Tag Archives: Societal Collapse

Monday Mania – 3.7.2016

In this weeks edition of Monday Mania: The Self-Reliance Manifesto, These 7 Things Are Better Than Paper Money in the Bank When the Economy Collapses, The Stupid Things People Do When Their Society Breaks Down, 5 Awesome Backpacks That You’ll Want To Bug Out With, Why You Need To Prepare For The Cashless Society, & 13 More

Monday Mania – 3.7.2016

If you did not get a chance to read my last post, Can You Spare a $1?, I would ask that you please take a chance to look it over. I titled the article with a specific meaning behind it. If everyone who receives this email gave $1, I would easily pass my goal of raising $500 to combat veteran suicide. Thank you for your consideration.

In other news….there is not much going on. It seems like we are stuck in that rut of a busy family scrambling all week to do what “needs” to get done. My goal is to eventually reach a point where I am doing more living and less working. I just need to find out where that is going to take place.

I hope that y’all have a great week!

-Tom

MY FINDS FOR LAST WEEK:

The Self-Reliance Manifesto: More Than 300 Resources to Guide You on the Path to Radical Freedom – This is the holy grail of resources to meet your self-reliance goals.

These 7 Things Are Better Than Paper Money in the Bank When the Economy Collapses – Preparedness in a nutshell. The land and off-grid power is my next desire. Bitcoin? I don’t understand it but I do know it is electronic so this is not something I will be worried about for now.

The Stupid Things People Do When Their Society Breaks Down – This is pretty spot on in my opinion. It is good to know what you may be up against if things go south.

5 Awesome Backpacks That You’ll Want To Bug Out With – I especially like the suggestion to have a firearm scabbard. My favorite bug out bag is no longer manufactured but a close second to it would be the 22 MAG backpack from Kifaru. Side note: the quality of Kifaru’s products is amazing. You won’t be diasappointed.

Why You Need To Prepare For The Cashless Society: “They Want An Intimate Knowledge Of What You Buy and Sell” – I am not sure about how far things may go but I do know that with all of the electronic banking going on, data is being collected and I don’t know what “they” are going to use it for.

95 Survival Tips For When the SHTF: “Carry These. Do This. And Don’t Ever…”

Tips on How to Disappear Without a Trace When SHTF

The following links are to James Wesley Rawles’ Survival Blog:

Letter Re: Know Your Limits

Letter: Advice on Establishing Retreat Group SOPs

Community Risk Mitigation

Letter: Ammunition Versus Silver for Barter

MORE MADNESS IN THE WORLD:

Homeless Man Owes Government Over $110,000 In Fines For Being Homeless

“He Is Aiding And Abetting The Enemies Of The United States” – Obama’s Use of Taxpayer Money to Arm our Enemies is Treason – This is not the first time someone has questioned what is going on with our foreign aid dollars. I think there is plenty of truth to this. We have been training and aiding our enemies for a long time.

Call It What It Is: America Is a Police State – Are we there yet? All I know is that if you took today’s police equipment and set it in the desert, it would probably look exactly like my last tour. If those armored trucks are truly for protection if it’s needed, why are there so many of them? Now there are drones also.

Crime Totally Pays: DC Council Approves Paying Criminals to Stop Committing Violent Crimes – We tried this same tactic in Iraq. What I remember happening is…we had enemies, we paid them to not fight us anymore, and then we ended up with enemies who had more money.

Feds to Border Patrol agents: Don’t like Obama amnesty? Then find a new job…

TIN FOIL HAT TIME?

9 Easy Ways To Get Your Name on a Government Watch List – I’m not sure about some of these but with the environment that we currently live in, I don’t think that anything can be ruled out. By the way, I am offended if I am not on anyone’s watch list. That is discrimination…I’m gonna go call Al Sharpton.

INTERESTING READING:

TEOTWAWKI is NOW! Overcoming Normalcy Bias: Critical Thinking for Survival

That’s a wrap for me this week. As always, I hope that you all have a great week and keep getting ready for tough times. It seems like we get closer every day to something unfortunate coming along.

If you found something that you would like to share with the group or have any questions, don’t hesitate to email me at tom@thepreparedninja.com.

Come back next week for another edition of Monday Mania.

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The End of the World: The Sequel

The following post is a guest submission from JR about his personal experiences living with economic difficulties in Canada similar to those that we are experiencing here in the United States. Not only is it encouraging to know that this too shall pass, it provides me motivation to continue to prioritize decisions and make preparations for any unexpected times ahead.

