Posts Tagged ‘end times’

Roots, the base of all life

071011_2337_Survivingth6.jpgIn my last post, I touched upon new beginnings and the differences/similarities between preparedness and survivalism. Today, I want to look at some of the base concepts that fuel each stage of reaction that we take in this process we call preparedness.

Many years ago, I came to realize that while much of what we see and hear through various media outlets is just plain fruitcake talk. Nevertheless, I also realized there is indeed an aura of “conspiracy” that attaches itself to at least a small portion of this rhetoric. Moreover, upon investigation, we can see that there is indeed something going on behind closed doors, and we do have cause to fear for our futures.

Whether you believe in any one of the seemingly endless theories floating around or not, the world around us is indeed involved in what seems to be a slow speed crash and burn cycle. It has happened before, in various stages of extent, and if we are smart, we will examine these prior crashes and learn from them as we prepare for the coming times.

Let us take the last “great depression” as it has been named. In fact, there have been times when the economy has been worse for this nation, but this long standing event can teach us the most recent lessons to be learned.  Take a moment and consider who survived this era the best.

There were actually two groups of people who came out as last best survivors of that economic collapse, and these groups were millionaires, and those who had land and business interests that were of a sustainable nature. By using the term sustainable here, I am not talking about the corrupted definition that the enviro-worshipers use today, but the classic definition which simply means; able to be maintained. For instance, many of today’s businesses are wildly successful, but in the event of a collapse, can those businesses continue on in a successful manner?

For example, telemarketing call centers are good places to make a quick buck, and they can provide you with a good income, but look into their history and see how many of them enjoy a well grounded platform that they can use to continue on from should some major event bring the world to a halt. There are none that I am aware of that could continue to provide you with an income should something cause an environment to occur where they would not be able to function.

Telemarketing relies upon telephone service, but if we get hit with a large-scale and widespread EMP event, manmade or otherwise, would these companies be able to continue operations? The answer is of course, no. No telephones, no telemarketing. It is a simple concept, and yet many people fail to see the significance of this concept in real terms.

For us to rely upon one single source of income leaves us in a situation whereby we have nothing, should that source of income suddenly become interrupted. Therefore, part of our preparedness planning needs to include an ability to have a secondary source of income.  This does not mean that we need to have two jobs, but that we need to have skill sets that allow us to have alternative means of income production  that will allow us to pay our bills and put food on the table when things go belly up.

No matter what the financial condition is, some means of transfer of wealth needs to used if we are to survive, long-term.  We are used to the presence of cash for that wealth exchange, and many are foolish enough to pretend that credit can be used for that exchange. If we need a pound of flour to make a loaf of bread to feeds our hungry family, where do we get that flour? We have to buy it, or we have to
grow and process our own wheat to obtain that pound of flour.

To buy it, we need money, and if the government fails, there is no money, since money today is merely a promissory note based upon the government’s good word, and nothing more. We call that fiat currency, and many of us believe that this fiat currency may well be soon coming to an end. The alternative is to barter some tangible goods or service we have for that flour.

Herein lays the rub of survivalism, those who have, survive, those who have not merely exist, and are destined to fail. If we study the last great depression, we learn that the only people who survived with any degree of self-respect were millionaires, simply because they had enough tangible wealth whereby they were able to buy themselves survival with extremely debased currency.  And there were those who had land and businesses that provided necessary commodities that everyone else had to have, i.e. food clothing, shelter and other absolute needs for survival. Everyone else had to make do with what they had, and for far too many, this was nothing.

The bottom line here is that if your roots are not healthy and strong, neither will your tree of life be. Make sure the roots of your preparedness planning are strong, and diverse enough to withstand any potentially devastating event.

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071011_2337_Survivingth1.jpgSurviving the times, these end times, can be very difficult, and in many ways, that difficulty may well create a scenario of failure instead of success for us.

I have not written a great deal of late regarding survivalism and preparedness, for many reasons, but I believe now is the time to get serious, and for us all to get down to “the business at hand”. What is “the business at hand”? That would be getting ready for the coming times, of course.

So, I guess the best way would be for me to return to the beginnings of my prepper activities and look at the changes that have occurred over the years, and maybe help at least a few of my readers learn a thing or two about prepping and survivalism.

