the existence of property rights, especially rights in non-tangible intellectual property … just check out Shepard Fairey.

          1. People don’t like it when I reply to their gnashing of teeth over the “disenfranchisement” caused by voter ID by pointing out that voter fraud also disenfranchises voters, but a voter turned away from the polls know that her vote was ignored, and what she has to do to fix it. If my vote is canceled by a fraudulent vote, I’ll never know and so I’ll never be able to fix the problem.

            1. Think about it, though — and you’ll see signs of hope — as rigged as the vote was, they also needed the IRS fraud to depress GOTV on the other side to ensure Victory.

              1. That’s one of the reasons I’m optimistic. As I see it, two little things would forever kill the modern Democrat party: An elimination of corporate income tax, which would prevent the IRS from repeating 2012’s shenanigans, and the House refusing to count the Electoral College votes from any state that didn’t have voter ID laws in place.

  14. I cannot believe what we’re doing in foreign policy, essentially abdicating the burden of the Pax Americana.

    And not even in a rational fashion. We are doing so in the expectation that ceasing to guarantee the peace will somehow magically mean more peace, rather than the start of small to mid-sized wars of territorial expansion practically everywhere outside of the West. And, if we try to take our vacation from history long enough, including in the West.

    And our imperial ruler is trying to outlaw coal, which means those of us in the snow states are supposed to freeze in the dark.

    And an astonishing number of US citizens don’t seem to get that, absent adequate energy, the economy is going to collapse. They seem to think that one can cut out the base of an economy and things will just go along swimmingly. Heck, Marx knew better than that!

    It’s traitor because he was raised to be a traitor. I don’t know how to link L. Neil Smith’s article, so I’ll just say that he pointed out that someone who was raised as a communist, is in fact a communist. Why would he be anything else? It would require a Road of Damascus experience, and I don’t remember his telling us of one. And trust me, he would have.

    That’s a very good point. Since it would have been intellectually important to him and would have gotten him votes, he would have been trumpeting it.

    That’s what we’re dealing with here. Given Obama’s performance off script, I don’t think his dunceness is that smart. Look, as with his being a red diaper baby, it doesn’t even take much guessing. The evidence is RIGHT before our eyes. If he were smart, it would have been shouted from the rooftops. IQ? Grades? Achievement of some sort?

    Instead, he’s sealed up as much of his school records as he could get away with doing, which tells us that he did very, very poorly in school.

    1. Sealed his records and lost years worth of emails that the NSA should have backups of.

      They’re trying to turn you all into low-information voters.

  15. Perhaps Obama didn’t do poorly. Perhaps his course selections merely reveal the true depths of his communist leanings.

      1. Probably true. Unless his handlers thought it would result in an outcry for more records they’d have to fake, like has been purported to have been done with the birth certificate.

        1. I think they might have learned their lessons after GWB was supposed to be stupid, and then Gore and Kerry turned out to have similar, and it turned out, slightly lower grades (and well, Gore dropped out) and then GWB admitted to not paying enough attention to his classes at that time. I think they looked into who they were up against and realized they couldn’t pull off the Smartest Evah with comparing him to McCain (part of why they went after Palin who was VP, not the one running things supposedly) and avoided it for Romney and Ryan

    1. We know more about the president’s favorite TV shows than his education.

    2. Exactly! We do know that he graduated from Columbia WITHOUT HONORS, yet somehow made it into Harvard Law. I get the feeling that he has hidden his own transcripts for two reasons. 1. He applied as a “foreign student” even though he was born in Hawaii and 2. His course list would be embarrassing to all but his most ardent followers and typical of the empty headed academic. I am sure he never read Aristotle of Locke, but aced academic cattle excrement like “Oppression Studies” and ” Black Studies.” Never read Shakespeare or Faulkner but got As in “Third World Transgendered Marxist Literature.” I tell my students all the time that just because someone has a degree from a top school does not mean they received and education.

      1. I just can’t figure how he would think that his class roster would be embarrassing, given that he has admitted (practically bragged) to using both pot and cocaine, and never admitted that it was a dumb thing to do.

        1. You’re forgetting the myth (on the left, from the sixties) of the “brilliant drug user.” Drug use just makes him cool and “with it.” Proof that he’s dumb? Oh, my.

          1. Ugh, don’t remind me of all those SF stories where people got “psi powers” by smoking pot and/or using other drugs. [Frown]

  16. At a minimum you should have a small inverter that can charge your laptop battery off a 12 volt source such as a vehicle battery. During the great tornado wall event that swept North Alabama a few years back we were without power for eight days. I kept cell, laptop, and fm radio charged the entire time. You do need to run the car to recharge its battery so eventually you run out of gas, but I started with under half a tank and still had some left when power was restored.
    Since I have adde a larger inverter with the capacity to run a refrigerator, a hand crank weather radio, and shelf stable freeze dried camping food for a month.

    1. Local surplus auctions are a great place to find big UPSs for cheap. Most of them are sold when their batteries expire, but there is usually a LOT of life left in them. A big UPS can run a laptop or cordless tool charger a LONG time. It can also be there is one or 2 batteries that went bad, and can be cheaply replaced to salvage the rest. I’ve had good luck and used my big UPSs during several outages.

      Check out for a good start.

      You will be bidding against scrappers who just want the batteries for recycle value, so as long as you bid above that, you will probably win.

      BTW, there are good things online and on youtube that show how to convert them to use car batteries too.


      1. The only UPS I am familiar with is the United Parcel Service, and if my local driver is any example, I’m not sure they’re salvageable.

          1. Uninterruptible Power Supply. Has a transformer and a battery, to keep the power going to your computer in the event of a power outage. Most are only good for several minutes – basically enough to save your work and shut down gracefully.

            1. Yep, but I’m talking about BIG ones. Well, medium ones in the IT world. I have a 16kVA at my shop and about 12kVA total at home. That will run a few things for a long time depending on how many batteries I have connected. (The 16kVA will run my whole house for a short while.) After all, a UPS is nothing more than a battery system, charger, and AC inverter all in one package.

              They can have an added benefit if you are using a cheap generator. The good industrial quality ones have a switch labeled “Generator” that lets them charge off of much dirtier power than they would normally allow. LOTS of electronics don’t like dirty power (like what is generated by cheap generators.) Then your lappy runs off the UPS, which provides clean power.


              1. Oh, sure, I saw that you were talking about big ones (even though I haven’t really seen any of those), but I was talking about the most common ones you see around. You certainly won’t see one of the ones you’re talking about at Best Buy.

                1. I like to pay about $40 for a 3kVA one. It is about 10 inches high, 14 inches wide and 24 inches deep. It weighs alot. Even if I replace a couple of batteries, it is WAY cheaper than most high end power strips, let alone a new much smaller UPS.

                  I am pretty well stocked now, so I don’t have to battle the scrap dealers like I used to. The best thing about them is they are nearly silent, so I have some juice at night when I’m not running the generator. Nothing attracts unwanted attention like the sound of a generator, and working lights in the middle of a still night.


  17. You know, I think Obama might actually be doing the US a favor. A few years after Pax America fails, we’ll be able to go a-viking as private endeavors. What’s not to like?

    1. I’m glad I picked up one of those “It takes a Viking to raze a village” shirts ahead of time. And of course I remember the correct order for the raid: loot, pillage, burn.

      1. Loot and Pillage are pretty interchangeable. The order I learned (in Boy Scouts) was Rape, then Kill, then Pillage, then Burn. The order of operations is *important*:-)

        1. heh, the ‘successful samurai’ illustrations on the overhead in Basic Programming, in 1986.

        2. The proto-War on Women raiding joke I remember is “if you rape the cattle and slaughter the women, you’re doing it wrong.”

          It’s not just the order that’s important.

          1. Looking at some of the leading lights of Feminism (Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Rosa DeLauro [D-CT3]) I am not sure you would be doing it wrong.

  18. For instance, have you guys figured out yet that OWS’s was supposed to be an attempt at a “proletarian revolution”?

    I’m not sure if this was directly encouraged or just a result of SS,DDecade. Like I pointed out when folks wanted to know why I was impressed by the TEA party but not OWS: these “college kid” types ALWAYS have protests, and for the same sort of things, with similar results. The lack of responsible adults was the biggest change I could see. (Probably the number of raging pscyhos, like those Vegas cop killers, isn’t any higher– it’s just easier to identify them when there were “OWS” groups anyplace some unemployed, bored college kids could gather to demand more free stuff.)

    1. In my usual context (computing), SSD means “solid-state drives” and doesn’t have a comma. I’m trying to guess what SS,D means. Is it “School Sucks, Dude”?

    2. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older, but it was amazing to me how pathetic OWS was. I mean I’ve seen protest for decades in NYC and that was just lame. Of course the real action was happening where the Progressives haven’t noticed over at Makerfaire.

      1. They can’t organize Porta Potties, and we’re supposed to take their advice about running the country? Did I miss something?

      2. I remember getting yelled at a LOT by folks about my dismissive attitude about OWS and my open mockery about their absolute lack of understanding how the real world worked.

        I wonder how many of the ones who ended up raped during that entire idiocy are blaming it on the police, the right, and everyone else except the rapist?

        1. Like the white activist in Haiti that blames her rape, not on the black man who did it, but the white patriarchy?


        2. In New York the OWS group wound up having to appeal to the NYPD to provide security for their camp, after the OWS volunteer security proved to be just a sick joke.

            1. I wouldn’t be surprised, though this wouldn’t preclude them also whining that they weren’t getting enough police protection.

                1. The Supreme Court has held that the police have no duty to provide any given citizen with protection.

                  But that’s your ordinary, run-of-the-mill, hohum citizen. Surely your special little snowflakes deserve more.

              1. Those brainiacs were quite capable of demanding that the police maintain their safety while simultaneously denouncing any visible police presence as oppressive.

      3. I enraged my lib friends on Facebook with “Wow, the streets of New York haven’t seen this many losers since the 1962 Mets team bus broke down on the way to Shea Stadium.”

        1. No wonder you outraged them — Shea Stadium wasn’t opened until 1964. In 1962 Mets home games were lost in the Polo Grounds.

          1. Oh good catch. Of course my lib friends knowledge of baseball history was about as good as the average lib’s grasp of: real history, economics, real literature, real science………………………etc. so it went uncaught by them.

    3. I don’t think that the Left realizes yet that when you get rid of all that hate, a rally is actually fun. And at a TEA Party rally the ladies make sure you clean up, not that we didn’t know that.

      1. It’s a easier to forget the mess in the middle of the fun when there’s not a lady standing there and possibly clearing her throat, or just saying “Here, hold this bag.”

