Friday, December 2, 2016

Urban Camouflage (more than just the "Gray Man")

How is your Urban Camouflage? No, I'm not talking about a new fashion trend. Rather, I'm talking about fitting in with your surrounding community, and not drawing attention to yourself as a potential victim or as a malcontent. This is sometimes called the "gray man" disguise, but it is more than that. You don't want to draw the attention of criminals & thugs by looking like a potential target or easy prey. You also don't draw the attention of the government as a serious malcontent and potential trouble-maker. 

Every neighborhood has at least one Gladys Kravitz.
Additionally, you need to be very private and guarded with your personal information and plans. The idea is to not draw unwanted attention to yourself and your family, regardless of if that attention is from identity thieves, criminals, thugs, law enforcement, government officials, or even just nosy neighbors. 

Don't paint yourself as a potential target. 

Bad guys look for easy prey and rich targets. They prefer someone who is both, but most will choose easy over rich every time. Avoid looking like a rich target by not wearing expensive or flashy clothes, expensive jewellery, or driving a high-priced car. Avoid looking like easy prey by wearing practical clothes & shoes, and by walking confidently, head up, while paying attention to your surroundings. Muggers, pick-pockets, and other bad folks especially look for victims who are distracted. Try to walk, shop, and travel in groups whenever possible. Groups look less like a potential target than someone walking by alone. 

Sadly, folks with obvious physical restrictions will look like easy prey to bad guys. The elderly, pregnant women, folks with mobility problems and other physical disabilities, should take extra precautions when out in public. 

For more on being the "Gray Man," please see my earlier article Results from the "Grayman" Training Exercise. 

Don't draw unwanted attention.

Don't draw negative attention from law enforcement, government officials, or local bureaucrats. Don't come across as a potential trouble-maker or serious malcontent. We have learned from a number of scandals in recent years that many government officials and bureaucrats can and do hold grudges, and are willing to abuse their power to "get even."

Never make personal threats, especially against government officials or law enforcement (not even in "jest"). Remember that nothing you say or do online is truly anonymous. Don't flout laws, even when you disagree passionately with them (speak out against them, but don't break laws just to make a point unless you are willing to pay a price). 

Stress to family members, especially school-age children, the importance of privacy. Its not just identity theft you have to worry about. Public school officials often question students about personal family information, such as parents' political and religious affiliations, the presence of guns in the household, or even whether or not the family recycles! All to "protect the children," of course. Many schools now routinely go so far as to spy on students through social media. Maje sure your children understand that "what happens in the family, stays in the family."  

Its not just schools that are invading people's privacy.  Employers now routinely spy on employees and applicants through social media. Its a great way for employers to get information that is otherwise illegal for them to ask about, such as whether or not a female applicant may have a baby in the near future. In the wake of the recent election, several employers have made national news by expressing a wish to "punish" employees that voted for Trump. Social media is a great way to identify an employees politics. For goodness sake, don't overshare on social media!!!

Finally, it is now very politically correct for government and law enforcement to consider preppers, tea party conservatives, and traditional Bible-believing Christians, to be "potential domestic terrorists." In today's environment, its quite probable that Trump supporters are now on that list of potential threats. 

We have also seen that wearing a Trump shirt or a Make America Great Again hat can make you a target for violence from the Left. I'm not saying to hide your affiliations or political support. Just to be aware of the possible consequences for doing so.

The Bottom Line

In an urban environment, whether a large city or small town, you need to be aware of how you are perceived by others, and all the possible consequences that may result. The art of Urban Camouflage is to use this awareness to attract as little attention to yourself as possible, thereby avoiding much of the potential negative consequences.  

Monday, November 28, 2016

Why Survival Requires Community

Many preppers, survivalists, and even religious folks are looking to form communities to foster their prospects for long-term survival. This may mean building an intentional community from scratch, or simply creating a community of like-minded friends and neighbors for mutual assistance. This is a great idea. However, I still find some resistance to the idea of community by those folks who seem to favor the lone-wolf or small, isolated family retreat modes of survival. In this article, I want to explain why I think forming or creating a larger community is the better path to survival.

The first reason is that humans are social creatures. We are designed (by God or evolution, depending on your worldview) to need interaction with other people. This is why solitary confinement is considered such a severe form of punishment. We suffer mentally and emotionally when we are cut off from other people. Loneliness, depression, and mental illness will result from long periods of isolation, whether as individuals or even in very small groups.

The second reason is the fact of physical limitations. We get tired. We get sleepy. We can typically only do one task at a time. Some tasks require more than one person. And there are time factors to consider. Security, for instance, will require full attention. You are not going to be able to pull security duty AND work in the garden or do other chores at the same time. You are not going to be able to pull 12-hour security shifts for any length of time. Try to do so, and you will become tired, distracted and ineffective. (I'll do a future article in which I'll posit that an absolute minimum requirement for a survival community is at least six healthy adults, probably more.)

The third reason is limited skill sets. A truly self-reliant survival group will need a large variety of skills sets. Yet, we all have a limited number of skills as individuals. Remember, there will be no outside help of any kind - no fire departments, EMTs, police departments, hospitals, grocery stores, pharmacies, tailors, electricians, plumbers, mechanics, or repairmen of any kind, except for that which we have within our community. We will have to provide for all our needs ourselves. Of course, we should all work towards becoming as self-reliant as possible, but no one person, no one family, will ever be able to truly do it all.

The fourth reason is safety in numbers.  The idea many have is that a family in an isolated rural area will survive by hiding. But reality tells us something different. Fernando Aguirre in his book,  The Modern Survival Manual, writes about the experience during the economic collapse in Argentina during the early 2000s. Far from being safe, small isolated farms were actually hunted down and targeted by well-armed gangs. This experience has been mirrored in other historical, real world examples, such as during the Bosnia War in the 1990s.  A small retreat with only two or three adults to provide security will be an extremely tempting and easy target for large, well armed groups during a collapse in the USA. No, I wouldn't want to live in a large urban center, but small retreats aren't safe either.

This is the second in a series of articles on Community. The first article in the series is Building Community - Evaluating Potential Members. Additional articles will be posted in coming weeks.

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Looking for Christmas gift ideas for the Outdoorsmen on your list? May I suggest two books by Willie Robertson of Duck Dynasty: The American Fisherman: How Our Nation's Anglers Founded, Fed, Financed, and Forever Shaped the U.S.A. and his earlier book American Hunter: How Legendary Hunters Shaped America. Purchases made through these links help finance this website. Thank You.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Survival 101: Stockpiling as a Preparedness Strategy

In my article, A quick, no frills, down & dirty guide to preparing for the End, the first step I suggest is to "stock up on food, water, cleaning & hygiene supplies, first aid supplies, medicine & medical supplies, flashlights, radios, batteries, tools, sturdy clothes & shoes, etc."

Storing food and supplies is a hedge against inflation, economic chaos, disruptions in the supply chain and the modern just-in-time inventory & distribution system. It also a safety issue, making it less likely you will have to venture to the market to buy needed goods during dangerous times (bad weather, civil unrest, violence). 

