Monday, January 30, 2012
Sunday, January 22, 2012
Several future scenarios include or produce famine on a very large scale. The goal of a famine feeding strategy is to get people from the beginning of the famine to the end alive and not permanently damaged. In extreme circumstances this may call for unusual measures…
Preparing for famine. We can be reasonably confident that any future crisis will include food scarcity. From EMP to pandemic, from war to drought, food is a critical resource. (The projected death rate from an EMP, including death from a variety of causes including famine, is 9 out of 10 Americans!) The sooner we can educate people about the dangers ahead the sooner every family can begin to prepare. Every little bit will help. And the sooner we start the better.
People need to know the facts in a non-inflammatory way and in a way they can relate to, “painting them a picture” so to speak of how it could affect them and their family. They need to know they cannot expect a government rescue, they need to take personal responsibility for their preparedness. And they need hope – to believe that their efforts can make a difference in the outcome.
Americans have been manipulated, lied to, cheated, and stampeded from issue to issue by unscrupulous people in government, education, the media, and even the church. We need a well thought-out strategy so that we don’t sound like crazies predicting the end of the world or selling something. That’s not going to happen without a lot of deliberation and work.
One of the reasons for getting a head start on famine preparedness is that the real experience of famine is horrible - it is surreal and disorienting and frightening. People need mental preparation, a sort of “mental inoculation” so that they are mentally, emotionally, and spiritually up for the challenge. Without this inner preparation many people will give in to paralysis and hopelessness and make an already dire situation worse.
Consider all the time and effort and materials that are going toward creating lovely politically-correct landscaping in 99% of American cities. Most of that landscaping could be replaced with food-producing plants, pasture grasses, fruit- or nut-producing trees, edible decorative plants, and even simply gardens. Fruit trees take several years to come to maturity – if people are going to plant them they are going to need to get going now..
As a group or a church becomes prepared their efforts will be multiplied by those in the community who catch the vision and understand the dangers. City policies for landscaping, even public landscaping, could be improved, and laws examined to allow emergency contractual changes to neighborhood covenants.
Gardeners need to be educated on how to grow insect resistant crops that don’t require pesticides, or that can be treated without commercial chemicals that will in all likelihood be unavailable. Cold-resistant and drought-resistant crops should be encouraged and seeds (for more than a single season’s planting!) and know-how distributed.
Stored foods. Clearly the best option in the face of famine is to buy food in advance! The challenges are (a) the cost of accumulating food over and above everyday consumption, (b) storing a large quantity of food, some of which will need special storage conditions, (c) making sure there is a nutritional balance, and (d) trying to guess how long a famine might last and how much might be needed. Because we can make some advance preparations now we even have the luxury of asking a nutritionist to help us develop a nutritionally sound plan, or of finding some individual or organization that has already done this basic meal planning. (A good resource is the LDS storage food calculator.)
In addition to a centralized storehouse, food storage should also be dispersed to individual homes as much as possible to make it harder to be all stolen or destroyed in one emergency or raid. Dispersed storage also means greater storage totals, and greater participation as people take personal responsibility. Bulk foods purchases could feed as many as 1,000 people for around $100 per day.
Raised foods. Raising basic, hardy crops such as beans, cabbage, beets / sugar beets, and potatoes can contribute significantly to the food available. It’s difficult to raise grain in a gardening situation, except for corn. Whether or not corn grows well will depend on what caused the famine in the first place – it typically needs a long, warm growing season which may not happen in some areas. Bean pollination can be improved (if insects are affected by cold or disease) by growing larger varieties and hand-pollinating. Sprouting grains in spring could provide an early “crop”. Unless massive amounts of vegetable seeds are made available to a community in advance, with gardening help, the first year’s crops are not going to come close to meeting the need.
Livestock. Livestock that can survive on foods that people do not eat (like grass) are an option (cows, sheep, rabbits, etc.), but livestock that requires grain input (chickens and turkeys) may not be an efficient use of the calories available. Care must be taken (if possible) not to eat livestock that may be needed for other essential purposes, such as oxen or horses for plowing or transportation. Growing children, the elderly, and the ill would benefit greatly from additional protein (eggs/meat) and fats.
Purchased/traded foods. In a famine some food typically continues to be available from traders or markets or even in stores, but at a significantly higher price. Saving up money to purchase food after a famine begins would be crazy, since far more food can be purchased for the same amount of money before it begins. But it’s possible that a delegation could be sent to other areas with a surplus to trade for food. A survival community theoretically could bring back additional food to sell to the public to cover the expenses of the trip.
Hunted/found foods. Hunting, fishing, trapping, and foraging are all good sources so long as there aren’t thousands of other people competing for the same resources. Once famine has thinned the population and concentrated people in the cities for government feeding programs, wild game and edible weeds/plants may rebound and be more available.
Gleaned foods. Combining a wheat field leaves significant amounts of grain still in the field where the combines miss the stalks – that grain can be collected. There may be fruit on fruit trees that was too difficult to reach or that was overlooked by pickers. All food harvesting processes should be investigated as possible gleaning candidates.
Discarded foods. An organized effort to collect food thrown out by restaurants and grocery stores could make a significant contribution to feeding people, and if nothing else scavenged foods may be fed to livestock to supplement their feed and indirectly contribute to feeding people. Fruit left in the field because of blemishes or damage, insect damage or rot, might yet have an edible portion. Even rotten, disgusting foods may provide highly-nutritious food for maggots (rather than feeding on feces), which can be safely consumed by humans.
Livestock feeds. Animal products like “All Stock” are made with bran, minerals, and molasses. It contains 12% protein (red wheat is typically 14%), 2% fat, 15% fiber, and vitamin A and D – it could be consumed by humans. “Cull peas,” a product of split pea manufacture, are peas that are too small to be processed for human use. A serving of pea soup has 8 grams of protein, 26 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fat, and 161 calories. Chicken scratch is just coarsely ground corn and wheat. It costs more than just plain whole corn and wheat, but if whole grain is not available the scratch is edible. The one thing to watch out for is that some foods unfit for human consumption are sometimes dumped in the livestock market – grains contaminated with mold, pesticides and other chemical contamination. Great care will need to be used to detect and avoid harmful feed (and it’s not good for the animals either!)