        1. They were here in Texas, too. For the big rally on Alamo Plaza in 2009 – the one that Glenn Beck promoted? We had a volunteer squad doing clean-up afterwards. They didn’t have all that much to clean up, because we were all good and responsible citizens and parked our trash in the trashcans were it belonged to begin with.

        2. That’s why the TEA Parties are dangerous… by cleaning up after themselves, they’re taking jobs away from gubmint union members!

          Real Americans would leave the place looking like the aftermath of Obama’s first inauguration.

  19. And I’m very afraid both my sons will end up in uniform and possibly dying to pay for this massive mistake.

    If we end up having to draft folks, the politicians in uniform will not last long. Waaaaay too strong a tradition of the old joke:

    The highest ranking officers of the Navy, the AF and the Army were arguing about whose group was the bravest.

    The Army guy said he’d prove the Army was bravest, and ordered a private to throw himself in front of a tank.

    Dies horribly.

    The other two are impressed, but still don’t agree. They go to the Air Force general’s base, and he orders an airman to throw himself into a jet engine.

    Dies horribly.

    They’re impressed, but still don’t agree.

    They go to a ship, and the Admiral orders a seaman recruit to tie a chain around his waist and jump off the ship.

    The seaman tells him to go to hell.

    Thus showing (altered to fit service of person telling the joke’s service) is the bravest of them all…..

    1. Nope. That read right to me; no alteration necessary. And the reason the Marines aren’t included is that everybody knows they’re already brave. Plus, we really don’t want to waste one on a stupid “demonstration.”

        1. That would depend on whether (a) a Corpsman was around and if so (b)whether that Corpsman would encourage or discourage said behavior.

          Then again, most of my fellow corpsman would probably encourage said behavior just on general principle. 😀

    2. There’s a variant of the joke demonstrating how USAF enlisted are smarter than other branches.
      Army: “Good luck men! Give ’em hell!”
      Navy: “Good luck! Let’s give ’em hell!”
      Air Force: “Good luck, sir! Give ’em hell!”

      1. I heard a similar one about how the various branches define “Secure a Building”
        Marines Smash down the doors and kill everyone inside.
        Army Blows it up.
        Navy locks the doors and posts guards.
        Air Force signs a three year lease with an option to buy.

        1. The Navy also ties all the equipment to the shelves, and ties the shelves to the walls, and if it’s avionics all the tools go into the drawers and slots they are etched for after an inspection for damage.

    3. No no no… You told it all wrong. Pentagon Generals are arguing over who has the bravest men… the Army and Navy call in a private, seaman, whatever and ask them to do something stupid and dangerous (jump on a grenade or something)… it’s the Air Force Airman that looks the general straight in the eye and says “Hell, no.”

      Actually, there are some jokes that aren’t altered for each service… this one I’ve seen as a comic. Special Forces or Marines are chest deep in the mud in the cold and rain, the guy’s got a blade held in his teeth and is saying, “I love this shit.” The panel for the Army is similar, says “I hate this shit.” Navy, I think, is flying over it looking down and says, “That looks like shit down there.” And the Air Force guy is sitting in a recliner and the rain shows outside the window but the TV is static and he says, “This is shit.”

      Air Force loves that one…

      1. Even in a joke, I can’t see an AF lowbie doing that… I was kinda ruined on the idea by going to C school on Keesler. 😀 Sooooo many whatever-they-call-air-force-Booters calling me “sir.”

  20. Sarah, you’re fairly vulnerable right now, but once you’ve sold your house you will be able to dodge anything you see coming with much less financial loss. Until you buy another house, which you can’t put off too long, or you’ll be paying taxes on the money from the sale of the house. But this will give you a year of “nimbleness” so to speak, at what may be a critical period. A renter can walk away–or run–with much less financial loss. You might want to consider storage in a semi rural area for things you really don’t want to have to abandon.

    I am worried about the economy after the November elections. Obama will have no immediate reason to make things look good, especially if the Republicans do well in the elections.

    I’m looking for land . . . and wishing I had the energy I had when I was younger to do the work needed for a large chunk. Pasture, orchard, garden, internet connection . . . Oh, yeah, a roof over my head.

    Cities are the place the worst riots will occur. They are also the places the PTB will make sure get food deliveries if there’s a transportation breakdown. Flip a coin. I think you’re right that it won’t go to worse case. But increased crime, unreliable stocking and utilities? Currency tanked? IRA’s taxes or confiscated? Yeah. Need land. Water well, septic system, enough solar power for the basics. It’s less easy for the government to take away.

      1. The Dems will try to scotch tape the economy together until then. It may start fraying before the elections, but with control of the media, a big vote early pitch . . .

        Internationally. Oh, where’s my blankie? Time to go fetal.

      2. It will. The way I figure it, a country takes a lot of ruin, and the people and organizations in it are more or less spring-loaded to survival by default. You can twist things otherwise for a while, but the longer the twisting the more the resistance – and when the twisting ceases for even a moment, things are going to change rapidly.

        The media’s been twisting things for quite a while, due to ideology, but it’s starting to register that supporting their ‘chosen one’ is actually contra-survival. As long as they figured they’d be taken care of, they were good with the plan- but they’ve got no guarantee now and they know there’s no way to spin things without looking like complete morons. (Case in point, the Lois Learner ‘dog ate my emails defense. Any IT guy knows that those emails would’ve had to have been backed up three ways to Sunday, so the “OMG my computer crashed and ate all my emails for the last two years” defense does not hold water. And any reporter worth their salt is going to be asking the company IT guy if such a thing is possible. And in the answer is going to be, thanks to Sarbanes-Oxley and other regulatory requirements for archiving emails, not to mention the equipment needed for a large-scale email server and the multiple redundancies to avoid losing anything, not only “no, but hell no.” Too many people know at this point that the suggested scenario is totally false.

        And while the media may be okay with lying on its own for THEIR purposes, they really don’t like being lied to.

        The twisting has about reached it’s limit, so I would expect before August things are going to snap. And not in a bad way.

        We’ll see, but I expect the DC elite are about to get their asses handed to them, and not in an election either.

    1. IRA’s taxe[d] or confiscated?

      I misread that as “IRS (something) confiscated” on my first glance through, and thought you were predicting IRS agents going out to confiscate people’s property (land, vehicles, whatever) for back taxes owed. If/when that happens, I predict that some of the property owners would shoot at the collectors*, on the grounds that the confiscation was illegitimate and they would be defending their property from theft. I don’t think the Democrats realize just how much they’ve been losing the consent of the governed recently.

      * The “revenue-ers”, in other words. Yes, we’ve been there before, in parts of the country, and I predict we’re going to go there again at some point.

      1. “Beware of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors. And miss.” R.A.H.

      2. I expect they’ll come for the mobile property as well, if they maintain control long enough to be that hard up for trade goods. The money, by then, will be nearly worthless. I think the trick will be to be away from the affluent suburbs. As a bank robber once said about his choice of targets, “Because that’s where the money is.”

  21. Kool-Aid, niggardly, it doesn’t really matter what you say or what words you use. They will be wrong because YOU use them. Negro or colored or black or African-American are none of them intrinsically derogatory – until somebody says them with a smirk as a slur and then we have to move on to a new word for a couple months or years. They project power by making it personal instead of discussing ideas or ideals. You are racist and evil and anti-American because you are not them. Anything you espouse is automatically tainted. Let it roll off your back like water off a duck. Ducks are racist too. I don’t know why but we’ll think of something. Maybe because Kool-Aid doesn’t wet them.

  22. I’m not as pessimistic as most people. The fact is that the Progressives have FAILED. I think that institutions on which the country was founded on and the ideals we have are stronger than they think. The fact is that everything they though was going to be easy has failed in the last six years. The country hasn’t failed, the Progressives have, and it’s been obvious that they have. They were supposed to be the “Best And Brightest” from the best of the Ivy Covered Snob Factories, with the best information and data form top flight think tanks, able to take on any crisis and run bigger, better government so well that it would define the new America and ensure Progressives in power forever. Instead everything has fallen apart. Like the end of Communism, it has all fallen apart for them and they are the last to know:
    The problem is that the world has moved on and they haven’t. George Gilder pointed out in “Knowledge and Power” that 80% of the Harvard catalog stultifies the students. The problem is that the best and brightest are run through a system where collective thinking is rewarded and imagination is crushed in enforced conformity. The they are let loose on a chaotic world and are completely unequipped to handle it. So across government, Wall St. and big industry, everywhere where credential has replaced experience and competence we keep seeing the same kind of disasters. I think, though that people are starting to see the results and we have lost our patience with the “Best and Brightest.” They may collapse but I don’t think the country will. Too many people are dedicated to keeping the lights on and the trains running regardless of what the “best and brightest” do to muck it up. In the end I think that for all the Progressive search for relevance they will discover that they did not matter at all.

    1. How likely will it be for someone to attack us bringing our power grid down either temporarily or permanently (with an EMP, singular or multiple)?

      1. cascade failure is far easier to bring about, especially in the coastal areas esp. Cali where everything is so over loaded and they get rolling blackouts already.

        1. Rolling blackouts are done intentionally, to lighten the overloading of the grid, and to reduce how much power CA buys from other states…. because in order to appear green, CA hasn’t built nearly enough power plants in the last few decades.

          1. Yes, but the reasons they need to do that are also the reasons it is very easy to overload them by taking out the right thing. Remember, the “Great Northeast Blackout” was due to the failure of a single breaker. Cali would only need a few things hit at peak usage to crash it for some time.

      2. EMP is not as likely to take out power as people who are scared of it to think. It’d cause damage, and make a mess, but wouldn’t bring everything down.

        Ironically, the Animal Rights terrorists have done us a favor, on accident– they frequently target power and radio and stuff to get attention, so that is a lot better defended than it was thirty years ago.

        If someone was trying to maximize damage, I’d expect things like strategic fires at power stations, taking bulldozers to power lines in random areas, and making communication patchy.
        Try to make things a pain and cause uncertainty, rather than take everything out.

  23. I’m actually becoming more optimistic. Look, Obama won reelection by ferreting out every last Democrat voter in the country. The thing is that there are far more conservative potential voters than Democrats. The techniques used in 2012 can’t be kept secret and the GOP, especially the Tea Party types, are starting to use them. The left’s strongest weapon has been control of the media, and that’s starting to break. The overselling of Obama is becoming obvious and their credibility is waning. The GOP is already talking about moving the 2016 primary debates out of the mainstream media (I still want to see Bill Whittle moderate a debate).

    Hillary’s campaign can be torpedoed by two questions: “Are you (the American people) better off now than you were four years ago?” and “So, Mrs. Clinton, other than completely botching American foreign policy, abandoning Americans to die overseas, and staying married to a serial rapist, why are you qualified to be President?”