The End of the World: The Sequel

Almost 48 million souls are on food stamps today in Obama’s America, with around 100 million adults not working. The real unemployment rate, the U6, is around 12.6% (hello, Jimmy Carter years!) while true unemployment, as reported by Shadowstats, recently showed a real unemployment rate of 23.2% – very close to the Great Depression rates. Meanwhile, the young – many of who voted for Obama – are now saddled with $1 trillion in student debt, that they cannot get rid of, short of renouncing their citizenship and moving to Mongolia. The Obama administration has arguably done more to destroy the financial well-being (which results in destroyed careers, damaged relationships, un-started marriages, and a hundred other social ills) of this country than any other political movement, war or disaster this nation has seen or experienced throughout its almost 250 year history.

You are 25 years old. Or perhaps 35. You have no career (or real career) to speak of. You have little to no money, and an equal or perhaps lesser amount of hope for the future. You have damaged relationships because of this and marriage, a home, a fulfilling career and children are only a dream.

What Do You Do?

There is, of course, no easy answer. However, similar to Fernando Aguirre, the author of the blog Surviving Argentina, whose website details his living through the even more profound Argentinian socialist financial meltdown of 2001 – I, too, went through a similar experience in another area of the world, British Columbia of the first half of the 1980s. No, it was not Argentina of 20 years later; on the other hand, how does an official unemployment rate peaking at 17.9% (Vancouver) and 24% (Nanaimo) – both of where I lived – strike you? I can tell you it struck me – and profoundly. Perhaps you may benefit from what I experienced, and what I did to get through that time. I hope that is the case. Just as with you, I, too, went through an “end of the world as we know it” scenario, economically speaking. It took many years to emerge from it, but I did. And this was without inheritances, money being given by sympathetic relatives, some profound stroke of good luck, or the like. I was totally and utterly on my own, as many of you are. Like me, you can make it, too – but it will take courage, creativity, elbow grease, and a good dollop of humility. So… let’s get started. I will recount my own story, with the hope that you can extrapolate from what I went through, and hopefully find a way to apply it to your own current situation.

In Feb. 1981, I finished my second graduate degree at University of British Columbia. Both my degrees were in a humanities area, and I found out very quickly that neither of them would provide a salary that would much surpass that of a bus driver. In fact, quite literally, bus drivers made more than more than a few of the jobs I was looking at – and there was competition for them. What is now lost in the mists of time, but critically important for you, the reader, to know, is that during this era, interest rates pushed upwards to 20%. Housing construction collapsed, and British Columbia, which saw 50% of its provincial revenue derived from lumber, imploded financially. Unemployment skyrocketed. One year I submitted between two or three thousand resumes to jobs, using a manual typewriter. The prognosis was that western Canada would be in the financial doldrums for many, many years, and perhaps decades.

In short, if you have gotten this far, I was in the same shoes you most likely are now – with the added misfortune of a former wife who had an affair, then I nursed through a benign brain tumor, and who finally divorced me, resulting in a serious clinical depression, as well as a significant flying phobia, further curtailing my work opportunities. There’s more – much more – you get the drift, which is why you are reading this. Your details vary, of course, but no doubt are similar in many respects.

The question was, what to do? Here are some suggestions from someone who has been there:

1. Paul Tournier, a Swiss psychologist who was an adult during the Great Depression and World War II (another era that was not brimming with hope!) has a wonderful, decades old book, called The Adventure of Living (available for free here from Google Books), that might be a good place to start. Part of the book is addressed to women, many of whom wanted nothing more than a good marriage and family. Of course, after World War II, many of the men were dead. While Switzerland was unscathed, the rest of Europe, which he was writing to, was very “scathed.” These people had come through fifteen years of financial depression and the unspeakable horrors of total war. And now, for many of them, their fondest, highest dreams were gone, most likely never to be fulfilled.

