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Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF

Anonymous Coward
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12/22/2011 01:10 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
[link to en.wikipedia.org]
The rest of the story. We'll never what really happened as those who were witnesses have died, and accounts very. I encourage to read this, as it can offer a glimpse of what can happen when two tribes meet and fight for the same lands.

When President Lincoln met with the Bishop of the people, he agree that the situation of complex, but that some Native Americans had to die, otherwise there would be riots, and more violence.

Lincoln said, "I will commute the sentence from 303 Sioux (Lakota) who will be hanged, to 39 warriors, but YOU must chose who will be executed.

It took a long time to ride by train from Washington DC to the Dakotas with the news. The Bishop was horrified. Many of those warriors had nothing to do with the attack. He agonized for many days over the decision.

When he arrived, he told the people the news. By one account, 39 Christians volunteered to be executed. They said, "We know where we are going. This life doesn't matter. We go to the Great Mystery (also interpreted as The Great Spirit Wa­kan­ tan­ka). On the way to their gallows, they sang what has become known as the Dakota Hymn in the post above.

If things get bad, many terrible things might occur, and Christians might get blamed or innocents of other spiritual traditions for the actions of others. That is the way of history.
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12/22/2011 02:21 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Survival Fish Trapping

Now while there are definitely few plants to collect in Winter, some animal and fish may be taken, but ordinarily hunting them will use up too many precious calories, or pose an issue with being gone from your camp or homestead site.

One method and creature which might be in abundance, but something shrugged off by many, is eating carp. It's not a great tasting fish, but some people in Europe and Asia do eat them, and they actually were introduced to the US, and are a terribly invasive species. Removing them from the ecosystem is beneficial to the game fish that are more desireable, so in a SHTF scenario, it might be something that you could do, and feel good about eating.

They're plentiful, especially at certain times of the year, but bottom feeders like catfish. Similarly, they can grow to an enormous size, which makes fishing them a challenge.

One method that might be used to catch some carp, would be a carp trap. It can catch other fish too, and you should throw back other fish that might grow larger, but you can probably catch carp this way with moderate success.

[link to www.livestrong.com]

As you'll see, the equipment requirements are minimal, and if you spend a tiny fraction of money, or knew a tiny bit of bushcraft, and were still not too weak from malnourishment, you could fashion these from bought materials or gathered ones.

Here's another link with tips:
[link to www.carp-usa.info]

But...yuck how to eat them. Well, while most people simply won't bother, here's a video from someone I respect who likes to eat them by smoking it. All of his videos are great by the way.

In a SHTF scenario, whether that's massive unemployment and trying to live in the wild when homeless, or global economic meltdown, this could be an important means of getting valuable protein that isn't hard to prepare, and provides a lot of calories, and apparently a recipe that some adults and children will eat.
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12/22/2011 11:41 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Self-Assessment Revisited

Okay, I've spent about 160 pages writing about the sorts of things that I've been thinking about, considering, doing, feeling in my life. I wanted to spend that time discussing the meditations of my heart, soul, and mind so you can see if I'm a loony or if I'm a rational caring person. Lots of people post, but sometimes less than serious things, or just want to have fun or silly, or maybe are angry at an event. I think a reasonable person reading what I've written, will see that I care about the world and about the Source and about the people that make up the creation of the Source.

Now I hope that some of you are thinking about your own view of the world, the Source, or the people. Mostly though any plan begins with self-assessment. How well are you prepared if there is a dramatic change in your country based upon the events of the last year and a half?

Is our current economic situation more stable or less stable than it was a month ago? Think about your expenses. We all have bills and income. Are your bills more and your income less? How about your friends and family? How about your community? How about your nation?

Is it possible that the world economy is declining as the financial experts have said? Is that borne out through data? Is it supported by many people from agencies that have nothing to gain from reporting it?Do you feel that it's true that tough economic times could be ahead? Is it plausible? How bad do you think it could be? If several of your friends and family feel it, and your community is also sensing it, then is it likely that we are feeling something that is plausible and possible and likely?

Do you think that your governments are spending money that they don't have, that they know that they don't have, and that they're acting in responsible ways to pay for their bills based upon the income that comes from taxation? Despite all of the government workers who determine income and expenses, and the outside consultants who are paid to work for the government as contractors, do you think that they are concerned about the high expenses and the lowered income from taxes? Is it possible, plausible, and likely that the difference between the two could cause a major issue in the months ahead?

In the nineteen twenties, there was an enormous boom of economic growth. People who had been raised in relative low income came into more income, or they had greater net worth from investments, and as a result they could buy more things. It was a time of great prosperity for many.

However, in the nineteen twenties many cities were relatively small. Looking back at my earlier analogies about metropolitan areas and specialist versus rural cities that supported them, I think you'll see that there were many small towns that supported the large cities with new specialists, income, and food and supplies.

Many small towns were so rural, that a great portion were built around agriculture. People didn't go to the grocery to buy most of their food, except for the large cities composed of specialists. In most cases, people in the small towns grew their own food from gardens, they hunted and fished, and in addition raised food from crops and livestock, and this provided a business so that the metropolitan areas could exist.

As time progressed, more and more young people didn't want to be farmers, and were encouraged by their parents to have a better life, and more were college educated, both men and women. The majority leaned skilled trades within the towns to produce goods for more income than farming, but still they also knew how to garden and hunt from personal experience. Life changed.

Since more people had money, they bought more. Mortgages were rarer, but people might live in multi-generational homes, or they might live in a home that had been paid for and passed down from their ancestors. Many people didn't own their homes, it wasn't possible, but they worked hard, lived with their parents, and eventually might live in the ancestral home and own it, then pass it down. In large cities the property values were high (based upon the concentration of people and demand), and the ratio of income such that many people rented houses or apartments.

In some cases, people went to the large cities, made money by being specialists, and came back to their small towns with new skills. They might start businesses that improved their small towns, make improvements on their ancestral homes, or if very fortunate buy land or built on land of their ancestors and built a home for themselves.

Then abruptly there was a disturbance in the markets. While many people didn't speculate by investing money that they didn't have, many people in their towns did. Suddenly the people who had been working in ordinary businesses that provided services to the large towns, and the people who had been working in the large towns, saw a major upset of the economic system. It might have begun elsewhere, but it cascaded, and came to their towns regardless of size. The ones who could best cope were the ones who provided their own food sources versus the ones who had specialized and lived in cities of high unemployment.

How would such an event play out today? Are any of us like our ancestors who could raise their own food? Do we have their general skills to make things or repair them? How many of us have spent far more than our ancestors ever did? How many more of us took out mortgages compared to our ancestors? How many of us are specialists with very few life skills?

What kind of person are you? Let's look at basic physical strength? Are you in good health by any definition of the word? Do you exercise like your ancestors from physical labor? Are you sedentary? How far can you ride a bike? Do you have a bike in working condition? How far can you walk? How much weight can you lift for sustained periods? Do you have any injuries which could limit these activities? How old are you? What medicines do you take for chronic conditions? If things got economically unstable, could you realistically do hard physical labor?

What's your body mass index? How much do you eat compared to your ancestors? Is it a simple diet or is it fairly complex compared to what they ate? Looking in your food stores, how many of those foods can be purchased locally? How much money is spent on eating out or prepared food to save time? Do you know how to cook simple healthy meals?

How about growing food? Is there an area around you that can support a garden or raising animals? Do you have any experience with the skills to do so? Do you have books, tools, or materials to garden? How much food that you normally eat, could you create in your immediate area?

How about your climate? How long is the growing season? How much water comes in and when? Is the area that you could grow in well-drained? What would you reasonable have to do to prepare the land in order to begin? How long would it take? What crops could be grown? How would you do so?

How do you harvest them? How do you store them? For people who've never raised food before, many times all of the crop comes in about the same time. Humans by and large can't eat an enormous amount of green beans and then skip meals for a month. They also can't tolerate a diet of green beans for several weeks and nothing else. This means planting intentionally in ways to space out the harvest and canning or storing raised food for times when the harvest is over.

Because food comes in, and because it's labor intensive but rewarding and saves money versus purchasing it, people have stored food for times when it isn't locally available. Yes, right now you go to the store and purchase these canned, frozen, dehydrated, smoked, pickled, butchered ,pre-made foods...but is it possible that based upon a period of economic decline that certain foods might not be shipped to your area?

When I was growing up, we didn't buy a lot of fruit. I actually used to get fresh apples, oranges, bananas, and nuts at Christmas time, and it was exciting. Some of those foods didn't grow around my home, and were expensive to buy out of season. While some small amounts of apples and walnuts and pecans were available here, we didn't have those trees, or buy those foods when they were harvested locally. We looked forward to them. We didn't eat them all the time. I liked it so much, that when I got older, I always had fresh fruit and nuts around the house for my family. It was entirely normal for my children to eat many rare fruits, fruits from tropical areas, fruits out of season, in order to please them. Today, we take that for granted. In the future, we could see real disruptions in the availability or the idea of eating non-seasonal foods.

What about meat? Meat doesn't come from the grocery store. It comes from the sacrifice of animals. It meant someone spent an enormous amount of time and care for them to be raised, harvested, and transported, and packaged for sale. Can you raise animals or hunt them in your area? What laws exist that limits how often you can do this? What equipment and skills are needed to do so? How many of them can realistically be raised or hunted in your area? Is it possible that if everyone suddenly tried to take them that it would be impossible to yield sufficient meat that way?

What about the heating of your home? If there were a problem with the transportation of coal to your area, could your utility company generate electricity? Do you have a fireplace in your home? Do you have a wood stove? Do you have seasoned wood to burn in case of disruptions? Can you chop wood? Even if you can, it takes a long time to season wood once you cut it, is there a source of wood where you can harvest it? How about heating with kerosene or paraffin oil? It comes from a special process of distilling petroleum. While there might be local oil drilling in your area, chances are that the places where it's distilled and packaged are not located around you. How might you heat your home if there were issues like a bad storm or economic disruptions?

Have you a way to provide light safely in your home? Do you have both flashlights (plus bulbs and batteries) and candle/lamps that use fuel? How long would they realistically last based upon the directions and number of hours of use?

Can you realistically build a wood fire? Try it and see using minimal matches and from gathered materials especially if it's been awhile since you did so. Try it without using a chemical accelerant. From my experience over a thirty year period, most of the people I've asked to build a fire cannot do so by themselves without a lot of coaching and time. All eight year olds can build a fire with experience. 90% of people can't do it upon demand.

Where does your water come from? Is it piped in very far away from outside sources? Does your community have seasonal water shortages now? Is your community experiencing a drought now? Looking at a map, and measuring the distance, and imagining that you'd have to walk, what route would you have to take to gather water from the closest and safest source of potable water? Is it possible that if everyone were gathering water from it that there might be issues with sanitation and security?

On a scale of one to ten, based upon known crime that happens in your area, how would you rate the security of your town? Have you ever had a burglary in your neighborhood? Has anyone every been violently attacked? Have you a realistic way to deter crime from happening in your home? Can you realistically defend yourself based upon personal health and skills? Do you possess something to increase a way to defend yourself at a distance? How long has it been since you used it? Do you have the ammunition to do so? How long has it been since you cleaned it? Do you know how to take it apart and clean it yourself?

All of these are very basic self-assessment questions that would be practical ways to plan for an event in which the economy would be disrupted.

For levity and insight, here's a video from DEMCAD. He often makes videos and discusses his thought process about living in Flint, Michigan. It's interesting for me to watch his process since I live in a small town in the country, and he lives in the Rust Belt in a decaying metropolitan area. We couldn't be more different, but both of us are concerned. As you'll see, while preparing, he's got some issues with his abilities and health, but he's sincerely trying and making himself learn skills. I admire his efforts, and while the easiest thing to do would be to criticize him, I won't. In reality, while I can't imagine trying to make it in Flint, at least he's making an effort to prepare.

How many of you are like him in some ways, but very unprepared in others? How many of you live in similarly large areas? He's a good sport, because while he's not a woodsman, he is working to improve his ability to cope. Take a self-assessment and see how you compare.
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12/22/2011 12:40 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
The difference between surviving and dying

Many people are probably reading about 23 year old Lauren Weinberg, a senior student at Arizona State University. She decided to take a alternative route home, got lost, in Winter, and suddenly found herself stranded in a snow bank. These sorts of stories commonly get printed in the media during Winter as human interest stories, then are quickly forgotten by the distractions of other news events.

We'll never know much about her case, unless it is determined that there were other elements to her story, but regardless, she showed remarkable courage and responded not reacted to her situation. Because she did so, and ignored the natural reaction, she survived. Lauren comes home a little wiser, a little thinner, and gets her 15 minutes of fame (see Andy Warhol).

Why did Lauren survive and how? She sat in her car, stranded with a few candy bars and a water bottle. While she's not a heavy girl, her body was able to adapt because of biochemistry, and converted some of her stored energy into calories to sustain her. In addition, for a psychological boost plus important blood sugar and minimal protein, she luckily had some candy bars. Since she had a water bottle, and didn't panic, she gathered some snow, melted it by exposing it to the sun and sealed it to reduce evaporation, and was able to consume enough to sustain her. She didn't do the normal reaction and leave her vehicle. Had she done so, unless the distance was short, and unless dressed for Winter travel with adequate clothing, she most likely would have died, gotten even more lost, or injured.