Insects. Millions of people around the world already know that the local insect population can be considered a potential food source. Maggots, or other large insects / bugs / worms such as earthworms and cicadas and grasshoppers are edible and nutritious when properly prepared. In ideal circumstances insects could even be raised, rather than having to be foraged for (found foods, below). Insects could be fed foods that are unfit for human and livestock consumption and produce high quality protein in return.
Lake “seaweed”. Not all algae is edible (avoid globular and floating!), but the long stringy strand-types can be boiled (or pressure-cooked!) and consumed, containing starches and even fats. There may be water pollution issues, but in a worst-case scenario that would be a secondary concern. Blooms of algae (floating on surface or making the water turbid) can be highly toxic and make everything in the water, including fish, toxic. Saltwater kelp/dulse (sea lettuce) is edible.
Non-traditional foods. Some things are edible (or could contribute nutrition to a meal) that are not commonly considered food. Some foods consumed by other cultures may have been rejected as too spicy, disgusting, or strong. Even dogs, cats and horses in excess of what is needed for security and agriculture/hauling should be considered if times are desperate enough. Bones discarded by butchers (turkey bones, chicken bones, etc.) contain valuable nutrients, as do organ meats including heart, lung, kidneys, liver, and intestines. They’re all edible, all safe and nutritious, and all consumed in many other non-Western cultures today. See e University database of foods known to be used by populations around the world in famine. Just three crops - maize, wheat and rice - account for about 40% of the world's consumption of calories and protein. 95% of the world's food needs are provided for by just 30 species of plants. In stark contrast, at least 12,650 species names have been compiled as edible (Kunkel 1984)
Fillers. Historically, chaff and fine sawdust have been added to breads to make the flour go further and still be filling. It’s not nutritive, but it’s filling as a last resort. Steel-cut (pin-cut) oats can be added to chopped meats to extend the meats because the oats take on the flavor and are nutritious in themselves.
A note about Vitamins. If every family would stockpile a year’s supply of a good multivitamin for each person it would be a huge help toward meeting their nutritional needs (particularly Vitamin D.) People escaping famine by pouring into Irish cities in the mid-1800’s died more frequently from disease caused by crowded conditions (and weakened immune systems) than directly by starvation. “In famines, most people do not die of hunger but of hunger-related fevers and diseases,” according to the excellent Multitext Project in Irish History.
Where do we start? “The minimum survivable calories varies between individuals, with 600 to 1,000 given as a standard range, according to the US Army Survival Handbook. The less active an individual is, the fewer calories he can eat and still survive.” There are a lot of variables to consider, and active, contributing persons would need more food than inactive and barely surviving ones. We don’t know how bad a famine will get or how long it will last, but we have to start somewhere:
The last time I checked, locally purchased wheat straight from the silo costs $200 a ton. That's just 10¢ a pound. At 92 calories per ounce that works out to 1472 calories/pound, and around 14,000 calories per dollar (roughly 72¢ per person per day). Bulk, un-winnowed wheat could be the cheapest calories per dollar deal we can find, and could be the foundation for a desperate food planning strategy. If I did the math right about 1,000 people could be fed on $72 per day. It’s not impossible to save a lot of people.
"Pinto beans are much more nutritious but more expensive ($1,600 per ton at Costco), and corn, potatoes (dried or stored in cool/humid conditions), oats, sugar, oil (corn oil keeps and is inexpensive) – all can be bought in bulk. Using the figures from Paul B.’s SurvivalBlog article Staple Foods Storage By The Numbers target nutrient categories per person per day are 112.5 grams of protein, 412.5 grams of carbohydrates, 100 grams of fat, and 40 grams of fiber. Much of that can be met with wheat, supplemented with other bulk foods as well as the alternative food sources mentioned above in this article.
Replant, Store, Raise, Hunt, Trap, Fish, Forage, Scavenge, Glean, Trade, and “eat outside of the box” – these are all famine survival strategies, but without a plan very little is going to get done. The effort in your community, your church, your club needs to begin NOW – today – and be led by the “vision bearer” – the person who “gets” that there is a storm coming and who has the leadership charisma to organize and motivate people. (This person might or might not be a person in the officially sanctioned ranks of an organization or church!)
Preparing for a famine, to prevent widespread death from hunger in our community, will be hard work that requires leadership and sacrifice and focus. We can probably save ourselves - those of us who have already been “prepping” for years – but the compassion of God calls us to save as many others as we can.
Find a way. Be Prepared. Trust God. We can do both.
Friday, January 20, 2012
Guest Post by Paul Joseph Watson
Money insider Charles Ortel has warned that a worsening economic picture across the globe will see civil unrest hit the streets of America, not on behalf of leftist OWS types, but by an armed, “irascible and vocal Majority”.
Ortel, a managing partner with Newport Value Partners, LLC in New York City, predicts that a failure of the so-called financial recovery will precipitate “A painful re-calibration of economic strength and geo-political standing during 2012 in the midst of widespread civil insurrection and cross-border war.”
Noting that Americans’ access to firearms will cause such riots to be bloodier than anything seen in Europe, Ortel predicts that a contented and silent Majority will be turned into “an irascible and vocal Majority,” as a result of numerous macro-economic and geo-political threats facing the country, including the collapse of the euro, the bursting of the financial bubble in China, and the looming debt crisis, all of which will contribute to weak economic growth.
“Some will manage to contain their activities to peaceful protests. However, we believe the far more likely scenario is that violence will result, especially in the United States where the wider population has more ready access to weaponry and where mobs have proven impossible to restrain,” Ortel writes.
