Getting ready for bad times, hoping for the best.
You don't have to be an insane survivalist living in the woods to be worried about the future. Someday "mountains will tumble, empires will crumble" but we need to know how to stay happy, healthy and productive if the world starts to fall apart around us–for at least a few weeks.

The Golden Age of Privacy Is Over

Domestic deployment of drones is causing substantial concern, especially regarding the implications for privacy. The American Civil Liberties Union, for example, fears that “routine aerial surveillance would profoundly change the character of public life in America” and demands rules and regulations so that we can avoid “a ‘surveillance society’ in which our every move is monitored, tracked, recorded, and scrutinized by the government.” Glenn Greenwald warns about the arrival of the “Surveillance State,” and somewhat dramatically suggests drones will “psychologically terrorize the population.”

From The Golden Age of Privacy Is Over

The Elephants in the Room: Citizens United, Trade and Corporate Ownership of Our Natural Resources

How has consolidation enabled Monsanto, Tyson, Nestle, Kraft, Cargill, McDonalds and other food/ag/chemical companies to write our food policy, and why is about to get worse? The disastrous decision in the landmark Citizens United case now allows corporations to spend unlimited sums of money to buy the political system.

...[From The Elephants in the Room: Citizens United, Trade and Corporate Ownership of Our Natural Resources ]

How Resource Scarcity and Climate Change Could Produce a Global Explosion

Two nightmare scenarios — a global scarcity of vital resources and the onset of extreme climate change — are already beginning to converge and in the coming decades are likely to produce a tidal wave of unrest, rebellion, competition, and conflict. Just what this tsunami of disaster will look like may, as yet, be hard to discern, but experts warn of “water wars” over contested river systems, global food riots sparked by soaring prices for life’s basics, mass migrations of climate refugees (with resulting anti-migrant violence), and the breakdown of social order or the collapse of states. At first, such mayhem is likely to arise largely in Africa, Central Asia, and other areas of the underdeveloped South, but in time all regions of the planet will be affected.

Europe’s Stark Choice: Resignation or Revolution

The question is, once it does collapse, who’s going to pick up the pieces and rebuild a new, more sustainable system in its ashes? Will it be us, the people, or will it be the same bankers, central bankers and heavily compromised political half-wits that got us here in the first place? Will we bravely stake our claim to a new future, or resign ourselves, in fear and despair, to the global bankers’ totalitarian nirvana?

In an Emergency, Will You Know Your Friends’ and Family’s Phone Numbers?

In the age of the smartphone and dialing by touchscreen, few of us can tick off our loved ones’ numbers on command. ... This has less to do with the faulty memories of modern man than the absence of any day-to-day need to dial by number. As memory champ and Moonwalking with Einstein author Joshua Foer writes, “Once I’d reached the point where I could squirrel away more than 30 digits a minute in memory palaces, I still only sporadically used the techniques to memorize the phone numbers of people I actually wanted to call.

Is It Better to Text or to Call During a Crisis?

In the wake of the horrific Boston Marathon explosions, friends and family members of runners and onlookers were frantically trying to get in touch and make sure their loved ones were safe. ... Here’s a simple answer from the AT&T website : “During an emergency situation, text messages may go through more quickly than voice calls because they require fewer network resources.” ... She said that the average hold time for a voice call is 180 seconds, during which someone could send 30 to 50 text messages, depending on how quickly they can type.

T-Mobile, Wireless Carriers, and the Way to Fight Oligopolies : The New Yorker

Consider Barry Lynn’s 2011 book, “Cornered,” which carefully detailed the rising concentration and consolidation of nearly every American industry since the nineteen-eighties. ... Consumers, easily misled by product labelling, often don’t even notice that products like sunglasses, pet food, or numerous others come from just a few giants. For example, while drugstores seem to offer unlimited choices in toothpaste, just two firms, Procter & Gamble and Colgate-Palmolive, control more than eighty per cent of the market (including seemingly independent brands like Tom’s of Maine).

Lizard People? Really?

This is not the blog for most of the following. Certainly not for the 4%. Screen-Shot-2013-04-15-at-10.24.21-AM.jpg

When it comes

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Gold Prices Collapse

Gold prices continued to plummet Monday on concern that Cyprus will have to sell excess reserves of the precious metal to raise about $522 million to help finance that country's $13 billion international bailout, Dennis Gartman, editor of The Gartman Letter, told CNBC.

[From Gartman on Gold: We’ve Never Ever Seen Anything Like It ]

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