Tournier’s book is a short read, but to summarize this for you, his advice was to look for the adventure God calls one to. It may well not have been what you wanted or planned. As a matter of fact, it very likely is not. But Tournier’s call was for his readers to take the unique challenges that present themselves, and take that as an opportunity – and as an adventure. To bring this to the modern day where you live now, do you have the opportunity to teach English in China? Perhaps take what you have trained for – which is unemployable here – and utilize that skill in Lithuania or Liberia. The goal is to get moving. Doors will open up much more readily if you start by putting one foot in front of the other, following what light – however little that may seem – you have. Think of driving: it is difficult to steer a car that is not moving; it is much easier to steer a car that is in motion. Of course the hardest thing is to initiate that motion – a body at rest tends to remain at rest. So engage friends or family as you strategize; make specific plans, and hold to them. In my case, I ended up in northern Canada, living in temperatures Americans, and even 90% of Canadians, have never even imagined. And you know what? I had the time of my life. I learned, I made some money, I got experience, and set the stage for the next step in my life. Yes, I was afraid – very afraid – to make the move. In fact, I was more afraid of making that move than anything else in life, except for one, single thing – and that was never having had the courage to have taken a reasonable risk. (I mean by this that you should not do stupid things; but a risk that is weighed out, and not going to result in putting life or limb in jeopardy, should be considered, in conjunction with counsel from friends, family, and both reflection and – if you are of the type – prayer).

2. Retrain. Many people are intellectually lazy, which is often in part built around physical laziness. It was the famed Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi who once said “fatigue makes coward of us all.” Get in shape, and stay there. You needn’t become a triathlete, but you must keep in physical shape and maintain your physical edge. And you must retrain. After leaving British Columbia, I also left the field I trained in. In the mid-1980s, I had never turned a computer on in my life – nor am I naturally gifted at computers. Nevertheless, within four years, I had become a network engineer and proficient enough to make a good living in the computer world. Was it easy? Absolutely not. Was it my ideal job? No. But it was acceptable enough, and it allowed me to buy a home, slowly move out of the clinical depression I was in, and I made reasonable money. Quite a move forward from just a few years earlier. And once the ball was rolling, it continued forward. But none of this would have happened if I had not weighed my options, and taken reasonable risks.

In 1986, I had made a major move across the continent to a city where I knew not a single soul, but where there was a better economy – Ottawa, Ontario. I am not an eastern boy, nor do I like the east. I either lived right on the border of, or in, Quebec – a stretch, given that I knew not a word of French at the time. Yet, I was able to progress my new career in technology further, and eventually met and married my lovely wife, with whom I have now been happily married 25 years. None of this was easy, and I was not – and still am not – a natural born technical person. Rather, I had to put in what seemed to be double or triple the work of those around me, just to keep pace. But the alternative was a slow emotional, financial and spiritual death if I had remained in place. As I often reminded myself, “the only way out was through!”

Speaking of being rooted in place, and not amenable to change and growth, I am reminded of one of the worst ferry disasters in recent history, the MS Estonia that sank in the Baltic in 1994, killing 852 passengers. One of the few survivors recounts running by one passenger, immobile on deck, cigarette between his lips, as he dashed to safety, encouraging him to move. The other person clearly did not – and his immobility killed him. Your immobility may not kill you physically, but it well might kill a career or other opportunities.

No one is saying you should take foolhardy risks. In fact, doing this is the precise equal and opposite error of staying in place and dying a slow death of attrition. Rather, there is a third way, between the twin horns of stupid gambling and craven timidity. It is your job to thread that needle between the two. While it isn’t easy, it is your only chance. The good thing, though, is that this is like baseball – you don’t have to hit one thousand. A swing and a miss is not catastrophic usually – so remind yourself that all you can do is the best you can do, and then if you have left everything on the field, then you have done what you could.

Fast forward to 1994. I am either living in Quebec, near Quebec in Ottawa, or working there. The province is an eyelash from separating from English Canada, which would lead to a financial disaster. My French is still not winning any awards, so we decided to take another calculated risk: move to the US. Another adventure, another major change. More retraining and into yet another field. And despite many similarities between the Canada and the US, they are not the same. (Just imagine moving from Selma, Alabama to NYC – then multiply that by ten). I moved into hospital automation, yet another new field I had never worked in before,  and finally end up leaving the technical world and moving into project management – which was finally utilizing some of the skills I did my graduate work in. And I am finally being paid well.

But none of this would have happened if I had not taken the risk to make the moves noted above.  But, you say you don’t have the courage? Remember: Courage is what you show when you precisely don’t feel like it. There is an old story from WWI of a new recruit to the front trenches. Just before they went over the top to charge the German lines, the recruit, full of bravado, saw his sergeant shaking. “Sergeant, I believe you are afraid,” he remonstrated him. “Yes… and if you knew half of what I know, you’d be shaking, too!” was his reply. If you don’t have the courage to take big steps, then take the largest steps you can, no matter how small. But get moving. 