    1. Um, she used to look pretty good in a pants suit? She can make cookies? She made a lot of $$ in ag futures? That’s all I come up with.

      1. She’s way, way past her ‘sell by’ date. I don’t think she’s got a chance, and from what is going on with her health, I’m not sure she’s even going to run.

    2. The problem is this: what are the chances that the servile media will actually ask those questions? We’re already seeing a full-court media press for the Clintons in recent months.

        1. That’s the other thing. Hillary is nowhere near the natural politician that Bill or Barry, or even Romney, are. There’s a reason she got shellacked in the primaries.

            1. Enough spackle and a few coats of really good paint cover a lot of problems. But I don’t think it’s going to help in her case.

      1. I’m not expecting the Democrat Propaganda Machine to ask the questions. I am expecting the DPM to be far less influential in 2016 than they were in 2012. And considering the first question was exactly what her husband rode into office on, it’s not like they can spin it as out of bounds. It will be the common theme for the PACs and new media’s coverage. She can fight it by repudiating Obama’s policies, which lose her the base, or she can lose middle America. Either way is going to make it hard to win.

    3. Another thing about Hillary is after 8 years of “Well, he may not have any accomplishments but _____ is just so brilliant, who cares what’s on ___’s resume” at least 50.00000001% of the country isn’t going to buy it again.

      1. I’m not sure I’ve seen a celebrity book remaindered so fast. Apparently sales are, ah, I’ll say slower than a snail on sedatives. Granted, no hardbacks are moving briskly, but still . . .

    4. One of the larger things the 2012 Democrats did that conservatives won’t do is to ramp up vote fraud to levels not seen since Tammany Hall. All those dead voters and ones that voted in 2 or more states probably did make a difference in some places. There is a reason that the Democrat party placed emphasis on winning state secretary of state offices in the last few elections. ACORN lives, just with a name change.

      1. In SOME places? Unless you believe Colorado Voters suffer from massive amnesia, about 1/3 of the people who showed up to vote at my precinct were allowed to do a provisional vote, because records showed they’d already voted by mail. Of course, the provisional votes are thrown away, if records show the person — or someone — did indeed vote by mail in their name. My precinct was low. In a lot of others it was 2/3. you figure it.
        We need to get rid of vote by mail and early voting, PERIOD.

  24. I recently made the mistake of watching the news recently also. It’s deeply depressing to me that everything we’ve tried to build in the Middle East over the past 13 years (Iraq anyway, I never held out much hope for Afghanistan – the Pashtuns are snakes from what I’ve heard) went burning to the ground in less than a few weeks. It seems like none of the effort of our military amounted to anything. Like Vietnam, we weren’t allowed to win. A political class which despised us was allowed to dismantle our efforts. Like Vietnam, the country (or at least, what I must now admit is the majority of the country) wasn’t with us, even in the bare minimum of tolerating our goals.

    I am in graduate school, so I have to listen to a lot of leftist assholes spout about their complete and utter disdain for our military. We’re subhuman in their eyes. Either we are some sort of crazed violence addict in their imagination, or we’re dupes and suckers who can be used and abused and discarded, and it’s our own fault for being so dumb as to even try to defend this country.

    Eventually we’re going to reach a point where they are absolutely right. Where it would be stupid to keep fighting for a country that hates us and sees our willingness contribute a few years in the nation’s defense as signalling that we are third-class slaves, fighting in wars we will never be allowed to finish. And when the inevitable desertion of the competent from military ensues, this country will be left with a service every bit as hollow as the Iraqi military has proven to be to defend itself.

    1. Hang in there MadRocket. If I got through a humanities PhD with my sanity intact, anyone can. (OK, with my sanity as intact as it was when I started.) I suspect it’s going to come down to fighting for family, state, home-town folks, and the Constitution and Declaration of Independence. And this time no one, but no one, is going to ignore the 9th and 10th amendments.

  25. Sarah, you’ve nailed it. Unfortunately, I’ve observed thru many disasters that “by the time you think it’s time to act, it’s already too late.” Witness the packed freeways during Ike and Rita hurricane evacuations. Witness the inevitable run on generators after any major event. I saw people do ASTOUNDING things during the run up to Rita (remember it was right after Katrina, so there was a huge reaction.) I saw people fighting over bottled water WHILE IT WAS STILL COMING OUT OF THE TAPS! I saw people stacking plywood on top of passenger cars until the roofs were crushed. Panicked last minute decisions are almost always bad ones.

    So I’ve learned thru diligent study, reflection, and first hand experience to prepare.

    The good news is IT”S NOT TOO LATE. We still have money in banks, food on store shelves, (mostly) rule of law.

    If you haven’t already gotten started:

    10 Things To Do Now
    [put w’s here ]

    Ten MORE Things To Do Now
    [put w’s here]

    [trying to avoid going to moderation]

    The category links on the left side of that site have a ton of useful info.

    Overall, that is one of the best and most balanced prepper sites I’ve found. Whatever your particular flavor of disaster is, the basic preps are the same.

    As an aside, for anyone coming into the prepper sites cold, don’t be put off by conspiracy theories, unlikely scenarios, or a sense of “tin foil hattery.” Ask yourself instead why anyone would ENCOURAGE that reaction in you to things that are plainly possible, if unlikely. If needed, think of it as sociology research into a particular community. However you get the knowledge–get it! Get prepared. Bad times ARE coming. It’s mathematically impossible to keep on as we are. And there is a ton of info on this site and others.

    On the grander scheme of things, prepping is becoming mainstream as more and more people look around and don’t like what they see. Costco has 2 different brands of survival food, for example. I don’t think they have 2 brands of KETCHUP! Walmart and even grocery stores are starting to carry freeze drieds and shelf stable foods.

    Most readers of this site, and frequent commentors, probably are further along than they think. Start with a survey of what you have. You can probably put together a bug out bag without buying anything extra. Who doesn’t have an extra backpack or book bag laying in a closet? Add a multi tool, first aid kit, some powerbars, flash drive with important papers, cigarette lighter, flashlight, change of clothes, water, a couple of plastic trash bags, and you are on your way.

    Got an extra propane tank? An old colman or backpacking stove? How about a couple of bags of charcoal? Tarps or a roll of plastic left over from painting the house? Got roofing nails and a hammer? Got a firepit in the yard? Add wood and some pots without plastic on them and you can heat food and water. I’ll bet you have more things that would be considered “preps” than you think.

    How about collections that no longer interest you? Older appliances you replaced but put away in the garage? Sell that stuff! Get money for preps!

    I see that I’ve got a wall o text going, but this is one of my topics.

    To quickly close, I’m seeing evidence of the ‘build under’ idea. Lots of ordinary folks, quietly taking action, doing what needs to be done, with a wary eye on the others. For a long time our country has operated like a big successful business, where in reality, only a few people are busy getting the actual work done, ignoring as much of the BS as they can, while the majority send each other memos about memos and call meetings to set the agenda for other meetings. Like a business, when the good times end, lots of people will suddenly find themselves “surplus to needs.” Some of them will respond very badly to that, but that is fodder for another post.


    BTW I hope for a post collapse society like the Tinkers in Vernor Vinge’s Realtime books, or at worst a return to “Little House on the Prairie”, but only if there is a VAST reduction in population. And getting there will be REALLY miserable.

    1. I think the slew of disasters over the recent years – the kind where everything gets destroyed, food is scarce, etc – has brought the mindset of ‘just in case’ a bit more mainstream. The Zombie Apocalypse doesn’t have to be literal zombies, it’s just the meme / pop culture reference for ‘When the shit hits the fan’ (Daddy lost his job and Mom’s isn’t enough / we have to downsize / things are getting more expensive / natural disasters / and escalating issues follow-etc…)

      As much as I love reading The Little House on The Prairie, I would not want to return to that era. I read it to appreciate how far we’ve come, and to marvel that any idiot in this day and age ever thinks of the Housewife as weak. They were TOUGH.

      1. Yep, actually returning there would suck for us. I have been looking around the house and counting the time saved by all my robots. Instead of washing clothes once a week, and spending all day at it, involving several people, I spend 2 minutes loading up a machine, then I walk away. Instead of washing dishes, I load up a robot and walk away. Instead of spending the day baking, I load up a robot.

        The businesses and households of the time mechanized as quickly as possible because of the backbreaking and time consuming nature of simply existing. It’s why most families of any means, even very moderate means, had domestic help or outsourced the work to a washer woman, a cook, or a ‘hired man’.

        I picked Little House, because I see that as a level of tech and effort that the ordinary person could understand and keep running. We wouldn’t fall all the way to the middle Ages, because we’d remember tech. A lot of the tech of the late 1800’s is still sitting around in barns, religious enclaves, and museums. The books describing it are still available. It is buildable by craftsmen with the knowledge, and doesn’t take advanced processes.

        What it DOES take, and most people disregard, is a massive infrastructure dedicated to that level of living. Mail order catalogs, transportation networks linking industrial areas with rural areas, raw materials, livestock, manufactured goods, etc, were all available at appropriate levels to support those folks. That stuff will be missing post-collapse and will take a while to re-introduce. In the mean time, you are stuck with what you have put away, what you can steal/scavenge or what you can produce locally. Given the nature of what it takes to get enough calories in that lifestyle, there is not much time left over for anything else.


        1. We WON’T fall to the late 1800 either. Good Lord, that’s not how tech and society works. Electricity might become irregular, it won’t go away all together. All the mechanical engineers won’t suffer amnesia. To take us to the 1800s it would take three generations of absolutely totalitarian rule, like, say, North Korea. Even Russia didn’t get that.

          1. I’m not convinced of this (and maybe I should have said 1890-1920). I’ve been looking at infrastructure lately. Once damaged or destroyed it is VERY hard to replace. Almost all of the infrastructure maintenance is effectively invisible to most people, but it needs to be done CONSTANTLY. Our extreme interdependence and “networked-ness” makes a failure in one area not just likely to affect others, but certain too.

            For example. Power plants don’t run themselves. They need a constant stream of inputs, and their outputs and inputs need active management. The turbines, distribution equipment, and even the power lines themselves need constant care and attention. How do you do that without linemen? Or operation engineers? How do you do it if 80% of your workforce stays home or gets sick? (Read the pandemic and business continuity sections of the CDC website for some scary stuff.) How does the natural gas, or coal get to the power plants without railroads and pipeline operators? Drillers and miners? What if you need to do repairs after a disaster or attack, on top of normal operation? How do the gas producers keep operating when the FEDEX trucks aren’t running? (Their spares are all “just an overnight delivery away.”) Your local power plant is likely burning gas from many thousands of miles away. Very little is stored onsite. Further, the longer any of the systems are offline, the harder it is to bring them back up. Just one example, the horizontal shafts in the turbine of the generating station need to constantly be rotated. Even if the plant is shut down, they have motors that rotate the shafts. If they don’t, gravity causes the shafts to sag and bend, and then they are ruined.