Most people, without her ability to consume calories or water or shelter would have developed frostbite, and died of dehydration.

There's a similar story in the tale of Jim and Jennifer Stolpa. See: [link to en.wikipedia.org]

All of us, if we keep our heads, and have some minimal supplies, and with lucky and the power of the Source, have a chance at survival, even when the odds are against us. It's up to us to respond correctful, keep out thoughts clear, and adapt, overcome, and survive.
Anonymous Coward
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12/22/2011 08:37 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Preventing and Temporarily Treating Frostbite

During the Great Depression, few businesses thrived. More people were looking for work and traveling for that purpose, but without funds, so shoes and bicycles sales increased. While people ordinarily wouldn't be outside in Winter walking or riding their bikes, it happened with greater frequency. They also might be doing so if there was news of a temporary place to stay, a church offering a hot meal, or trying to get to a family member who lived some distance away.

Other than that, they would travel via empty railroad boxcars, something that is extraordinarily dangerous today. The railroads do not tolerate that, and you're liable to get clubbed in the head. Don't do it. In the past people took pity and sometimes putting out food. In my area, I know of a bakery that placed old doughnuts around a special spot near the railroad tracks, and hobos sometimes would mark these areas with symbols in order to help fellow hobos out. See:
[link to www.worldpath.net]

They also might practically relocate to warmer climate to avoid the worst of the seasonal change. Homeless folks often do this as warmer climates normally have higher tourists around and sometimes more money can be made from people with more disposable income. This routinely happens and the homeless today will often move based upon local festivals too.

Most people don't know or haven't thought about these kinds of issues since ordinarily they've managed to pay their bills. However many people have about one month of backup funds, and once that's run out they've got very little reserve to fall back on. If you're one of those kinds of people, and if we have an economic crisis, then you might very well find yourself relocating in Winter with little to no money.

Frostbite can quickly happen on exposed skin if there is any wind at all. Everyone's heard of windchill. Most people move quickly from a house to a car to another structure and avoid the worst of it. Since those areas are heated, it usually isn't a big deal to dress improperly.

When people are outside and not wearing adequate clothing, most of the heat loss occurs from not wearing a good cap and gloves. Most shoes are not insulated. As a person gets cold, the body's natural response is to shut down core systems and divert blood to the core. This means that fingers, tips of ears and nose and lips, toes, etc can take the brunt of the wicking effects of cold wintery wind and frostbite can begin.

Usually the skin will take on a waxy appearance and will ache. As it progresses, nerve damage can occur, and since the person can get stuporous from being so cold, they will often keep trudging through the snow and bad weather to get to a warmer place. Many homeless folks will freeze to death. If you have gloves and a cap and a warm coat and insulated boots, and some other homeless person doesn't, you very well might be a target if they can steal them and get warm.

You need insulation, and that means forgetting about your pride and using whatever insulating materials you can like newspapers, carboard, cattail down, dry leaves, etc in order to create dead air space between layers and get yourself warm. Those items can be put in boots or clothing or placed beneath you and the cold ground or fill your shelter in order to insulate out the draft and cold.

If you get hot from the layers, and allow yourself to sweat from wearing the extra clothes and entering public places to get warm, and then go back in the cold with damp clothing, then you'll also freeze the moisture in your clothes. It is far easier to happen than you realize because today people don't walk in winter. They don't usually have to.

The very best way to prevent frostbite is to dress appropriately with a face mask and a cap. Imagine riding on a bike with the wind blowing and sliding from the snow and ice. Riding for only a short time with a bare head you can imagine how dangerous that could be. Not wearing insulated boots and having to walk for miles across snowy terrain, each boot step sinking into 8 inches of show with the sunlight going down, could kill you. You must wear good gloves and gear else slowly but surely the wind and cold will make your body enter survival mode and damage your extremities.

People usually travel in groups. If your hands start to ache or feel numb, it's hard to evaluate the progression of frostbite and much better if your companion looks at it.

When people start to freeze, and as their core plummets, they tend to get sleepy and lose consciousness.

I've written earlier about making a debris hut. If it's cold in winter, but not wet or there's no snow, you still can make one, but of course it will take you longer since you're sluggish and it's hard to move around with all those layers. Knowing how to make a snow shelter would be an extremely useful skill, but beyond this topic.

During the Civil War, soldiers or irregulars might temporarily stop fighting (most of the time) by digging in a foxhole of some size, supporting it with found logs or branches and then adding water to mud and grasses to make a survival cement. One the logs were cemented with the grass/earth mixture, they would pile on an insulating layer of earth, and it would be disguised. A vent hole would be made to channel out some of the smoke from a fire pit. Obviously that's a semi-permanent structure, and takes a lot of time, unless you've got several people working on it. Winter is the worst possible time to build a structure as you're using up a lot of calories when materials, food, fresh water, etc are very hard to come by. This kind of structure most likely would be built in any other season but Winter.

Even if you were blessed by the Source and didn't have to be homeless or bugging out, you very well might see lots of transient people moving South. This means that their problems could become your problems. 99% of them will have no experience with making shelters, fire, gathering water, food, and simply staying warm. You'll see them more in public spaces and milling around places where they can ask for money or food. Your churches or temples might have many more of them asking for help.

Most churches or temples don't give out funds directly. Because there are so many people needing public assistance (ask around, you'll be shocked), the homeless are referred to a central agency, and they will have to travel there to get any help, vouchers, a warm meal in order to prevent the same family or individual asking from multiple churches. They were never set up to handle the kinds of volume of people we might see from a collapse. Someone has to donate money to handle that number in order to help them, and people are giving less, not more, as their disposable income drops.

Many ordinary homeless people have issues beyond poverty. Some have mental issues like schizophrenia or manic depression or drug addiction. Because of that, you have to be very vigilant about people asking for help. You could suddenly find someone asking for help at night and in a place where you can't get away if they become violent. Most homeless folks aren't violent, just deperate. The kinds of homeless people might radically change as the economy declines. Desperate people will do desperate things and justify their behavior to save their lives.

If you're a spiritual person, a person with survival skills, a person with excess funds, a person who can motivate people to donate, a person who can organize things, or simply willing to roll up your sleeves and work, then you can do the work of the Source.
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12/22/2011 09:11 PM
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Preventing and Temporarily Treating Frostbite (continued)

Did you notice that I slid in there that when you're bugging out = being homeless. That's pretty straight forward, but I've never heard someone come right out and say it. All these survivalists types or poorly prepared types are saying that if things get bad, they'll pack 72 hours of supplies and voluntarily become homeless. Can you see why if you lack a healthy attitude, an ability to reframe, survival skills, and spiritual awareness of the Source that you're not going to be able to do that?

Back to frostbite. Okay you look down at now numb fingers that feel no pain. Test carefully for nerve damage. Be gingerly with the tissue. Obvious signs are black fingers (on light skinned folks), but there's little you can do then. The tissue can be warmed up with luckwarm water no hotter than 100 degrees in order to attempt to return circulation to the extremities.

You'll say yuck, but each of us carries the ability to produce liquid at body temperature- urine. It's sterile, and will bring the tissue up at the right temperature. Obviously you need to be out of the wind and cold to do this as the wet tissue will get cold again. After finding some way of gently washing away the urine with clear water, you need to bandage it gently and seek immediate medical attention. Think, you very well might be able to find clean water, but not necessarily hot water. It's impossible to treat this at home without gangrene. Wounds seldom get gangrenous nowadays with emergency rooms and most people living stable lives. It happened all the time during war, famine, the Depression, and other times of instability. A small untreated wound could get infected or frostbite could kill tissue and afterwards since there no blood supply to the tissue, it rots.

Imagine you determine that you have frostbite on your feet or those of a child you're traveling with. The more you walk on broken damaged tissue, the more damage you're creating. Expect amputation.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The way we have to treating frostbite is extremely expensive. It mostly involves rewarming, surgery, antibiotics, and painful physical therapy and very possible prosthesis. All of those things might be beyond a homeless person.

As your hands or theirs get cold, you can bring that part of the extremity in contact with your core body like your belly or armpit. This skin is far warmer and can slowly bring up the temperature and restore circulation. If you're sleeping and cold, it's far better to wear layers, insulate your body up and off from the cold ground, huddle together, and pull over a blanket.

Realize that being homeless implies being dirty. There just are limited ways to stay clean (like the earlier article I wrote about wood ash and water), so you're body will have much more bacteria on it. This means that any kind of wound is many times more vulnerable to infection.

The period from now until March is a particularly difficult time for survival. I pray that things stay the same or get more stable else we could see lots of unusual medical conditions from nonstandard populations.
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
A theoretical battery from locally gathered materials

This post is very much a work in progress detailing some of the ideas I've considered about how to deal with both creating a useful trade item post-SHTF, helping a struggling community, and realistically creating a light source. It has applications in creating sustainable development in the real world too.

In a SHTF scenario, it's very possible that batteries may become unavailable. Batteries are really technically cells, usually of 1.5 volts dc (vdc and the power of a battery) and low amperage (current which is the flow of electricity in the battery). While the batteries will eventually and pretty quickly wear out (given lots of people using them carelessly), the LED or small incandescent lamps won't for awhile.

Lots of videos or pdf files describes ways to make a battery. Batteries are typically small galvanic cells that rely upon two dissimilar metals and an electrolyte either in a strong salt solution, or paste. Large batteries are often made of a lead acid composition (lead and strong sulfuric acid).

Which it's probably beyond the standard person making sulfuric acid from common materials, in addition there are safety concerns from its corrosive properties and very strong current produced. In an ideal world, we could recreate them. Ordinarily alternators spin from mechanical motion, and these continually top off the electrical charge capacity of a battery.

There are simple solar panels which can trickle charge a small dc voltage, and these can be utilized to get them back up to power when drained of their useful voltage. In combination with an inverter, a typical ac device of very low power use, or a device that uses a complex dc power source like a laptop can use an solar battery setup to power an inverter and this will produce the power to the laptop. For common devices that need simple dc power, they can be hooked up and powered by the battery directly.

But...it's not very portable. This would be immensely helpful and practical. People will run out of paraffin oil (really kerosene) to power small oil lamps, or candles. While candles can be remade with immersed mature cattail head in tallow, or oil lamps that on birch oil or pine resin, these all create fire hazards (heat and light).

If we could make small scale batteries from common materials found within a home, or produced in a survival situation, then we could really help a lot of people. Any battery will commonly corrode as the metals get used up in the corrosive electrolyte, however they could produce temporary dc power.

An aluminum soda can
hardwoods like oak
copper wire with a means of clipping or securing it on (alligator clips while perfect are not common)
an LED lamp

Tin snips or scissors
A coffee can or better a metal canister with a metal lid

When wood is burned, it leaves behind wood ash. When water is added to wood ash it produces lye. This can be made properly by pouring water through a sieve of ashes, but not necessary. Making a paste is suffice. Wood that is placed in a metal canister (like a Christmas cookie can) and heated but starved of oxygen produces wood gas (that will escape and ignite) and charcoal. This charcoal will be purer than simply incompletely burned wood.

Using the scissors, carefully cut a piece of the aluminum can. Leaving a tab at the top will allow a place to clip on. Scoop up some of the lye paste and spread it on the aluminum. Place a piece of charcoal on the lye paste. Now you have a weak battery, probably a 0.6 vdc battery. By clipping several of these in series i.e. the positive to the LED lamp, and then the negative to another positive and the negative to another positive and on and on, then eventually when sufficient strength is achieved hooking the last negative to the negative lead of the LED lamp, you should in theory produce light. It will be awkward to handle unless you can mount the battery in some way to stabilize it.

Look at your flashlight and you'll see that this is how batteries are stacked to produce sufficient power.

Many homes might contain lye or sulfuric acid under their sinks to be used as drain openers. Since that's already prepared, we might be tempted to use that for this purpose. Indeed the sulfuric added to a paper towel and placed between an aluminum tab from a soda can and a stainless steel paper clip will definitely produce a battery, but we might need that sulfuric for something else. Since that sulfuric is hard to make, we'll have to dissuade people from using it.

Proof of concept
This video demonstrates how to make a wood ash battery from an aluminum can, however it uses a joule thief. That might or might not be able to be made in the field. This can be avoided by making several instead. A joule thief will work but will burn out the battery quicker.

The joule thief requiring multiple electronic components (resistor, transistor, torus, coil)

Or simply a wood ash/alumnium/charcoal battery

The 2nd video from Tom Culhane shows how to make the aluminum pop top/paper clip/sulfuric LED flashlight.

Most battery videos describe ways to make batteries based upon using up materials that could be better utilized. For example, there are many which discuss using earth and an acid, or salt and two metals like a piece of copper and a galvanic bolt, but those materials could most likely be hard to replace. The potato battery uses metals and a potato, but it would be far better to eat it then waste it as a battery.

You can see that very low voltage and amperage can be developed from a plain earth battery, which is a piece of copper and galvanized, usually hammered into the ground, and without an electrolyte but with moist soil, then 0.3 to 0.6 vdc can be developed. Still it's too low to power an LED and isn't portable. Sure you could run wire into your home, but the length of a piece of wire will create voltage drops. It's the same reason that a long extension cord will get hot and kick out a breaker.

