Archive for the ‘end times’ Category

Situational Awareness

01 October, 2017 is a day that will go down in the history books as just another day that brought temporary shock and awe to the people of this great nation. I say temporary simply because the horror of the moment has passed on into memory for most people. On that day, one Stephen Paddock opened fire upon a massed crowd of concert goers some 490 yards away from the Mandalay Resort hotel in Las Vegas Nevada.

Firing from the 32nd floor into a concert venue some 490 yards away, the concert goers at the annual Harvest County music festival would have been like fat juicy fish in the bottom of a barrel. Paddock allegedly fired hundreds of rounds into the crowd at a rapid rate of fire, assisted by what is called a “bump stock”.  This device allows a semi-automatic rifle to be fired at speeds comparable to a fully automatic weapon.

The poor souls attending the country music concert didn’t have a clue as to what was in store for them that day, and as the shooting continued, blended into one solid mass of pure panic. But I’m not here to dissect the shooting and give my two cents worth on it; I’m here to talk about something called “situational awareness” or SA.

SA is often hyped by many gurus in the pepper/survivalist world as a skill that takes months if not years to develop. This however is not really true. SA is something that is innate in most humans. Unfortunately, we have become so urbanized and lazy that skills like this one have become buried into the farthest reaches of our memory banks. This is too bad because many of our trips into other places besides our home can be enhanced and made more enjoyable, as well as safer if we could only awaken this hidden skill.

The skills of SA become more acute as we use them more and more. Without going into a long drawn out textbook discussion of this mental exercise, let me simply say that situational awareness simply means being mentally and physically aware of the situation you are in.

How do we do this? In the greater aspect, we need to take a position that when we are going to any given site, we examine the place we are going to for any and all possible threat potential. Smart preppers and security minded people will take the added step of pre-reconnaissance of any event venue for additional information that can help you determine threats as well as ways to avoid and escape from any given threat.

Most event flyers and websites will provide you with a seating plan which helps you decide how much ticket to buy and where you will be sitting with that ticket. These diagrams also give you an idea of where the entry and exit doors are and sometimes other architectural elements that you will need to be aware of. Use this knowledge to develop a way of escaping from and lessening and threat factors. Try to be seated as close to an exit path as possible for quick egress from a situation.

Learn where any safety barriers might be placed as these barricades may be useful to hide behind. One of the things we saw in the many shared videos of the Vegas Massacre was images of people trying to find cover. Granted, due to the angle of fire in this situation, it was a difficult to actually find full protection, but in more cases than not, these shootings occur from a ground level, and therefore the barricades make better protection.

Try to be constantly scanning the area you are in for suspicious looking people. When at the mall, especially in food courts, this is very important.  The threat you face may not be a shooter, but a simple pick-pocket. People that are up to no good are always also scanning the area they are in. The exception here is they are not looking for a threat from someone intent on harm, they are looking for security personnel that may be there looking for a criminal.

Know where the doors are to any building you visit. Entry ways can also be exits in an emergency, even though the doors may be physically marked or built to only allow traffic in one direction. One tip here is that all modern building codes require doorways to be opened to allow for exiting any building in the event of a fire, even without power. Usually, you just need to push on a closed door to open it, even if the crash bar is locked. All commercial doors must open outwards, one way or another.

When in a restaurant, sit in such a way that you can observe the entryways and other doors. Don’t choose a table that may be in an alcove, cozily hidden away for a discreet meal. Such a choice may well trap you and prevent escape should some nut case open fire where you are.

The list goes on and I’ll cover more in another post, but just remember that public places make for welcoming venues for these glory seeking shooters. These people are generally interested in taking out as many people as they can, and go into these events with the intent that they will themselves be shot. To some people, there is glory and recognition in death.

Situational awareness is a key factor in our potential for survival in the long term. More often than not we are actually practicing SA, and aren’t even aware of it. Become aware of it and develop this skill to its fullest extent. Till the next time, be prepared and survive the times!