A disruption in the supply chain for food and other goods will mean the shelves at Wal-mart, Target, Lowe's, Home Depot, and your local grocery, hardware, and clothing stores will quickly be emptied. Depending on the cause of the disruption, those shelves may not be re-stocked for months, if ever. Stock up now for an extended period of time in which you will not be able to buy what you need.  

My recommendation: As soon as possible, acquire at least two weeks worth of food & supplies, then work towards building a month's stockpile, then six months, then a year, then two years worth of food and supplies.

You'll avoid the affects of hyperinflation (at least while your supplies hold out) and you will be spared any shortages that may occur.  Food, water and medicine are the obvious choices to stockpile, but just about anything can be stocked up on.


Cleaning supplies, first aid supplies, batteries, clothing and shoes, as well as personal hygiene products such as toothpaste, razors, soap, shampoo, and deodorant are other good choices to stock up on. You might even want to get your next set of tires now instead of during an environment of hyperinflation and shortages.

Wood for your fireplace or wood-burning stove can be stacked up in your backyard. Don't forget matches. Composted cow manure, bone meal, hummus and other soil amendments can be stored and used to improve your soil for future use. Most non-GMO seeds have a shelf-life of 3 to 5 years (possibly longer if stored under the right conditions).
 

Basic Guidelines for Stocking Up
The following comes from an earlier article I wrote, with some minor changes.
 
1) Don’t stock up on items you won’t use. Don’t stock up on cans of tuna fish if you hate tuna fish. Stock up on cans of chunk chicken instead. If you are allergic to tomatoes, don’t stock up on tomato soup. If you don’t eat English peas, then it doesn’t make sense to buy extra cans of English peas no matter how cheap they are. Only stock up on items you actually use.


2) Decide what you actually use on a regular basis, and then buy extra. Stocking up really isn’t complicated. In fact, it can be quite simple. If you normally buy two cans of tuna every week, simply buy four cans a week instead. If you normally buy two five-pound bags of sugar a month, buy four bags next month. If you normally by a can of baked beans every week, buy two. And so forth. In a few months will have accumulated a nice extra store of food for the tough times ahead.

3) Remember: Food eventually goes bad. Most canned goods have a shelf life of anywhere from two to six years. Properly stored (kept airtight in a dark, dry, cool place), most dry foods can last even longer. Frozen foods last only two to six months in most cases (besides, you don’t won’t to stock a freezer full of food and then have the power go out for a couple of days after a bad snow storm). Refrigerated goods typically last only few days to a week or so at most. Therefore, concentrate on canned and dry foods for your long term storage. Develop a rotation method to make sure you are always eating your oldest food first (I use a black sharpie to mark the purchase month & year on the top of every can or box of food I buy).

4) Stock up on ingredient foods. When stocking up, most people remember the main veggies and meats, such as green beans and tuna fish. But don’t forget the items you often use as ingredients in recipes – chicken or beef broths, tomato sauce, tomato paste, canned mushrooms, cream of mushroom soup, cream of chicken soup, herbs & spices, and so on… Go through the recipes you make on a regular basis to see what ingredient foods you need.

5) Stock up on condiments.
Catsup, mayonnaise, mustard, salad dressings, vinegar, peanut butter, jellies & jams, jars of pickles, peppers & olives, soy sauce, salt, pepper, and spices can all typically be stored (unopened) for long periods of time. Many of these are often among the first and hardest hit by inflation, so make especially useful items to stock up on.

6) Don’t forget coffee and tea. Tea, and especially coffee, are both typically hard hit by inflation, so stock up on them if you are a big coffee or tea drinker. Also, they could become scarce if the worldwide supply chain gets disrupted for any length of time.

7) Stick to the basics. Your kids might want you to stock up on pop-tarts and chocolate syrup, but they really can do without them despite their whining to the contrary. Stocking up is about surviving. Surviving means basics like tuna and beans, not luxuries like chocolate syrup and pop-tarts. Stick to the basics.

8) Stock up on non-food basics, too. Personal and hygiene items like toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, soap, feminine products, razors, shaving cream, and mouth wash can usually store indefinitely and therefore are great items to stock up on. Same goes for sanitation and cleaning supplies. You should also stock up on basic home first aid supplies (bandages, rubbing alcohol, anti-bacterial ointment, aspirin, etc.), and batteries (for flashlights, radios, smoke detectors, etc.).

9) A little at a time goes a long way. Most folks don’t have $500 that they can use to stock up all at once. But most can probably scrounge up $10 a week. At that rate, they will have accumulated over $500 worth of food & supplies in only a year.

Smart Shopping Tips for Affording Your Food Storage

  • Use coupons.
  • Shop sales.
  • Compare prices.
  • Make, and stick to, shopping lists.
  • Give generic and store brands a try.
  • Avoid impulse purchases. Think before you buy.
  • Sam's Club, Costco, and BJ's Wholesale Club aren't always the cheapest option. Often times a generic or store brand elsewhere will be just as good and less expensive than a name brand at the warehouse store.
  • Don't be a "Store Snob" - shop stores like Wal-mart, Aldi's, Ollie's, Big Lots, and even Amazon.com, in addition to your regular grocery store.
  • Don't use credit cards to stock up. Going into debt creates a host of other problems. Reduce your expenses in other areas, or make some extra money with a yard sale, if you need to come up with extra cash for your purchases. Need help with your budget? Check out my Finances - Get Back To Basics article for lots of great info and tips. 
Emergency Food Storage and Survival Handbook 

http://amzn.to/2fkJR78

A great book on this topic that I recommend is Peggy Layton's Emergency Food Storage and Survival Handbook. I wrote a review of it in 2104.


Sunday, November 13, 2016

Special Needs Prepping

In our preparations, we need to make allowances for those people within our family or preparedness circle who may have special needs. Here are some ideas of who might have some special needs and how to deal with those needs.

Babies - Babies, of course, are totally dependent upon others, especially their mother. A mother of a young baby will not be able to help out much with security or other chores at the homestead or retreat. Make sure you are not counting the mother in your security or other plans. Her attention will be focused on the baby.

Babies also may need special foods, medicines, formula, bottles, diapers, etc. Don't forget to stockpile these items and to include them in the mother's bug-out bag. Because they will be growing rapidly, you will also have to take into account their future needs for different sizes of diapers, clothes, and shoes.

Young Children - Somewhat less dependent on others, young children still have special needs. Don't forget to include entertainment (non-electronic) and education in their list of needs. Once they are walking on their own, they can carry their own (light-weight) bug-out bag, which might include a bottle of water, a change of clothes, an emergency poncho, a favorite stuffed animal or other toy, coloring/activity books (don't forget crayons & pencils), and maybe a card game or flash cards. Remember and plan for the fact that young kids grow fast, so think about their future needs for larger clothes and shoes.

Children should be expected to do chores to help out around the homestead or retreat. Of course, those chores should be age & maturity appropriate. Young children can start off doing personal chores such as brushing their own teeth and picking up after themselves, then expanding those chores as they grow older.