            The engineers may not have forgotten how to make a new shaft, but how do they do so, when the steel mills can’t produce the material, there aren’t trucks or trains to move the blank, and the machine shops capable of doing the work are no longer in America?

            Lean manufacturing principles and “just in time” delivery have reduced inventories at factories to the point where many have to shut down if there are even minor delays in delivery. 3 days is typical.

            Grocery stores don’t have stock rooms anymore. They get deliveries many times a day from regional centers, that are themselves constantly resupplied. 3 days of disruption to the distribution network and store shelves empty out. The vast majority of people in the US eat food that is prepared in distant factories and delivered to their local store just in time. US chickens are butchered and packaged in China and then returned to the US for sale. Our ordinary produce comes from Chile, Mexico, and even farther away. Our seafood from China and Vietnam. It moves thru a very interconnected network. Any point in the network can be disrupted, and if too many are, lots of people will go hungry.

            Hungry people will do very bad things in order to not be hungry.

            But back to infrastructure.

            How do you FIX it? Well, the current model is to bring in skilled people and gear from outside the affected area. Hurricane Sandy brought linemen from all across the country and they dog-piled the problems. Katrina, Ike, Rita, same story. But there are only so many people with the skills and knowledge. Any widespread disaster is going to pull those people in different directions and dilute their efforts and effects.

            The longer the power is out, the harder the fall and longer the recovery. How do you restart a chip fab? How about a modern meat processing facility that has been without power and unattended for a few weeks? Got a couple of hundred thousand gallons of disinfectant? Any ideas how to restart a wastewater treatment plant? How about a primary water treatment plant that has been contaminated with chemical agents or simply flood run-off? (Flood run-off is incredibly nasty, full of toxic chemicals, sewage, biohazards, particulates, etc.) We assume and hope that the people who DO know how have a plan, and are available, and can get to the facilities. But can they? Or are they at home, shooting looters?

            Pretty soon you get into a cascade failure (classic downward spiral- for want of a nail…)

            So yeah, we won’t FORGET, but we may not be ABLE. Not for a long time.


            (and anything sufficiently bad will result in mass starvation and violence along with sickness) The world being so much more interdependent, I don’t think that historical examples are as applicable. And anything world-wide precludes modern disaster relief which is predicated on bringing in help from unaffected areas, or moving refugees to unaffected areas. Doesn’t work if there aren’t any such areas.

            1. I could summarize by saying that “there is very little slack in any of the systems.” They are relatively “brittle.” And once broken, they will take a lot of work to put right.


        2. Yeah… the thing that does my head in, trying to imagine, is how to keep meat from spoiling in the clime I’m in (Australia) if we don’t have working refrigerators / ice chests / electricity. Sure we could try doing solar power (we’d have to have a good lot of panels, I’d imagine) and wind… Kinda take for granted these things that make our lives easier, like washing machines and refrigerators…

          I know how to wash clothes by hand (Had to do it for a long time) so really, it’s the refrigerators and freezers.

          I did buy myself a book called Preserving Food Without Freezing or Canning – more as research for writing fiction, but it looks like it may be useful, if the metaphorical Zombie Apocalypse happens…

          1. I was under the impression that you could can meat, just like vegetables. Never having done it though, I can’t say with certainty (and I’d much rather comment here than go and do the research and *then* comment:-D).

            1. I know one of the ways that meat is preserved (in the Philippines, for travel) is cooking it in vinegar and soy sauce and garlic (Adobo), with LOTS OF FAT and bone. The bones are stripped out after the cooking, and the whole thing cooled. The sauce becomes a delicious jelly and the meat… ummm, yum yum. Serve over hot rice.

              I can imagine the resultant meat and jelly being canned; but don’t you have to can the food while it’s hot?

              Some research indeed…

              But a thought did occur to me. I would not have rice. Rice paddies require lots of water.

              1. Canning meat isn’t that hard. You just need a pressure canner, 75 min at 11 psi for pints and 90 min for quarts. Its the same whether you hot (cooked) or cold (raw) pack the jars. I make big pots of soup / stew / chili all the time and can up most of it.

                1. Ooooh, thanks for that!

                  I brought up this topic to my hubby and he mentioned that every so often, he sees advertisements for lots of land to the tune of 85 acres and up in size, for sale.

                  Though, now that I think about it, what the hell does one do with the termites? o_o

            2. I’ve seen both beef and chicken canned, helped some friends do it. So, yes, you can can meat (just don’t dance while doing it. Or maybe you can can can while canning meat. I don’t know. We didn’t cover that in the classes… Oh, is that a carp inbound? Okay then…)

            3. One of my coworkers, who has a farm, has taken to canning the chicken meat that they get. He says they don’t even pluck the chickens anymore, they skin them, then cook them and can the meat. I’ll have to ask if that requires a pressure canner or not.

              1. IIRC it does. It needs the hotter sterilization.

                One thing I got when I started canning those blackberries was the Ball “Blue Book” which is full of canning advice and recipes, including which things can be canned in boiling water, and which things need the pressure cooker.

                (I also have a device that hooks up to my vacuum-bagger that can apply the suck to a canning jar and make the lid stick on, but it is NOT the same level of vacuum and it’s not sterile).

                  1. Good page.

                    I recall some TV drama where a guy was holding a nursing student captive in her apartment, and he made her cook for him, and she just happened to have a jar deliberately cultivating botulism for her studies, which she put in his food to take him down.

          2. Salted and dried were THE only methods that worked for a lot of things.
            My dad makes his own kraut and it is a ton better than store-bought (I dislike kraut unless it is fresh made…well, as fresh as a fermented product can be). But it can go bad as well.
            Solar and Wind are part time solutions. Batteries are needed to extend them to truly useful methods. The other way is to stay on the light to light living method, Solar is getting better, but sun ain’t alway up, and in some places even up it ain’t always strong.

            1. Well… adobo CAN be dried after cooking it (it’s popular like this but expensive to make); smoked and dried meat and fish are common in Filipino markets; and there’s eggs boiled in very salty water. Longganisa sausages… hm.

            2. And yeah… it’s been a thought-train of worry for me, where you’d get your own source of power. Wind / water mills? Water is fairly scarce unless you’re living up north Australia (but then you have to worry about the tropical weather re: food preservation) There’s also the whole ‘can you dig for a well?’ (A quick skim online; there’s some info but it looks like they do it mostly for farmers…first level producers…)

              Makes me wish there was more information for the hot climes/dry climes/tropical climes, regards survival. All the stuff I read? great for North climes, and maybe New Zealand. It’s as if really, anyone south of Europe and North America’re expected to just die.

              1. Look for current and historical information on the Mountain West and Southwest regions in the US. The settlers in this area came up with some pretty ingenious solutions for water.

              2. there you’d best find a friendly aborigine to tell you how they managed in your particular area. As the Mullusk mentions, there were some ingenious methods used in places where folks had long ago left due to it turning unpleasant, so it is possible with a few pointers from the locals, and a bit of low-tech work-a-rounds you might be fine for a long time.

          3. Evaporative cooling works well in hot/dry climates, but takes a lot of water….


  26. I really wish I had some words of encouragement, but cannot seem to find it in me to lie to y’all.
    Our president is incompetent, malicious, or both. If things simply remain the same, the house of cards surely crumbles. The long hoped for caliphate is well on its way, and that almost guarantees a holy war in the middle east, probably one involving nukes. Our economy is very very shaky in spite of the cooked figures being touted by the administration. The amazing thing is how many still accept the narrative when all it takes to disprove the pitch is a trip to the grocery store.
    I fully expect a major upset come November, that is assuming the elections are allowed to occur on schedule. Years of the vile progs claiming Bush would declare martial law and suspend elections only serves to demonstrate who have that option on their minds.
    Supposing the Republicans win a major victory later this year, what then? We’d have lame duck Democrats looking to get even for the unfairness of it all. And two more years of a petty vindictive spoiled narcissist looking to show the country just how badly he is willing to punish us for our failure to bow to his awesomeness.
    I hear the politicians speak of gridlock and shake my head. I pray for gridlock. The less anyone in Washington does the better off we are. It’s when they get productive that I tremble at the damage the unintended consequences of their actions will likely cause.

    1. Uncle Lar, I admit, I read Sarah’s post this AM and really felt low, since it sums up so much of what I’ve been seeing and thinking. But the scripture for the past weeks has been First Samuel, most recently the passages about about David and Goliath. The Philistines had the Children of Israel demoralized and certain that none of them could stop Goliath. And then David, by trusting his G-d and being himself, got within Goliath’s defensive perimeter and we all know what happened next. The lessons I’m taking from it are 1) while you are waiting to take the throne, keep tending your sheep as best you can. 2) Verify what’s going on. 3) Do what needs to be done as yourself, not in someone else’s armor. 4) Once you’re sure you know what the problem is, charge at the problem, get inside the defenses, and throw your stone as hard as you can. Because sometimes miracles happen.

  27. When a youth I was told that the LDS had a household rule, keep at least six months food on hand. If one builds up to there and then kept taking from the front and replacing at the back they would be in good shape that way, I’m getting an outdoor camping stove for when I start canning in a few weeks. Could buy a few extra propane canisters. Common sense preparation for delays and shortages would not be difficult. Waiting too long may not be a good idea.
    When a tornado hit near us (no loss of life) people made a run on the local Walmart, etc. With a Distribution center eight miles away, it still took Walmart at least two days to replenish the shelves.

    1. Small propane cylinders are convenient to have, but I’d really suggest that you get a larger tank from someplace like Home Depot, and get an adapter to feed your outdoor camping stove. They’re not expensive, and will provide a lot of cooking ability for a long, long time.

      A 100 pound tank is available on Amazon for about $140 and since it is shipped empty may cost about $40-50 to fill, but it’s going to provide you gas for a really long time.

      It’s surprising what you can find when you put your mind to it. There’s all sorts of conveniences that we would use for camping, that turned out to be very useful in a survival situation. Of course it helps that the little guy was in scouts a while back, and we still have all that stuff in the basement. Oh God, do we have stuff…

  28. Sarah, I wish that you weren’t coming around to my point of view. I’m more pessimistic about how widespread it will be. _My_ guess is that cities between 50-100,000 might survive. Over 100,000 pop. are almost certain to go under. Too high a population of poor, and “idiot liberals,” to expect them to survive. Plus, today the “electrical grid” is so interdependent that a major portion going “down,” will take down the rest. (Nearly everything runs on electricity.)
    The problem is people running things that have *no idea* how things actually work. Not just in the WH, but most agencies, as well.

