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.

Prepped for a Food Crisis?

There's an excellent article at ActivistPost on preparing for a food crisis. I particularly think the idea of just picking up a little extra non-perishable food each time you hit the grocery store is a great idea.

A Great Hope for Future Democracy

The Second Most Important Thing

In any emergency situation lasting more than a few hours, there's one thing more important than any other.

Water.

But after that, when thinking about long term trouble, the second most important thing is probably something you don't think about when planning. It certainly isn't something you can pack in your bug out bag.

The second most important thing is relationships. If you don't have good relationships with your neighbors, with people at the destinations of your bug-out, with those you'll need to rely on when the phone is out, when the cars have no gas, when the internet is down, then it won't matter if you have all the water and food and ammo you'll ever need. Because you can't do it all alone.

Do you know your neighbors? Can you rely on them in a pinch? If not, why not? When walking to the nearest main road becomes an adventure, it will be good to know the names of the people whose doors you may need to bang on.

Yummy Stuff for Kitchen or Storage

We eat this stuff all the time anyway, and with a special price at Amazon right now, it made sense to get a bunch of Annie's shells and cheese.
The individual boxes are small and easy to store.
This isn't great stuff for long term storage, but will help quite a bit if you're stuck in a short term break down of grocery delivery systems. Or just too tired to go to the store!

Coming Soon: Report on an Afternoon of Rifle Shopping and a Visit to Other Worlds

Stepping into a gun shop is more than a bit like visiting another world for me.

Gun Rack
Less than 10% of this store's stock. How do they stay
in business with that much inventory?
Do they sell that much?

Now I know where people buy those "American by Birth, Southern by the Grace of God" and "Heritage Not Hate" bumper stickers. I just never see those for sale at Plan 9 records or Target.
Img 3505
Southern Gun World--Children first!

But every gun shop I visited had them. Ironically, the place where I ended up buying was the oddest, selling bait, terrible terrible imported knock-offs of medieval armor, and dozens of things emblazoned with confederate flags.
The quick summary of the longer story is that I ended up with an SKS rifle, one of the better versions made directly for the american market rather than military surplus.

Because You Have to Chop Wood

I recall watching Frontier House on PBS a year or two ago. I was particularly struck by one snippet of info: the experts who rated how well each family had prepared for the winter unanimously and uniformly felt that none of the families had stored up enough wood. They even warned all of them at the start with a line like "If you don't have some other chore to do, you should be chopping wood."
It takes a lot of wood to get through a winter without heat, especially if you're in the midwest or north. This is a good axe with a strong handle, though the replacement guarantee might not do you any good if the local Home Depot has been looted.
Fiskars Pro Chopping Axe, available from Amazon.

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Who Owns Your Future?

This is video of how it is possible to completely and unnoticably compromise an electronic voting machine in under a minute.

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More Good Eating in the Bunker, on sale for now

This sort of vacuum packed, wood smoked salmon keeps in your food stores for many years without refrigeration. As good as MREs may be compared to old-time sea rations, a pound of this now and then will really raise your morale. At the moment, you get almost three for the price of one.

Also, the box is great for storage, and after you've eaten, you can use the cedar to heat up your powdered eggs.

Tom Engelhart's "Commencement Address"

This really resonated with me:

...take a good look at our world, the one you already know is there, but don't think too much. It's time to pass through the portals of this school that has held you these last four years, out the gate, into the streets beyond, into the world beyond, and get yourself an education. It's time to look up and read the inscription -- by now, you can surely do so with your eyes closed -- and then reformulate it.

The whole thing is here at tomdispatch.com.

Brave New War: One Take on What We Should Prepare For

"Brave New War: The Next Stage of Terrorism and the End of Globalization" (John Robb) I've mentioned John Robb before as a guy who's weblog "scared the hell out of me." This book is a distillation of his current thinking on how the underdeveloped world is fully capable of fighting globalization, potentially with severe affect to us at home.
As William Lind says in his review:

Warriors, in our current context of global guerillas, are not merely lazy and monosyllabic primitives. They are wired, educated and globally mobile. They build complex supply chains, benefit from global money flows, travel globally, innovate with technology and attack shrewdly.

The tools of system disruption are much more available and simpler to use than the tools of system construction. And that is a big part of the challenge coming to those of us who want to be prepped for anything.

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