While there are many outdoor solar lights that run off off batteries and an LED, again most of these will usefully recharge some old dead alkaline batteries, they eventually will not work. That means in the interim they can be used, but ultimately a sustainable light source and battery must be found. Since LEDs can't be produced locally, it will always be the weakest link.

You will always have wood ash produced as a result of cooking fire and heat. This also means charcoal. Another potential electolyte that is sustainable is urine. It might be possible to concentrate it to produce a stronger electrolyte. Usually normal urine batteries are low amperage and low voltage.

Anyone who can learn how to do this, will be able to create a small business in a SHTF scenario when trade goods when things get more stable again.
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Theoretical battery from locally gathered materials continued

The simplest (and flawed) system for producing stored dc power from a battery that is trickle charged by a minimal solar power. In a better system, a car battery could be the stored dc battery, and in even better system a deep cycle marine battery would be used to store the power. Of course the better the battery, the longer it will take to recharge it, and the better the solar panel, the less time it will take to recharge it too. The inverter is needed to power AC devices, but clearly this isn't intended for any AC devices that use high amperage. Many dc power devices can directly be powered from the battery and skip the inverter.

An ideal way to do this is to wire up the setup and place it all contained within a battery box. This will make it far easier to avoid an electrical shock, and prevent curious children from accidentally touching the electrical leads. Honestly there is no way to idiot-proof something like this.

Naturally if you possess the ability to recharge people's batteries, or you possess a way to have them turn in their batteries and sell them flashlights in return, you need to have the setup in your home and with a minimal footprint as it will be something they would want. Since many people are selfish, but uneducated about electricity, if things are stable and you can produce low voltage power sources either altruistically or in order to trade it and help your family, you'll be able to create some minor stability for your neighborhood.

This is an excellent community project, as many folks will have expended batteries around their household in drawers and forgotten.
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When I was twelve, I read a science fiction story, probably by Issac Asimov, I can't recall the author. In the story, a man has a modern combustion vehicle (a car) and is trying to sell it to a tribe that is pretty self-sufficient. The man is frustrated because the tribe elders seem reticent to trade for it. He can't understand why since it will go faster, it is stronger, and it protects the driver versus their horses. They say, “What does it eat, and how do you breed it, and how do you heal it?” He shrugs sheepishly. I think this is the primary issue that we'll have in a SHTF scenario when our modern reliance on creating specialists butts up against the lack of sustainable technology.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a Luddite. I enjoy being warm at night in Winter and not having to stoke the wood stove (well not too warm, I'm a guy and being a little cold helps me sleep better), opening the 'fridge to grab a cold one and not having to brew it, eating a ready made bratwurst and not having to butcher an animal and make a sausage from scratch, etc. Both ways are good: the old pioneer skills and the technology to make life easier.

Living in a world post-SHTF will be unique. Once things settle down, it will be a both/and world of using the knowledge that we have, but trying to live in sustainable ways in order to harvest materials locally and using all of the tribal lore that enabled people to migrate to America.

We hold some freedoms very dear, and the Patriots who deliberately wrote about them and formed them were geniuses. The covenants between a federal, state, and local government that protected the people but limited the power of the government at the will of the People were amazing living documents. While capitalism is flawed, as any man-made economic system will always be, no good alternative has consistently worked because people are basically more interested in themselves and their families and then the community. That means post-SHTF capitalism, and a nation of people who can provide products and sell them for individual gain, will always return. Someone will always want a bigger house, a better horse, more variety of food, more stylish clothing, etc.

But... we can't keep living the way that we've tried before. Shipping goods from far away lands and paying people smaller wages so that we can have more things at the expense of “other” people is just not sustainable. Eventually all people want better lives. While they may accept smaller wages for a time due to their governments (really totalitarian regimes) and do without specialized goods, eventually unless we can get lower species to make our things, then we'll not be able to find worker-bees to do our bidding. Try getting monkeys to make your cars, electronics, and shiny toys.

This type of system is based upon an idea that whatever we have is superior to whatever they have. In other words, whatever we can produce has a higher trade value that whatever they can produce. It's that old medieval paradigm of the large city of the King (and his specialists) who protects all of the little villages of generalists, the earlier analogy that I offered from history made large. In those days, the medieval knights were the ones who protected the people, but only separated by the distance of a ship ride or the journey of a travel by horse. These days it's the idea that American soldiers can protect the world from the enemies of capitalism, in exchange for Hollywood and Wall Street. That won't suffice. The world doesn't buy it anymore. We've worked ourselves out of a job. We don't produce things like we used to, quality goods that were made strong, produced efficiently, with the supply chains that could transport ready made goods and replacement parts.

As the Cold War came to a close, different nations wanting to spend more money on infrastructure and their people, and less money on soldiers and military hardware. They decided that they could trade goods between nations, and make money as a result of specialized labor that used the products of their friends and enemies. They had to. It was unsustainable to have enormous military costs since the risk of danger was always rather small. The more powerful the weapon, the less of a chance to use it due to its destructive capacity.

As time progressed, since labor was cheaper in developing nations, selfish profiteers relocated factories that produced goods to these nations. Image two swimming pools connected by a pipe. In one pool is an enormous volume of water; in the other pool much less. The water will be pushed by gravity to it's lowest level and eventually it equals out. In a healthy world, the amount of water would be added by rainfall, but no matter what as the worth of a product is more valued, unless there are trade goods of equal value in the other nation, it all equals out. If one nation can no longer produce goods, they run out of money to buy the other nations goods. It comes to a standstill.

In a SHTF scenario, since governments can't borrow more money, and the price of goods is high from demand, but disruptions in the supply chains occur, coupled with people having a lack of money to purchase goods, makes the current economic model to collapse.

Visionaries and government officials have been hoping for some new technology to create new products which be able to produce some better shiny toy or an incredibly valuable tool, but as long as profiteers are willing to move the manufacture of them to a place with lower labor costs, that won't help America. We should look in the mirror for the profiteers. We like to blame the people at the top of the pyramid, but in reality Americans (and I am an American) enjoyed the transfer of wealth by investing in the stock market and higher returns on mutual funds and greater dividends from cheap labor as a result of Asian countries. We are the profiteers. We have to own up to that.

But...when we began to extend credit to keep the market going, and enable home ownership for everyone, plus allowed the creation of derivatives to bet against everyone's success, then we created an unsustainable system and kicked it in the teeth. It's crippled and dying. You can hear the death rattle.

The only way that I can imagine is a miraculous new product. Even then unless someone can figure out a way to distribute it and a reason to manufacture it in the USA, there really is no good rationale for doing so. Imagine living anywhere else but the USA. Wouldn't you want that product to be made in your country? Wouldn't you do your best to have it made locally? That's the healthy response. Bizarrely our politicians for years have been working to send jobs elsewhere. It's common sense not economic protectionism.

When I was very young, and didn't know much, I volunteered to paint an enclosed porch for a church project. They were glad for volunteers. We all set out with our tools and supplies in different directions. I ended up taking on the porch project and set to work alone. Eventually I got toward the end, and it was lunch time. Then I looked up and laughed and laughed. I had begun painting near the doorway and painted toward the corners of the room. Fifteen minutes before lunchtime I realized that in order to get to the door, I needed to step on the painted floor. I had painted myself in. :0

This is exactly what the politicians in Washington have done. We voted and supported them. We did it too. It would be comical if it were not also disastrous.

The only way we can begin to repair the damage to our countries is to learn how to produce goods locally so that all people have an opportunity to own them based upon their ideas of thrift and need for luxury items. It's not economic protectionism; it's common sense. Some countries will have a monopoly on special items. Let's say that one country has rare-earth metals. If you don't have something, then you can either trade for it at a disadvantage, or find something they need, or explore your country for them, or find an alternative to them. It's that simple.

If there is an economic collapse, people who can fix broken items, find alternatives to them, replicate them, will all manage to survive. We could put everyone to work who wants to work to do this. It won't be as cheap as relying upon goods made in other countries, but it will help reduce people having to rely upon government assistance.
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Winter Camping

Winter camping is not for the beginner. There are few resources, and if things are tight, and lots of people trying to make it, then the worst possible situation. Most beginners would make a series of poor decisions and die. In the event of a SHTF scenario where people had to bug out in Winter, then unless you make intentional decisions and respond strategically then you'll die even with a very high skill level.

Your camp gear will be similar, as many of your tasks will be similar, but the addition of a good shovel specifically for use in shoveling snow would make many tasks easier. As snow is a pretty decent insulator, as long as you can pile it up to surround your tent, or can make a shelter from it, but it takes a huge amount of energy to do this. If you don't have food and water, it won't much matter.

Here are several videos. They're various adaptations of making it in the wild in winter. Obviously if you can find a place indoors, or much better underground, then it means modifying what you have to make camping work for you.

The first video shows using a common hammock tent. These can usually be found in Army surplus stores. They're small and portable, but meant for one person based upon the amount of weight they support. If you lashed your hammock fairly low and braced it off the ground and put snow around it, it would protect you from wind and insulate you more than merely dangling it in the air

A way of making it is to build directly in the snow using a T shaped structure. The trough in the center acts to pull the cold down into it and this makes the elevated sleeping area warmer. While igloos can be made, they're highly technical since none of the blocks is the same size, but fitted expertly and not plausible for a beginner. It is fairly easy to carve out a T shaped structure if there is sufficient snow, but you need a minimum of a shovel to do it efficiently. You must make an air hole. In areas where the snow is melting, your structure could collapse on itself and burying you in the process.

A 3rd option is a standard tent or tarp. If you have this much equipment, then making a hole and a vent tube is dealt with here. Obviously his mistake was making a new vent tube and not heating it first outside the tent (he got smoke that way). As it takes time to build a shelter, and often people travel during the day, camp is often built at the end of the day. If you're doing that, you sure better know how to set it up first, as it could take far longer than you expect with a dropping temperature. Imagine if you had a shelter smoke up when you were tired and cold and had to huddle outside. It would be just miserable.

Never sleep directly on the ground. As the temperature falls, and based upon your sleeping gear, you could lose consciousness and freeze to death.

I hope by looking at some of these, you're thinking how you would construct these kinds of shelters if you had to, what equipment and skills would you need, and how heavy they would be, and how much time would it realistically take to construct them, and how to disguise them so they would not be very obvious. If you're bugging out in Winter and trying to blend it, a structure like these can easily be seen.

If you had the 3rd setup, you'd be blessed with a lot of items and a much higher chance of surviving the night, and much more comfortably, but with the most chance of detection. If the tarp were white, then on first glance at a short distance, many people wouldn't notice you.
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Potential energy

When I was 12, I had a wonderful science class. From day one, we built a battery (cell) from scratch. Then as we did more and more experiments, most of them based upon Physics, we used the battery to power up the experiments. That was very cool, because it meant that the success of all of the experiments built upon the success of the 1st one. That's a tiny bit of pressure, but not with a good mentor.

In time, we discussed potential energy. It was a curious topic: a radical idea for a child's mind. Sure, I could see the mechanical energy easily in the motion it displayed. I could see the electrical energy when it turned on a light or made a dc motor turn. But the idea of potential energy...well I struggled with it.

It's actually only a two hundred year old concept. It's a model based upon the ideas of a 19th Century Scottish man named William Rankine. Imagine a person carrying a rock to the edge of a cliff. It's heavy and if it is allowed to fall over the cliff, the potential energy is liberated and transformed into kinetic energy (the motion of a falling rock in this case). The kinetic energy of the person walking up the hill gave energy to the rock. Classically it's described by pressing on a compression spring, the energy is stored and ready to rebound to its original state, and kinetic energy is delivered as a result of the release of the spring.

In each of us, there is energy waiting to be liberated and transformed into another kind of energy. Or not. Many of us come home tired from work that may not be physically taxing, just mentally, and we're more tired of being there and not at home and need rest. Still there is potential energy inside us to do more work, but since we're used to a routine, we don't tap that energy, we let it go to waste. Since many of consume more energy in the form of biochemical products (food as calories) than we can use, we get fat and mentally lazy. Since we might be unsatisfied with our lives, we tend to live vicariously by watching the actions of more active and more interesting people (television). It's a perversion of the idea of the Source. People in previous centuries never had as much personal time to use by watching the imaginary actions of another. It's very odd, isn't it?

Often post Christmas, and when people realize that they've consumed more calories than normal, and had their fill of being sedentary, they make an adjustment in their exercise and consumption of calories and amount of time watching television. While that change in potential energy to kinetic energy in exercise is hard work, it mostly gives us a pleasant feedback in the way we appear and our personal level of beauty or attractiveness. People who see us note that we look happier, appear more fulfilled and confident, and look more muscular and healthy. That process continues until we get tired of exerting so much kinetic energy and usually return to old habits. Or maybe we get tired of the complements or people get tired of offering them.

To prepare for a SHTF scenario and also to build up a healthy community whether it happens or not, transforming that potential energy into kinetic energy will benefit your ability to adapt, overcome, and survive.

I put it to you that the primary reason that many people feel like things are in a malaise, is that they can't see the potential in themselves to do more or they can't see the potential in others or they can't see the potential in the natural gifts of the Source around them. Losing Hope = not recognizing potential energy.