Pregnant Women - Depending on the individual woman and the stage of her pregnancy, pregnant women may be less physically able to participate in the security of homestead/retreat, may be less mobile, and may be limited in what chores they can do. Take this into consideration when making your plans if your family or group contains a pregnant woman.

Pregnant women may also have special needs such as medicine, vitamins, special/larger clothing, etc. If you will not be able to give birth in a hospital due to a SHTF situation, be sure to plan ahead for giving birth at home, including training and special supplies.

Medical Issues - Chronic and long-term illnesses, such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and high blood pressure, are commonplace these days. You might also be unaware that a member of your group has a chronic illness unless you ask. Special needs of this group might include special foods, vitamins, supplements, prescription medications, medical equipment, etc. It may also limit the kinds and amount of chores they can do. Ask everyone in your group if they have a chronic or long-term illness, and then listen to thm about what special needs and restrictions they have.

Mentally Handicapped - Depending on the type and severity of their mental handicap, some folks will have special needs and limitations, and may even be highly dependent on others, which will restrict the ability of their caregiver to fully participate in the homestead or retreat. Be aware of this as you make your plans.

Physically Handicapped - Depending on the individual and the type/severity of their handicap, physically handicapped folks may (or may not) have certain limitations or special needs. Issues of mobility or physical limitations on the type/amount of chores they can do will be of particular concern. However, don't assume that just because someone is physically handicapped, don't just assume they cannot do certain things. Talk to them about there needs and abilities, and plan according.

The Addicted & the Mentally Ill - Alcohol and drug addiction, including tobacco, will prove very problematic. Address addictions NOW, before any SHTF situation. In fact, I would go so far as to suggest that you tell any folks with severe addictions that they MUST overcome their addictions or be removed from the group.  The mentally ill also will have issues, particularly if they are dependent on medication. Find out what medications they are on, and what to expect if they cannot get those medications. Plan accordingly. Those suffering from addictions or mental illness will likely NOT want to discuss these issues, but you must find out and deal with these issues before any SHTF situation.

Elderly - Depending on their age and health, the elderly may have a number of different needs and limitations, but please never discount their knowledge and experience. Talk to them about their needs, limitations, knowledge, and experience, then plan accordingly. Pay special attention to issues of mobility and endurance. Some may still be able to help with security and other physical chores. Others may serve well as advisors, educators, baby-sitters, running communications, etc.

Pets - Pets are often seen as valuable family members.  I certainly look at my dog that way, often joking referring to her as my doghter (sounds like daughter). So, don't forget to take their needs into account - food, water, toys, leashes, collars/harnesses, medications, and so forth. Pack a small bug-out bag for them. Be sure to include copies of any licenses and ownership & vaccination records, which may ease any dealings you may have with remaining authorities. Don't forget about first aid for your pets. You can get pet-centered first aid handbooks or first aid kits.

 
http://amzn.to/2eUTOIs
Available on Amazon
http://amzn.to/2fwyzLp
Available on Amazon


Saturday, November 12, 2016

The Future of the Second Amendment

Now that the election is over, and we know that Donald Trump will be next next President, what is the future of the Second Amendment? Is our right to self-defense secure? Are our guns safe from government's power-hungry grasp? 

The answer, with a couple of caveats, is that our guns rights are safe for the next four, maybe eight, years. However, here are those important caveats:
  • Donald Trump must keep his promise of appointing Constitutionalists to the Supreme Court, such as those on the list of possible nominees he made public before the election. The court is precariously balanced at 4 to 4, and the replacement for Justice Scalia will decide the future of the Second Amendment. 
  • The progressives have not given up their desire to disarm Americans. Not just gun control, but gun confiscation, remains one of their most important goals. Even if blocked on a national level, they will continue the fight on the local and state level.
One big concern on a state level is that progressives won three out of four gun control measures on state ballots in this year's election. Gun control measures won in California, Washington, and Nevada. In Maine, another gun control measure was only narrowly defeated by a razor-thin margin. Even if Trump holds true to his election promises, your rights as a gun-owner are still under threat, especially if you live in a blue state. 

Gun owners and other pro-Constitution folks can breathe a bit easier with the defeat of Hillary Clinton, but the fight is far from over. We must remain eternally vigilant in defending our rights. It is when we feel the safest that our enemies can make the most progress against us. 

We must watch Obama closely, and insist that he keep his campaign promises regarding his judicial appoints. We must pay close attention to our state and local governments, and fight efforts to curtail our rights on those levels. One of the best ways to do this is to join forces with others to defend the Second Amendment:

A) National Rifle Association (TwitterWebsiteYouTube)
B) Gun Owners Association (TwitterWebsite, YouTube)
C) Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (TwitterWebsiteYouTube)
D) National Association for Gun Rights (TwitterWebsiteYouTube)


If you are in Law Enforcement or the Military, please join Oath Keepers.  Even if you're not, you can support them by joining as an associate member. You can also sign up for their free email list. Website: https://www.oathkeepers.org/    
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Did you like this article? You may be interested in these:

Fight Back! -- Defending the Second Amendment

A Long-Term Way to Protect the Second Amendment

Jesus, Self-Defense, and the Pajama Boy

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Last Minute Election Preps?

The election is Tuesday. Are there any last minute election preps we should make? Here are three things I will be doing on Monday:

1- Grocery shopping. I have a nice store of food for the long-term, and hopefully you do to, but I will go to the grocery store Monday to pick up a few items that I would be buying this week anyway - particularly perishable items such as bread, milk, cheese, butter, eggs, and fresh fruits & vegetables. The idea is to stock up so I can stay in my home for at least a week. think of it as last minute shopping that one might do right before an approaching winter storm hits. NOTE: You will want to make sure you have at least a week's worth of water stored at home. The general rule of thumb is at least one gallon per person per day, plus additional water for any pets.

Why? Although I don't expect a civil war to break out over the election, in the current environment there is the possibility of some demonstrations, protests, and even sporadic violence. This is especially true if Donald Trump wins, which I expect will lead to some prearranged organized demonstrations by groups like Black Lives Matter and others. These demonstrations, mostly in predictable urban areas, have the potential to turn violent with looting, arson, or worse. There is also the possibility for some "lone wolf" violence which could happen anywhere. Add to this the possibility of terrorism, and it would be nice to have the ability to hunker-down at home for a week or so.

2- Refilling prescription medications. My Mother has a prescription that she would have to get refilled next week anyway, and my diabetes medication run out early next week.  I will get both of these refilled Monday for the same reason I will do some grocery shopping. In case any civil unrest or violence does break out, I want to be able to hunker-down at home for week or so, without having to go out just to get a prescription refilled. 

3- Visit my local gun shop. I do plan on buying some more ammo on Monday. Why? Again, not because I'm expecting a civil war to break out. But, if Hillary wins, I do expect her election to trigger a run on guns and ammo from folks expecting her to try to push for more gun control (which she will do). This will likely lead to ammo shortages and spikes in prices over the short term. 

This isn't a complete preparedness & survival plan, of course. You should already be working diligently on such a plan. But these are a few good ideas to do, ASAP.
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You might be interested in checking out my Election Analysis: Trump Wins 319 To 219 for a current state polls based prediction of the election outcome. I give my methodology and assumptions below the election map, so be sure to check it out. We'll see if I'm right on Tuesday night!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Typical Prepper versus Gypsy Survivalist...