The crisis will also be exacerbated by a shift in “the governing pole of political discourse,” which will see the usual right-left paradigm replaced by a clash between young and old, with the youth of developed nations increasingly irate at seeing the elderly enjoy the security of retirement benefits while their own economic futures look increasingly bleak.
Despite widespread protests and civil unrest sweeping almost all corners of the globe aside from America over the past two years, the prospect of disorder unfolding in the United States in a broader context than the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations is widely expected.
Indeed, with trust in both the executive and legislative branches of government at an all time low, pollster Pat Caddell warns that Americans’ lack of confidence in their leadership is so fervent that they are now “pre-revolutionary.”
Fully aware that Americans’ disenfranchisement with the political system, allied with falling living standards, is provoking people to become more radical in their outlook, U.S. authorities have been preparing for civil dislocation.
Halliburton subsidiary KBR is seeking sub-contractors to staff and outfit “emergency environment” camps located in five regions of the United States follows preparations over the last three years to deal with riots inside the United States that have already spread throughout Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.
Major police departments like the NYPD staging “mobilization exercises” to train police to prepare for civil disorder in the United States.
A report produced by the U.S. Army War College’s Strategic Institute warns that the United States may experience massive civil unrest in the wake of a series of crises which it termed “strategic shock.”
“Widespread civil violence inside the United States would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order and human security,” stated the report, authored by [Ret.] Lt. Col. Nathan Freir, adding that the military may be needed to quell “purposeful domestic resistance”
Thursday, January 19, 2012
The past year has been a bad one for democracy, and the Republic that once was the United States seems to live in name only. Because of the extreme abuses of power the Federal government has exercised just in the past year, the people of the Nation have been broken, discouraged and must now only be controlled.
A recent report in the state-run Russia Today cites an instructional military book, Non-Lethal Weapons Reference Book (leaked by PublicIntelligence.net) to outline the coming “high-tech crackdown” that may soon befall citizens of the United States deemed unruly.
If you have ever seen a farmer persuade his livestock to bend to his will with less-than-lethal methods such as cattle prods, whips and electric fences, you know how incredibly persuasive they can be to the animals. The U.S. government also knows a thing or two about controlling groups; unfortunately, the target isn’t unruly livestock, but U.S. citizens.
The report references one device that has already made a military debut in Afghanistan and that will likely become commonplace for domestic crowd control as law enforcement agencies throughout the country become increasingly militarized. The Active Denial System, which is described as a “long range, directed energy, vehicle mounted system that projects an invisible electromagnetic millimeter-wave energy beam beyond small arms range,” can be used as a non-lethal way to create extreme discomfort and quell group dissent.
Other military implements that may soon see use within U.S. borders include Acoustic Hailing Devices that provide “scalable, directional warning tones” causing “auditory damage” and the Distributed Sound and Light Array which “uses a combined laser, non-coherent light, and acoustics to produce a synergistic engagement system.” Other systems can completely disable motor vehicles and emit acoustic waves that make it impossible for crowds to shout without discomfort and nausea.
While many Americans deny that the U.S. government will ever use such weapons on a widespread basis against dissenters, recent developments in the country appear to indicate otherwise. The crackdowns on OWS camps carried out by police in riot/military gear, armed with tear gas canisters and rubber bullets, indicate that when large masses of people cry out, no matter what the political agenda, they will be quieted by local, State and/or Federal officials.
Before the crackdowns on the OWS camps, the Federal government demonstrated its willingness to bypass the judiciary system anytime an individual poses a threat to its agenda. In September, the Administration of Barack Obama executed U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki in the mountains of Yemen with a drone strike. Though he often spoke on behalf of al-Qaida, it could be reasonably assumed that al-Awlaki’s citizenship status gave him the right to trial before execution. The Administration disagrees: Pentagon lawyer Jeh Johnson said of the execution that only the executive branch, not the courts, is equipped to make military battlefield targeting decisions about who qualifies as an enemy.
Johnson’s statement would be less alarming if the Administration — with the help of hawkish neoconservatives like Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) — had not recently passed a military spending bill with provisions that effectively designate American soil a battlefield and every American a possible enemy. The bill gives the President the ability to indefinitely detain terror suspects, but this comes at a time when the lines of what constitutes “terror” are becoming increasingly blurry. The Federal government is currently in active negotiations with members of the Taliban, and Obama has made it clear that anyone who rejects his agenda is considered a “right-wing domestic terrorist.”
How long will it take for Federal government to decide it necessary to carry out al-Awlaki style executions on those deemed “domestic terrorists” as they sit in their homes in the United States? With the increasing use of military drones in U.S. airspace, the idea is not so far-fetched. The same Federal agencies that carried out fatally-flawed operations like those in Waco, Texas, and Ruby Ridge, Idaho, in the 1990s now have aerial drones and a license to kill in the name of Homeland Security. Some people may think that the agencies have refined their methods since those days; others have been following news about Operation Fast and Furious, the most recent endeavor by the Department of Justice, and know better.
Those people who do not believe the Federal government is out to harm them by breaking their will, dehumanizing them and bending them to be the subservient masses that will keep it afloat should simply take a flight. If being prodded, poked and virtually stripped naked by poorly trained agents of the Transportation Security Administration is not bad enough, how about having very personal belongings fondled, food stolen and grandmothers groped by the TSA? All are tactics of dehumanization to create subservient masses, and all are things that happened to American travelers last year.
Aside from quashing unruly masses and making problems disappear, the Federal government wants to keep tabs on the information being put out by journalists and bloggers throughout the Nation with a new Homeland Security initiative. According to Russia Today, in a new report, the Department reserves the right to collect personal information from news anchors, journalists, reporters or anyone who may use “traditional and/or social media in real time to keep their audience situationally aware and informed.”
And while Homeland Security is busy putting together a plan to rid the country of any bad press, Congress has been working to sanitize the Internet. Pending legislation like SOPA and the Protect IP Act will effectively give American citizens about as much online freedom as citizens of China.