  29. Henry Hazlett:
    “The whole gospel of Karl Marx can be summed up in a single sentence: Hate the man who is better off than you are. Never under any circumstances admit that his success may be due to his own efforts, to the productive contribution he has made to the whole community. Always attribute his success to the exploitation, the cheating, the more or less open robbery of others. Never under any circumstances admit that your own failure may be owing to your own weakness, or that the failure of anyone else may be due to his own defects – his laziness, incompetence, improvidence, or stupidity.”

  30. Geez, when Sarah Hoyt starts getting depressing . . . I come here for inspirational, America-is-going-to-get-through-this talk. I can go to any number of other conservative/libertarian sites to hear how bad everything is. Maybe other members of the ELE have something to cheer me up.

    1. I think we WILL get through this. I just think there will be some unpleasant bits on the way.
      I think part of my depression is anger.
      I’ve said for a long time that I gave even odds this particular president would end up like Mussolini. I think we’re tilting towards that… But the mess will be atrocious.

      1. Obama recently brought on to White House counsel staff an attorney with impeachment credentials.

        I think something is about to come out and I believe Obama knows he is on his way out. One rumor was this weekend in Palm Springs, they were looking at houses. Pretty early for that now, you would think….

        1. You would think that – but his handlers aren’t dummies. They know they’ve wound the ‘fundamental change’ capstan to the breaking point. Economically, we’re in lousy shape. Diplomatically, we’ve sucked up to enemies with no result, and pissed off allies – and now we’re seeing how his idiocy is tossing away a decade of work and trillions of dollars.

          He’s a media creation – and he’s losing media support. Without their cover, he’s in deep, deep trouble – which leaves him few good options.

          He can bug out – resign from office – which will leave us with President Biden and VP Reid. (Oh, wouldn’t that megalomaniac Reid LOVE that. Arrange to have Biden removed (senility might be a good reason) and he’d be at the top.)

          He can sit back, stay low, and ride out the next two years with a low profile. That’s unlikely, I think – his ego won’t allow that.

          He can double down and accelerate his attempts to ‘fundamentally change’ the US. But without extremely passionate support by the media, he’s going to have a hard time justifying the executive orders he’ll need for that. Not that he won’t write them, but they’re going to be savaged by the analysts and probably repealed immediately by the next President.

          Next couple of years are going to be unpleasantly interesting…

          On the good side, I suppose we won’t have to worry about terrorists attacking DC for a few years. Why attack the central point of an enemy that’s destroying itself?

          1. If the Republicans win in November, we’ll have a Mad Duck President.
            Also, if terrorists take out DC they’ll leave us with an insurmountable etiquette problem. Do we send them that thank you note BEFORE or after we nuke them?

              1. That works – solves two problems with one action.

                Just don’t forget to stamp the envelope properly! International rates are rather tricky.

            1. Depends: Have they touched teh Air and Space museum and national gallery? If not, send the note before. If they mucked with my museums, save the postage/bandwidth/carrier pigeon.

            2. With a sufficient majority in the House and Senate, he can scream like Donald Duck in a frothing rage and toss out executive orders like confetti – but it won’t matter.

          2. I think I’m actually feeling optimistic about the Obama situation with regard to the continued existence of the United States.

            Yes, maybe I could describe my intellectual position in the same words I’ve been using for years.

            I don’t know what, but very recently something changed in the results of my signals processing, and my emotionally evaluation is very different.

            Hold on, continue the attack, we’ll see what the happens when the rubble settles.

            Foreign policy is a mess, but it has always been clear that Obama would have a mess there with tremendous costs, that we wouldn’t be able to remedy until he is out of power.

        2. If that’s the case, it must mean he has no confidence in holding on to the Senate in the fall. As it stands now, he could be impeached every day of the week and twice on Sunday, and he would be acquitted every time.

          1. Even if the Senate were still Democrat controlled, he’d have to mount a defense if the House actually found the integrity to pass an impeachment resolution.

            There are Democrats who actually think that an impeachment of Obama would set them up for electoral victory. But that depends upon the charges IMO.

            1. If the Democrats hold the Senate, no defense by Obama is necessary. Reed and company will delay, obfuscate and ultimately run out the clock while the MSM works to demonize the Republicans. They can do this for the required 2 years fairly easily. Look at the budget situation for the last 5 years.

              I suspect the GOP believes impeaching Obama, Holder or other high administration figures is a loser and while they let the Pau;s, etc. rant nothing will happen. Racist and / or sexist, you know. That and limiting the power in DC just won’t do.

        3. Rumor in NC is that they have/are about to buy a house in Asheville so that Michelle can run for Richard Burr’s seat when he retires. Although why either of them would stoop to moving to NC is beyond me…

          1. Yeah one of only two Obama states in 08 that returned to sanity in 12. Michelle’s going to be real popular there.

    2. America will get through this, if we were going to last long anyway.

      America is an idea. It lives as long as people have it. If enough people have it, murdering them all isn’t feasible.

      You or me are different issues. Even optimal risk management only goes so far with one person.

          1. Hopefully in the upcoming unpleasantness your sons will be able to stay home and defend you.

  31. Study your history. America has weathered as bad or worse before this. Look at our fifteenth president — James Buchanan would surely have done as badly as Obama if he’d as much to work with. We aren’t yet seeing the thuggery of the Wilson presidency, nor the abuses of FDR (at least, none</DEL few are being reported.) It is possible that the collapse of the statist quo is a necessary prerequisite for the desperately needed reforms to our bureaucracies and civil service.

    As for losing a city to enemy action — what do you call Detroit?

    1. … nor the abuses of FDR (at least, none few are being reported.) It is possible that the collapse of the statist quo is a necessary prerequisite for the desperately needed reforms to our bureaucracies and civil service.

      Sigh. Dagnabbed dropped end angle brackets!!!!!

  32. BTW — See Powerline’s analysis:

    Why Obama “owns” Iraq
    The Islamist blitzkrieg in Iraq is the direct result of President Obama’s failure to maintain an American military presence there. As David French has shown, when Obama took office the Islamist extremists were a subdued and nearly defeated force. With a continued American presence, they would have remained subdued.

    Some Obama apologists argue that we could not maintain our military presence because the Iraqi government wanted us out, and thus would not negotiate a status of forces agreement with us. In reality, though, Iraqi prime minister Maliki and his government wanted a continued U.S. military presence, and it was Obama who never seriously negotiated for this to happen. His goal was a complete military withdrawal so he could boost that he ended the war in Iraq.

    You don’t have to my word for this. Dexter Filkins, who covered the Iraq war for the New York Times, has written an article in the New Yorker that lays out the sorry history.

    I urge you to read the whole thing, but here are relevant highlights:
    [MORE: ]

    1. You can’t eat gold, or protect yourselves with it. Stockpile food and ammunition. We have about a three-month supply of non-perishable food and several thousand rounds of ammo to feed our modest arsenal. We have a swimming pool (18,000 gallons of reasonably-potable water, with the occasional addition of a modest amount of chlorine). The only thing we don’t have is a backup power supply (although we have about 3 months’ worth of propane for cooking if the gas supply is interrupted), but we do have a jillion batteries of various sizes to power our toys, and a car-powered electrical system to keep things like the computers, fridges and deep freezers (note the plural) in running order. I never have less than a half-tank of gas in the car, which would keep the power supply going for maybe a week, longer if we factor the other two cars into the equation. Not optimal, but not awful either.

      I’m too old, and my wife too infirm, to bug out anywhere. We’ll stay right where we are, thank you. We have four people who can shoot, and who understand the stakes perfectly. Molon labe.

      1. Actually, if you read link, you’ll see I’m being sarcastic.

        Nonetheless, some gold coin might be useful to trade to morons who think that they can eat it, saving more valuable trade goods for the more intelligent.

  33. Hello Kim, I do miss your blog….

    Gold is a nice store of value once you have the other “B”‘s covered. Beans, bullets, bandaids, and bullion? Having spendable wealth can open opportunities when other folks have none, and you can come out the other side of many events better off. Lots of people prospered thru and after the original great depression because they were in a position to buy what others were desperate to sell…and upon reflection, that’s true of the recent great depression too.

    I think gold also provides protection for the events that don’t come down to shooting. A slow decline will be a lot more enjoyable with some money to spend.


  34. It’s getting harder and harder to keep the pantry supplied with dry goods, and that doesn’t seem to be slowing down. And then when you get behind on a few items — boxed milk, for example — then you have to choose between the regular groceries or the just-in-case stuff. And this is all happening in an economy yet to collapse.

    Secondly, not to go all New Testament but…there are many countries mentioned in the Book of Revelation. I had never heard, until this week, that Jordan is mentioned as a refuge for Jews after the first 3 1/2 years. You can disbelieve it if you want but it’s there. My point is…the U.S. is not. Plan accordingly.

  35. A Communist, and an Islamist – just for the record.
    Keep that powder dry, and within easy reach.
    Interesting Times are just around the corner.

  36. Ok, I read those links. Lots of borderline conspiracy theory going on there, and in some of the comments up thread. I’m reminded of a truism: never attribute to malice or conspiracy something can be explained by stupidity or incompentence. 🙂

    I can’t talk intelligently about some of the concerns voiced, but I feel I can at least add a little value to the military discussion (17 yrs active duty in the Navy – submarines – so far). First, regarding the supposed “purge” of officers. I call BS. For one thing, the US military has WAY TOO MANY general and flag officers. Getting rid of a whole lot of them needs to be a priority. The one article mentions AFRICOM’s firing in particular. Well sorry, but a General who publically calls out the CINC’s policies OUGHT to be fired. Asap. We don’t make policy; we execute it.

    But then there’s the bigger issue. I’ve done budgeteering work in the Pentagon, and I came away with one conclusion: we absolutely need to cut our Defense budget. Done properly, we could probably cut the DOD budget by a third to a half and increase our combat readiness.

    Case in point. When I first got to the Pentagon, I took one of those tours of the building to learn about it. Fun factoid, in the late 70s/early 80s there were 30,000 people working there. In 2008, when I was there? 50,000. There are almost certainly more now. And we have about half the force structure we had back then, at the height of the Cold War. Anther case in point: Admiral Nimitz, when he was commander of the Pacific Fleet in WWII, had a staff of…wait for it…40 people. PACFLT’s staff now numbers in the hundreds, if not a thousand or more. As is the case in the Pentagon itself, a lot of these folks are civilian contractors or GS personnel. But considering that there are 300,000 or so people in the Navy and, last I heard, only 60,000 or so are actually on sea duty we clearly have a manpower utilization problem on the uniform side as well.