What the Gypsy Survival Strategy Might Actually Look Like

In my recent article, Gypsy Survival - A Different Prepper Strategy, I introduced an idea I've been thinking about for a number of years. It is a prepper strategy based on disconnecting from the system and extreme mobility, rather than stockpiling or homesteading. In  this article, I want to consider what the Gypsy Survival Strategy might actually look like by comparing it to typical prepper ideas on several points. 

Typical Prepper: Home is your physical address. Perhaps an apartment or house. Maybe a homestead or farm. Probably have a mortgage and property taxes. Costs money, time, and effort to maintain. Still, it is yours (at least until the government or bank decides otherwise). Requires furniture and other stuff, which costs money/time/effort to buy and maintain.

Gypsy Survivalist: Home is wherever you are with family and friends. Not a physical address, which would only be temporary anyway. Most likely sleep in a tent, camper, trailer, RV, or mobile home of some sort. All your stuff fits inside your vehicle and/or mobile home. Little, probably no, furniture or large other items.

Typical Prepper: Bugging-in at your current location, or bugging-out to a prearranged location, such as a retreat that would then likely become your permanent location if you could not return to the original location. 

Gypsy Survivalist: No permanent location or home. Constantly moving away from danger or towards opportunity as conditions warrant. 

Typical Prepper: Probably have "roots" where you live. Friends & family that permanently live nearby. A particular church you attend. A job/career/employer for which you feel some loyalty or responsibility. Organizations that you are a part of... Things that may make you reluctant/slow to leave a location if things suddendly go bad. 

Gypsy Survivalist: No roots in the local community, thus nothing holding you back. Your roots are with the community of like-minded family & friends you travel with... (Interestingly, Roma and other "gypsies" never marry, date, or even have strong friendships with non-Roma; all that is done within the larger Roma/Gypsy community.)

Typical Prepper: Unless they are making money homesteading, farming, or from their own small business, most preppers have regular jobs/careers working for someone else. Could be anything from blue collar workers to professionals. The need for such employment is a limiting factor for many preppers (including me).

Gypsy Survivalist: Typically self-employed or take temporary/part-time work for which they feel no loyalty towards employer. Easy to just leave whenever. Traditionally, gypsies tend to be entertainers of some sort (singers, musicians, actors, storytellers, fortune tellers, etc.). Think vaudeville. This seems to hold true today, although to a somewhat lesser extent. Other common gypsy employment is as animal trainers, artisans, craftsmen, tinkers, handymen, and similar professions. Gypsies can be professionals, and some are, but their lifestyle often makes for a difficult career path in terms of advancement, though their is always some need for temporary nurses, accountants, etc.

Typical Prepper: Stockpiling food, water,  and supplies in quantity. Lots of redundancy. This requires space to store, money to buy, time to organize/maintain. Decreases mobility.

Gypsy Survivalist: Goods and other stuff kept on-hand would have to be minimal. A few days to a couple of weeks worth of food & supplies at most. Emphasis would have to be on collecting & providing as needed, rather than storing. Example: Instead of storing lots of water in jugs or tanks, the Gypsy Survivalist would depend on their ability to collect/treat water using tools like the Lifestraw Family Water Filter or Lifestraw Go Bottles. Food is obtained by buying or trading with locals, by hunting, fishing, & collecting wild edibles, and possibly by having small gardens when camped at a suitable location for a period of time. I've also heard tale of some gypsies traveling with a few goats or chickens.

Typical Prepper: Lots of tools and other gear. Lots of redundancy. Requires money to buy, room to store, time/effort to maintain. Probably lots of big tools, especially if homesteading is part of the plan. Again, cost & need for room to store are factors.

Gypsy Survivalist: Minimal tools and gear with little redundancy. Would have to emphasize quality, usefulness, and practicality, over quantity. Would require a certain amount of ingenuity and creative thinking. Get the most "bang for your buck," so to speak. No need to have yard or garden tools (other than maybe a shovel). No need for power tools (maybe a gas-powered chain saw?). Would have at least a good set of basic tools and skill to use them, and a few tools of the trade for tinkers/metalworkers, handymen types.

Typical Prepper: Large library of books on prepping, homesteading, gardening, country skills, survival medicine, and a variety of other potentially useful topics. I've seen preppers/survivalists brag about their libraries of thousands of books. My own is in the hundreds. Again, cost and room to store are issues. Besides, in reality most of those books will go unread.

Gypsy Survivalist: No room for a large library. Maybe one or two 3-foot shelves worth of books. Will force you to be choosy about what books you keep on-hand. Only the most important, useful, and often-used will make the cut. Again, quality over quantity. 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Minimum Pre-Crisis Preparations for a Nuclear Event

The following is Chapter 16 of the 1987 edition of Cresson H. Kearny's Nuclear War Survival Skills. These points are expanded upon throughout the book. The entire book is available for free download at http://www.oism.org/nwss/


Chapter 16: Minimum Pre-Crisis Preparations


Your chances of surviving a nuclear attack will be improved if you make the following low-cost preparations before a serious crisis arises. Once many Americans become convinced that a nuclear attack is a near certainty, they will rush to stores and buy all available survival supplies. If you wait to prepare until a crisis does arise, you are likely to be among the majority who will have to make-do with inadequate supplies of water containers, food, and materials. Furthermore, even if you have the necessary materials and instructions to make the most needed survival items, you and your family are not likely to have time to make all of them during a few days of tense crisis.

The following recommendations are intended primarily for the majority who live in areas likely to be subjected to blast, fire, or extremely heavy fallout. These people should plan to evacuate to a safer area. (Many citizens living outside high-risk areas, especially homeowners with yards, can and should make better pre-crisis preparations. These would include building high-protection-factor permanent shelters covered with earth.)

SHELTER

Keep on hand the tools and materials your family or group will need to build or improve a high- protection-factor expedient shelter: One or more shovels, a pick (if in a hard-soil area), a bow-saw with an extra blade, a hammer, and 4-mil polyethylene film for rainproofing your planned shelter. Also store the necessary nails, wire, etc. needed for the kind of shelter you plan to build.


Keep instructions for shelter-building and other survival essentials in a safe and convenient place.

VENTILATION-COOLING

Make a homemade shelter-ventilating pump, a KAP, of the size required for the shelter you plan to build or use.


WATER

Keep on hand water containers (including at least four 30-gallon untreated polyethylene trash bags and two sacks or pillowcases for each person), a pliable garden hose or other tube for siphoning, and a plastic bottle of sodium hypochlorite bleach (such as Clorox) for disinfecting water and utensils.


FALLOUT METER

Make one or two KFMs and learn how to use this simple instrument.


FOOD

Store at least a 2-week supply of compact, nonperishable food. The balanced ration of basic dry foods described in Chapter 9, Food, satisfies requirements for adults and larger children at minimum cost. If your family includes babies or small children, be sure to store more milk powder, vegetable oil, and sugar.