How does this compare with almost every people and time prior to our own? Imagine the desert people who first encountered the Source. In the desert, there are many plants and animals and naturally created items, and those who understand the lore of what is available and can utilize it, can survive. Nothing is wasted. Animal feces (literal crap) are dried and burned to provide heat for cooking and when it gets colder. Wells are dug to tap into the water found below that is naturally filtered. When rain falls, it naturally waters whatever crops can be raised locally. Certain plants and animals naturally do well in that ecosystem. These are the majority of foods that are consumed. Over time people realize that they can store food items to increase their survival. They alter their existing agriculture methods to allow larger tribes in one maintained living space. An abundance of stored products makes trade between other desert people possible. More trade usually means less war. War is expensive and while the other people could seize their goods, unless they enslave the makers of them, usually it's not in their best interest to do so.

They are hopeful since they see the potential in the gifts from the Source. If they merely do the drudgery of work without the Hope that comes from an awareness of the Source, then they find some kind of entertainment to keep at bay the Despair.

Depression = no Hope for a long time = a lack of awareness of the Source AND an inability to see the potential

I would put it to you that an economic Depression is really not very different than a personal one. An economic Depression is a lack of optimism in the potential for people to produce things regularly.

In a post-SHTF scenario, the more that each person can activate their potential, see the potential in each other, be aware of the Source, and see and use the lore of natural gifts from the Source, the happier and more fulfilled they will be. Those who can't and adapt and overcome will compete for found items, since they can't create them, and depression, destruction, and death will result as they fight for them.
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
A box of cakes & a shotgun.
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Here's a link to a documentary on the Great Depression in the USA. 100 minutes can be watched per day for free. What I find extraordinary are all the parallels. The same sorts of things that happened with the rise of unions/liberals/communists parallel the OWS/union/liberals today. Don't get me wrong, clearly I'm very conservative, and make no apologies for it, and I also don't judge people for their political beliefs. Not as long as we can divide up into our own communities and have self-determination.

We could see a extremely volatile time of very angry unemployed people, students who can't afford to go to school and finish their degrees, further downturns, big increases in homelessness, all coupled with people with very low pioneer/survival skills. I think it's a recipe for chaos and disaster.
[link to www.documentary-film.net]

Those who ignore history are doomed to commit the same mistakes.
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
If you've decided to watch the documentaries on the Great Depression and the subsequent win by FDR and the installation of the New Deal, I'm sure you've seen many replication of ideas.

The Dustbowl hit about the same time as the crash of 29. When it hit, nothing would grow, and the government decided to have the Red Cross give out seeds. Kinda of ridiculous as of course while it was wonderful for people to be given the chance to garden, it aint raining, so those plants died to, utterly wasting the money.

People in these agricultural areas encountered remarkable hardship as crop prices plummeted and it hardly was worth bring in what crops they had. I recall a professor telling me that after his father's crops came in, and he paid all expenses, he made about 20 cents, so he ended up buying a flashlight for his son. That was it. Food was available in some areas, and at greatly reduced prices, but no one could afford to eat. Farmers in one area banded together and peacefully waited outside a grocery store since they're children hadn't eaten in three days. In the end, the government authorized $2.50 per family, and their hunger temporarily abated.

People lost their utilities first, then couldn't afford their mortgages, and after the judges rules in favor of the landlords, then of course they had more issues with people leaving, so it took further rulings and police involvement for eviction. You can imagine en masse evictions would play out today.

Many people lived outside by digging a hole, using what ever scrap material they could find, and living in them in all kinds of weather. In many cases they were made of cardboard. Sound like any of the information that I've been posting?

Things declined as less and less jobs were available. A bill had been passed that offered a small bonus to WW1 veterans, but that wasn't funded or was going to disperse those funds until 1945. Veterans from around the country began coming to Washington DC, first 3,000 plus their families, living in derelict abandoned buildings, then later a special camp where they erected similar shanty towns. At it's maxiumum, it swelled to 20,000 plus all of there family members. Although Gen Smedly Butler spoke at their gathering, and offered his support, the situation grew tense. In the end, the bill was passed in the House of Rep, but defeated in the Senate, and the politicians had to sneak out of Washington. A riot broke out, and the military called in with tanks, cavalry, and infantry. Tear gas was released, fires started, and with fixed bayonets, the infantry drove out the veterans. Don't imagine the same won't happen again. The generals in charge of the operation? None other than Gen. Douglass MacArthur and Dwight Einsenhower.

It cost Herbert Hoover the election. FDR campaigned on it, and won by a landslide. Days later, he declared a bank holiday for four days since there were bank runs. He began a series of fire side chats on the radio, and convinced people to deposit their money. Surprisingly it worked, and with the temporary victory, FDR began a series of public works programs to put people back to work and rebuild infrastructure.

Today, I doubt that would fly. We've been deficit spending on such a massive scale, that we've no longer have a working vehicle to create more money by creating Treasuries. For the last few years, the Federal Reserve has been buying these worthless securities, as well as investing in other government securities, so the only other option is simply increase the money supply. That will cause massive hyperinflation. Perhaps deliberately.

Within a year of starting these massive jobs programs, there were many complains by the opposing party. They began to see inflation spiking from the extra money supply, and 1/7 of Federal money was diverted to do infrastructure and jobs programs in NYC. People fought for these jobs, so if we did something like that today, you can imagine the terrible in-fighting. It ended up creating a lot racial division during that time period, with boycotts and legal action.

There's no free lunch. For years we've not only had massive deficit spending, but also a massive increase per year. The investors of the world are simply unwilling to buy more government debt, even if our government want to begin a similar New Deal.

After two years of the New Deal, portions of FDR's policies governing the hiring of employees and wages were declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Even with them, they had bare held back the tide of the Great Depression, but they had temporarily helped some areas with an influx of inflated money for NYC.

A long standing feud between FDR and the Public Works administrator of NYC had been holding up crucial funding for a 63 million dollar bridge project. They settled the feud, and allowed it to go forward, but none of the jobs went to African-Americans. Recall the earlier tensions regarding public works employment, and economic boycotts of businesses who were receiving employment money to retain workers. Coupling this with rising cries of police brutality, in 1935, race riots broke out in NYC.

From that point on, FDR replicated the initial infrastructure programs and created the WPA, the Works Public Administration, creating 8 millions jobs over it's history, and massively spending ~ 7% of GDP out of thin air. It never could offer full employment, it was limited to 30 hours per week. Great more part-time temporary low skill jobs. It largely ended with the beginning of WWII. The same formula of diverted funds for infrastructure continues with 1/7 of all dollars going to NYC.

It ushered in a new era of public parks, public highways, funding for the arts, the school lunch program, a litany of all of the lasting programs we have today that exist because of tax dollar and not private investment.

In other words, during the Great Depression with the people unemployed and starving, the federal government created money out of thin air to employ and feed people. That persists today with the exception that those willing to pay for it through government securities are gone. This means that the only option to continue the social programs created by FDR and any new ones needed by the present administration is to create it out of thin air period.
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
In California, Socialist began a movements to create public inspection of food products, Social Security and National unemployment and health insurance. They proposed the government nationalizing industry. Writer Upton Sinclair, a well known Socialist, joined the Democratic party, and it encouraged other Socialists to join the party too. With 25% unemployment, Democrats signed up people in cooperatives and proposed a series of worker owned farms with government supplied equipment and seed, versus the standard family owned farms.

People were starving, despite bumper crops (that often were discarded), and riots broke out in protest. Earlier workers who returned to work with government assistance and who were paid as a result of infrastructure programs like the CCC and the WPA, were also given the right to join unions. Now similar actions happened in California as well as New York. Strikes occurred at the ports (sound familiar) and shutting down the transportation of goods. Tear gas and open fire from the police injured over many. The Governor declares a state of emergency and calls in the National Guard. Unions call for a general strike, and 100,000 march. There are runs on the supermarkets as people hoard food. Can you see how that could happen today?

As someone who believes in the the importance of being a good steward, and the need for a return to a respect for farmers, and understanding the power of a barter system to create wealth, I have some grudging respect for some of the ideas of Upton Sinclair. He certainly partially sowed the seeds of the Back to the Land movement, that many hippies caught a vision of and started small family owned, but non-traditional farms. Still that's a far cry from his vision of almost communist worker cooperative farms. As we all know, those were disastrous in the former USSR.

Organized elements of Republican big business and working with a marketing firm, created a smear campaign that created ready made art for newspapers with quotes from Sinclairs novels. Then the Republicans raised awareness of Sinclair's more radical ideas about religion and using alternative currency. Some of it is rather tame by today's standards, with some of the ideas actually antecedants of popular local barter currency. It ended up crippling Sinclair's campaign, and made much more divisive the political lines in California between a growing Democratic party and the established Republic party.

While MGM studios supported the Republicans, Warner Brothers supported the Democrats. MGM made movies that depicted realistically the poverty of the unemployed and those who'd subject to foreclosure. Warner Brother made a lot money on very popular escapist fair, many musicals, and light comedies. MGM did too. They often depicted the wealthy class, not much has changed in 2011. Both used their influence, but as the campaign turned ugly, and with Sinclair promoting releasing unused studio materials and allowing unemployed actors and technicians access to them to make independent movies, MGM joined forces with the smear campaign and created fake new reels with hired actors using scripts to portray those voting for Sinclair as those who were foolish, ill advised, or with Communist sympathies. Does any of that kind of organized media campaign sound familiar? Here's where it got its start.
In rural area, things continued to decline. Both tenants who gave 24% of their crop as payment in exchange for working the land with their own equipment, and sharecroppers (a term stilled used today to mean someone who works someone else's land) gave 50%. It didn't matter, no one, not even the landlords were making money. Agricultural prices had plummeted as no one could afford the crops and crops used in industry were simply not in demand. As previously stated, many farmers simply lost everything or made such minimal money as to create an effective wash of profit, not including all of their own labor.

Like California, many organized Federal programs began deliberate destruction of crops like cotton, at a time when people's clothing were threadbare and people were starving. Subsidy programs like the AAA for not growing the crops. [As recently as ten years ago, I know of people who deliberately bought spent farmland, with no intention of growing crops on poorly developed farmland, but excellent land otherwise, and who got paid a government subsidy]. Landlords were able to make ends meet, but in many cases the money never made it to the farmers who actually worked the land.

Socialists proposed new legislation and advocacy to assist the workers of the land. They formed agriculture unions (like the Southern Tenant Farmer's Union) which often broke local practices of racial mixing and stirring up old Ku Klux Klan issues. In Arkansas, they pass laws against public gatherings (can anyone see that happening as a result of OWS?), and landlords who own the fields evicted anyone who they suspected had joined the STFU.

Organizers found minor support with New Deal politicians. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that deals were made with landlords who most certainly were Democrats versus the politically weak tenant farmers. Think about this, it's the worst kind of government corruption. Tax the people to create government subsidies and then give it to political cronies. How was this benefiting rebuilding the agriculture industry. Imagine the danger of losing the agriculture business during this time period. A relatively high amount of people were employed in it versus today.

Most farms now are corporately owned. Still, these employ a lot people, and today with our supply chain system, and dependance on migrant workers, it wouldn't be difficult to see how dangerous things could get with a severe drop or inability to ship harvested crops.

During the Great Depression, Democrat landlords got the New Deal laws altered to specifically exclude anyone but the landlords to receive the subsidies. Then the KKK were either used or blamed for enforcing any forced evictions. It's really creepy stuff. You'd think that the Democrats were more on the side of African-Americans, but really it was mostly about money and trying to survive and people scrambling for those tax dollars and perpetuating what was essentially the slave system into the 20th Century.

Horrific racial discrimination happened everywhere, by both Republican and Democrat, but many of the New Deal laws actually made divisiveness worse by desperate people trying to get their piece of the pie. If we experience a similar economic crisis, you'll bet we'll see similar jockeying for those dollars, much as we did recently with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Real empowerment can never come by exchanging harsh economic realities with the slavery of taking government handouts.

So in response to the intimidation of union organization, a Sharecropper Strike was called in 1935. Using their own dirty trick campaign, the unions started a rumor that anyone who took to the fields would be shot! This shut down the harvest and the landlords were forced to raise wages. Still the system was flawed, as the landlords kept records of how much was harvested and owed to the sharecroppers, so unless they were suddenly honest, without an oversight system, it was hollow victory. It did foster more unions forming in nearby states though. It did definitely result in evictions of union members following the harvest. Lynchings and the threats of lynchings occurred.

How does the FDR's government respond? Does the FBI come in? Is there new legislation created to enable farm ownership for tenants or sharecroppers? No. FDR speaks in support of a major supporter of his New Deal legislation who also just happens to be a wealthy Democrat landowner. Then FDR refuses to meet with the STFU. Big surprise.

Real lasting economic equity will always come from private ownership of family farms, not corporate farms, not state owned worker cooperatives. It should be noted that during the same time period, Costa Rica offered agricultural programs similar to the USA frontier programs of allowing land claims for people who worked the land for five years. As a result many middle class folks exist today in Costa Rica because their ancestors came from all over the world and worked the land in order to own it. This kind of program would be far more useful in the event that farms get seized through foreclosure. While foreclosure of farms is always ugly, wouldn't it better to create wealth this way, rather than let our Federal government with their checkered past screw it up again?