Some Americans may think that if they are not in the public eye, don’t regularly protest and are not members of al-Qaida, they are not subject to government intrusion. But a recent decision by Magistrate Judge David Noce in United States v. Robinson says that as long as you park your vehicle in public parking lots or use public roadways, law enforcement has the ability to install a GPS tracking device with no warrant to log where you travel if they believe you “may be involved in criminal activities.”
When the First Congress enacted the original Crimes Act in 1790, with only 17 recognized Federal crimes, it may have been reasonable to assume that as long as a person was a law-abiding citizen, he was not at risk of intrusion. Today, though, there are more than 4,500 Federal crimes — and many are so obscure that they are nearly indecipherable. In addition to the 4,500 Federal crimes, there are tens of thousands of Federal regulations. Many people commit criminal acts daily without even knowing they are doing so.
Last year was a very busy one for all of those interested in ending American life as it is and has been known. The United States that was a Republic has already collapsed and has very quietly become a totalitarian regime, complete with a dictator named Obama and a Congress that bends to his will and continually legislates in such a way that would make any totalitarian regime proud. Together they have done everything in their power to undermine the Constitution and name themselves as the all-powerful ruling class. And with the undoing of the ideas of the Founders and the ruination of but a few more checks and balances, they will effectively claim their supremacy.
So what have Americans lost and why does the ruling class have to do away with the Constitution and the rights it gives to every American citizen? It is explained by James Madison, who contended that there was no way American lawmakers could declare themselves a ruling class under the provisions of the Constitution, in the 57th volume of the Federalist Papers:
If it be asked, what is to restrain the House of Representatives from making legal discriminations in favor of themselves and a particular class of the society? I answer: the genius of the whole system; the nature of just and constitutional laws; and above all, the vigilant and manly spirit which actuates the people of America — a spirit which nourishes freedom, and in return is nourished by it.
Those who are working so hard to claim themselves a ruling class know that their goal cannot be achieved if there is such a thing as a population that holds dear its “vigilant and manly spirit.” And they know how to slowly break that spirit without alarm by dehumanizing populations — luring people into accepting tyrannical rule in the guise of laws claimed to exist for public safety, homeland security or the better good of humanity. Unlike Madison, they always leave out words like freedom and never discuss the great threats government poses to the people, but contrarily advise vigilance to combat the people’s threat to the government.
Republican Presidential candidate Ron Paul has been warning the public of many of these frightening developments for more than 35 years. Now, as he vies for the Nation’s highest office, many of his predictions have come true. Maybe it is time Americans listened to the “kook,” because those things he said would happen — predictions Americans once considered to be crazy and far-fetched — are now reality. He may be the Nation’s last hope to a path back to some semblance of the Constitutional Republic created by the Founders.
The warning signs are all around us. All we have to do is open up our eyes and look at them. Almost every single day there are more prominent voices in the financial world telling us that a massive economic crisis is coming and that we need to prepare for the worst. On Wednesday, it was the World Bank itself that issued a very chilling warning. In an absolutely startling report, the World Bank revised GDP growth estimates for 2012 downward very sharply, warned that Europe could be on the verge of a devastating financial crisis, and declared that the rest of the world better "prepare for the worst." You would expect to hear this kind of thing on The Economic Collapse Blog, but this is not the kind of language that you would normally expect to hear from the stuffed suits at the World Bank. Obviously things have gotten bad enough that nobody is even really trying to deny it anymore. Andrew Burns, the lead author of the report, said that if the sovereign debt crisis gets even worse we could be looking at an economic crisis that could be even worse than the last one: "An escalation of the crisis would spare no-one. Developed- and developing-country growth rates could fall by as much or more than in 2008/09." Burns also stated that the "importance of contingency planning cannot be stressed enough." In other words, Burns is saying that it is time to prepare for the worst. So are you ready?
But of course it isn't just the World Bank that is warning about these things. The chorus of voices that is warning about the next great financial crisis just seems to grow by the day.
Some of these voices were profiled in a Bloomberg article the other day entitled "Apocalypse How? Dire ’12 Forecasts". The following is just a sampling of quotes from that article....
-John Mauldin, president of Millennium Wave Advisors: "We've got a cancer. That cancer is debt"
-Mark Spitznagel of Universa Investments: "Too much malinvestment has been kept alive, and history shows an inevitable wipeout, which started in 2000."
-Michael Panzner of Financial Armageddon: "The fundamental outlook is even worse now than it was a few weeks ago, given (the lack of positive) developments in Europe and growing evidence that the economies of major countries around the world are deteriorating fast."
If you have time, you should go check out the rest of that article. It really is fascinating.
When this crisis is over, all sorts of people are going to be running around claiming that they predicted it. But it does not take a genius to see what is coming. All you have to do is open up your eyes and look at the flashing red warning signs.
So what should we all be looking for next?
March 20th is a key date to keep your eye on. That is the day when Greece will either makes its 14.5 billion euro bond payment or it will default.
Greece does not have a prayer of making that payment without help. If Greece can convince the EU and the IMF to release the next scheduled bailout payment and if Greece can reach a satisfactory deal with private bondholders, then the coming Greek default might be "orderly". But if something goes wrong, the coming Greek default might be quite "disorderly".
At this point, almost everyone in the financial world is anticipating a Greek default of one form or another....
-Edward Parker, the managing director for Fitch's sovereign and supranational group in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, recently declared that a Greek default is inevitable....
"It is going to happen. Greece is insolvent so it will default."
-Moritz Kraemer, the head of S&P's European sovereign ratings unit, made the following statement on Bloomberg Television on Monday:
"Greece will default very shortly. Whether there will be a solution at the end of the current rocky negotiations I cannot say."
-Richard McGuire, a strategist at Dutch bank Rabobank, was recently quoted by CNBC as saying the following....