Continuing to breast-feed babies born during an impending crisis would greatly simplify their care should the crisis develop and worsen

For preparing and cooking basic foods:




° Make a 3-Pipe Grain Mill like the one described in Chapter 9, Food, or buy a small hand-cranked grain mill, which grinds more efficiently than other expedient devices. Book Page: 133
° Make a Bucket-Stove as described in Chapter 9. During evacuation, the stove can be used as a container. Store some kitchen-type wooden matches in a waterproof container.
° Keep essential containers and utensils on hand for storing and transporting food and for cooking and serving in a shelter.
SANITATION

Insect screen or mosquito netting, and fly bait. See Chapter 12.




A hose-vented 5-gallon can, with heavy plastic bags for liners, for use as a toilet. Include some smaller plastic bags and toilet paper with these supplies. Tampons.
MEDICINES




° Any special medications needed by family members.
° Potassium iodide, a 2-oz bottle, and a medicine- dropper, for prophylactic protection of the thyroid gland against radioactive iodines. (Described in the last section of Chapter 13, Survival Without Doctors.)
° A first-aid kit and a tube of antibiotic ointment.
LIGHT
° Long-burning candles (with small wicks) sufficient for at least 14 nights.
° An expedient lamp, with extra cotton-string, wicks, and cooking oil as described in Chapter 11.
° A flashlight and extra batteries.
RADIO 
A transistor radio with extra batteries and a metal box in which to protect it.

OTHER ESSENTIALS

Review the EVACUATION CHECKLIST (developed primarily for persons who make no preparations before a crisis) and add items that are special requirements of your family.

 
Book Page: 134

Friday, October 7, 2016

Gypsy Survival - A Different Prepper Strategy



Many survival strategies involve hunkering down in place, homesteading, rural retreats and survival communities, or "bugging out" to those locations, where, through a combination of self-reliance and stockpiles of food & supplies, any future hard times can be survived. But I've long been intrigued by another possibility, which I call Gypsy Survival.

Gypsy Survival is a strategy that is loosely based on current and historical groups of highly nomadic peoples often referred to as "gypsies." This includes the Romani people, the Sinti, Irish Travellers, Scottish Tinkers, and Indigenous Norwegian Travellers, as well as other groups. In addition to these real-life examples, the concept of gypsies has been heavily fictionalized over the years. The Gypsy Survival Strategy I present here is a conglomeration of lessons and ideas from all these groups, as well as some of my own thoughts. My use of the term "gypsy" throughout this article refers to this conglomeration of ideas, not any one particular group, and is intended in a completely non-pejorative way.


Three Distinctive Features

I see three distinctive features of the gypsy lifestyle that could be adapted into a very successful survival strategy.

1) Gypsies lead a highly nomadic, very mobile lifestyle. Gypsies don't set down roots in any specific location. Home is not a place, but rather is being with family.  Where the "being with" actually takes place is irrelevant. Community, too, isn't a particular place, such as a neighborhood or town, but rather is the larger group of fellow gypsies.

Survival Advantage: Because there is nothing to hold them to a particular place, such as property owned or personal ties to local people, gypsies have the ability to quickly pack up and flee from danger. Or to quickly move to where there is more opportunity. This ability is more than just bugging out. Gypsies, because they have no roots and few possessions, can immediately leave one location and set up home in a new location, without any reluctance to leave or "stuff" holding them back.

2) Gypsies are NOT part of the worldly system, and have no desire to "fit in" or conform to the standards of modern society.  Rather than being swayed by the world around them, and the opinions of others, gypsies hold firm to their own language, culture, beliefs, and traditions. They have no need to "Get Out of Babylon," because they are already mostly out of the worldly system.

Survival Advantage: By being less dependent on the worldly system, gypsies have a considerable amount of flexibility in responding to threats and danger. They are not dependent on government or the established social order. Nor are they dependent on their employers or careers. They also make less compromises in maintaining their way of life, including religious beliefs, traditions, and other aspects of their culture that are very important to them.

3) Gypsies are loyal to the family/clan/tribe, NOT to a place (country, state, community), a government, or even to a company, career, or job. Privacy is of high importance. What happens within the gypsy community stays within their community. Disputes are handled internally, without bringing in any outside authorities. The preservation of their way of life, culture, beliefs, and traditions is of utmost importance.

Survival Advantage: Loyalty within families, and even within the larger gypsy community, means that they are there for each other. Gypsies help and protect their own. They are also better able to maintain their way of life and culture without compromising with the outside world. 

Possible Disadvantages

There are, of course, disadvantages to the gypsy lifestyle. Lack of property means that they typically cannot produce their own food. Instead, they must depend on what they can hunt, gather, and buy or trade for with outsiders. 

The gypsy refusal to assimilate into the outside world, and to conform with outside societal norms, means that they are typically the object of suspicion and distrust. This often leads to official discrimination, persecution, and even attempts at genocide against them. 


Other Hallmarks of the Gypsy Survival Strategy

Gypsies have developed the ability to vanish into the background. Did you know that there are over a million gypsies estimated to be living in the United States? Chances are that there are some living near you, and you don't even know it. This ability to go unnoticed, and to quickly vanish in the face of trouble, serves them quite well.

Gypsies prefer to avoid trouble rather than face it head on. As the saying goes, the surest way to survive a fight is to not get in a fight in the first place. They flee first, and only fight when it is unavoidable. Yes, gypsies will defend themselves when necessary, but they prefer to avoid danger if at all possible.

Gypsies typically don't own real estate. The days of living in their horse-drawn wagons (called vardos by some) are long gone, of course. Today most gypsies live in campers, trailers, or mobile homes. Occasionally, some my rent or lease apartments or houses, but even this is uncommon. This means that leaving an area is relatively a simple, and quick, driving away, with little packing up required. 

Gypsies live simple lifestyles, with relatively few possessions. This saves them time, space, and money. It also enables them to pack up and flee quickly when necessary. Unlike possessions, knowledge and skills cannot be lost, stolen, or broken

Gypsies work for themselves. Sometimes this means being self-employed (examples: artisans, craftsmen, animal trainers, entertainers, etc.)  Sometimes this means hiring themselves out to do part-time or temporary work. Gypsies can and do work in almost every career field imaginable. The point is that they don't tie themselves down to a particular company or career field.

Privacy is of utmost importance. What happens within the gypsy community stays within the gypsy community. Disputes are handled internally. They hold their language, rules, customs, and traditions closely, rarely sharing them with outsiders. Outsiders are rarely, if ever, brought into the gypsy community, and marriages with outsiders are highly discouraged. When dealing with outsiders, gypsies are notoriously vague in giving names and other bits of personal information, and never give specifics about the larger gypsy community. 


Check out the follow-up to this article, "Typical Prepper versus Gypsy Survivalist...  What the Gypsy Survival Strategy Might Actually Look Like."

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Results from the "Grayman" Training Exercise

On his You Tube channel, Joe Fox (Viking Preparedness) recently suggested a grayman training exercise (I'll link to his video below). I thought it was a good idea, so on Monday (Labor Day) I went to a local shopping mall and followed his training exercise. I definitely learned some things.