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The newspapers and television stations we get our current news from have a propensity to label every storm that comes down the road the greatest disaster since whenever. It is true that we have some terrific storms, but how do we really classify them as disasters? Many of the so-called greatest disasters of today become minuscule in tragedy compared to disasters of yesterday.

Hurricane Katrina was called the worst disaster since whenever, but the reality is that the hurricane that wiped out 1,836 people back in 2005. But the 1928 Okeechobee hurricane  caused more real damage, taking many more lives than Katrina did. The damage was just as extensive, but because costs have risen so much over the decades due to the decline in the value of currency worldwide, Katrina cost much more in cash to recover from.

Do not take me the wrong way here, Katrina was a tragedy, but in real terms, it was in fact a tragedy that really might have been prevented. However, that was then, Sandy Hook has come and gone and we wait with tingling buttocks the next media fed disaster of the century.

Let us look at our own disaster levels, and prepare for them by creating plans for each of the different levels of disaster. I have developed a personal tiered system of five levels of disaster/preparedness that we should be ready for. You can develop your own system as you see fit, but please develop prepping goals that help you achieve a permanent survival plan in case the worst does come to pass.

Here are my five stages:

  • Stage 1; Stage 1 is the simplest, and least stressful of prepping events. This would include any situation involving no more than one night without your usual or normal infrastructure in place. This could involve a thunderstorm creating a blackout of just a few minutes to a 24-48 hour time frame. At this point, you will be consuming the food in your refrigerator first, as it is likely to thaw and spoil in just a couple of days.

 

  • Stage 2; Stage 2 is a little more complex, with your infrastructure being interrupted for up to one week to a month. By day three you should have cleaned out your refrigerator, and begun to consume the contents of a deep freeze if you have one. Store bought canned and dry food in your pantry will be consumed at this point. You will want to save MRE’s and long-term food supplies for stage three and beyond. Batteries will likely have been used up by this point, and you would be on alternative lighting such as oil lamps, etc. cooking will be done with camp stoves, so you would need plenty of fuel on hand for this stage.

 

  • Stage 3; Stage 3 is a duration of from one month to a six months or so. You would have consumed all fresh foods long before the beginning of this stage, and would be utilizing your short-term storage foods such as canned goods and may have begun your MRE  program. Availability of foods and fuels in the marketplace is no longer an option, as there likely is no marketplace to speak of. Your fuel may be gone, and you would be utilizing wood for heating and cooking. The smart prepper would have developed a solar lighting scheme to recharge batteries for lighting and other needs.

 

  • Stage 4; Stage 4 is a period of from six months to one year. This is the time frame in which you would have mentally sat back and taken stock of the fact that we are really screwed, it is not just a bad dream. Short-term food supplies will be running low, and you will begin consuming your long-term food supply. A good prepper would have seen this coming and realized early on that your short and mid-term supplies would need to be rationed to avoid running out too quickly. By now you will be at the barter stage to obtain needed supplies as the government is obviously  dumber than we gave them credit for being.

 

  • Stage 5; Stage 5 is a period of survival lasting from one year to two years out from the initial disaster. You finally figured out that you were right all along, and there is no going back to the way things were. You will be on your long-term food supply, and will by springtime have planted that survival garden you thought you would never need. There are no jobs, no money, and transportation is now 100% people powered. Bicycles and animals provide the means of getting anyplace faster than walking. Your long term food is holding out, and in the fall, you will harvest and prepare for storage your food needs for the entire following year.

 

  • Stage 6;  Stage 6 is no longer a survival stage. If you have made it this far, you will find that this is the new normal. It had been over two years since the disaster that created the situation you are in, the government, the economy, and society have all crumbled into a sort of 18th century mentality. Roving gangs have moved from the depleted urban areas and are now roaming the countryside to take what they want. You have banned together with your neighbors to form militia groups for protection from these marauding gangs. You have found that life truly sucks, but that is OK, you will weather the storm.