First of all, what is survivalism and preparedness? Many people believe them to be the same thing, but they are not. Preparedness is a proactive action that allows us to survive in the future, whereas the survivalism aspect is simply reacting to the environment at hand. Preparedness is what happens before an event, survivalism is what happens after the event, whatever that event may be.

Skills and knowledge gained at any stage of the game can be used interchangeably, of course, but we must bear one fact in mind at all times: once an event occurs, we can no longer prepare for that event.

The bottom line here is that if you fail to prepare to survive after whatever event you expect occurs, when that event occurs, you are all out of planning time. Everybody gets old and retires, and many people plan for those years when we live without employment and a paycheck. But some people fail to plan ahead. Once you retire, there is no retirement planning available, only surviving retirement. And how you prepare for retirement dictates how well you are going to survive retirement. Simple enough?

To start with your preparedness planning, we need to look at where you are now, and where you want to be in the future. You need to know what you have for assets, and what your goals are, if you will. As goals change, so won’t our assets, and part of planning for the inevitable catastrophe is to acquire the assets you need to achieve your goals, and to prepare for the possible loss of those assets.

When I talk about assets here, I am not just talking about money and financial instruments. I include things such as food, water, property, tools and the like, and especially about knowledge. Believe it or not, knowledge can be one of your greatest assets. However, there may be occasions where some of these things may be lost, with or without our consent.

Over the years, I have sustained several life-altering events that came along unexpectedly, but because of the knowledge I have gained, I have been able to survive the aftermath, even though I have lost valuable tangible assets, including several years worth of storage food and other property.

I survived because I developed a mindset that provokes me forward, in spite of the obstacles. Sure, I could have given in and become just another welfare puppet licking the boots of my government, but I didn’t, and I will not, no matter what happens. After a few years of struggling, I am climbing back into the driver’s seat of my own wagon, and intend to direct this wagon in the direction I want it to go.

In the coming days and weeks, I will be sharing some ways that you too can climb into the drivers seat and direct your own wagon in the direction you want it to go, in spite of all the distractions and obstacles you may have to face along the journey.

Surviving The Times is available through my Amazon page at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B0056SXP3K

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!

In part one of “2012-A Doomsday Year?” I wrote about the rising costs of food, and in particular, some of the insidious ways that these cost increases become implemented in a way that most of us really do not see the increase. That is at least until we suddenly get hit with the fact that the can of tuna fish we are holding in the grocery store used to cost quite a bit less than it does now. Food prices are not the only things we will see drastic increases in over the next year. I fully expect the price of gasoline to rise to a level significantly higher than it is today. I filled my car last night with 87-octane e10 fuel at a price of $3.349 per gallon. A couple or so weeks ago, I paid $3.269 per gallon at the same C-store.

That is not much of an increase, comparatively speaking, but it is in fact what I believe is the beginning of what will be a long term trend to crank the price of automotive grade fuels up to a level at least 25 to 30 percent higher than what we are comfortable with today. What do I base my predictions on, and what kind of timeframe are we looking at here? Simply put, part of my reasoning has to do with what some analysts refer to as a situation known as peak oil. Unfortunately, many in the prepper community have a false idea as to what peak oil really means, and are led astray by some of the merchants of fear we encounter all too frequently when discussing preparedness and survivalism.

Another part of my reasoning lies in the fact that the subsidies that have allowed for lower ethanol costs in the fuel stream are gone, and this is the causative factor for the recent increase in gasoline prices at the pump. The true cost of Gaia worshiping is starting to come to light, but people still fail to see the truth of the so called climate change argument, or rather, the climate non-change argument. However, this is another issue that I will get into later, for now, the increasing price of fuels is the topic under discussion.

Peak oil, as I mentioned earlier, is a somewhat misunderstood or misrepresented phenomenon that can in fact mean different things to different groups of stakeholders. One camp suggests that peak oil will occur when the maximum amount of oil is reached, and the supply begins to decline. In one sense this is a correct description, as the peak of any commodity is considered to be when its maximum rate of production is reached, and the available supply begins to decline. This goes for any non replenishing product, not just oil. Copper, silver, gold, and other minerals all can be placed under the same consideration. When you pull all there is out of the ground, there ain’t no more. That’s when the price will really skyrocket.