The Training Exercise (or What I did)

I went to my local shopping mall on Monday (Joe had suggested an airport as the best location, but said a shopping mall would work, too). I spent a couple of hours just sitting around and observing people, noticing who stood out and who didn't, and why. I also tried to do this exercise from a "bad guy" point of view, looking for easy targets. Here is what I learned (and I plan on doing this a few more times).

What stood out as highly noticeable as a potential target, or as very memorable/identifiable:
  • Bright, flashy clothing - example: When I stepped onto the food court after arriving at the mall, the very first person I noticed was a older man (early 60s?) with a bread wearing a bright orange shirt and red, white & blue flag shorts. He looked like quite the character, which made him very noticeable and memorable.
  • Dressed in all black (the "goth" look) - example: One of several goths that I noticed was a young, skinny man (early 20s) wearing black tennis shoes, black jeans, an all-black tee shirt (no logo), and an all-black ball cap (no logo). Except for a little bit of white on his tennis shoes, he was wearing no other color except black, which made him stand out in the crowded mall.
  • Graphic shirts (superheros, sports teams, funny quotes, etc) - examples: lots of folks were wearing graphic tees of want sort or another. I noticed them all. The guy wearing the shirt with the Superman logo, the young lady in a Star Wars t-shirt, the Dallas Cowboys fan, the patriotic guy with the American flag and bald eagle on his shirt. These graphic shirts made folks noticeable and very identifiable.
  • Revealing clothing (too tight clothes showing off curves, exposed cleavage or midriff, short-shorts or mini skirts, etc.) - comment: I'll try to keep this G-rated and just say that it was surprising how many young women, some waaay too young, who were dressed like they were headed to an audition with Playboy magazine. Defiantly attention attracting, especially the wrong kind of attention.
  • Tattoos & facial piercings - comments: No value judgments here, but tattoos have become very popular in recent years, and it seems that many folks just can't get enough. I saw a number of folks, male and female, with multiple tattoos - arms, legs, hands, neck, feet, even face... They were very noticeable, and because tattoos tend to be highly individualistic, they can make you easily identifiable. True, some folks may be able to cover up their tattoos with long sleeves and pants, but many folks have so may tattoos these days, they would have to wear a hijab to cover them all up. Just something to think about.
  • Odd hair colors (blue, purple, pink, etc) - comments: Very popular these days, especially with high school and college age a girls, but also with some older women and even some effeminate men. Some of the young ladies do look cute, I suppose, with odd hair, the odd hair definitely draws notice. 
  • Completely shaved heads - comments: heads shaved completely bald (like mine) definitely stand out in a crowd. On the other hand, naturally balding guys who still have some hair are less noticeable, and tend to blend in to the crowd more easily.
  • Obvious weaknesses (seriously overweight, using canes or walkers, or otherwise having mobility issues) - examples: I saw a number of folks with obvious weaknesses that would mark them as potentially easy targets.One older lady in particularly stood out as particularly vulnerable. She must have been pushing 80, and was walking alone at a very slow and unsteady pace, just shuffling along really, carrying a handbag with one hand. She would have been a very easy mark for a purse snatcher or mugger.
  • Folks not paying attention - examples: I saw a lot of folks simply not paying any attention to their surroundings, mostly with their eyes glued to their phones. And this was NOT just young folks, but many adults in their 30s, 40s, & 50s. This eliminates any situational awareness, and marks the distracted person as an easy target.
  • Flimsy footwear (high heels, clogs, flip-flops, sandals) - examples: One very well dressed middle-aged woman wearing what I can only call platform high-heels. I sure they have a name, but I don't know what exactly to call them. Here's the problem: she would not be able to run in those shoes at all, and it would be ridiculously easy for a bad guy to knock her down.  Those shoes, though quite fashionable I'm sure, mark her as an easy victim from a bad guys point of view. I was also surprised by the number of men in their 40s and 50s who were wearing flip-flops or various types of man-sandals. These offer no real protection, and are very difficult to run in or even walk in for long distances.
  • Moms with a gaggle of kids - examples: At different times, I saw two moms each with four or five young kids in tow. In both cases it was just the one adult plus multiple young kids. This immediately struck me as a potentially confusing and chaotic situation for the mother. Potentially easy pickings for a bad guy. 
  • Uniforms - examples: the mall's security guards immediately stood out because of their uniforms. Likewise did a guy in his EMT uniform - very noticeable. I'm sure other uniforms (military, police, etc.) would have been immediately noticeable, too)
What didn't stand out, or was very forgettable:
  • Ordinary, regular clothes and shoes
  • Neutral earth-tones or dark colors (except for all-black) 
  • Nothing to describe or remember (no character tees, sports jerseys, bright colors or flashy patterns, uniforms, etc.)
  • Not overly sexy or revealing clothing (nothing to gawk at, or attention grabbing)
  • No visible tattoos, facial piercings, or weird hair (again, nothing to describe or remember)
  • No facial hair, or completely shaved head (again, nothing to describe or remember)
  • No obvious weaknesses (nothing to make a bad guy think "easy target")
  • Not distracted (but also not obviously checking the place out or paying too close attention to surroundings)

Other Lessons Learned:

The Camouflage Trend Is Over. I live in a semi-rural area of the South, where there are a lot of hunters. Because of that, it was not uncommon to see people wearing camo even before Duck Dynasty made it trendy. Add on the camo craze sparked by Duck Dynasty, and I dismissed the suggestions of many to avoid camo clothing. I figured I would draw no more attention to myself for wearing camo then the dozens of other folks also wearing camo around here.

I was surprised to see almost no camo clothing during this exercise. In fact, I only saw one person wearing camo - a teenage boy wearing baggy shorts with a digital camo print. The camo craze seems to have peaked in 2013/2014 and has now died out. Because of this, I have removed several pieces of camo (mostly shirts and a ball cap) from my everyday clothing rotation.

(I also have several Star Wars T-shirts that I am now taking out of my everyday clothing rotation)

It is extremely important to not appear weak, vulnerable, or distracted. During this exerciser, I intentionally looked at the situated from a bad-guys point of view, as if I was a mugger, pick-pocket, purse-snatcher, or kidnapper.  Doing so, I was noticing people who weren't paying attention, or who would have made an easy target: That woman is distracted by the five young kids with her; it would be easy to walk off with one of her shopping bags when she was dealing with one of the kids. That old lady would be easy to knock down. That guy wouldn't be able to chase me wearing those flip-flops. That other guy is paying so much attention to his phone, that he wouldn't notice his wallet being lifted.

Bad guys prefer easy targets. Don't be one.


Joe Fox (VikingPreparedness) Becoming the "Greyman" (or woman) - a training exercise



Sunday, August 28, 2016

Collapse Scenario: Trump Wins, but the Political Class Refuses to Recognize His Victory

This post is, right  now, just a piece of fiction. - a What If? scenario of events that could lead to the collapse of the United States as we know it. Think of it as a form of war gaming, imagining and planning for unlikely, but not impossible, events. I do not claim these events will unfold in this manner, and I certainly have no special knowledge of the future. But, for the first time in my life, a collapse of Constitutional rule in America is imaginable. 