 

That is a brief rundown of the stages of disaster preparedness. Most of us only have to put up with an occasional stage 1 setting, and a few of us go on to a stage 2 setting. Very few people ever come close to a stage three in these days, but it could happen. We owe it to our families to prepare for the worst, but pray that it never happens.

Happy prepping folks!

According to some prophecy aficionados, the Papal Conclave has just elected the last Pope of the Catholic Church. According to the legends, in the 12th century, Malachy O’Morgair, then Arch Bishop of Ireland, had a series of “divine” revelations showing him the entire Papal line, down unto the last pope. Malachy had named 112 Popes, or rather, described who they would be in a but of a cryptic fashion, much along the lines of Nostradamus’ prophecies. They were they in plain print, and yet they left a lot of room for subjection. Apparently, thus far he has named 111 Popes to the tea, including the recently abdicated Pope Benedict XVI.

Of course, Malachy never gave proper names to any of his predictions, just descriptions. For Benedict, he merely described the 111th Pope as “the glory of the olives” and of course, the Pope’s choice of the name Benedict, suggests this description fills the prophecy, since the founder of the Benedictine Order was also known as Olivetans.

Coincidence? Maybe, but here are a couple of other items of interest regarding prophetic happenings. Nostradamus as well had a few Papal prophecies regarding the end of the line for Catholic leadership. He had predicted that the next-to-last pope [Benedict] would “flee Rome in December when the great comet is seen in the daytime.” Sounds fanciful and far-fetched as the months are wrong, but remember that the calender has changed since the time of Nostradamus, and Benedict would indeed have abdicated in December, just as Nostradamus predicted had those changes not occurred.

Think of it, the comet ISON was seen in the skies for some time, and as an interesting note, a huge bolt of lightning is said to have struck the cross on the top of the Basilica just a few short hours after his announcement of abdication. And a few days later Russia’s Ural region was showered with a meteor shower, shattering windows and causing numerous injuries. How is that for food for thought.

But before you run of screaming “the end is coming,” here is an important point to this prophecy of Malachy; theologians generally argue there is no authentic written manuscript. Supposedly, Malachy’s list was discovered in 1590 in the Vatican archives, hundreds of years later. Maybe this prophecy never came from Malachy at all?

So, what does this all mean to survivalists and us preppers? Well, for one thing, it means we are going to have to endure another round of conspiracy claims. One of the central themes of the conspiracy crowd suggests that the Illuminati are controlled by the Jesuit Brotherhood, and guess what? The new pope, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who has chosen the name Francis, is a Jesuit. Hmmmm….

I will leave you with that thought to stew over.

Speaking of stew, one of the items you should be including with your preps, food wise, is plenty of stew like meals. Try to have several canned styles available for your program entry level needs to cover the first few months, with the long term styles for when we are certain things are not going to return to normal. They contain lots of nutritional value, can be filling, and are easy to prepare. I have several MRE style stews in my EDC bag, as well as some heaters for a quick, hot, wholesome meal, but I also have quite a few cans in my pantry for the first few weeks at least. After that I will break open my #10 cans of stew.

Over the last so many thousands of years, the system of commerce in this world has changed, and grown to a place where we no longer think in terms of bartering for our needs and wants, but in terms of currency for our wants and needs. When we want a bushel of corn and twenty pound of ground beef for the family reunion’s cookout, we think of what it will cost us in cash. We do not need to look around for somebody that is willing to trade for that corn and beef by accepting something we have to trade for that commodity, such as a new hoe for the farmer that grew the corn, etc. We simply give the seller whatever cash he requests for the goods, and the trade is complete.

There is great benefit to society as a whole in these changes, as we know what we need to be able to “purchase” these good beforehand. We can save up for the impending purchase, or put it on a credit card and pay for the food later. Today, cash is what makes the world go round. Nobody wants to barter something that you made in your woodshop for a gallon of milk sitting in the cooler at the back of the store. If you do not believe me, try it sometime.

