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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.

I do not really know who started the mantra of one is none, two is one rule of survival and preparedness planning, but it is a great notion to cling to. For instance, if you are hiking alone in the woods and you lose your compass, you are screwed. I know, some will say “but I use a GPS, those are almost impossible to lose”. Maybe so, but suppose the battery goes dead? Do you see my point? If you only have one of an essential item, and you lose it or it breaks, then what?

The same goes for any other tool or bit of supply you may need in your survival plan. I remember a couple of years ago I was opening a can for supper, and the can opener fell apart after a couple of cranks of the handle. I had another can opener in the drawer, and luck had nothing to do with it, so it was no big deal. However, if I had no backup tool in waiting, I would not have been able to simply grab the back up and finish preparing the meal.

I would have had to do without, compromise, or get primitive and open the can with a huge knife. That would have been a pity as the blade would have needed substantial attention after slicing through the metal can. One is none, two is one. It is a good rule to follow and should be a central consideration as you develop your preparedness and survival plans.

One drawback to this goal of having at least two of your essentials on hand is the added cost. You have to plan on double the cost of these essentials, thus doubling the size of your preparedness budget as it relates to these essential items. Is it really necessary that we have two or more of everything? Not really. There are times when we can get away with making concessions. We may be able to come up with alternative tools or devices to compensate for the loss of some of our needs.

One suggestion I can give here is to make sure that you keep these extra tools in a separate place. Have an extra box of additional tools, but keep it close enough that you can access it when the need arises. Unfortunately, far too many people utilize offsite storage for the excess baggage we consider as needs today. Personally, I consider offsite storage a waste of resources. The money that you spend on locker rental fees could be better used for buying the things you need to develop your preparations for the coming times.

The fees for these lockers can be pretty hefty, and in some cases may be enough to equal the cost of a good supply of long-term storage foods. A one hundred dollar a month rental fee equals 1200 dollars a year. How often have you seen food deals for several months worth of food for that price? Just this week, I received a flyer from a mail order house offering a six-month lunch and dinner supply for one at only $1,299.00[1]. That is not a bad deal, and you could afford it if you can afford to pay that much for a storage locker full of household goods that you do not use.

If you do use this arrangement, perhaps you need to include this aspect of your life in your overall preparedness plan. Seriously consider what you are paying storage fees for, and decide whether it really makes sense. Granted, there will be instances where there is no other option, but for the most part, much of what we have stored in these lockers have little real survival value. If the crap hits the fan and you become forced to shelter in place, will this locker be of any benefit to you? If you have to pack up the bug out vehicle and get out of town, what happens to the stuff you have paid all that money for in storage?

I know some people who have a rental unit as their central bug out command post, with a vehicle inside it ready to roll at a moment’s notice. They keep the truck and trailer fully loaded with MRE’s and long term storage food, along with all the tools they will need to survive if they have to leave town in an emergency. This is a good plan, and, providing you can afford it, and the unit is accessible 24-7, go for it. but it takes a certain level of ability as well as acceptance of the facts to be able to comfortably commit to these sorts of resources.

Whatever you decide to do, make certain that you are comfortable with your choices, that can afford your choices, and that you have considered all aspects relating to that choice.

 

[1] $1,299.00 for food for one may sound like a lot of money, but the reality is that it works out to only $216.50 per person per month, for two meals a day. A little over three bucks a meal. When was the last time you had a nutritious meal for that kind of price? It costs an average of eight bucks for a burger, fries and a drink in most fast food places today.

In an incredibly unfortunate turn of events, the Supreme Court has upheld the validity of the Obamacare package of higher taxes and medical costs as being constitutional. I do not know what constitution the lackeys on the SCOTUS panel were comparing the law to, but it certainly was not the constitution of these United States of America. But I am not surprised, and it was the outcome I expected. I have long said that 2013 will be the year that everyone starts to really see what is in store for this decaying nation. The truth will become apparent, but it will be too late, and our fate will be sealed in 2015. Wait and see.