[Note: If the mechanics of how the collapse may occur doesn't interest you, and you just want the bottom-line of what to do, you can skip the next two sections, and read the last section - My Takeaways, or What To Do...]

Trump Wins The Election

It is November, the Monday before the election. At this point, all polls show an extremely tight race, with most of them pointing to a victory by Hillary Clinton. But all polls, even those with Clinton winning, are within the margin of error. Despite this fact, most pundits in the media are confident of a Clinton victory on Tuesday.

Tuesday dawns, and voting begins. Despite the heated rhetoric of this election, voting is going smoothly almost everywhere. There are a few scattered anti-Trump and #BlackLivesMatter demonstrations, but these are all small and relatively peaceful, nothing more than some shouting and pushing. There is a report of a couple of bottles being thrown at police at one BLM demonstration, but no arrests were made.

Its 8pm. Voting ends in a number of east coast states. The press is eager to report the results, but they are slow to come in. Finally, the first two states are called - one for Clinton, one for Trump. No surprises. Then a couple of more states are called, both for Trump. A mild surprise, as Clinton was expected to eek out a narrow victory in both of those states. Then NC is called for Trump, where he wins by a comfortable 4-point margin.

Its 9pm.  More polls close, including the western counties in Florida. A few more states are called for Clinton. These are mostly small, northeastern states where she was expected to win. But the votes was surprising close. Then the shocker: Florida goes for Trump, and by a surprising 4-point margin. A couple of more states are called for Trump. Virginia goes Clinton, but by only a single percentage point. Clinton also wins New York, but by a razor-thin margin of less than one percentage point. 

Its 10pm. More polls close. More states are called, mostly for Trump. At this point, Trump has won all the states he was expected to, plus a few that Clinton was expected to win. He has also won both NC and FL. Panic is starting to set in at Clinton HQs, and at MSNBC. Pundits on every network appear shaken, but many are sticking to their Clinton Wins predictions, pointing to the fact that Pennsylvania still hasn't been called. The vote tally there is being incredibly slow in coming in, but Trump is holding on to a small lead.

Trump wins big in Texas. Ohio is called - Trump by 3 points.  Colorado is called. Clinton wins by less than 2,000 votes. The Trump campaign immediately calls for  recount. But it is starting to look like Trump will win even without Colorado.

Its 11pm. More polls close. Only Alaska and Hawaii remain open. Alaska is expected to go Trump, and Hawaii almost certainly will go Clinton. Several more states are called, all for Trump by narrow margins. Pennsylvania is finally called - Trump by 2 points. California goes Clinton, but by a surprisingly narrow 2 points. Another shocker: Oregon goes Trump.

11:25pm. Its over. Even if Trump loses the Colorado recount, he'll still win the election. Finally tally, after AK & HI go as expected, is Trump 317, Clinton 221.



Collapse Scenario - Political Class Refuses to Accept Trump Victory

Wednesday: Trump has stunned the Political Class by winning the election, and winning it by a big margin.  But the #NeverTrump crowd won't go away. Overnight and on the early morning shows, a number of pundits start speculating on other ways to deny Trump the White House, mostly centering on stopping him the the electoral college. Two Texas electors had already announced prior to the election that they wouldn't vote for Trump even if he won Texas. The #NeverTrump crowd hopes to convince/pressure other electors into doing the same.

9:20am. News breaks that officials in Pennsylvania are refusing to certify their election results, citing the need to investigate "slow returns" and other "irregularities."  Within the hour, rumors start spreading that several other states will hold up certifying their elections for similar vague reasons. By the end of the day, two other states in addition to PN will announce they won't certify.

10am: The DOJ announces an 11am news conference. Shortly after, Hillary Clinton "retracts" her concession speech, saying that "We must allow the legal process to work in full to protect th integrity of the election."

11am: The DOJ postpones its news conference to 1pm.

1:35pm: The DOJ news conference finally begins. AG Loretta Lynch announces that the DOJ is filing papers in Federal Court as she speaks, to overturn the election results in NC, because of "voting irregularities and civil rights violations." Lynch goes on to say that the DOJ is also investigating elections results in five other states, and may take action to overturn elections results in those additional states. She refuses to answer questions about the specifics of what the alleged violations actually are., and claims that it is "pure coincidence" that the DOJ is only investigating the election results of states won by Trump.

Later that afternoon, both Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan both give interviews saying that the American people should "trust the legal system" and that the "situation will be resolved fairly." Both men avoid taking a strong stand for either Trump or Clinton. Reince Priebus emerges from a late afternoon meeting with GOP leadership and announces his support of Donald Trump and decries the DOJ's attempts to interfere with the election, but goes on to say that the GOP is basically out of money after an expensive election and that Trump cannot expect much help with the coming legal battles.

4pm: Trump holds a press conference at which he blasts the attempts to steal the election from him. He accuses the #NeverTrump crowd, the Clinton campaign, the DOJ, and establishment Republicans of colluding together to deny him his victory. The mainstream media focuses on Trump's use of foul language at the press conference, and spins Trump's complaints as "paranoia and conspiracy theories." A number of MSNBC reporters speculate on-air that Trump may be having a "mental breakdown."

Over the coming weeks, the Trump campaign loses numerous legal battles as Federal judges, mostly Obama appointees, and many with ties to Clinton, rule against him with only little pretense of following established law.

The vote by the Electoral College is delayed due to the ongoing legal battles. Finally, the first case reaches the Supreme Court. In a shocking 5 to 3 decision, with Chief Justice Roberts inexplicably siding with the majority (a replay of the Obamacare decision), the Supreme Court upholds the overturning of the NC election. Justices Thomas, Alito, and Kennedy all write scathing dissents, but Thomas is especially critical not only of the majority decision, but of Chief Justice Roberts in particular as he carefully points out the many points of intellectual dishonesty and hypocrisy of Roberts. This leads to Roberts publicly attacking Thomas' intellect in a rare interview given to CNN. In turn, Thomas suggets that Roberts' inexplicable rulings in both the Obamacare case, and in overturning NC's election results, can only be explained by either bribery or blackmail. This public feud between Roberts and Thomas ends within days with thee resignation of Thomas from the Supreme Court, leaving Alito as the only true conservative, and Kennedy as the only honest moderate, on the Court. All future Supreme Court decisions regarding the 2016 election will end 5 to 2 against Trump.

Ultimately, it is decided (unconstitutionally) that the Electoral College cannot be held, and that the election must be decided in the House of Representatives. At this point, Trump has neither the influence nor the money continue to battle the Establishment. It goes to the House.

During this time, Hillary Clinton remains generally unpopular with the American people, who overwhelmingly still don't trust her. She also has a couple of "incidents" which once again bring her deteriorating health to public attention. Several House leaders on both sides suggest that they are not bound to choose between the candidates that ran, but my choose anyone as the next President. A number of Republican and Democratic politicians began jockeying for position as alternatives to Clinton & Trump. It gets quite ugly. It also quickly becomes apparent that whoever the next President will be, it won't be Trump or Clinton.