However, cash will not always be king, and even now some of the luster of this medium we call currency is waning. People are using plastic more and more. At some point, the frequency of use of actual cash we decline to the point whereby governments will no longer want to print paper currency and stamp coinage. It will become too costly for the return they receive on that currency.

Already we see the trend towards this new reality of commerce often called the “cashless society.” Debit cards, automated deposits, EFTs and other means of electronically moving funds from one person to another are becoming commonplace. In fact, most large employers now all but require you to receive your paycheck as a direct deposit into your bank account. The government (mostly) now issues welfare funds by way of electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards. No actual cash changes hands unless you take the trouble to go to a bank or an ATM to withdraw your electronic credits as cash.

Scripture tells us that in the end times the beast will have a system in place that prohibits anyone from buying and selling unless the possess the mark of the beast (Rev. 13:17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. KJV) I believe that this new system of trade will result in the Beast’s victory over the world’s economic system.

Therefore, it is to our advantage to learn how to survive in an era where we have two choices to make. Choice one is to give in to the system of cashless transactions, thus lending your support, however unwillingly it may be. The second choice is to learn how to work around the system and deal with the ages old system of bartering for commodities directly. Of course, working around the governments prescribed method of acceptable operations is fraught with danger, but at some point in time, we have to either make a stand for what is right, or be a lemming and comfortably follow the crowd off the edge of a cliff.

One of the problems with bartering is determining the acceptable value of the two commodities to be bartered. Under normal circumstances, and we will use coffee as an example here, a bag of coffee costs X number of dollars, priced at so much per pound. Most of the time, coffee is available in either a fine ground state for drip coffeemakers, or as a whole bean, roasted for your convenience. The best way to obtain and store coffee beans is in the green state, so that you can roast it at your convenience.

The problem is going to be in placing a value on that coffee you have to barter in comparison to the item or service that you intend to trade that coffee for. It is best all around that you begin now to think of your belongings, especially excess items you may have standing in reserve for the strict purpose of bartering. Naturally, the other party will also be giving the same careful consideration to whatever he has to trade to you for your coffee. The trick is to make adjustments fast enough that an equitable trade can be made, so that both parties can be satisfied. Good luck with that.

I wish I could give you a simple formula to determine value, but there isn’t any. Value of any commodity or service is something that changes without warning, and rarely stays constant for very long. Prices rise and fall based upon a myriad of reasons, with the biggest being that of supply and demand. Too much of any commodity, with a low demand for it lowers the price. Not enough of a commodity in relation to a high demand increases the price.

We will soon be entering a period of time where any financial planning we can do now will make things much easier for the long haul for us. Start stocking up on commodities that can be stored long term, and when push comes to shove, you will be able to get those hard to find items by bartering these same goods that you have saved today for use in the future. Things like tobacco, coffee, salt and sugar, candles, matches, fuel oils such as paraffin and kerosene, etc. all of these things will only increase in value as the availability declines.

Austerity is coming, no matter who gets elected in the fall, the only question will be how soon will it enter the picture, and how hard will the powers that be try to hide the fact that today’s federalist lawmakers are bankrupting this nation, driving to a position of servitude to the world’s wealthiest progressive leaders. They will do all they can to enslave you, and they will accomplish this most easily through your increasing use of credit, and your adherence to the cashless payment systems of the world.

So far in 2012-A Doomsday Year I have covered in part the escalating food prices, the escalating energy costs, the increasing controls imposed upon us, and today I will look at the issue of communications in our daily lives.

We have come to take for granted many of the freedoms our constitution protects, and in so doing have become complacent in the way we simply accept what is being placed upon our dinner plate of daily news. Unfortunately, much of what we see on the front page of the dailies and the evening news is watered down, biased, and/or poorly reported by the media outlets. It used to be that a newspaper in large part would print just the facts on the front page, and nothing more. The papers were opinionated, but they wisely restricted opinionated articles to the opinion pages of the paper. Today, many of the stories we read are filled with statements that promote one ideology or another, and this is true for both side of the aisle, lefty and righty alike.