That said, it is more important than ever that we learn to become prepared for the coming times. Those of us left that are true freedom loving Americans will need to be prepared to survive a seven-year period without the ability to receive help or assistance from those who are not like-minded. It will become more apparent as we approach that deadly year that we may in fact have to bug out of our beloved homesteads to travel to a friendlier area where we can survive with a level certainty.

So what are the basic considerations that we have to take into account when we bug out of our location? As always, we have the three basic needs, safety, water and food. I call these three building blocks the SaWaFo pyramid. They are the three basic, necessary building blocks around which your preparedness planning should revolve.

The first building block is Safety. Safety encompasses a lot more than just making sure there are no potential accidents waiting to happen around your home. Safety means security. In a bug out situation safety means that you have the means to take care of any situation that threatens the security of your situation. This includes medical needs, clean water and untainted food. It also includes things like warmth and dryness in a storm. It means being able to travel without fear of incursion from others. The Encarta Dictionary describes incursion as 1; raid; a brief, hostile, and usually sudden invasion of somebody’s territory or 2; unwelcome intrusion; the act of flowing, running, or intruding into something, usually with unpleasant or damaging effects.

The second building block is water. Water is an absolute must. We need to remain hydrated or bad things can happen to us, including death. We need to be able to carry water with us, collect water along the way, and make that water pure to drink.

The third building block is food. While we can survive without food for a number of days, we still eventually need to eat to replenish lost nutrients and chemicals, or we will become weak and unable to function, eventually lapsing into a state normally referred to as death in the medical profession. Enough said?

Your bug out basics need to include all three of these components to form a valid plan for your actual bug out to succeed. If you do not have any medical supplies and medications, what happens when an accident befalls you? If you do not have tools and parts to fix your vehicle when it breaks down, what happens? If you do not have water on hand to take with you, what happens? And so on through the entire list of dozens of potential questions, but you get the drift of where I am going here I am sure.

So, as a brief notation here, this is a list of the basics you need to consider when assembling your bug out routine;

  1. You need to have a plan of where to go, including where you and your family will meet up if not together when the need to evacuate or bug out arises, and who will bring what when the event occurs.
  2. Your means of transportation needs to be in good repair, filled with fuel and additional fuel supplies, and also partially loaded with equipment and supplies to reduce time needed to bug out.
  3. You need to have a supply of medical needs, first aid kit, medications etc ready to grab and go.
  4. You need to have a supply of clean potable water ready to grab and go.
  5. You need to have a supply of food ready to grab and go, as well as a way to prepare and serve that food.
  6. You need to have a means of defense ready to grab and go.
  7. You need to have a plan of action in place for when you do finally arrive at your bug out destination.

Loading up the car with the wife and kids, along with your weapon, a few bottles of water and a case of MREs is all well and good, but you can’t just drive around forever. You need to have a destination in mind, and you need to have enough supplies and gear to get you to that destination safely. Too often we see scenes of mass evacuations in hurricane alley with thousands of people driving their cars to escape, but they really do not have anywhere to go. And they do not have any food, water or medical supplies with them. This means they have no other choice but to rely upon others for their salvation in the emergency. That will usually be the government, through the auspices of FEMA and the DHS folks. Read FEMA camps here. Cozy little tent villages set up for the thousands of sheep who did not think planning was worth the time and expense.

They preferred spending their cash on things like widescreen TVs and trips to the water park. Do not get me wrong here, a widescreen TV and trips to the water park are all fine and dandy. But if you had to choose between a six hundred dollar widescreen or six hundred dollars worth of food, water and other supplies, which one will get you further when that disaster rolls up your driveway and into your front door?

Think about for a few moments. Remember that what you have when a disaster hits is what you will have afterwards. Can you survive with what you have now after an event occurs that may force you to jump in the car and run? In the coming times the cost of living will become much more expensive, and obtaining the things you need to survive long term will become much more difficult. Things like dehydrated foods, MREs and first aid supplies are going to become scarce, if not impossible to obtain, except from the government. is that what you really want to look forward to?

(Note: this post was recorded on the morning of 30 June, 2012)

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.