    And then there’s the procurement process itself. So byzantine and non-sensical that it drives up the cost of everything to ludicrous heights and makes it impossible to field new gear in anything close to a reasonable amount of time. Case in point, when I was in the Pentagon in 2008, the Navy was beginning the process for the replacement to the Trident submarines…which will not be fielded until the mid 20s if we’re lucky.

    This kind of bloat and inefficiency is possible because of the large budgets DOD commands. Cutting down hard would force tough decisions and could make things better. Assuming we actually have adults in decision-making positions in the DOD, and particularly in Congress because the President’s Budget doesn’t matter worth a damn – it’s what Congress passes that counts.

    Long story short, there’s a lot of hand wringing about how this or that person wants to “gut” the military. And then flags wave and tears fall and people moan about how come we don’t support the troops… Rather than knee-jerking to that reaction, the appropriate question should be: cut how? Done intelligently and amturely, the best thing to do to support the troops and the nation would be to cut. Because that would make the entire organization leaner, better, and more effective.

    Fat chance of that really happening though.

    Ok, I seem to have gone astray from the topic. 🙂 Getting back to it, not sure that I really buy the notion of imminent collapse and doomsday. But I’ve gabbed enough. Have a great day!

    1. No, I can see that there is a lot of fat to be cut in the military budget – a lot of waste, too, and a lot of money badly-allocated – expensive broadcasting gadgets and components that went sitting around un-assembled and unused for years on the equipment account, while at other times we had to swap around the one typewriter eraser reel among the unit electric typewriters because it was the only one we had left for the month or so before the new budget kicked in – or wait and wait and wait for an order of audio-editing tape to come in … which meant that we could not do audio-editing for various produced radio shows until it did.
      Yeah, my career field was a long way out from HQ, and subject to all kinds of whims which made it exceedingly hard to actually do the jobs that we had been enlisted to do.

    2. A General who publicly calls out the CINC’s policies OUGHT to have resigned his (her) (its) commission.

  37. For instance, have you guys figured out yet that OWS’s was supposed to be an attempt at a “proletarian revolution”? No? If you look at it, it becomes clear. Raised on stories of proletarian revolution, they thought if they squeezed us just enough, and then provided a spark – OWS screaming about the 1% — the country would spontaneously rise up in a communist revolution.

    This was obvious to me, because I KNOW communist myth.

    Wait, you mean that the serious political left actually thought that OWS was going to work?

    I regarded the whole thing as a huge hilarious joke from start to finish, because OWS had neither any platform, nor any means of putting it into effect — nor any real ability to use force on anyone save random unarmed individuals who encountered mobs. There were cases of OWS mobs being driven back by lone persons armed with shotguns — I mean whole mobs, cowering in terror before one armed man.

    And they thought they were going to start a revolution?

    1. Oh, yes.

      This was their moment, you see. The start of the populist movement they’d been telling themselves was inevitable for years. When people would just rise up and dump the shackles that the Capitalists had enslaved them with, and realize that Freedom consisted of saying ‘I won’t’ to such things as … the basic social and commercial infrastructure that allowed these idiots to play at their fantasies without starving to death.

      Yeah, a group that didn’t even seriously grasp the importance of sanitation, food supply or safety in a group campground was going to be the spark that ignited the proletariat revolution.

      They WERE serious about it. I can only hope that – when faced with reality and not the shared delusion that inspired their lunacy – some of them actually woke up and realized that they’d been stupid. And likely some did, for a while. But the human mind is a strange and wonderful thing and it wouldn’t surprise me if the quickly justified the failure with ‘the time obviously wasn’t right for the People’s Revolution’ and they’re back to playing at the same shared fantasy.

      1. Just like Heinlein observed about “hippy culture.” There is no culture, it’s just a parasite living off a host than can support it. Likewise Occupy. All these idiots walking around with their I Phones, laptops, I Pads, wearing designer label clothing (brought here from overseas at cheaper prices than ever in human history), communicating on the internet….all of them decrying capitalism.

        1. It certainly required some unthinking acceptance of what they’ve been taught, and (possibly) substandard intelligence as well as a predilection for unquestioningly believing what a self-appointed authority told them.

          I see a lot of it on the internet – they spout received wisdom about subjects and DO.NOT.QUESTION.IT.EVER! Marxism is wonderful. Global Warming is going to boil the planet by 2050. Polar bears are almost extinct. GMOs are manifestly and horribly unsafe. Petroleum companies simply want to rape Mother Gaia and so on.

          They’re just using their brains to keep their ears from bumping – and they call everyone ELSE stupid and unquestioning.

          Capitalism gave them the freedom to be idiots. Reality is not kind to idiots, as they found out.

          Every person decides what they believe in the course of a lifetime, and those beliefs may well change with time, knowledge and experience. But in the end nobody’s got you locked into a belief system but you, and if that belief system doesn’t work with reality, you owe it to yourself (and to those around you) to (a) figure it out and (b) find something that does.

      2. What I enjoyed was the frothing at the mouth when people started pointing out how many rapes were going on in the OWS camps and asking, “So, tell me again who has the ‘Rape Culture’?”

  38. Sweety, when the SHTF who is going to buy your work, really? They’ll be penniless, scrounging for essentials when they’re not on safety patrols or sleeping. You won’t need spare batteries.

    1. Actually the Great Depression was coincident with the heyday of pulp fiction–so called because of the cheap paper it was printed on. Ebooks have even less in the way of production costs, and in hard times will probably be popular as cheap entertainment.

      1. I also thought that during such a time, reading, even with ebook readers, will consume less electricity than most of the modern forms of entertainment, which may become a factor.

        During times like these, people look for any small relief, to lift their spirits even a little. Because if they don’t, it’s really easy to curl up and give up, which is a phenomenon that does happen!

        1. I think part of the disagreement on this might be the definition of SHTF. What kind of event are we talking about here. Remember, I write this stuff, so I have to study it pretty carefully.

          It seems to me that what Sarah’s talking about is more akin to an economic collapse. Something national in scale, possibly international to some extent, but leaves the core of what we know relatively untouched. There’s an account online by someone who made it through Argentina’s economic collapse, and it’s consistent with the kinds of things Sarah’s talking about.

          Others, however, might be talking about something grander in scale. A TEOTWAWKI scale event that most likely would plunge us back to preindustrial levels of technology simply because too many of those needed to maintain our infrastructure would be dead for whatever reason.

          These are, of course, very different levels of bad but are still very, very bad if you’re not ready. Of course, some things that are good ideas for one aren’t always practical for the other. After all, gold is great to have on hand for an economic collapse when there are still placed to trade with using currency of some sort, but isn’t really practical when people are starving and need food.

          1. The only thing that would bring about the TEOTWAWKI is a meteor impact that kills 90% of the population. To imagine this comes about as the result of an economic collapse is a fantasy like the idea that shipping guns to Mexico would make Americans give up their guns. It’s NOT real. It’s something only people who’ve lived too long in the world of theory would believe. Humans are not that simple, and human group mechanics aren’t logical. THIS WILL NEVER HAPPEN short of 90% SUDDEN mortality.

            1. Off topic (sort of), but I get annoyed at the “after the catastrophe” novels that have societies going back to swords, spears, bows, etc. IE no guns, not even early muskets.

              Even worse, one author had a society without guns for “religious reasons” but a nearby society had muskets. How long would the society without guns would last if the musket armed society decided to “move in”. [Evil Grin]

              1. You’ll like “Fountains of Mercy” when it comes out, then. TEOTEAWKI brings about rolling collapse and rediscovery of things, but not the stone or early iron age. The problem is, as always, saltpeter.

                1. You do realize how easy it is to manufacture saltpeter, right? Pretty much everybody has ready access to everything they need to make it.

                  Mercury fulminate, OTOH… But primers are a penny apiece. Anybody worried about a shortage has already stocked up.

                  1. Primers haven’t been a penny apiece for a few years now. Like since… oh… 2008.

              2. Sigh. These people don’t live in the real world, and the right is tempted to this as much as the left. Our saving grace is most of us work for a living and interact with real people.

              3. Oh how I hate those stories. I don’t mind the ones like Dies the Fire, where guns just don’t work for some reason. At least it’s been accounted for. However, there are just too damn many guns floating around this country to believe that even decades afterward, there won’t be plenty of guns.

                Ammo? That might be another matter entirely, but even then reloading equipment is fairly plentiful so it wouldn’t be an issue immediately, or even for some time afterward.

                1. And people forget that well manufactured/stored ammo lasts for a very long time, I’ve fired off military surplus ammo that was a century old.

                    1. CO Div of Wildlife distributed some of the Russian made .22 for hunter education some years ago. The stuff we got was stored just fine but its as bad as they say.

                  1. Very true.

                    Shortages are often due to use, rather than other factors, but that’s just how it is in my world.

                    Realistically, in most situations, ammo won’t be nearly as much of an issue.

                  2. Most of my 8mm Mauser and 7.62x54R is late 80s/early 90s manufacture. Another portion of both is also early 50s manufacture. Works fine…

                2. No offense, but not everyone lives in the US. We’d love to stockpile ammo; but the government round here doesn’t like that. But then, I really figure how badly affected people are by TEOTWAWKI would depend on where they are.

                  Even if I was still in the Philippines, there’s a huge anti-gun sentiment (people are rather leftist in mindset there but conservative at the same time, it’s strange) guns that work properly are something only those with money or part of the government, or are criminalshave access to. Average Pedro Pinoy won’t have a gun, never mind stockpiles of bullets. This isn’t to say that there won’t be violence and anarchy and all the things that the Left likes to envision would happen if there were a proliferation of firearms everywhere; we know for a fact that even without firearms, it’ll happen, and be just as much of a mess even with guns. (Frankly I’m of the opinion that superior firepower will ensure that the period of anarchy will NOT last long. The US won’t have much of a problem on that front; more that if the government collapses… well then again, I guess the government now isn’t doing anything to protect the borders of the US, so status quo will remain. But the US will be unique in this, I think.

                  But the collapse of the Philippine government there for whatever reason, I figure, will be felt largely in the urban areas and Manila; regional politics are locally more important than who’s in the Palace; and by large most of the country functions generally unaffected by the insanity and inanity of the goings on in Manila. This isn’t to say though they’ll be completely unaffected – some things are likely to go away or not be accessible, like medicines, or goods that are not locally produced. In fact, I think an urban metropolis like Manila would be far more negatively impacted by the TEOTWAWKI scenario than the outlying areas, because metropoli are dependent upon supplies brought from outside. I don’t really think there’ll be much of an issue though with say, the US (becoming smaller groups of United States is probably likely though) and Australia (because of the latter’s tendency to be mostly Outback with Pockets of Civilization And Farms Everywhere.). Britain will be… interesting, probably along with Europe, but we’ll see.