"People often ask if Greece is going to default which ... is a misnomer because Greece is (already) defaulting"
-Diane Swonk, the chief economist at Mesirow Financial in Chicago, says that the default by Greece will probably be an "orderly" one but that the situation could change at any moment....
"It appears at the moment that the market is accepting a Greek default as inevitable, and it will be an orderly default. But that can change on a dime."
But whether there is a default or not, the reality is that Greece is already experiencing a full-blown economic depression. In Greece, 20 percent of all retail stores have already shut down. The unemployment rate for those under the age of 24 is now at 39 percent. Large numbers of Greeks are trying to get themselves and their money out of the country while they still can.
Pessimism regarding Greece is at an all-time high. Michael Fuchs, the deputy leader of Angela Merkel's political party, recently made the following statement....
"I don't think that Greece, in its current condition, can be saved."
But of course Greece is not the only declining economy in Europe by a long shot.
Italy has a much larger economy, and if Italy totally collapses it will be an absolute nightmare for the entire globe.
Right now, the Bank of Italy is forecasting a significant recession for the Italian economy in 2012. The following is from a statement that Bank of Italy has just released....
"The uncertainty that surrounds the medium-term perspectives of the Italian economy ... are extraordinarily high and are directly linked to the evolution of the eurozone debt crisis"
Italy's youth unemployment rate has hit the highest level ever, and nearly all sectors of the Italian economy are showing signs of slowing down.
Plus there is the looming problem of Italian debt. As I wrote about yesterday, when you add the maturing debt that the Italian government must roll over in 2012 to their projected budget deficit, it comes to 23.1 percent of Italy's GDP.
Originally it was hoped that the economic problems in Europe could be contained to just a few countries. But now it has become clear that is just not going to happen.
Trends forecaster Gerald Celente recently explained to ABC Australia that much of Europe is already essentially experiencing an economic depression....
"If you live in Greece, you’re in a depression; if you live in Spain, you’re in a depression; if you live in Portugal or Ireland, you’re in a depression,” Celente said. “If you live in Lithuania, you’re running to the bank to get your money out of the bank as the bank runs go on. It’s a depression. Hungary, there’s a depression, and much of Eastern Europe, Romania, Bulgaria. And there are a lot of depressions going on [already]."
The troubling news out of Europe just seems to keep coming in waves. Here are some more recent examples....
-Manufacturing activity in the euro zone has fallen for five months in a row.
-Germany's economy actually contracted during the 4th quarter of 2011.
-It is being reported that the Spanish economy contracted during the 4th quarter of 2011.
So will all of this economic trouble eventually spread to the United States?
Of course it will.
The global economy is more interconnected today than ever. Back in 2008 the financial crisis that started on Wall Street ended up devastating economies all over the planet. The same thing will happen during this next great financial crisis.
Only this time the U.S. is in a much weaker position. The U.S. debt problem has gotten much worse since the last crisis.
During 2008, our national debt crossed the 10 trillion dollar mark. Less than 4 years later, we have crossed the 15 trillion dollar mark.
So what are we going to do the next time large numbers of banks fail and unemployment skyrockets?
Where are we going to get the money to bail out all of those banks and to take care of all of those newly unemployed people?
Some people say that socialism is the answer, but the truth is that we are already a socialist welfare state. If you can believe it, nearly half of all Americans live in a household that receives some form of financial benefits from the U.S. government.
During the next great crisis, the number of people that are dependent on the government will go even higher.
If you don't want to end up dependent on the government, you should heed the warning signs and you should use this time to prepare for the hard times that are coming.
When even the World Bank tells us to hope for the best but to prepare for the worst, you know that it is late in the game.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of people out there only believe what they want to believe. They don't want to believe that a great economic crisis is coming, and so when it does happen they are going to be absolutely blindsided by it.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Guest post: by ‘Be informed’
Most people are probably going to be much better off after a society crushing event to be located away from highly densely populated centers. Unfortunately the majority of everyone lives in suburbia or in urban areas, and the problems of total or near breakdown of civilization are usually magnified there. Even in rural areas the anguish of collapse will be apparent and a problem. For those that failed to plan and put away what they need, their main issue is going to be food, clean water, and their everyday needs. For those that have prepared and sacrificed to be ready, “just in case”, their main problem is keeping what they have.
The prepper and survival driven person needs solutions to be able to better handle the fact that people are going to be coming for what they have in urban, suburban, and rural areas. Some people will turn their homes into forts, and battle to the end before anyone takes what they have saved up. For these people there are plenty of survival military manuals and training that go into great detail how to defend your home from booby trapping everything to every weapon you can imagine. For the person that has stored up and wants to survive as long as possible there are some less drastic measures (solutions). It should be remembered though, everyone should have some form of reliable self defense.
First and foremost what you have is your LIFELINE, it may be all that you have to work with for an indefinite amount of time. Sharing with those who are unprepared could cost you your chance of making it. You cannot feed everyone. There are precautions you can take beforehand to make your stocks safer. There are viable solutions that can be taken to try to avoid dangerous confrontations. There are things you can do to bypass hurt feelings with those you share a community with so as not to come back to haunt you if there is a recovery of the society.
Pre-planning and securing food and supplies.
- Find good hiding places for everything. A storm cellar is wonderful because it is buried, can be concealed, a place for personal safety, and it is cool and if properly insulted frost free for supplies. If moisture is a problem, keeping everything in plastic air tight boxes should solve this. Other hiding places include in the attic under insulation, inside walls, crawlspaces, anywhere you can hide your supplies, as you know your house best.
- Many people will stack food and other items in plain view of all to see, a simple window covering in a store room will not let people see in to what you have.
- If you can afford it, get enough plywood and screws for every window in the house. After a disaster your windows are vulnerabilities that can be shot out or broken for many reasons. Without windows you are at the mercy of the weather elements, harmful insects and animals, people having an easier time of getting in, and you become more visible.