Many years ago, Jack Kemp proposed giving urban public housing to the tenants who'd been living in them for several years. The tenants would then as landlords become responsible for the upkeep of their property. They could, since they would be deed holders, sell it or even organize with several other tenants and sell the entire structure to developers. In many cases the property was in areas that were growing and expensive downtown condos were being built.

One wonders if this old idea wouldn't be useful for all property that's plummeted as a result of unsound sub-prime mortgages. Since the banks have been bailed out, but still own the property, or in some cases since the government owns the property and can't sell it due to a severe decline in values, and can't afford to administer it, then why not give the property to socially disadvantaged folks to own via a land claim much as pioneers? Doesn't that help write off the bad debt, create wealth, and help the disadvantaged at the same time? Isn't this better than foreclosure while still requiring responsibility to potential home owners?

I think there's some lessons here. If the SHTF, and agriculture is deeply affected, but since it's owned by corporations, if there's instability since it's critical infrastructure I can't see the president doing anything which will cost him political support from them. Note that farmland has become a sought out investment given the rise in commodity prices and the volatile nature of agriculture elsewhere. Texas is experiencing a major drought, and we've been having major bee colony collapse problems for the last several years affecting the harvests. It could again be an issue that works in tandem with an overall economic crisis.
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
The Labor moves continued to expand during the Great Depression, but more successfully in the North in areas like the steel mills of Pennsylvania. As opposed to the sharecroppers or tenant farmers, these tended to be voters (this was before civil rights), and they organized voting campaigns to both influence New Deal politicians as well as change the elected officials within their area.

Often union organizers would come in and march and picket for increased wages. As you can imagine this became very volatile as most of the country was out of work, but since steel was crucial for many industries, they still were working some. So while factory conditions were bad (even terrible at times) those folks were making far more money than much of the country. Wealthy owners of factories hired security, hired police as security, and bought weapons and ammunition. During protests, some organizers created a family atmosphere, and union members brought their children in some cases. Shootings occurred with some deaths and many injuries both from the rush as well as the bullets. You can imagine the chaos. Union organizers were accused of being communists. It is true that communists did make up a portion of the unions, and that they were very vocal. All of these sorts of activities continue today. As many of these factories have shut down, but seeing the organized union activities as well as the OWS movement, we could see similar strikes occur and continue and get stronger.

One wonders if we go to war with Iran and Syria, and if we have to re-tool the factories to create more armaments locally, then if this will be allowed to happen at all?

Because many states are bankrupt, and city workers as a result end up losing their jobs (like policemen or troopers), but since security will always be needed in some capacity, we very well could see a transition to private security firms, but possibly at much lower wages and benefits. The very people who work as public servants might transfer into these roles. The impact of security versus policemen would mean a strong armed force but without the restrictions instituted by being a representative of the government for law enforcement. I find this a very plausible but troubling potential issue. As more and more clashes occur, and people being human, misunderstandings and some people (not most law enforcement as they honourable) could lose their ability to act in controlled ways and terrible violence could occur.

Historically soldiers have been used “to kill people and break things”. If they are asked to be peace keepers (law enforcement) but because they are not trained in this, really terrible use of force could occur. There are reasons that our military is not asked to perform in this capacity. As the military may be called in an emergency, and because they must justify their budget, and because of recent legislation, we could betray the sacrifice we ask of our soldiers and sailors by demanding that they do law enforcement of our civilians. Either soldiers could be killed by hesitating in treating citizens as the enemy, or they could repel citizens as the enemy. This must not happen. Because of Afghanistan and Iraq, we have many soldiers who've been trained to be an occupying stabilizing force due to a lack of reliable police and military in those countries. Those soldiers could end up occupying US states to bring order...and this should make us all shudder.
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Bēṯ Leḥem- the House of Bread

It was autumn, and Yosef tried to gingerly cross the desert with his young wife Miriam. She was fourteen, not much past the time of young girls beginning to be women. They had been betrothed for a long time and deeply in love. Miriam had become pregnant. She claimed that an angel named Gavriel (God is my strength) had come as a messenger and that the Adonai had come over her. And soon she was found to be with child.

This terrified Yosef. He loved her passionately. His eyes brimmed with tears. Gavriel had come hundreds of years prior during the time of Daniyyel. The angel had predicted the coming of the Mashiah, the Annointed one, and the words were confusing and frightening mixed with other prophesies. It was beyond him. “I'm just a carpenter.”

When Miriam had gotten pregnant, some laughed at Yosef in sly amusement. Pregnancies happened from time to time as young people who were betrothed, simply got tired of waiting. Others poked fun of her story. Others said he should get rid of her. He considered it. He loved her and believed her. He himself had seen Gavriel and he told him to marry Miriam.

Her elderly kinswoman Elisheva six months prior had been visited by the same angel, as had her husband, the priest Zechariah. Though they both were elderly, she'd gotten pregnant, though her husband didn't believe it at first. He'd seen Gavriel within the Holy of Holies, a place that no one felt comfortable entering, and while within was startled to be visited. The idea that they could have a child now had seemed impossible, and because of his unbelief he'd been struck mute.

Yosef knew the details well. He'd had his own encounter with the Adonai's messenger. He was a deeply spiritual man, and he wasn't about to refuse to do what the Adonai had asked. It came out of duty and love but also fear.

Now they moved slowly from Natzrat to Bēṯ Leḥem. It was seventy to eighty miles and they were hindered by the bumping of her traveling and potentially giving birth, but concerned about the availability of water and shelter along the way. They'd had to prepare by bringing along their supplies but not over weighing their pack animal. That meant walking some for Miriam. Yosef alone could make the trip in four days, but with Miriam and her condition, he hoped it wouldn't take a week. There were cities along the way: Megido, Shechem, Shilo...he mentally noted them and considered where he might have to stop.

They weren't the only ones on the road. Because they were occupied by the Romans, they had to follow their laws and their own. It was census time, so since Yosef came from Bēṯ Leḥem, he must return there with his betrothed.

They finally wearily arrived and looked for a place to stay. With all of the travelers, nothing was available. They needed some help, a midiwife to assist Miriam in her birth, clean water, a way to heat it, a shelter. But they were alone in the town of his childhood, and only by the grace of the Adonai did Yosef find a stable in a cave. They felt very humbled sleeping in the same place as the livestock, with only a manger for their newly born son.

They named his Yeshua (possibly Yehoshua), God with us. He was wrapped in what clothes they had to protect him. The newly born Annointed One, the Son of the Adonai, the Mashiah. It was Miriam's first birth, and Yosef gazed upon his betrothed and new son, and was thankful that despite being alone, that they both were alive and well. He was shaking but grateful.

Nearby in the fields, the sheep bleeted. Several shepherds rubbed their eyes. They watched over them since predators could take one easily in the night. Some walked among them since it was hard to see in the darkness, and others glanced from the watchfires. Most slept. Soon it would be time to switch up, and get some sleep while others took their turn at watch.

Suddenly an angel of the Adonai was in their midst. They were terrified. In the darkness the appearance of the most powerful beings of the Adonai most likely meant death. They were powerless by comparison.

But the angel said, “Shhhh. Don't be afraid. Listen. I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. Today in the town of Daveed, a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Mashiah, the Adonai. This is a sign for you. You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manager.”

There were afraid. None of them was a smart man. They'd had some lessons like the other boys of their tribe, but they also knew that the coming of the Mashiah meant war.

Then suddenly a great company of angels appeared. The shepherds were stunned and terrified even more. This mighty group of the heavenly host said “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

The shepherds were even more afraid but curious. They were still alive, and had been favored by the angels, even though they were lowly even despised by some of their tribe. They hoped that the Adonai's favor rested on them.

Then the angels left, returning from whence they came.

Though their responsibility lay with taking care of the sheep and resting for the new day, the shepherds rose and gathered their flock and said “Let's go visit Bet Leḥem, and see this thing that has happened, which the Adonai has told us about”.
Tomorrow we remember the birth of the Son. It's not about giving presents to each other. We've forgotten the power of the story of His birth. It's about encountering an omnipotent, omniscient, and all loving God who humbled Himself and became flesh and blood like us as an innocent infant (who has no power, no strength). It's meeting God made flesh in Yeshua. It's about bringing our time, talent, and treasure to Him so that we can honor, respect, and love Him.

It's the most important event in the history of Mankind and God's creation.

It's not about who can get the first Air Jordans, Apple Ipads, or shiny toys. It's about Jesus (Yeshua).

In our benevolence and wish for generosity and peace, we've settled for sentimentality, and forgotten the awe, fear, respect, and wonder of the most mighty supernatural event that ever occurred. I challenge you as we celebrate Christmas this year to consider what it really means. Then if convicted by the power of God's actions and the Holy Spirit, then allow it to transform you.

Yield to it, like shepherds(who protect the flock), like wise men humbling themselves and bring Him gifts, like innocent young maidens, like trusting spiritual husbands, like the person in the mirror that is you.
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Sorry, it doesn't copy Hebrew well. Bethlehem is really Bet Lehem in the above story.
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The difference between reacting and responding

So they hurried off and found Miriam and Yosef, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Miriam treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Who = How they reacted
The shepherds hurried to meet Jesus
When the shepherds met Jesus, then they spread the word
The people who heard it, they were amazed

But...Miriam treasured up all the things and pondered them in her heart.

This is how to respond. Most people quickly do something, and then in falls off in strength. The shepherds to their credit praise and glorify God for what they've heard and see. They hurry. The people are amazed. Usually those things are not in a perpetual state, but rise and have a peak and then inevitable drift down. Some people call this the "mystical experience" or the "peak experience" when someone truly sees Jesus face-to-face,

But Miriam (Mary) treasures. She gives it value. She realizes it's importance. Jesus and what He means is someone who will be perpetually of importance.

What does it all mean? What does it mean for Jesus to be in our lives? What could it mean? You will spend a lifetime trying to understand the importance of Jesus, what it means for God to be made flesh and dwell with us and to humble Himself and for God to be with us.

Miriam responds slowly and intentionally. We need to be more like Miriam and think about our actions and what his presence means for the rest of our lives.

Christmas comes and then it is gone. It's the seconds of opening a present, and then a brief thank you and the wadding of gift paper. Many weeks later, the gift sit on shelves, our thanks forgotten, and the hurry of Christmas, the amazement of bright Christmas lights and sentimental feelings are gone.

Treasure Jesus and consider his gift of his Presence perpetually in your lives.

Merry Christmas. Treasure that joy forever.
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The opposite of pondering :the blame game
(The following assumes a standard post-SHTF where all parties are working toward rebuilding and not deliberately creating chaos for it to happen. That's an entirely different scenario that I'll discuss later)

When things turn bad, the first inclination is denial that something bad is occurring. When it's evident that it is in fact transpiring, in order to cope we look for simplistic answers. As anyone who's a student of history knows, it aint that simple. Life is remarkably complex for a single person or a community, but truly live in a sea of communities, little islands that we pretend don't exist, through smugness, or being obtuse, or lack of wisdom, or discernment. We're very isolated by what's going on personally. We become busy by our responsibilities and any minor entertainments to take away our daily concerns.

Others are thinking about themselves and by what's affecting out community, and note that outside forces are acting on it, and find ways to make it survive and thrive. When that fails then the easiest answer is that it's someone else's fault or that it's another group's fault.

Today, we like to blame the President. If that's not enough, we blame Congress. Maybe we blame the Republicans or the Democrats. I know, it's the Tea Party, no...it's the Unions or the OWS. Maybe it's White Oppression, no...it's a lack of initiative by Black people. No it's the Muslims...or maybe the Catholics. Hey maybe it's the Gays....and on and on. Maybe it's Aliens!

There are no easy answers why the SHTF. It's a combination of many tiny events and bad decisions and selfish decisions and weather and optimism and being afraid and agriculture and technology. It's never just one group, and anyone seeking to blame their misfortune on another group is not thinking clearly.

Each group, based upon their power or lack of it, affects change. The summation of that results in the change that affects you and your community. And believe it or not, the Source is always affecting change too. Shhhh...here's a secret...the Source is working on your behalf whether you believe it or not.

There is no doubt that certain very elite people because of their wealth have amassed enormous power. More about that later. But for now bear with me while we consider 99% of groups.

Divisiveness and choosing to support one group over another will most likely be based on poor analysis. That divisiveness will break down the little communities that allow our economic life to work. If the divisiveness breaks down even further and degenerates into violence, then very little work can be done while people battle each other. How many crops can be grown if there is constant threats of stealing? How many varieties of trade goods can there be if each community is attempting to grow the same plants or raise the same animals? We can only eat so much, and store so much realistically. This means each community needs trade in order to purchase the other things which can't be found in that region.

The blame game hurts our community. When the SHTF, it is a poor adaptation that will reallocate needed supplies and manpower to areas that don't produce anything but more violence.