                  … and I’ll have to cut it short here because my train of thought was interrupted so many times I can’t remember where I was going with this. ^^; I’m sorry, but the little boy has reached the point of “Is my homework okay Mummy? How about now? But I changed that!” and “Awww, what do you mean, my handwriting isn’t neat enough?!” (He’s getting better about the handwriting these days though.)

                  Also if it came down to it, I would learn how to use a bow anyway, TEOTWAWKI or no.

                  1. For stories that take place outside of the US or other quasi-gun friend nations (like Canada), I agree with you. UK based survival stories, for example, I think nothing of the proliferation of things like bows and crossbows instead.

                    However, far too many of these types of stories are based in the US. I often wonder if these stories are some feeble lefty attempt to show that guns aren’t really necessary, even after an apocalypse.

                    In one of my stories, the main character has a gun with him, but uses a bow most of the time. Ammo has run scarce, especially for his rifle (A Mosin Nagant), and he saves those for people who really deserve it. But, since he’s a professional hunter (it’s years and years after the event), he needs something to take down the animals.

                    As for learning a bow, that’s not a bad idea of anyone. They’re silent and, at worst, it’s a hell of a fun way to waste a little time. 🙂

              4. Yep, and how they ignore that ammo can be reloaded, and that some ‘modern’ firearms can be loaded with black powder (mosin-Nagants come to mind)

                And bullets can be case from existing lead sources (wheel weights, hello?) and yes some people do actually know how to cast bullets and make black powder and why yes, people would be more than willing to protect those people…

            2. I won’t say that the meteor is the only way, because that’s pretty short sighted. However, I agree that it’s not particularly likely regardless.

              Economic collapse, regional situations, etc, are far, far more likely to happen and can be just as bad for the unprepared.

              1. Well, yeah, okay, a plague that kills 90% of the world population in a week would do it too. Pardon me. Only one cup of tea today. What I mean is that it takes THAT level, that fast.

                1. Yep, or nuclear war, etc.

                  It’s got to be hard and fast.

                  I’ve got two post apocalyptic worlds that I write in. After the Blast was post nuclear war. The other is after a bioterrorist released a nasty bug, basically Ebola where the nastiness doesn’t show up for a few weeks.

                  Both involve massive die-offs in the population for a reason. 🙂

            3. TEOTWAWKI

              Hm, maybe some kind of REALLY well organized, wide range of well targeted terror attacks, probably during the winter.

              Hey, it’s as likely as a meteor!

            4. Compared to the Yellowstone Caldera erupting an asteroid is a love tap. Yellowstone is running late this cycle …

          2. The Argentinian is “Ferfal” or Fernando Aguirre and the book is “Surviving the Economic Collapse.” The book is pricy but has some points in it that are very interesting, and not necessarily what you would expect. For example, being isolated just means you can be raped and tortured for a long time before being killed by the bad guys. Also, you still need to buy food and go to work. Gold chains are good because you can sell them 1 inch at a time! His blog is at [no additional w’s]

            For another first person view of an alternate scenario, read Selco at [no additional w’s] He spent a year living in a city in an active war zone. His insights about what are valuable trade items, and how that changes over time are especially valuable. The day to day reality of life under those conditions is much different than many might assume. He’s the first one I’ve heard talking about eating grass soup, but not the last. The most recent is the woman in Syria, google “700 days of war” for links to the news stories.

            Both of these are personal TEOTWAWKI for the10’s of thousands of people involved and they are both contemporary. The whole world doesn’t have to fall back to the middle ages for you to die from infection if you can’t get antibiotics.


            1. My parents said that in their childhood when Portugal was bankrupt, people ate weeds and grass, so there were no weeds in the medians or streets. And masses of starving children took to the fields after harvest to glean. (My mom actually did this. She also walked by the train line, picking up fallen pieces of coal (trains were all coal powered then) so her family could cook.)

            2. Ferfal was the one. VERY interesting account, and one everyone should read.

              I also recall reading somewhere about some of the techniques used to survive in places like Bosnia, which had it even worse than most of us can possibly imagine. It’s been too long though, and I’m too tied up trying to get a book written to look it up, but if anyone finds it, please share with the group. 😀

              We don’t need a complete societal collapse to make our lives a living hell. In fact, it’s not really all that hard when you think about it.

              1. The other link (SHTFschool) is Selco’s site for his time during the Balkan war.

                Between the two men’s experiences (which were vastly different) you can glean some really useful advice and “home truths.” Collapse of a currency and social unrest vs. collapse of society and rule of law. Add a pandemic and you’ve got our 3 most likely scenarios covered.

                I am glad beyond measure that I don’t have a first person account I can link to for surviving a pandemic.


                1. I’m not sure if that’s the site I was thinking about or not, but it’s definitely the right engagement.

                  Plenty of ways to find yourself smack dab in the middle of the suck.

                  Need to figure out which one I want to use on my next project…provided I ever get done with the book from hell!

    2. Really? Again, this is another “the cities will burn. We’ll be back to the middle ages.” I’m not sweetie. I’m over half a century old and I lived through this before in small scale. My brother and I used to poll our resources, but we bought every new SF book that came out… except the depressing ones. No one will buy what mainstream is publishing. It’s depressing as hell. BUT I’ve made good money indie even as things crash, and I think I can make more, by providing fun entertainment REALLY cheap. I can because it’s just me.
      And Pam below is right. Entertainment did well in recessions until 2003, when it tanked. It’s still tanking, from the main publishers. It’s too expensive, depressing and hectoring.
      Well, I’m Human Wave. People pay a lot of money to feel better. I’ve been on the brink of starvation and spent money for books because they made me feel better.
      And no, I don’t think America is going down that far. In trouble and broke, yes, destitute and scrounging for food? Please. Kick off the rules we’re shackled with and we’re drowning in plenty.

      1. Judging from Hugh Howey and DataGuy’s work, I’d say people are already voting for indie books with their wallets. Yeah, food’s getting spendy and gas is about to skyrocket (as usual), so people are going to be trimming their travel this summer. But that might bump book sales and library use. I know my sales jumped at the end of May and are still higher than any single month period since I started back in late 2012.

          1. No. I did very well with WF — but note that it was Wings, which is priced at 9.99 — I know it’s a lot, but if I lower it, I canibalize my other stories. And I can’t break it up because I don’t own the paper version, it’s Darkregions. (Well, they license it, but you know what I mean — that was the revelation. At 9.99 it practically DOESN’T sell. A lot of people borrow it, but few buy. BUT I put it on countdown and sold 1200 copies for 99c — 66c for me, under countdown rules — in a day.
            Yeah, people will pay. But money is important, too. Which is why WF goes to 5.99 when what insists it’s called “the Haunted Air” comes out.

      2. Got the latest Analog. The most memorable story in it was of a guy who’d decided to off himself because of memory problems stemming from old age. Second most was where a guy decided he didn’t want to leave Earth when offered. Third, the ‘win’ meant exile from Earth.

        If I want dismal and depressing, I can find that on the news, thank you kindly.

        Previous, double-issue, had TWO where the ending wasn’t dismal as far as I was concerned, and one wasn’t exactly a ‘win’ – because the protagonist set himself to die. (And may well have – the resolution of the story didn’t lend itself to optimism.)

        I hate to complain, but I don’t get Analog’s apparent recent desire to feature a ‘Suicide Of The Month’. It used to be (grump, grump) that a story resolved with a solid protagonist win, even if the protagonist didn’t survive the experience. Now? It’s like they’re afraid to be optimistic and a ‘win’ has to be muted with a terrible cost or a reveal that leads you to question whether its even a win.

        If you don’t have a good feeling after finishing a story, what’s the point? I really don’t get it – and (judging by subscription numbers) neither do a lot of people.

  39. The Crash is inevitable, and I am hoping its long enough to clean out the gene pool. Let. It. Burn. Just get out of the way as best you can, and let reality have its way with those who up till now thought reality was optional and that feelings controlled the world. And I agree with Mike Mahoney, as wonderful as your writing is, its probably not a viable occupation after the collapse. Plan to supplement. Also urban living may be safer– IN Argentina many moved into the cities when their collapse came because they were too isolated and being picked off in the country. (but of course, we have a fully armed citizenry so that may change things a bit) You are right that thins will probably follow a middle course and not proceed to a worst case – but your best case scenario s that we peacefully become a third world society – with the crime, corruption and poverty that entails, but with a Federal Govt too weak to really interfere with anyone.. . The worse case is that we end up with a full Civil war, and that our govt decides to quell it Hunger Games style and uses WMD on large portions of the population. The reality will very likely be in between those two .. and somehow that isn’t a comforting thought is it?

  40. Also, I am not sure about the assertion that we survived FDR. We still have social security. We still have a Court that upholds the idea that growing corn on your own land to feed your own cattle is interstate commerce. We still have a huge population who think there is such a thing as a free lunch and there should be a chicken in every pot. Obama isn’t the cause of our problems, just the last in a long line of problem causers. The trend line is downward and each set of problems puts more weight in that direction. We will “get through it” – sure. But into what? Do you want current conditions to become the “new normal”? Do you think the new normal after SHTF will be better or worse than what we saw after FDR? We didn’t get though FDR. We obtained a new normal that was worse, and have done for generations.

  41. I independently came up with the same dunce/traitor theory on my own. He is a traitor, just too stupid and incompetent to put take actions. Conspiracy? Sure looks like it, but it is highly unlikely. Someone would have talked by now.

  42. Chin up. Worse things happen at sea, you know.

    If you’re looking for someplace survivable, Southern Idaho has a lot to recommend it. Our electricity comes from hydropower and nuclear. Our gasoline is cracked in Salt Lake City, and the sources of that petroleum in Utah and Wyoming are likely to be stable in any likely future. We’re an agricultural breadbasket. A good percentage of the population is Mormon, and has planning for such an eventuality as an article of faith.

    One caveat: When land values skyrocketed in California, a great many Portuguese dairy farmers sold out, and moved up here to reestablish new dairies. They’re a tight knit group, and they will drag your heinie to church. I’ve managed to bow out of invitations to their feasts of traditional Portuguese foods, but there’s no way you’d be getting out of it. (Which depending on how you feel about squid, could be a good or a bad thing, admittedly. Me, I grew up a thousand miles from the ocean, and consider cod an exotic seafood.)

    I’m fairly well prepared. I want to put a backup electrical source on our well. (Actually, both solar and wind.) I want to get water lines run back out to the old feedlot.. I need to finish the basement, and stockpile more. But I’ve got chickens, goats, a raspberry bramble started, a couple fruit trees planted, a few grape vines planted, a garden, etc. Not a horrible place to start from.
    Of course, my oldest daughter is medically-fragile and would have problems. And my wife wouldn’t take that at all well. I hope the efforts I’ve made are never anything but a hobby.