- Don’t let anyone you don’t trust know what you are doing beforehand. Find reliable people you can count on and add them to your group. Safety in numbers.
Some suggestions for helping to keep people away after a cataclysm.
- On top of not being visible to others, keep your home as void of light during the nighttime as possible. Try to keep your home as blending in with the darkness as you can. People can see the dimmest light for miles.
- Be aware of the smell of food. Aromas of cooking food can be smelled for long distances, especially meats.
- Bury all your trash. This keeps disease down, and does not let desperate people know you have been eating food that there is probably more of.
- Make the outside of your place look more rundown and less appealing. Like during regular times the homes that look like they have nothing, are less likely to be ransacked. It doesn’t take much to quickly make a house look worse than it actually is.
- Avoid movements and noise. Where there are people there is food, and things that others need.
- A clever tactic that can work to keep others away is to spray paint in big red letters “QUARANTINED” across your home, even add “DANGER VERY SICK PEOPLE”. Most people don’t want to add to their misery being deathly sick or eating food contaminated by someone with a deadly disease.
When people come knocking at your door,
You can of course confront people with force, but doing this can send out a message you have something well worth fighting for and end up in a fierce battle being outgunned. It may be the only way, but there can be alternatives to this.
- Try never to allow people in your home, but if it happens, have clutter and unkempt surroundings to keep their focus on. Like the outside of your home, look like you have nothing.
- Physically look shabby and depressed like you have nothing.
- Admit to nothing you have stored, even like saying the mistake of saying you ONLY have 2 weeks of food. People will want you to share even this with them.
- Discussion about what you have, should include key words like; meager, little, very limited, bare, empty, sparse, etc.
- If you just have to give away some food, make it seem like it’s a huge sacrifice to do so. Less likely for someone to think you have much more.
- Give away food first to those with children as this makes you appear like you are doing what you can.
- Be ready for any excuse for someone to try to get into your home to see what you have.
- Never talk to a large crowd of people, mob mentality rules and you will find this out.
- Have only one person be the spokesperson for your group. One person is less likely to make a mistake than several that could let out what you have.
- Watch people’s eyes closely when talking to them, beware of the “sizing it up” wandering eyes. Never look away. Watch the body language.
- Remain calm and say what you mean and don’t change your mind, this doesn’t open up for all sorts of manipulation of people trying to get you to feed everyone till you have nothing.
- Don’t let others make you feel bad about sitting on your hoard while they suffer. Convince them that you wish you had food to feed everyone but you don’t. Even make it believable that you are worse off then those coming to your door. Sickness is again something to play on, people are ill inside.
- Get a person’s thought sidetracked what you “might” have, to what the person or people are going to do, ask them about their plans for the future.
- Without discriminating, the more overweight someone is the more desperate they are going to be to eat, the more likely that they are not going to take no for an answer. The more likely they are going to hound you or do something drastic to get any food that may be around.
- To try to predict how people will react, picture yourself in their situation and ask yourself what you would do.
This gives you a foundation to think about and plan for if and when people come to your door wanting what you might have.
- Have a collection of native plants, such as dandelions, that are eatable and discuss with your neighbors that this is what you have been living on and they can also find this around the city. This should curb their interest that you have much or any stored up food for them.
This is a set of ideas that can help you keep a hold of what you have to survive, those things that you have saved up for and sacrificed for to be prepared. It must be realized by most of us that we all have a degree of warmth and compassion for those hungry and desperate, it is called humanity. The problem with this is that you cannot support and keep everyone alive and thriving unless you are a multimillionaire and have all sorts of stored food and supplies and other means of manufacturing food and needs.
You can attempt to feed and supply everyone that you can, and end up with nothing, and in the same sinking boat as everyone else. You also can decide to keep what you have prepared for and try to survive for your family’s and group’s sake, and attempt to keep what you have by using these methods or other inventive and creative ways of avoiding “giving or having the shirt taken off your back”.
Friday, January 13, 2012
Guest Post by Dominique de Kevelioc de Bailleul
Trends Research Institute Founder Gerald Celente forecasts a false-flag by the United States will provide a needed excuse to shut down the banking system and institute an overnight dollar devaluation.
Speaking with GoldSeek Radio host Chris Waltzek this week, Celente suggested that covert plans from Washington for a staged event to cover up a financial collapse could take the form of either another act of terrorism or an all-out war with Iran.
“We believe that something [false flag or war] is going to happen,” Celente said. “There’s going to be a financial collapse; it’s collapsing in front of us, but they [Washington] may use a false flag rather than calling it a financial collapse—like maybe they’ll have the brassiere bomber, or the granny bomber in a wheelchair, you know, who’s going to threaten the entire country, or it maybe war. And war is ratcheting up with Iran.
Washington politicians from both sides of the aisle posture in preparation for an increasing likely military confrontation with Iran.
In a communique released to the European Union on Jan. 10, eight U.S. senators urged the EU to join the United States in an oil embargo and sanction of Iran’s central bank. The group also indicating that 2012 must be the “turning point in the confrontation” with Iran.
“We believe that both (steps) are absolutely necessary if we are to prevent the Iranian regime from acquiring nuclear weapons and thereby foreclose either a regional war or a cascade of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East,” reads the communique.
Incidentally, signatures to the communique include Sens. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn.; Mark Kirk, R-Ill.; Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and five others.
It should be noted, that Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois, in particular, has studied the alleged Iranian threat to Western allies in detail, as he is the founder of a “bipartisan Iran Working Group” in 2004. Kirk also serves the Navy Reserves as a Commander.
Because of his work studying Iran, Kirk was asked to participate in a Q&A Congressional Roundtable discussion sponsored by The Jewish Policy Center publication inFocus in May 2007. Kirk, at that time, a Congressman, stated during the discussion that the “one rising threat – the existential threat – has the potential to destroy this little democracy and end more than 100 years of Zionism in an instant. And that is the growing danger we see in Iran, where a dictator openly calls for a fellow member of the United Nations to be wiped off the map. The Iranian nuclear and ballistic missile programs pose a mortal danger to the State of Israel, a danger we must remove through diplomatic means as soon as possible.”