You've heard me talk about self-segregation, but also about being tolerant. People should be tolerant of the differences of each other, and willing to accept differences within communities, but if there are lots of people that have different ideas than the majority of people, people must renegotiate that conflict so that the community thrives. Divisiveness doesn't offer good survivability intra-community either. If I like to drink ethanol, and I can produce it, but I live in a community of people who shun it due to spiritual beliefs, then while there may be a good source of surreptitious income from it for me, it's not in the communities best interest to let me stay, nor is it in my best interest to stay. This is partly why bootleggers stay on the periphery.

If I am a minority (and truthfully all people are) and can simply be a community member and not viewed as a minority, then people will tolerate me if I produce goods and services that benefit it. In a SHTF scenario, trying to stay in a community that is already suspicious of me, and that barely tolerates me when things are normal, and I don't have a way to produce goods and services, then I better get out of Dodge. It is foolish for me to stay. When the SHTF, most people have poor coping skills, and are not at their best, and will make poor analysis, and make snap decisions. If I'm caring for my wife and children, and allowing them to stay in a hostile environment, then I'm the one exhibiting a lack of common sense. You can rail against injustice, I often do, but mostly that bores people or simply is beating your head against a brick wall.

Because people are different, many tribes of various composition will develop based upon their values. When many city people bug out, then it will be very important as a community member and leader to shape the community to be tolerant to gather the best people to provide goods and services, but also to be honest about expectations.

The Latter Day Saints community are very prepared, with a command structure, and strong ethics, and usually a deep commitment to their families, but I don't share their belief system. I probably would have difficult living in one, more from my beliefs than them accepting me. I admire them, I find many of their men honorable, and their women refreshingly sweet and lovely. When they tried to move to find a community in decades past, they found many places with odd ideas about their beliefs and a severe lack of tolerance. Terrible violence occurred when they tried to live in certain villages. It would be far safer and wiser to found communities of LDS folks then to try to live as present day pluralistic societies. It is unrealistic post-SHTF to have them.

Diversity is the ideal. The most diversity can offer the most diverse skills. For genetic reasons, that diversity is usually a way of creating stronger children. But science and social engineering are not practical in a post-SHTF scenario until great strides are made in security. For example, many native peoples have actively recruited wives and husbands from surrounding communities because they inherently understood the power of genetics without ever understanding genetics. Many times that influx of culture brought new agriculture methods, customs, art, tool making, hunting, etc.

If you study the history of America, many tiny villages began based upon a collection of immigrants moving to an area and banding together since the trust level was higher. These most likely are villages a stone's throw from another village. Because people self-segregate, people relax more, and once things stabilize and calm down, then collaboration naturally happens from resources, specialization, and great trade items. Pretty girls and handsome boys will also facilitate the social exchange. Children always break down barriers. Neighbors will often cross the small distances that almost touch on the borders of little communities. These allow opportunities for people to visit, share their tools and experiences, eat together, and see, “Hmm they are pretty much the same as me.”

The people having the most difficult time finding a community are Gay folks. Because they don't have children and who in turn are gay, they have to find tolerant communities who aren't nosy and waste time by scrutinizing their sexual practices. Instead they find communities who value people based upon their community involvement. I can foresee cooperative, very tolerant communities evolving. All societies have some level of Gay culture, it's just not talked about that much in history (well...that is studied by most people). Gay folks operated in Pioneer cultures very quietly at times, and far more tolerance happened in the West due to isolation. Some people just chose to live together, and no one knew the real extent of their relationship.

Just because society has evolved one way, don't expect it to stay the same. Far more radical social arrangements could evolve by necessity post-SHTF. If there are limitation on the number of men or women, and in order to produce a number of children to perpetuate growth, various groups in history have adapted social arrangements based on what the community over time felt was normal. This alone could make people relocate to another community. For example, if you take even the most rudimentary Anthropology class, you'll no doubt study the four genders of some Native American tribes. That's a radical idea for some people, even a shocking one. To me, it would only be shocking if I was forced to live there and to force me to live in a certain way. Since no one is forcing you to live anywhere, this means voting with your feet and moving to a community that reflects your personal lifestyle and ethos and core beliefs.

I love to meet people with incredibly diverse beliefs and cultures. That doesn't mean I'd like to live there. Well...maybe if the women are Latinas. Being tolerant but knowing how most people have acted
throughout history will give you some tools for rebuilding community and dealing with a community post-SHTF.
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Mob Justice and the Depression

During a severe economic downturn, there are many criminals who will take advantage and use their survival skills to adapt, improvise and overcome. Many will be merely sociopaths who ordinarily “act” normal and hold jobs and then when things get tough will revert to their true selves. As people get desperate and have no skills to make it, but have the ability to procure a weapon, those folks will attempt robberies. Seasoned criminals will use much more caution since they know the penalties having already been incarcerated. Those folks will attack households that are empty or temporarily empty due to their owners searching for food or employment. It doesn't pay, nor is it efficient to run into someone who can defend the home or slow down the criminal. A typical strategy is picking non-traditional buildings and people since the “loot” might be food or supplies, or attacking households in which the owners are away at a funeral. The less experienced criminals by circumstance are drug addicts or desperate people, and if you ask a law enforcement person, they'll tell you some of the botched robberies that resulted in deaths.

During the Depression, early bank robbers were treated like Robin Hood. They might give a small amount of money for witnesses to look the other way, offer special favors, have notoriety so women hide them, or they may pay bills or leave food so people will house them temporarily.

Later people will wise up as they realize that it's killing law enforcement and costing them money as security is routed to deal with them. Much of the romance of the robbers will decline. In a SHTF scenario, losing a trained law enforcement specialist could severely hurt the defensive/offensive capability of the community.

Other folks that look different or have other religious beliefs or act different will be looked upon with suspicion. They may get blamed for crimes that others do, whether they actually are like those people or are guilty or not. This happened many times with lynchings in both the North and South, and since a mob is already frustrated with the living conditions, and because law enforcement may be lacking or unable to deal with so many robberies or attacks, mob justice often will occur. Violence happened when sharecroppers bugged out due to foreclosed farms and since they tried to relocate to areas where the local people were struggling.

It may start out of a need to self-protect an area. Since people self-segregate by being in the neighborhood that they like, but transient people are always a part of an economic downturn, then mistakes can easily happen, and by the time a leader can calm them down, violence or deaths can occur. If you're a community leader, you can't let things progress that way, as it's too easy for innocents to be killed.

Most trials are long drawn out processes with lots of money spent and time and a judge and jails and more long waiting periods, and feeding and housing the accused or guilty and people to watch them, and ….You get the picture. When resources are minimal and when people form into a mob, then very rapid actions can happen which precludes evidence and a jury of peers and lawyers and a judge.

When justice is normally met out, since we claim to be a civil society, then it tends to occur as long incarceration. As trials may fail to provide adequate evidence, we have many checks and balances such as later trials in which new evidence is introduced or witnesses can be more thoroughly tested. Since that's expensive in pioneer towns, capital punishment was used.

There's many problems with that. The main reason for it is to give relief to the community. Obviously there can't be any real justice given to the dead or the family members who've lost their support network, or just are grieving. In pioneer towns, the injury of people tended to handicap them permanently, and the deaths perpetuated severe economic loss for a generation. The act of capital punishment is to dispense catharsis. However in the absence of civility and control by leadership and law enforcement, the typical way it's mete out is by torture, not a shift execution. That's a historical fact of the barbaric nature within us. I urge you to read about these lynching and see the depth of the depravity that were committed. It's not often discussed in polite society or in history classes since it's so inflammatory.

You must not let that happen, even if you think it seems right. Such actions, like the current torture that we're using with “enemy combatants”, damages the people administering the torture far longer. Talk to any trained psychiatrist or psychologist who works with soldiers and PTSD. The action of violence, whether performed or received in an instant, can last for many decades of that person's life. It creates a psychic scar so deep that while the body attempts to heal over it, and while it can dismissed so the person can function, never heals completely.

Even worse things can happen. Since all people give up information under torture, but since the veracity of it can't be easily confirmed, then there is uncertainty on the part of those administering it, and since the tortured person must give them something, then lying is a strategy for survival.

Some people are tougher than others, and it's unpredictable who will give up information. They may give up information to move the guilt to someone else to get temporary relief from pain. This can mean one person may give up information on 20 or more people, all of whom may either be guilty of small crimes or innocent (or truly guilty too). Then classically those people become victims of torture.

Since some people are tough about their own pain, it's typical for those who perform torture to attack the most vulnerable in front of the 1st tortured victim. The victims might be your friends tortured right in front of you. They could be your wives or children in a SHTF scenario.

From the examples of history, in totalitarian governments forced confessions are often used under torture or threat of torture and then these are used to affect the community to persuade them of what can happen or that the accused are guilty.

Mob justice is NO JUSTICE.
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Each of us “wants what's coming to them”. It's just human nature that we expect our lives to have progressed by a certain age. When that measure of success doesn't happen we get angry and increase our level of forcefulness to achieve it. During the New Deal, as the government had limited dollars to allocate, people fought over scraps. Because the squeaky wheel gets the grease, the people who have the ear of those who administer the doling out of money, will get more.

Since there often inequalities in any economic system, despite having jobs, people will fight for more. Expect to see more of this among unions or other organizations to make certain that the political groups that they represent get their “fair share”.

Since racial inequalities are always going to be present, expect ethnic groups who don't receive public assistance in whatever proportion is fair, to vie for government assistance.

Since the composition in a post-Christian society has changed, expect groups that are rising in political power to get their “fair share”.

Because food can be raised in abundance in certain areas, but not in others, crop surpluses were wasted in the Great Depression since the prices were so low. Similarly every other good which will be needed as critical to survivability, will also perform based upon the vagaries of chance, the productivity of the people producing them, and luck.

Since some goods are perishable, the minimal amount of time to ship goods will be needed to route supplies. Since goods created in one area may be all the way across the country, minimizing shipping times, but minimizing waiting and inventory times will be critical too. We can't waste diesel to ship something quickly and then let it just sit there. It needs to move on to the people who need it.

Giving out public money is terribly inefficient due to administrative costs and analysis. Less than 70% of the money gets to the people and that is unacceptable. The most ideal way of creating wealth is offering people skills to work jobs which are needed, while offering them jobs which they have a passion and an ability in. Coupling personal responsibility in exchange for this assistance is far better than a low pay, low skill, part-time job (the precise kind of jobs offered under the New Deal).

Since world supply chains and credit will no doubt break down, we should be seeing how we can be invest intracountry to make our own situation more stable. Interfering with other nations when we are broke is stupid. The worst thing we could do is enact protectionist trade tariffs- that was tried just before and during the Great Depression. But we must reinvest in our own country to provide local materials (and hence reduce shipping costs) plus put people to work transforming them into needed goods.

Since crops and supplies in a capitalist society are based upon supply and demand, then in an interim, we'll need to guarantee a set price for a good until the market stabilizes. The danger is artificially boosting prices and creating inflation. This means instead we need to guarantee that a certain amount of trade will occur based upon whatever can be produced within that area, and not boost the money supply.

For example, in the late nineteen forties, it became apparent to the American government that Japan might lose the war. Their country was economically devastated by trying to compete against the other Allied nations military and guerillas groups from areas like the Philippines. Some prophetic government officials could see that the Japanese if defeated wouldn't be able to feed themselves for a time. That kind of chaos would lead to communism being accepted in Japan, and that just wouldn't do after spending so much money to fight them.

One idea was to raise soybeans in the US. Soybeans make up a large component of the Japanese diet. It's used in just about everything, much as wheat or corn is used in the American diet. How in the world would you get farmers to raise a crop unless you guarantee a price for trying something experimentally? It worked. The US government agree to pay American farmers a set price and they carefully planted and created a crop that to this day is sold profitably to the Japanese who can't raise enough based on living area.

In fact, as a result of this, some researchers found in the last thirties and early forties that soybeans could produce plastics. We have to be careful with this kind of concept. We needlessly are using up wheat to make ethanol and not efficiently and perhaps driving up wheat prices when people could eat that wheat. Still new products spur on research on ways to deal with the surplus of them.

If we have another great Depression, we can't let the mistakes of making lots of oranges or cotton or really any other crop fail due to prices. The average price loss during the Depression was 60% and that is criminal when we can guaranteed prices initially. It's a risk, but a statistical one based upon historical data. Even though some areas will no doubt not produce, others will to balance it out.

Those crops will act as initial stabilizers on commodities. Speculators have been driving up prices. It's understandable to some degree as less farms exist each year, less people become farmers, and as the dollar is devalued by deficit spending. However if we concentrate on stabilizing our own economy and spend less time trying to build up other nations economies, then we have a much better way to initially feed people.

When crop prices fell, the farmers couldn't pay their mortgages. Since the banks has speculated by lending out 10 times reserves, and since the dollar was back by 40% gold, then when the market crashed, the banks called in mortgages early. This forced people off their farms and homes. See how how interconnected it is? Today we lend out much higher amounts, perhaps 20x reserves and no metal based currency. It should be noted while all economic problems are complex that China had backed their currency with silver and as a result didn't have the same issues. But that's one portion of the pie, and China isn't the USA.

We have many experts today on best practices for sustainable agriculture. As much as possible, if we can foster a new spirit of pioneering the land, and re-offer the old homestead acts, and couple that with ways to continuously improve the food supply over a set period, then we can boost production, boost security, feed the people, and most importantly, create wealth and stability by sponsoring land/home ownership and not giving people money.