    1. I’ve looked at Idaho a few times but have always dismissed it as “too cold”. How long is the growing season in the southern part?

      1. Ah, Southern Idaho, land of my fathers lo these many generations. (Ricks’s moved in, what, six generations ago? 1880s?) Southeast Idaho, anyway.

        Growing season, as I recall (and my recollection is hazy, I left the family farm over 20 years ago and haven’t really been back since), starts in late Spring – like April, maybe? Early May? Harvest, at least for the potatoes, is usually around the first weekend of October. A quick search says that when the pioneers were thinking about moving up there, it was described as “nine months winter, and three months late fall”. Wheat, some corn, potatoes (of course), sugar beets, some dairy, etc.

        But, yeah, cold. Growing up, it would get below zero (Fahrenheit) in the winter regularly, and they didn’t let you out of school unless the temperature hit 25 below zero (Again, Fahrenheit).

        1. Local geography matters a lot. There are places up in the northern neck – bearcat’s region – that are much milder than your southern flats because the valleys shelter them, or so I’m given to understand.

      2. It depends on the area. The closer to the continental divide you get (or the Mountains North and South), the shorter it tends to be.
        Here in the Magic Valley (around Twin Falls for a landmark) it tends to run from mid-April to mid-October. We get warm temps before and after that, but occasional freezes can make things a bit dicey outside that window.
        Winters in this part of the state are generally mild. The mountains do a really nice job of sheltering us, for the most part. Most winters, we’ll have a week or two of single digits. Every few years we’ll get sub-zero temps for a week or two. About once a decade we’ll get about a week in the -20s to -30s. Because we’re in the rainshadow of several mountain ranges, it’s rare to see more than 3″-4″ of snow at a go.

        1. The one thing to be aware of in the southern part of the state, is the wind. We tend to have a lot of it. Except in the summer.

      3. Depends on where you are. We’re in a valley and we get less than folks two miles away on the Snake River plain, but we still get 90 days most years. We are the beneficiaries of climate change in terms of temperature–haven’t had negative thirty in twenty years now, but our summers have not gotten unreasonably hotter or drier (they were always the later).

        As far as S.E. Idaho goes, it can be a little tougher if you aren’t LDS. Many adult LDS are lovely folks, but most teens are teens, and have their in-groups and exclude the other, just like any other teens, and since most teens are LDS, the other are the non-LDS. But we’re Odds here, we all know all about being the other already. Like all groups, the LDS favor their own in hiring and for doing business with, but they are very charitable to all comers and go out of their way to help others in emergencies.

        As far as what to look for in relocation, urban or rural, my suggestions are where does the water come from and is it a neighborhood or a housing development. I think it matters more if the neighbors will hang together or hang separately in a crises than how densely they are packed.

        1. That’s a good point raised here. The LDS community, once you hit a certain saturation point, can be pretty darn… what’s the word… “non-inclusive”? There’s the occasional story that has me shaking my head and thinking “I wish those people weren’t ostensibly on my side.”

          Not going to say anything about the education situation there as I was a product of it (>:-p), but with access to the internet and a decent library, anyone in the US who doesn’t get a good education isn’t trying. Also, where I grew up, we had at least a few teachers in the high school who were cooling their heels until a position at the local college opened up, so our English department wasn’t anything to get excited about, but our science teacher rocked and taught what were essentially college-level chemistry and physics classes.

      4. Pure silly to dismiss the whole state of Idaho as “too cold”. In many parts of the state it’s easy to pick your home climate by the local micro-climate.

        More important perhaps is a trade off between short term prospects, medium term hopes and long range hopes. When I knew something about it I’d have to say Idaho is a great place to raise children – iff boarding schools are economically possible.

        Again it’s been many years since I took an interest but at one time the average Idaho high school graduate who was intrinsically Yale material was about 2 years behind the average Yale freshman – there would have been an area where the Idaho native had pushed to the first rank – and it might be anything from 4-H to nuclear physics (INEL influence) but across the board the Idaho student would merely be best in the county in academics – and that standard was junior high by competitive standards.

        The climate choice is much like the CO front range where the Diesel effect keeps the Denver bowl plenty warm enough for all practical purposes or for a cooler climate then maybe Palmer Lake or south of the Palmer Divide is cooler and some folks really like to live high enough to get away from lots of annoying bugs.

        In the Palouse which has a lot to offer – jobs are mostly feeding at the public trough or going hungry though – you might have folks in the same room some of whom can chip golf balls in their front yard on New Years Day and others who build a fire in the fireplace on the 4th of July because they need it. It’s a matter of living in Lewiston-Clarkston at a nominal 750 feet or maybe a survivalist’s retreat outside Elk River in Clearwater County.

        I can remember sitting inside on College Street in Rexburg talking about a book that was in a box outside in a carport and deciding it wasn’t worth getting bundled up to go spend enough time outside to actually find the book. For folks with sand in their shoes who freeze at 50 degrees in Miami then yes Idaho is too cold but mostly not.

        For many people a greater consideration is whether an area is a bring your own money community. Prescott AZ has a lot going for it but not jobs. Cedar City UT much the same. The Hill Country is nice but I’d want to live up in the Flint Hills to be a little farther from the unprotected southern border.

        See [b]Collapse[/b] by Jared Diamond:[blockquote]He begins by setting the book’s main question in the small communities of present-day Montana as they face a decline in living standards and a depletion of natural resources. Once-vital mines now leak toxins into the soil, while prion diseases infect some deer and elk and older hydroelectric dams have become decrepit. On all these issues, and particularly with the hot-button topic of logging and wildfires, Diamond writes with equanimity. [blockquote]

        There are towns in Idaho that didn’t get a Wal-Mart to destroy downtown – all it took was a Dollar General.

        1. It entirely depends on the metric.
          Is it accurate to compare average SAT results in a state where there’s a 5% participation rate (Illinois) against a state that has a 99% participation rate (Idaho)?
          This and funding levels are the two metrics most used to make your case.

          By the mandatory national standardized tests, Idaho does better than average.

          Of course, by invoking Yale, you’re not going to be talking about averages, or even medians, much less the cost-effectiveness of public funds expended.
          You’re talking about an exclusive club, many (if not most) of whom attended expensive preparatory schools where only the top 1% of students were even allowed to attend, and then, only if their families could afford it.
          No public school system can compete with that.
          But if you want a good education, you can get one.

          The main issue, is that there isn’t much upward mobility unless you move away. There isn’t the population base to support it.
          And so, the most promising youth leave.

          1. As far as education goes, Idaho is a wonderful place to home school. Regulation, what’s that?
            From what I know of our public schools, they are no better or worse at warehousing children than any other state’s public schools, and seem to be somewhat safer, at least, one generally doesn’t hear of shootings and stabbings here. Recess being canceled due to moose on the playground . . . well, that makes the paper a couple times a year.
            As far as I know, there are no boarding schools within the state. There are many private day schools, mostly religious. And there are home schoolers everywhere, and lots of them.

    2. I love squid. The thing is most Portuguese in the US are from Azores, and they don’t consider me “the same thing” since I’m from the North of the continent.

        1. Nah. The civil war was reversed in Portugal (and without the slavery question. It was over Absolute/Parliamentary monarchy. My ancestors fought and died for the right never to have a say in government gain.) And the North has had the boot of the Southern oppressor on our necks ever since. Save for that part where being Portuguese and from the North, each Portuguese is sure laws apply only to other people.

      1. They’ve been here a few generations. Some of them are about as Portuguese as I am. If you speak the language, or are kin to someone who speaks the language, you qualify.
        (To say nothing of “honorary Portuguese” status. I’m still not quite sure how I had that bestowed on me.)

  43. People give this dummy too much credit. A guy who has never done anything before can’t be so brilliant that he knows how to putl all the right levers and push all the right buttons.

    Remember what Slick Willie was telling Republicans before the election? That Republicans HAD to win in 2012 because this guy doesn’t know what he’s doing? Remember Slick Willie calling him “The Ameteur”?

    That’s what is going on here. This guy is basically affirmative action stupid and that’s why we have so much chaos.

  44. One more thing that is worth remembering from a book review:

    “According to Ed Klein, writing in “The Ameteur”, President Obama’s White House is run by amateurs and those hungry for power. This easy to read book is like a soap opera without the sex. I do admit that while reading, I feel like a rubbernecker that can’t look away from a horrible accident. …”

  45. I’ve made the point before that I have always read Obama as the Ivory Tower (My way or the high way) academic. His career as a guest lecturer (read: Substitute Teacher in Tenure-land) and his meteoric political career of getting elected by any combination of being Black, dirty politics, election fraud and making a good impression, without ever actually doing anything, either in the real world or in office, led his already colossal ego to grow to gargantuan proportions.

    He has come to believe his own male cattle excrement.

    I said this even before he was elected, when he was asked questions about how he would approach Iran, especially and he would give no set answer. I said at the time that he honestly felt all he had to do was sit down with, and win over those dastardly mullahs with his charm and sent from the heavens intellect. They would immediately grovel at his feet and do his bidding. He actually believed this!

    I believe this was one of the reasons, he did nothing to help the Iranians in the streets in 2009. when he had the chance. In the back of his mind, he was thinking, “No, no need to get the troops involved. I just need to talk to the Mullahs and wow them with my brilliance. Gee, I wish they wouldn’t be shooting so many people though. It might make me look bad.”

    Since then Putin, Assad, The Muslim Brotherhood, the list goes on, have played this guy like the arrogant chump he is!

    1. Excuse me. As a full-time substitute teacher, I resent being compared to the creature currently residing in the White House. At least I can keep the students in order, follow the day’s lesson plan, and leave the classroom tidier (in some cases) than when I arrived. 🙂 I’d pay to see the POTUS faced with 25 6th graders just back from lunch on a rainy day without recess.

      1. Now Red, I subbed for two years as well and it is no walk in the park. I get that. I’m just mocking Obama’s supposed impeccable credentials. Nothing personal.

        1. I know, I just had to take the bait. 🙂 And I’d still like to see the POTUS trapped with a herd of hyperactive, smart, grade schoolers.

  46. I wrote a little pamphlet that leads me to be optimistic about feeding ourselves during the crash. Our families survived the depression without money because they lived on a farm without money. Ever. We need a new farm.

    Surviving behind steel-reinforced concrete seems important, too.

  47. Sarah, just a minor correction, Obama never was “Editor” of the Harvard Law Review, that’s the distorted myth put about because editor is a responsible and challenging position. Obama was elected President of the review, an honorary position without formal duties. He also remains the only HLR President never to have contributed an article to the HLR, which is perhaps the best insight into his intellectual capacity.

    1. And one of the very few NOT to be offered a clerkship by a Federal judge, almost a guarantee for holding that post.

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