There are still places you can go today to get a good, factual report on many issues and events, but you usually have to do quite a lot of digging to find the truth. As this is an election year for the presidency, this fact makes it more vital than ever that you take the time to educate yourself of the real truth and not the truth that a special interest group wants to push. Take the story that claims Warren Buffett’s secretary pays more taxes than he does.

The left wants you to believe something that is not true, and they know it is not true, so they manipulate the facts so that at first glance it sounds like it is true, and grabs your attention, big time. When one of the richest men in the world gets away with paying less in taxes than most of the people reading this blog pay, it makes you mad, doesn’t it? At Obama’s State of the Union speech, Buffett’s secretary, Debbie Bosanek, got a front row seat sitting next to her royal highness Michelle Obama, and of course it was staged so that President Obama could make the most of the attention grabber of the evening.

According to several articles, Buffett’s 2010 tax return says he paid 6.9 million in taxes. I am guessing his secretary wasn’t paid all that much whereby she would be paying anywhere near that much in taxes in 2010, and their 2011 tax returns are probably going to be very similar to their 2010 returns. Percentage is where the truth is, and since most of Warren Buffett’s income is from capital gains, and that is where they twisted the claim that he paid less in taxes than his secretary. The top rate for capital gains income is 15 percent, period. Going by that rate, I pay nearly twice as much in taxes as Buffett does, including all federal and state taxes. The reality is that it probably takes me two years to make as much income as he pays out in taxes in a day. However, the left doesn’t want you to see that part of the argument. They only want you to be angry that the rich are better off than you are and are given all kinds of bennies for being rich. Class warfare at its finest. Remember this story when you look at the news. By the way, the right is just as guilty as the right when it comes to “modifying” the news to their advantage.

So where does communications come into the puzzle of predicting the future? It comes into the puzzle through the way certain items are left out of the commonly shared news, and which pieces are shared with gusto. One of the stories I have been following is the issue of the National Guard and how they are supposedly patrolling the US/Mexico border to cut down on illegal immigration. Unfortunately, their involvement was severely restricted, and their actual value was diminished to the point where the expense incurred did not come close to making it worth the taxpayer’s money for them to be there. If the military is going to patrol the border, they should do so fully armed with the intent of actually preventing illegal entry into this nation by anyone. They were relegated to performing nothing more than being used as a photo-op for political gain.

The more important issues that you see very little reporting on is the fact that the government wants to increase the usage of drone technology to patrol the skies under the guise of watching the borders of this nation, the natural inclination for many of us is to say, so what, we need the protection. In fact, we do, but this is not what will happen in the long run. These drones will be used for purposes beyond that which the constitution allows. But that doesn’t matter, because the powers that be only use the constitution when it suits their needs. And even then, they twist it into a perversion of what the constitution really means.

We look at the history of the world’s most despotic regimes and learn that the media outlets in those countries were usually the first target for control, and in some sense, we see the same thing happening today here today in the United States. Newspapers and television stations are afraid to say something different, something that might offend, simply because it is more politically expedient to go with what the “powers that be” want them to say. Global warming, gay rights, religious issues, morality and more are all subjects that are controlled by very small minority groups, and yet they have the biggest advantage because they have more political pull with the media outlets.

Those of us with a different standard or levels of morality and viewpoint still have outlets we can turn to, but these outlets are disappearing, overwhelmed in most part by the mainstream media in their push for popular support and advertising dollar. We will continue to see the far left ideology increase in power, as we get closer to Election Day. You will see an overwhelming majority of leftist attacks against sound, biblically based positions that the candidates may wish to take, but will not because of the fact that money and popularity goes hand in hand with the political structure in this nation. We, as a nation, will continue to see erosions in our society and economy as the left gains power and control, thus furthering our descent into failure as a nation. And when that point arrives, you had better be prepared, because Uncle Sam will not be there to give you a hand up, nor a hand out.

Watch the headlines and as the year passes by, you will begin to see what I mean.