Kirk’s proposed solution to the alleged Iranian threat to the “tiny democracy” is a simple one: quarantine gasoline imports to Iran in a similar technique deployed against Cuba by the Kennedy Administration during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.
“Despite its status as a leading OPEC nation, the mullahs have so mishandled the nation’s energy sector that Iran lacks the refining capacity to turn its oil into gasoline,” Kirk explained. “Iran is dependent for almost half its gasoline on foreign imports – most delivered by one Dutch company, Vitol, aboard tankers mostly insured by one British firm, Lloyds of London.
“Looking at history, we find an interesting diplomatic lever effectively used by President Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis. We can see how a naval quarantine of gasoline would grind Iran’s economy to a halt, leaving thousands of pro-Western Iranian young people to wonder why its leaders would choose nuclear weapons over their economic welfare.
“And because Iran’s naval strength is limited, a quarantine administered 200 miles off the coast would leave Iran with no military response. A quarantine of gasoline would pit our strength against their weakness, achieving our objectives without a shot being fired.”
So in May 2007, Kirk explained a rather simple and effective solution to the alleged Iranian problem, a full 16 months prior to the dramatic collapse of Bear Stearns in September 2008.
Instead, token sanctions imposed on Iran have only served to posture the U.S. as a patient negotiator in a trumped up scheme to justify military action if such action would provide political cover for domestic economic problems, according to many U.S. foreign policy pundits familiar with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and U.S. actions taken against other “enemies” of the U.S.
Iran, like Libya and Iraq before it, is being set up as a scapegoat for an imminent U.S. economic collapse, according to Celente.
The sales job to the American people as a means of stirring up jingoism is underway, while U.S. policymakers coax Iran into war.
“The United States and the European Union have effectively declared an act of war,” said Celente. “They’re making it impossible for Iran to sell its oil. About sixty (60) percent of Iran’s GDP is derived from oil sales. They’re the third largest oil supplier in the world. So if that happens [war with Iran], they’ll call a bank holiday of some sort. So I’m very concerned.”
Further evidence suggesting an attack on Iran would occur under false pretenses came from U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on January 8 on CBS’s Face the Nation, where he said, “Are they [Iranians] trying to develop a nuclear weapon? No, but we know that they are trying to develop a nuclear capability.”
A “nuclear capability” includes the production of 20 percent uranium compounds used in the making of a nuclear powered energy, a detail not expounded upon by Panetta, allowing the viewer to potentially miss the ambiguity of his statement in the midst of his theatrics of body language to matching a shift in tone.
Whether Washington embarks on another false flag attack or engages in other provocative acts against another sovereign nation, or creates a ‘catastrophic event’ through the use of an FBI-staged “brassiere bomber” in an attempt to disguise an economic collapse, Celente believes Washington needs some form of diversion to divert public anger away from failed political policies and the illegitimacy of a privately-held Federal Reserve.
Guest post: by ‘Be informed’
In the aftermath of any unprecedented disastrous event, no matter how well prepared someone is with regards to a well accumulated stock of survival supplies, no one is truly ready or can anticipate how people will handle it. The emotional upheaval is difficult enough for yourself, throw in those around you within your circle of family and friends and you have some genuine stress. Nevertheless you are familiar and have certain bonds and mutual understandings with each other. Now, unless you are a totally isolated group, the actual issue is how those casual acquaintances, little known neighbors, people of your community, and strangers are going to act towards you and others when the normalcy and stable structure of society has broken down or collapsed.
It can be downright frightening to witness how a person you thought you knew becomes erratic and very volatile, a perfect word is “unhinged”. Try now to imagine that there is a calamity that goes into uncharted territory of overwhelming shock. You, your family, friends, maybe your whole neighborhood or even the better part of the city you live in might have stocked up and prepared to survive varying degrees of disasters. However, what do you do in regards to those that have NOT prepared?
This is mainly the issue that one is going to have to face with irrational people – the lack of their preparation and their need of food and other items. Aside from the obvious dangers of people that will try to come to your home or retreat and attempt to forcefully get what you have (which you should have defense plans for ahead of time), you might have to deal with individuals that are desperate, terrified, and disoriented. These people will come to your door in terrible distress, and whether you choose to answer the door will be a decision that you will have to make. You will have to decide whether to share what you have or not. I have personally reserved some food that I got with coupons for next to nothing for certain neighbors. Please beforehand, consider the following when thinking about handing out your supplies after a disaster.
Most people that have not stored away some food and supplies, other than those too poor to do so, have failed to “out of personal choice NOT to do so”. You and those in your group have gone without luxuries in order to prepare. Those that laughed at the idea of preparedness have spent their money on much useless junk, TOYS for amusement. Everything you give away will cut down on your family and group’s own time of survival. Survival food for 10 people for 3 months if shared with the average block of neighbors that is about 100 people that didn’t prepare will now only last 9 days. Think about the math and not being able to replace what you stored for your own survival before divvying it up. It may become quite difficult when very scared ill prepared people, nice and not so nice, come to your home and either plead or demand that you share.
An “in advance” solution that many people do not understand is to keep their mouths shut in regards to their preparations. Getting neighbors on board and getting them to store up is wonderful as this benefits all. Going around bragging about all the survival supplies you have and how you can make it through anything puts a great big fat bull’s eye on your home. You want to encourage and give valuable advice on how to stock up and store food and supplies to neighbors, not openly advertise that your house is a mini supermarket ripe for the pickens when the need presents itself. Too many make this mistake and become overly enthusiastic about prepping and forget the old adage that “loose lips sinks ships”.