Obama announces that, since the House will be unable to vote for the President before Inauguration Day, he will remain in office until such time as a suitable President is elected by the House. He also seems to imply that if he does not approve of the one chosen as his replacement, he might refuse to accept that person, and sue in Federal Court to reject whoever the House elects. And since Obama loyalists run both the DOJ and the Supreme Court at this point, and with Congress in complete disarray, there will be no chance to stop an Obama power grab should he attempt to do so. 

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During all this, there will be chaos, and even violence. Angry Trump supporters will protest. Anti-Trump folks will demonstrate. #BlackLivesMatter will march in the streets. And the usual assortment of anarchists and malcontents will take advantage of the unrest to brew more unrest. In some places violence will occur - rocks will be thrown, police attacked, stores looted, neighborhoods burned. Even though virtually all the violence will come from the Left, Trump and his supporters will receive the majority of the blame in the media and among the political class. 

The civil unrest and the political uncertainty will cause financial markets to tank. Lending will grind to a halt much like it did in 2008. The economy, already precariously balanced, will fall into another deep recession. Large-scale lay-offs and downsizing will return. A distracted and deeply divided congress will be unable to act this time (actually, probably a good thing in the long run), adding to the uncertainty and chaos affecting the markets. The GOP controlled congress will be blamed by Obama and the media. The Fed will act but cutting interest rates, eventually going into negative rates. This will disproportionately hurt savers such as retirees and others on a fixed income.  The dollar will decline, but not as sharply as some might expect, at least not at first. Later on it may be a different story. Inflation will become an even bigger problem for the average American.

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August, 2017.  Congress is in shambles. The House has failed to elect a new President. The Supreme Court remains hampered with two vacancies. Obama remains in office, and remains relatively popular with about a 50% approval rating, perhaps because he seems like the only steady hand in a government that otherwise has completely fallen apart.

Tues, August 22. 9pm. In a televised speech from the Oval Office, Obama, sounding quite heart-weary, announces his decision. Due to the incompetence of Congress (which he manages to squarely blame on the GOP), and the ineffectiveness of a short-handed Supreme Court (which he again squarly blames on the GOP), he has only once choice. The government of the United States under the current Constitution must be disbanded. Both Congress and the Supreme Court are dismissed from service. A new Constitution, to be drawn up by a select committee that Obama himself will appoint, will go into effect in two years time. Until then, Obama will remain in office and the executive branch under him will assume the responsibilities of the other branches. AG Loretta Lynch will decide all cases that previously would have gone to the Supreme Court. And Obama himself will issue any new laws needed by executive order.

First, the chaos was blamed on Trump. And the press and the #NeverTrump crowd dutifully supported that narrative.

Then, Obama began blaming the GOP in general, not just Trump. He pointed to Congress' failure to appoint a Supreme Court Justice to replace Scalia after his death. He blamed Thomas for his "temper-tantrm" and resignation. He blamed Congressional Republicans for refusing to work with him. The  press dutifully supported placing the blame on the GOP. And, by this point, the #NeverTrump crowd had become utterly unimportant.

Finally, in a master stroke, Obama blamed the "Old Order," "backwards values and traditions," and the "outdated" Constitution for America's chaos. The press dutifully reported it as so. And the American people, dumbed-down, sacred by the chaos,  and desperate for some stability, buy it.

Most Americans are glad, at this point, that somebody is finally taking charge, and doing what is "necessary"to restore order and safety. Polls show that the Obama Plan to create a new government has nearly a 65% approval rating.

My Take-Aways, or What To Do...

 1- I believe that the time period from now until Inauguration Day is an especially perilous time for America, regardless of the outcome of the election. Be especially vigilant during this period. Pay attention to the news. Watch the actions of the political class. Think though what they say, and what they don't say. Read between the lines. Don't trust the media to report honestly. Be skeptical. Investigate for yourself. Use commonsense. And THINK for yourself.

2- Expect civil unrest and violence, regardless of how the election goes. Expect a LOT of civil unrest and violence should Trump win. The best response to civil unrest and violence is to avoid it, if at all possible. It could happen anywhere, of course, but the most likely targets will be big cities, especially inner cities & economically distressed areas, political centers, college campuses, etc. Stay out of, and far away from, bad neighborhoods.  

3- Practice situational awareness (pay attention to your surroundings). Be wary of people who look out-of-place, are loitering, or who act nervous. If and when you do go out, try to go out in groups. Avoid bad areas of town. Let people know where you're going and when you'll be back. Park in a highly visible, well-light location near the entrance to minimize chances of ambush & muggings. Don't make yourself a target by wearing expensive, flashy clothes & accessories, or driving an expensive car. Don't make yourself a target by appearing easy-prey - wear practical clothes, walk confidently, head up. Before getting out of a car or walking out of a building, look out a window first to identify possible dangers. Make sure you phone is fully charged at all times. Don't get so involved with your smart phone or I-Pod that you ignore your surroundings. Always be alert.

4- Pay attention to the local news, and be prepared to stay home (Bug-In) if things in your area get chaotic or violent (avoid unnecessary trips to the store, stay home from work and/or school). This means having a store of food, water, and other supplies (such as any medications you take) to last you at least a week, and preferably two or three weeks (pr more), without leaving your home.

5- Depending on your location and what's happening around you, it may become necessary to bug-out at some point, so make sure you're ready for that possibility. Know where you might go. Actually, know at least to places. And know how to get there (at least two routes to each place). Make a Bug-Out Bag packed and ready to go at a moments notice. Make sure your bug-out vehicle is in good running order and is gassed-up at all times. I recommend never letting your gas tank drop below two-thirds full before filling up. Have some additional gas on-hand, stored safely in containers intended to store gas (I personally have five 5-gallon gas cans safely stored on my property, and I rotate the gas every few months).

6- In a Hillary Clinton administration (or any stolen election scenario), expect guns to be targeted quickly and completely. The Left doesn't just want "commonsense gun control," their end-game is full-blown gun confiscation. The chaos of a stolen election would provide plenty of excuses and opportunities to do so. And a Supreme Court that flips Leftist with the next appointment would allow the gutting of the Second Amendment. Get your guns and ammo now, while you can.

7- The chaos and uncertainty of a contested election, especially one that drags on for months, will tip our economy back into another deep recession. Think fall 2008/early 2009 again, maybe worse. Begin preparing now for mass lay-offs and other financial problems. See my Financial Prepping article for extensive information on preparing financially. Also see my article What To Do Before Losing Your Job.

8- Precious metals - gold, silver, and even copper - will rise steadily, quickly reaching their historic highs and beyond. Lead, in the form of ammunition, will also be a precious metal. Precious metals should be part of your plans if you can afford them, but never at the expensive of making more basic preparations (food, water, etc.).

I don't know if a stolen election will actually happen. I do believe there is at least a possibility given current realities, and I don't think Americans are ready for what all that will mean if it does happen. Pray that it doesn't. Prepare in case it does. Stay vigilant.
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Want a short, bare-bones guide to prepping? Read my article A quick, no frills, down & dirty guide to preparing for the End

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