All plans, unless they create wealth in some way, should be thrown out, or made very interim projects. Otherwise it's literally pouring money down the drain.

What's the American Way? Is it to concentrate wealth in the hands of a few? No. Capitalism is great because the idea is that those who better themselves and build wealth, buy more things and usually reinvest in their businesses for the employment of those who don't want businesses. The more that one business controls the market, the more political power they have, and the more the mega-business and the owners become more important than the people. That system has failed us.

Microloans are an economic program that exists in 3rd world nations. In this example, an expert comes in to teach how to raise rabbits. Rabbits are prolific and produce lean meat, fur, and good manure which can increase the richness of the soil and can be utilized in other permaculture ways (like composting and raising earthworms). This expert gives a few rabbits, tiny seed money usually, and advice. The first test group raises the rabbits, and makes a surplus, which they sell, and then they pay off the loan. In most cases the most successful ones end up administering the program and teach people what mistakes they made, and what happened as a result, and collaborate with the initial expert to fine tune the system for that region. Then subsequently the profits they make are their own. As an agreement to be in the program, the participants agree to return some portion of the profit back into the program. Some people will fail, but historically people for the most part succeed. They'll be able to pay back through money, giving rabbits to new farmers, scientific research, running a newsletter or website with the information, teaching, or being officers in giving out tiny loans for initial start ups. The recipients become the administrators who are responsible for the programs success to save their communities.

Rather than feed a few people with meat, we create a controlled program so people can raise their meat. If they fail, then the administrators and the whole group work to help them succeed. If they continue to fail then other steps are taken to find a better program for them to be in. No continuous amount of government aid comes to those who fail. Since the burden of responsibility, a chance to feed their family, and a chance to make a profit is on those individuals, then it's in their best interest. We're giving people survival skills.

It's hard for a few people to raise enough rabbits to feed a lot of diverse people over a diverse area. It's relatively easy to raise local rabbits on low cost feed and not have major transportation costs. However some people will undoubtedly end up raising a kind of rabbit that tastes better or has better meat or is really good at raising them. That person can become far more successful and could end up buying several smaller rabbit farms. That's capitalism.

Using old systems of using artificial ways like genetic modification to produce a rabbit that produces more meat costs a lot of R&D. It's doubtful that such ways are sustainable. Having a foreign reliance on oil to use as fertilizers to grow more crops per area is ultimately akin to slavery.

Here's another example. Many people in a major depression won't be able to afford natural gas and electricity to heat their homes. While people can purchase a wood stove to do this, and because it's sustainable, some might suggest it. However because of technology, we've discovered a relatively new method called a rocket mass stove. This system burns incredibly efficiently versus a wood stove using as little as 1/9 of the same amount of wood. The system can be used to cook on and produce hot water. It has a very pleasant release of heat. It produces low carbon emissions. It uses inexpensive local materials. It requires little finesse to produce. It is in every way an adaptation of old technology that uses far less to create that trying to weld up a better wood stove that requires foundries, and technical skill, and specialized materials. Who knows if we put some of best young minds on the problem what they can come up with?

This means less wood is needed to replant as an energy source. It can be taught and made with a little guidance by almost everyone. This means not stripping out valuable trees that prevent erosion. It means far less need to come up with new ways of producing some of the natural gas (like fracking). It's minimally polluting. The very same kinds of microloans could be created to build them, teach people, produce resource websites, and administer it. Then those who benefit would be responsible for paying back for the government's initial investment, but it would dramatically cut down on creating power plants.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with infrastructure projects to rebuild America. What tends to happen is ridiculous waste as the projects are projects just to be temporarily boosting the economy in one area. Instead we should be using the best permaculture ways to create sustainable buildings, bridges, and whatever to improve existing and crumbling cities.

Very successful simple homes are built today based on the tested principles of Habitat for Humanity. I suggest we teach people to work in creating small but very energy efficient homes to get people into their own homes. Everyone may not like these homes. That's fine, it's a starter home intended to get people back on their feet, in stable shelters, that cost less to heat, and use less water, and produce less sewage. Rainwater systems would be installed to help that small home owner garden at the same time.

We put our best minds on developing these tiny homes. Students have long running contests rather than going through pointless exercises and create working plans to develop them. Those who significantly create better homes have their student loan amounts reduced or eliminated.

Anyone who gets to live in these homes will have to pay by working in some job to create something to helps house another. We do this only for a period to create stability. Certain workers will have a natural knack in construction. Using talented construction workers who unify their methods to most efficiently build these, plus apprentice new workers who show skills, will revitalize the construction industry.

What about mortgages? Well unique sweat equity loans will be created. Those same bankers instead of taking in money and loaning it out at 20 x deposits will help administer the sweat equity paperwork. Most people who are prospering, move every 7 years. If the program succeeds, then the difference in the amount of sweat equity is subtracted from the mortgage and the sale of the property and whatever profit is given to the former deed owner. We're creating wealth. Those who decide to work more hours can apply more sweat equity. It's analogous to prepaying on your mortgage, and therefore increasing the amount of wealth from the sale. Since some areas are growing and people will want to move to those areas, or the house has more permaculture on it to raise it's value, then the home price could be far more and generate more profit.

Of course a home could decline in value too, but usually this happens as a result on not taking care of a property. In that event a penalty is placed upon the mortgage based upon average wear and tear. Those folks are penalized by less profit...it's all up to them. This peer pressure will tend to foster cooperation as those local mortgage owners who better the overall community by making it more stable will see more income from future home sales.

These won't be luxury homes, and no one is forced to live in them. They could definitely be used as retirement homes as people get older and need less space and simpler homes to maintain. For them, it will be an interim before perhaps living in a rest home. Other uses might be as group homes for people in other than single families. Perhaps two single mothers would share certain homes. Perhaps mildly mentally challenged people would live in these permaculture homes as ways to participate and have skills and provide some of their own food too. Since often mentally challenged people are wards of the state, money could be saved by the residents helping to create their own food.

Perhaps they might house college students instead of paying for expensive dinky dormitories? Most students want off campus housing. There's a college in Kentucky called Berea. There people work for their college education by performing a task for the college community, using the local skills of the community around them, acting as a living museum of the culture, and as a result have less and perhaps no student loan.
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The White House Coup d'état 1933

It's a matter of historical record that in 1933, elite owners of the US's top industries attempted a coup d'état. They sent a representative to meet with Retired General Smedley Butler, and in a series of meetings mapped out a plan to seize power by declared that FDR was ill. The only reason that it didn't happen was that Gen. Butler was a patriot.

Earlier during the Bonus March, WW1 veterans had marched on Washington in order to motivate congress to release promised funds early. See earlier posts. Gen. Butler had supported the Bonus March and had spoken directly to them, a broadcast that can be seen in archived footage.

Because the troops admired him, the cabal had planned for him to create a 500,000 strong army of veterans to seize control in Washington. Realize that the army of the time period was very weak. We were isolationists at the time. There were only rumblings of the growing Fascist movement.

A special investigator committee was held, but much of the investigation was censored. A short BBC radio program can be heard which details their findings. It's probably the closest we've come to an initial revolution in this country.

The elite had in many cases received advanced warning of the 1929 Crash, had pulled out their money, then repurchased securities at bargain prices.

Many were secret Fascists, and there is clear evidence that the Bush fortunes were partially made with movie invested with the Nazi's. It's a matter of record, not a conspiracy theory.

Watch the videos, it's only 30 minutes in length.

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Republic versus Democracy

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

When I was growing up in elementary school, each day we began by saying these words. They were recited by rote. None of us had any enthusiasm as we said it. I cannot recall a single moment when a teacher explained what they meant. It merely was done.

Later as I began my middle school years, and more independent critical thinking was allowed, and less rote memory, I became a voracious reader. I often would walk the through the shelves of books in awe that so many people had researched topics independently and had written about the experience of that pursuit. I began my own pursuit, combing through the aisles, often pulling down books at random, just to see what ideas were out there.

In those days before the Internet, other than the general knowledge in an encyclopedia, one had no way to determine the over arcing meaning of a subject. Only by scanning through a card catalog and reading from guides on subjects, would one know what each meant.

As I entered high school, I came to understand that we often said words in pledges and creeds, but seldom did most people try to treasure the words and contemplate what they meant. Most of education was not meant for critical thinking. Most of education was to get people employment. This seemed bizarre. Wasn't the point of education to educate?

If we were here to get a job, then wasn't this a training center instead? That idea troubled me. It implied that there was some Master that I would be working for and that my training was preparing me to fit into a system of Masters.

Being a very spiritual person even from age six, I felt I had one Master in the Source and the Son and the Spirit:the three faces of my Master. Other than that, all others were allies that I might align myself with.

From my readings, I could see that there were times when individuals did yield to a person who had more power. Those were typically based upon feudalism and monarchy. Since I was an American, that idea was abhorrent to me. It smacked of slavery.

To be sure, there were people who were superior to me in strength, wisdom, intellect, or economics, but still as a whole, I looked at no one as my Master save my Sovereign Lord Jesus. Anyone who I placed in between that relationship would break the continuity of that relationship. One cannot serve two Masters. I might greatly admire others, even yield to their mentorship, but never considered them real Masters.

What then are we to make of this pledge of allegiance? What does it mean? For anyone not religious or American, you'll have to bear with me as I digress. Please read this though, as I believe it offers a great paradigm for a system of governance, well suited for living in community, and benevolent to all.

A pledge is a sincere promise, an auditory declaration of our sincere word. When we say the pledge, we are giving our word...aloud. Since one cannot know the interior thoughts of others, but can determine some hint of them in the actions of others, a declaration of those thoughts is faster and succinctly explains interior motives.

A pledge of allegiance is a sincere promise to ally ourselves to something. In this case, a symbol of the nation of America. If we rewrote it, we might merely say I pledge to ally myself with the United States of America. This is a remarkable series of words. It implies a hierarchy. I as an individual ally myself to series of different organized communities that make up a united nation. If is not saying I give away my freedom. It doesn't say I am a slave to the United States of America. I am not transferring my power. It says that each of us is an individual, and that we have personal freedom, and we apply that in alliance with a hierarchy form of government.

... and to the Republic for which it stands...
What is a Republic? A republic is a form of government in which the “sovereignty is derived from the individual”. The authority from which our government arises comes from us, the individuals that make up this nation.

What then is a Democracy? That word is used so often, while the word which we pledge our sincerity from seems to hide in the shadows. A democracy is a form of government which authority arises from the group. I never have pledged to ally with this form of government. It would mean that I think of my power as coming from a tribe or community, and that is not what we are. We are not joined together like the Borg, a mental collective.

I may think of myself as being a certain ethnicity, but in reality I am myself. I may associate myself as a Christian of a certain sect, but I am myself.

I may think of myself as a certain age, but in reality I am myself.

None of those communities thinks like me. I have my own thoughts, and live in community with them, and share in their resources and add my own, but I cannot by definition be them. I am singular, but they and I are plural.

...one Nation under God...
There are further parts of the hierarchy. The Patriots who created our country felt that our individual freedoms arose from the Source of all Creation. This is very easy for me to believe. No nation gives me that freedom, it is freely given to me by the Source by my birth. No person or institution gave me freedom.

It cannot be divided. The distinction of the hierarchy are artificial affectations to imply levels for our understanding. All of us are part of creation, and from that, those who live in the USA are governed by a republic that works as states working together. Those states are communities of individuals, who give the authority to the nation.

... with liberty and justice for all...
We as individuals have allied to ensure the freedom of each person and the justice of each person. That's a very noble idea. It doesn't say with liberty and justice for the USA. It says all. It means that what we're supposed to be doing is working so that all people have freedom and justice, both within our nation and without.

That pledge is very worthy of anyone to treasure and consider. It's so noble that it's worth fighting for...for ourselves...for our states...for our nation...for the world.

If we pledged our allegiance to a group and derived our authority from a group, then liberty or freedom would mean nothing. If the group is more important than we are not truly free. The group becomes our Master. I would never pledge such a thing. That's not what our founders intended.

Anyone who would take away the freedom of the individual, would in reality be a traitor, even those proclaiming authority.

See further legal definitions of a republic form of government versus a democracy here.
[link to www.1215.org]
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The best communities work so that all people(individuals) provide supplies and services within them. Since most individuals will naturally work for their betterment, then the trade of their supplies and services will tend to make them choose to be in a community in order to achieve them and be secure.

Some individuals may seek to take away that freedom of self-determination. That's injustice as each of us are given that freedom from the Source. Any community that seeks to take away the freedom of another community is committing war against them.

In a SHTF scenario, because things are insecure, individuals will most certainly encounter those who will limit their self-determination. The worst forms of government will impose on individuals and communities ...limits on freedom. That is usually unjust.

Since we lend authority as individuals to the nation, and if any groups attempt to limit our freedom, why should we lend them our authority? Restricting the freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights to individuals is breaking the the freedom of the individual. It is treasonous.

I put it to you that taxing individuals beyond what is specifically allowed by the Constitution, and then giving it back inefficiently is ill-advised, limits freedom even more, creates no wealth, and enslaves. It creates a dependency between the government and individual.