On top of safeguarding what you have at all times, people MUST also watch over their dear pets. As repugnant as this sounds, some people are going to become ugly inside because of the desperateness of the dire situation and find and eat whatever animal is available. Someone MUST remain with their pets if they go outside or risk them disappearing. Your victory garden is also something that either has to be guarded at all times, or harvested early, to avoid the two legged varmints snatching every last vegetable and fruit you have growing. Disaster brings out some true weirdness in people, and people in your group should always go in at least pairs and children always have adults in their presence, if and when you must venture outside.
There are two extremes of unpredictable behavior to expect after a very intense and societal breakdown type of catastrophe. The first is not as likely at the offset, but becomes more probable as the time or lack of social order drags on. People begin to exhibit some raw animalistic behavior when doing whatever is necessary to get food and whatever they need and want. Ugliness that someone would expect in a prison in which just a handful of inmates have the remaining resources. Then there is the good nature of people that is supposed to separate the beast from man. This is where the community comes together and works for a common goal towards everyone’s survival. The standoffish neighbors are the ones out there with chainsaws clearing fallen trees and other debris. In other words, unpredictable stand and work togetherness. We can all hope!
Each community is different. But know this, whether it is intensely positive or horrifically negative, unprecedented and unbelievable disasters WILL bring about highly uncertain reactions in people around you. Any person planning survival and preparedness for future bad, ugly, and worst case events must understand and plan for; how to handle, adapt, and be ready for the many different “person to person equations” that will certainly continuously play out in everyone’s life.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
By Sorcha Faal
A grim Ministry of Finance report prepared for Prime Minister Putin is warning today that the decision by Iran to cease taking US Dollars for its oil could very be the “first shot” fired in World War III, and one which Russia will be blamed for by the Obama regime.
According to this report, Iran swiftly countered planed US sanctions against its Central Bank yesterday by announcing that it will no longer accept the US Dollar as payment for its oil shipments to India, Japan and China, and further announced that bilateral trade between itself and Russia will, also, break from the US Dollar for settlement in favor of the Iranian Rial and Russian Rubles.
Sure to enrage the Obama regime, this report continues, was that the proposal to switch to the Ruble and the Rial was raised by President Medvedev at a meeting with his Iranian counterpart, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in Astana, Kazakhstan, of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
Though Iran had previously announced in 2008 that it had stopped trading its oil for US Dollars (Ahmadinejad called the depreciating US Dollar a “worthless piece of paper”) India, Japan and China were made exempt due to their large holdings of American currency and fears of wreaking further chaos on the global economic collapse that had just begun.
Important to note, this report reminds us, is that a similar move by Iraq’s former leader Saddam Hussein in not accepting US Dollars for oil in 2000 brought about the invasion of his country by the Americans and their European allies resulting in his eventual execution and causing the vast wealth of Iraqi oil and gas fields to be turned over to the Western oil giants.
Likewise, this report says, former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi earned the same fate as Hussein after he, in the months leading up to the US-NATO military attack on his country, called on African and Muslim nations to join together to create a new currency that would rival the US Dollar and Euro and saying that Libya would only sell oil and other resources around the world only for gold dinars.
Most oil sales throughout the world are denominated in US Dollars, and according to proponents of the petrodollar warfare hypothesis, because most countries rely on oil imports, they are forced to maintain large stockpiles of Dollars in order to continue imports.
This creates a consistent demand for US Dollars and upwards pressure on its value, regardless of economic conditions in the United States. This in turn allows the US government to gain revenues through seignorage and by issuing bonds at lower interest rates than they otherwise would be able to. As a result the US government can run higher budget deficits at a more sustainable level than can most other countries.
But, this report reminds us, the current budget deficit of the US has now reached the staggering amount of $15.23 trillion which is the size of its entire economy, and with the Federal Reserve preparing to being another round of massive printing this coming summer the loss of Iran’s oil customers needing US Dollars could very well signal the collapse of the entire American economy.
Though the Obama regime has sent its Treasury Secretary, Timothy F. Geithner, to China and Japan today in an effort to persuade them to cut back on Iranian oil this effort appears doomed from start as the Chinese have outright rejected this move and Japan has, likewise, expressed its concerns.
As is always the case in these type of dire matters, reports from the US show its mainstream propaganda media organs are not reporting on this potentially catastrophic turn of events leading to yet another circumstance where the American people will be taken by complete surprise when this cold war suddenly turns hot.
In order to prepare itself for what is to come, however, a vast Russian naval fleet arrived in Syria yesterday in an attempt to forestall US-NATO action against its Middle East ally currently under attack by the CIA-backed terrorist group known as al-Qaida.
Most shocking in this report are some Russian economists stating that the Obama regime is actually anticipating the collapse of the US Dollar as a “solution” to their being able to implement drastic socialistic change such as was done during the Great Depression under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and which the grim statistics being reported from the US show they are, indeed, nearing total economic collapse and include:
As the buildup for war between the US and Iran continues to escalate, UN Chief Ban ki Moon’s call for the easing of tensions has gone unheeded as the Obama regimes call for the “dogs of war” to be unleashed on the Iranian people shows no sign of abatement.
To what the final outcome may be in all of these events was detailed by Professor Igor Panarin of the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs who has long warned the United States is in a state of economic collapse which will see America being divided up into 6 regions [Map bottom left] due to a “vulnerable political setup,” “lack of unified national laws,” and “divisions among the elite, which have become clear in these crisis conditions.”
Interesting to note about Professor Panarin’s prediction of the United States splintering into different regions are new reports coming from the United States showing that the Obama regime has recently called for the staffing of what are called FEMA Concentration Camps in not just 6, but 10 different regions of their country.
Professor Panarin further warned that “a secret agreement was reached between Canada, Mexico and the US on a common Amero currency as a new monetary unit” and said that “this could signal preparations to replace the dollar.”
When asked how Russia should react to his vision of the future, Professor Panarin said: “Develop the ruble as a regional currency. Create a fully functioning oil exchange, trading in rubles… We must break the strings tying us to the financial Titanic, which in my view will soon sink.”