A piece in today’s Washington Post says that The US intends to beef up our west coast defenses by adding 14 interceptors to Alaskan installations. This is surprising for a couple of reasons. For one, Hussein Obama has been against increasing the military standing of this nation, and in fact had wanted to reduce our military to a strength that would make us vulnerable to outside forces.

Secondly, most of the rhetoric still suggests that while North Korea might be a pesky little bother, they really haven’t the wherewithal to launch an attack that could really damage us here in the US. Sure, they have demonstrated their ability to launch an ICBM level warhead to a distance that may affect our western seaboard, but do they really have what it takes to find success? I think not.

However, the article, (read it here) suggests an underlying reason for this seeming change in our stance against Pyongyang’s rising nuclear threat. I suspect there may be a probability that what we may really be increasing our stockpile of west coast weaponry for is a combined Iranian/Korean offense that quite likely may include the detonation of a high altitude electromagnetic pulse weapon (HEMP), launched from the North Pacific, possibly from inside Korea, but more likely from an ocean-going vessel.

The reason for my feeling this way is due to the fact that, according to the article, the Pentagon plans revamp its Aegis missile program to pay for this expansion. The interceptor program has a rather questionable history, and some analysts seem to be saying that the first real deployable interceptors won’t be available until 2022. Strategically speaking, that really is not that far away, time-wise, but the Aegis missiles are already in action.

Nevertheless, the main point is that the Aegis has a limited range. They cannot travel to North Korean territory to intercept an ICBM launched from there. We would have to wait and see where this ICBM is headed for before deploying our defenses, and in real terms, that may be too late.

Therefore, my reading between the lines tells me that it is more likely that we may see multiple shorter range missiles launched against us from the North Pacific. These are the types of missiles the Aegis system was developed to fight against. I might be mistaken here, but…

These shorter range missiles would still have the ability to carry and detonate a HEMP weapon over the western US, but it would leave the Eastern seaboard unscathed, which really is not acceptable to the North Korean and Iranian regimes. However, if they were to simultaneously detonate multiple HEMP warheads from bit the Pacific and Atlantic theaters, they would seemingly attain success, and devastate our electrical infrastructure, thereby crippling our ability as a nation.

But the shorter range defense system apparently being suggested for Alaska could hardly protect out eastern seaboard, could it? But wait, the light clicks on…Senator Susan Collins’ last newsletter says that she encourages the establishment of a missile defense facility in Aroostook County, which would be capable of defending against these missiles I am writing of today. Further, a Bangor Daily news article from last year, (read it here) says that the National Research Council claims there are serious holes in our missile defense system, and that a base in the vicinity of Caribou, Maine would be an ideal location to establish a missile defense installation.

Again, I could be wrong here, but…

I believe it would be in the best interests of preppers everywhere to start learning about HEMP potentials and what the real damages would be to our nation should an enemy of ours succeed in detonating one or more over our nation. I have written about this in past blog entries, and there are a lot of websites that address this issue. However, be careful out there. There is a lot of so-called expert advice whereby the so-called experts do not seem to really grasp the science and reality behind the threat. I intend to address this issue again in a month or so with some in depth reporting on the subject, so please return to visit again.

Until then, happy prepping!

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.