In previous periods, this taxation largely came from those who were wealthy. They paid large percentages of taxes. Those who weren't wealthy usually paid a small percentage of taxes. Today much of wealth is in the hands of multinational corporations who pay little or no taxes yet benefit from those nations they dwell within. How is that just?

It can be very unjust if the multinational corporations lose massive amounts of money (derived from taking it from the people), then are bailed out from taxes they didn't pay into, such that the burden falls upon the people, then the scarcity of tax revenue results in national defaults. This is our present circumstance.

Worse, in our present circumstance, certain multinational corporations worked to bet against the success of individuals and corporations using derivatives, and created massive disastrous economic issues.

In an economic crisis, when goods and services are in even shorter supply than normal, the goal is to find ways to create more goods and services, and do this in a way that perpetuates. That will give more freedom to determine the course of one's life and to improve one's station.

In an economic crisis, when goods and services are in even shorter supply than normal, and if we dole out those limited goods and services, then there is no net gain by definition. In fact, it's worse since administration of that “doling out” (like FDR's New Deal) will reduce the short supply further.

The individuals who can generate their own goods and services will have the most freedom to determine ways to improve their status. Any reliance upon the government to do this will be flawed. Those who teach others to generate more goods and services will create more stable communities and awaken people to the freedom that they possess within themselves. This concept written large will restore stability to states and nations. The creation of wealth within all individuals removes scarcity.

When certain individuals achieve all of the goods and services and control them, then the individuals of that community tend to become enslaved. This is the danger of capitalism. Uber-wealthy, who work to remove the goods and services of individuals are unjust since it removes their liberty. Usually these people are profiteers who work by creating scarcity and misery. A classic way to foment misery and chaos is to create a facade of duality.

99% of businesspeople are not the uber-wealthy. Their goals are merely to improve the security of themselves and their families. I put it to you that by creating goods and services, that most of us are in reality those businesspeople. You just never have thought of yourself as one.

Let's say you drive an ambulance. You learn skills that can quickly stabilize others and transport them so that a medical team can stabilize them further and heal them. That skill is your service that you sell for a wage in a marketplace of health skills. You decide to work in a community since you ally yourself with the ethos of that community, but you relocate if you wish to increase your profit based upon the supply of ambulance drivers and the demand of them (either surplus or shortage). Since some communities will provide services for home ownership at lower cost, then you might take your business (being an ambulance driver) to that area.

Some people will run a business of providing ambulance drivers. Others might do this over more areas. Over time, some artificial created entities have been created called corporations. They might seek to control all ambulance services in a very wide area, and often this can become problematic. Such control if too great can become monopolies where no competition exists. Monopolies are enemies of capitalism. In this example, they control wages of ambulances drivers and control the services so much that entire communities can do little to challenge the cost of such services.

Multinational corporations foster environments that limit the freedom of individuals of whole nations and that is very unjust even evil. I put it to you that the mess we are in is largely created by not creating wealth, but creating scarcity of goods and services, the opposite of capitalism.

Legislators who enact legislation that allows multinational corporations to limit the freedom of their nations are enslaved by them. Executive branches who lead their nation but subjugate themselves to the multinationals are enslaved by them. The judicial branches that don't challenge the illegality of the legislation that allows this to occur perpetuate slavery.

These politicians forgot that their authority derived from the individuals that appointed them. They listened instead first to the lobbyists who represent groups, then the multinationals themselves.

Soon the SHTF because of this. Your only option given the local nature of your power is to create goods and services, protest anything which limits your freedom, resist it, and vote to remove any leader who perpetuates it.
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Real Freedom and Security

If the USA were not dependent on foreign oil, but had their own wells within the county, and employed their citizens to produce that oil, would they be more secure or less secure? Producing more within would reduce transport costs. It would reduce unemployment. Since people who are unemployed tend to received doled out tax money from their previous earnings, but minus administrative costs, then it doesn't create wealth. The only way that we can be safer and more secure is through prducing those goods and services within our own countries.

Why then are we building military items to protect foreign oil? That military expenditure doesn't create wealth either? The military can employ people and create ancillary jobs and the production of tanks and bombers can employ people, but it doesn't generate wealth. Empty tanks don't do anything. In fact the military as an offensive tool is a drain on the economic system. It's paid for by deficit spending.

The only reason we are protecting the flow of foreign oil is to protect the multinationals who have elected to locate jobs from that source and not our own. It's become strategically important for production, but foolishly important since it's not within our borders. It's a very ridiculous strategy.

Still since oil is not a sustainable technology, not permaculture then it must like any aging technology eventually be shelved. If we developed new energy sources that employed Americans in that new technology, then we could probably export that technology since people wish to get away from using oil.

Still ultimately for the security of that other country, they should produce that technology themselves. Since all countries cannot replicate unique goods and services some trade will always emerge. Some countries live so densely that they can't produce certain goods and services.

Usually what happens to an organism in nature in such tight proximity is death. The competition to live so compactly produces other behaviour which will damage the community. Crime, infanticide, suicide, ethunasia, etc are adaptations that reduce the population through human behaviour. That or balancing factors like disease or famine or war tend to reduce the population of the community.

In permaculture, since local materials employ locally from small operations, local owners and workers tend to benefit. They spend their money largely in a local pattern. If multinational corporations develop alternative energy then they tend to be a branch of the multinational corp. and relocate the business where they can pay the least wages and maximize profits.

Since new technology can be very expensive as the demand is very low due to the uncertainty of sustaining it, then in the interim governments usually offer incentives to give it more stability. As it becomes more accepted, demand increases. Consider calculators. Once they were extremely rare and prohibitively expensive. Now they are ubiquitous and cheap. Realize though that they are cheap at an expense since they're not made in the USA.

Many small companies developing permaculture technology creates healthy competition to find niche markets and improve products. Since many alternative energy processes are known to work as stand alone installations, but simply are not mass produced since people don't understand and accept them, it's largely a communication issue.

For example, wind power by corporations place massive turbines in one location, but that expense is so high that might be very expensive to route power from it to the consumer. The location may be subject to wind, but cold temperatures and ice may seize up the blades. On the other hand, local companies installing local wind generators can be seasonally used for power generation, especially when combined with inexpensive passive and some active solar, and energy can be produced to decentralize it. If people generate their power, then they're more likely to control their energy expenses based upon how much they can produce. Making a technology very novel and complex will make it only available for the very wealthy. Making it easier to maintain and simpler to operate will make it more accepted and increase the potential market. The greater the acceptance and demand, and as sales increase then more competition makes them cheaper.

We've know forever that it's far cheaper to build into the ground than above it. That's largely been an issue of sunlight. In smaller cities, we could build below ground to reduce heating costs and channel light with special lighting mirrors and greatly cut down on expenditures of building material too. Because some Americans will always prefer to build a traditional way, we can of course build those homes, but for smaller communities it may be better to do this for single family dwellings that will be built for low income assisted housing.

Any permaculture idea that is inexpensive, and enables people with low skills to practically save money, and reduces their need on others to provide those goods and services, creates wealth for them and gives them stability.

Taking the wealth of others and reassigning it the poor doesn't create wealth. In a normal world it's called charity, and there is nothing wrong with people altruistically giving wealth to others, but sustainable charitable organizations like the Heifer Project or Microloan programs have learned that the best way is to give the poor tools so they can create their own wealth.

The only way to add stability in a post-SHTF scenario is to do this for poor homeless Americans and to create goods and services locally. If goods and services are in foreign countries and we have no surplus money to pay for them, and no unique trade items to pay for them, then the only answer is to make them ourselves. It's not rocket science.

Making military items and more soldiers that have no value other than to defend our nation or attack others doesn't generate wealth. The only possible way it can, is by seizing the wealth of other nations and taking it, just like criminals or sociopaths steal from others rather than generating wealth. If we use our military to support the multinationals rather than to their mission to defend us or to give aid to our allies who need liberty or justice, then we have deployed them in a horrific twist of our most sacred documents of Freedom.

Other nations have the right to self-determinism. It's not the job of our country to impose our values on them anymore than it's their role to impose their values on us. The only time that we should defend our allies is when it's in the interest of our country, and even then based upon repelling those nations who seek to enslave others and take away their justice.

Since defending other nations is despised, and generates no wealth, it is unsustainable. It is in fact foolish if our own people cannot house, cloth, or feed themselves.
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A Republic versus A Fascist State

What is Fascism? It's an unusual word today. We don't use it much any more. What does it mean for a person to be a fascist or support fascism?

Fascism is the antithesis of a republic based society. A republic elevates the individual. A fascist government devalues and despises them. A republic derives it's authority from the individual. A fascist state says that the individual is the problem of society. That all should subjugate their individuality to the authority of the nation. A republic values the individual achievements which ends up providing better goods and services for the nation. A fascist government devalues individual merit, and only the collective is important for continuity. The individual gives away their goods and services for the good of the fascist nation.

I put it to you that a business model of a corporation is almost always economic fascism. In most cases the individual doesn't work for a corporation, an employee works for a corporation and gives away their goods and services in order to receive wages that the corporation determines the employee deserves. The worst corporation will work to control the markets such that they can reduce the wages such that they can maximize the corporation's wealth.

I put it to you that corporations who manage employees is a form of indentured servitude in the short run, and as jobs are relocated to provide cheap labor and goods to maximize profit, they enslave those workers. To consolidate their power, they sell these cheaper goods to those who have wealth, but eventually that system enslaves the people buying those goods.

Local businesses can't control wages very well. They compete with other businesses to hire the best employees who individually excel and produce the most goods and services and pay them wages to compensate them, in an healthy exchange. Because all people work for their individual merit, working harder at maximizing goods and services generally improves the status of the individual and usually gives them more power by creating wealth.

Since America values the individual so greatly, when we see individuals who excel in their ability to produce goods or services, we celebrate their individuality. We think, “That person is fantastic. Their ability is praiseworthy. Wow look at her go!”

In a republic, when we see someone achieve great things, and as a result have more, we tend to emulate them to replicate their individual success.

Fascism thinks that individuals should perform to their best so that the group does better. Individuals sacrifice their merits so that another who can't perform as well in one area, will hopefully perform better in another, and that in that exchange the nation will become superior. It bends the individual to the nation's will.

Fascism wants all people to think of themselves as nationalists not individualists. Usually fascism have empires not one nation. They use violence from their military to occupy and convert those other nations to give up their freedom and sacrifice justice.

Fascists are intolerant of ethnic groups or those who identify in any way that compete with nationalist identification. Those other groups are enemies of the state.

Fascists oppose class distinction. They feel that individual efforts shouldn't propel people to have better things by acquiring wealth.

Fascists oppose individual dissent. The freedom, the liberty to exchange ideas, or criticize the nation is strictly regulated. Fascism regulate the Truth to be whatever the Fascists decide is Truth.

Because spiritual systems communicate mostly about the nature of Truth, Fascist will bend spiritual systems in order to control even these kinds of Truth. Fascism is an enemy of spiritual systems.

Any time that you see nations that plead for nationalism, sacrifice of individual freedom, removing class distinctions, asking people to forgo wealth, forget about individual merit, you should consider if what they are proposing is fascism. There are other totalitarian forms of government, and if those ideas are partially present, another system of government may be trying to assert itself, but most likely if violence and empire are being also proposed...it is fascism.
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Governmental Intervention versus Individual Intervention

Most of us lack pioneer skills. We've sold out to the corporations for wages, and as that specialization continued, we used those wages to buy more things that were produced by corporations. We don't create wealth this way, as those purchased shiny toys depreciate over time and break. Instead of learning skills that could reduce our dependency on corporation made food, we watch corporation made entertainment. We feel stressed out so we take corporation made tranquillizers or illegal drugs made profitable by the laundering of money by corporately owned banks.

Because so many individuals lack pioneer skills, in the event of a collapse, those same people will give up their liberty in order to acquire food and shelter. Inevitably for the sake of administering a means of giving out government assistance, if people lose their homes and farms, as they did during the Great Depression, the most like means of controlling this populace is internment camps.

Is that what you want? Are you willing to give your freedom for food and a roof over your head?

Would you rather be free? Sometimes I wonder if people really desire freedom. Freedom is scary. It means that we are responsible for our fate. We have free will. It's far easier to work for a corporation than to learn how to grow food and produce things, at least initially.

If you are not preparing by storing up for a rough period, and learning coping skills, and becoming awake to the nature of real Truth, and aware of your environment around you, then you will inevitably be forced to seek government assistance.

When the SHTF, and if your idea of coping skills is bugging out, but that's the extent of you coping skills, then most likely when you run out of food and need a shelter, you'll be in a government internment camp.

The only real freedom, the real liberty, the real prevention of loss of liberty, comes from preparation and pioneer skills.
Anonymous Coward
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12/27/2011 12:26 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Why do you people think you are going to be "hiding out in the woods" when the SHTF?

Yeah think about that for a minute.
Anonymous Coward
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12/27/2011 12:28 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
The antithesis of a republic and individuals and community is the life of a jungle.

Listen to the song now, not watching as a sheep, but a fully realized person, who is awake to the Truth.

It's about the destruction and death of taking from others. That's not who we are. It's not what a normal person wants. It can't sustain itself. It is worshiping the Destroyer. It is the opposite of Liberty.