However, when I talk about peak oil a different definition is suggested. Since 1979 the ethanol industry has been subsidized by the taxpayers to the tune of 600 billion dollars and then some. Because the tax bennies expired on 01 Jan of this year, this will drive the price of ethanol up, and therefore the cost of gasoline at the pump. I do not actually see any major jumps in the price of crude over the next twelve months, barring any military action regarding Iran’s posture, however, we will see a gradual increase with a lot of bumps and grinds tempering that increase. Again, the bigger consumer level price increase will be mostly the ethanol component of the fuel we are forced to use in our vehicles.

Herein lies the bigger problem with fuel prices and preparing for the coming times. The RFS program created under the Energy Policy Act (EPAct) of 2005 established the first renewable fuel volume mandate in the United States. This mandate required 7.5 billion gallons of renewable- fuel to be blended into gasoline by 2012. This will happen, but the situation gets worse. According to the EPA’s renewable fuels website:

Under the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007, the RFS program was expanded in several key ways:

  • EISA expanded the RFS program to include diesel, in addition to gasoline;
  • EISA increased the volume of renewable fuel required to be blended into transportation fuel from 9 billion gallons in 2008 to 36 billion gallons by 2022;
  • EISA established new categories of renewable fuel, and set separate volume requirements for each one.
  • EISA required EPA to apply lifecycle greenhouse gas performance threshold standards to ensure that each category of renewable fuel emits fewer greenhouse gases than the petroleum fuel it replaces.

RFS2 lays the foundation for achieving significant reductions of greenhouse gas emissions from the use of renewable fuels, for reducing imported petroleum, and encouraging the development and expansion of our nation’s renewable fuels sector.

The elimination of this subsidy will force the price of ethanol to rise as the government-forced usage of it increases, as we get closer to 2022. This will naturally cause the price at the pump to reflect the increasing production prices. We are going to need to accommodate an increase in the production of a fuel that is of questionable worth at the cost of mo0re than just the creation of ethanol. More crop acreage is going to be needed to be utilized for fuel production at the expense of food production acreage.

Currently, to add to the escalating price we find that speculative investment is creating a situation whereby the actions of Iran as it threatens to close the Strait of Hormuz is seemingly causing the price of crude to rise. The reality is, as always, that it is really the speculative investment market that is causing the rise in price. Other Arab powers have already promised to increase production should Iran make good on its promise, so in effect the supply available should not drop, suggesting that this pending crisis is really a non-event in real terms. Always be aware that speculative investment drives much of the pricing in commodities markets.

So, to summarize thus far, we have two major factors contributing towards the coming collapse of life as we have come to relish it, 1. increasing food prices, and 2. increasing fuel prices. Both of these elements are vital points to consider as you make your plans to survive the coming times. In part three of 2012-A Doomsday Year? I will look at some of the geopolitical elements and how what happens on a global basis really does affect you, and what you do in your back yard.

There seems to be a lot of pressure today to invest in gold and silver for the coming times. Ostensibly, this investment will tide you through the rough times a comin’ down the road. But the question begs to be asked, will gold and silver really help me survive the coming times? The answer to that question is unfortunately a two edged sword. A sword that can not only lop off an arm on the for-swing, but take your head off on the back-swing as well. We have become too accustomed to taking wealth for granted here in the United States, and the rest of the world is following suite, unfortunately.

We base all of our transactions on a dollar bill, and as long as that dollar bills value holds true, we can survive. Or so we believe. I’ve made mention time and again that the value of any currency is based upon an arbitrary figure, set by governing officials. Currency traders further drive the value of that currency being traded by creating demand for it, while the governing officials create the supply. The old adage of supply and demand exists only so long as the two entities exist. What happens when the governing officials no longer create a supply of currencies for the traders to trade in? Simply put, your currency is worthless.

Most people are aware of that fact, and preppers and survivalists are acutely aware of that fact. And because of that many are now stocking up on gold and silver bullion and coinage, or what many consider to be the currency of the future. It’s a nice picture, but it isn’t necessarily the picture that tells the truth. Precious metals dealers want you to believe that their products will indemnify you from the coming collapse of society, the coming depression, the rising tide of inflation, and on and on, ad nauseum. But will gold and silver really save you in the future?

That all depend upon what you want it to be used for.

Generally, most buyers of precious metals invest for one of two purposes. In the first case, gold and silver, or other precious metals are purchased simply as an investment tool. Buy low and sell high. Profit is the name of the game, and today, those who have purchased in the past, are raking in the cash by selling today. But once you’ve sold your investment, what then? You no longer have the gold and silver jingling in your pockets, so to speak. Used wisely, precious metals can be an excellent investment tool, and I encourage you to look into the market as part of your portfolio. It can pay off really well in the long run. However, just like any investment, you can lose your shirt, pants and even your undies should the market collapse.

The price of everything can go up, or it can go down.

The second common reason to invest in precious metals is for the investment to be used as a hedge, or buffer against the rising cost of living in the coming times. We buy gold and silver because we can use it when currency as we know it today no longer exists. We hold onto the thought of buying a loaf of bread with gold or silver just like we hold onto a fistful of dollars at the store. We want to buy, we have the cash, but we hate to part with it. You know the feeling.

Inflation is already here, and we feel the effects of it every time we look at the receipt for this week’s groceries. Prices are going up, but our paycheck isn’t keeping up with the rising costs. If you think things are bad now, wait until hyperinflation sets in, or worse, suppose the ultimate calamity does occur and the government has vanished, eliminating currency as we know it today.

Then we have a few problems with our scheme to survive the coming times based upon our stockpile of gold and silver bullion and coinage.

For one, what value does an ounce of gold have when there is no currency to value it against? Secondly, what mechanism will be in place to assure that this standard will be adhered to by all parties? Just because we say an ounce of gold has a value of $1400.00 today, who’s to say what it will be worth tomorrow? Nobody knows, and in fact, value will be set purely between the buyer and the seller of these commodities. And I can guarantee that the results won’t be truly satisfactory for all parties involved.

When the crap hits the fan, all bets are off, and the value of any precious metal will be set by the seller of what you wish to buy with that gold or silver coin. There will, if the crap really hits the fan, come a time when there will be things of much greater value than coin and bullion. There will come a time when a pound of silver may buy you an ounce of coffee.

As an example we can look back into the annals of history and look at an ancient time when exactly what I am suggesting occurred.

We read in 2 Kings 6:24 that; Later,
Ben-Hadad king of Aram gathered his whole army and surrounded and attacked Samaria. Samaria was surrounded, besieged, put into a place of ultimate hardship where economy had no place. The crap hit the fan, and as can be expected what happened? Verse 25 tells us that; There was a shortage of food in Samaria. Aha! That’s exactly why we need to stockpile gold and silver. We can use that to buy provisions when society as we know it collapses. This is all well and true, but the other end of 2 Kings 6:25 says that; It was so bad that a donkey’s head sold for about two pounds of silver, and half of a pint of dove’s dung sold for about two ounces of silver.

And that’s the truth of investing for the future. Those who had much wealth in gold and silver paid through the nose to barely survive with food that wasn’t fit for the hogs. We always exist in a state where the haves and have-nots battle betwixt and between each other, and the haves always win out in the end. The problem here is that we need to determine what we want to have in the future as preppers an survivalists.

History tells us one thing about wealth; those who have land always come out ahead of those who do not.

Those who can provide commodities, such as food, implements etc, to those who cannot, but have the wealth to buy those commodities, can make a huge killing by setting their own prices.

Therefore, if you wish to invest in gold and silver as an investment tool for today, go right to town with the idea. Just remember that when, and if, the crap really hits the fan, the value of that gold and silver may well plummet to near zero in value. Your better investment will be in long term storage foods, land, seeds and equipment on which to grow more food, and other skills, supplies and investments that you can trade and barter with those who haven’t the sense to prepare for the coming times today.

Value of anything is purely an arbitrary term, don’t place your future on the altar of today’s wealth and expect it to be a bed of roses in the coming times.