Upon moving to the US (the Chicago area), I was offered a job which entailed driving to Gary, Indiana every day for two years. At that time, Gary had been voted the most dangerous city in the US nine of the previous ten years. Worse, it was 175 miles round trip per day. No one in my company wanted to take it, of course. However, I checked out the city, and the one safe area of the city was where the hospital was – there was really no danger to my safety that there wouldn’t be anywhere else in a big city, as long as I stayed within the bounds where it was safe. Even better, I made $1,000/month for mileage back and forth to the customer site. I went out and bought a very used Hyundai Excel – no power brakes, windows, nothing – for $3,000 – and the rest of the money went on my mortgage. Over two years, this amounted to $20,000 tax free dollars. All money that everyone else shunned by not looking into opportunity, but rather dismissed out of hand. Even better, the people at the hospital were some of the most pleasant people I have ever worked with, and it was a pleasure to go to work every day. Does “the adventure of living” start to become reified to you now?

3. Finally, shun debt. The problem with “eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die” is that you don’t die. Rather, you wake up with a headache, a soiled carpet from retching all night that you now have to clean, and the bill for the party. A couple examples for you: By our mid-50s, my wife and I had, between the two of us, since we got our driving licenses, spent a grand total of perhaps $55,000 dollars totalbetween the two of us, over 40 driving years. An automobile is the biggest drain on money you will have in this life. Be creative and keep costs down with what you drive. And for you guys, who want that “hot” car to get the girls, let me ask you this: Exactly what kind of long term relationship are you going to have with a woman who goes out with you for the kind of vehicle you drive?  In contrast, I knew my wife loved me, because she put up with the 15 year old car I drove at the time. I had a good girlfriend and a crummy car. Much better than a crummy girlfriend and a good car.

I am not advocating being a miser. If there are things you really and truly enjoy, do so. But don’t buy into the materialism trap. Many of those in trouble buy things they don’t need, to impress people they either don’t know, or like, and with money they don’t have. Why?  As with the old drug commercial, “Just say no.” Brown bag your lunch. Car pool or take the train. Find creative ways to vacation, such as house swapping. Be creative in saving money, particularly in areas where you don’t really have a strong predilection towards something.

To bring this to a close, the above provides you three golden threads (read George McDonald’s 1872 fairy tale, the Princess and the Goblin, if you want to learn more about golden threads) to at least start you on the path.

I, too, have been in a similar situation. Your mileage will vary, but as Canadian singer Bruce Cockburn once sang, you have to kick at the darkness until it bleeds daylight. I titled this article “The End of the World: The Sequel” because there are others who have gone through similar, exceedingly difficult things, as you are now. You are not alone in this experience.  But you can find that adventure that is yours. Just keep knocking and keep seeking, and the door will indeed be opened for you.

How Would You Deal?

It is without fail that difficult times will bring about changes in people. Some changes will be for the better as some rise to the occasion and do the best they can to care for themselves and others while some changes will be for the worst as some choose to use the situation to victimize and cause chaos. I recently stumbled across a list that was put together by user P-14 on the NortheastShooters forum that is essentially a collection of bullet points that summarize FerFal’s experience with the Argentinian collapse in 2001. This experience has been outlined in FerFal’s book, The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse
, as well as several published articles which is where P-14 formed their list. One of the most captivating things about FerFal and his experiences is the fact that it was not all that long ago that these events happened.

While the entire list highlights important information to know and prepare for, I was particularly intrigued by the Crime and Insecurity section which shares FerFal’s perspective on things in Argentina but also seemed strangely familiar to me on many points. I was taken back to my combat experience in Iraq when dealing with armed conflict and insurgency. If anything, this reinforces to me the fact that many preparations can be made that have wide ranging applications. It also seems that it is better to think about these things now as opposed to later when we may be experiencing things first hand. Here is the summary:

  • Allow no one inside your house.
  • “Letting a criminal inside your house almost guaranties that he will rape/beat/torture and abuse whoever they find inside.”
  • Always make sure you have a weapon on you.
  • Most dangerous time of the day – Leaving or entering your house…“Criminals wait until you are standing on front of the door with the keys on your hand to jump on you.”
  • Be extra alert when approaching your house. Look all around and if you see anything strange, keep walking around the block or keep on driving.
  • “No door is ever opened when there is a strange person around.”
  • “Whenever someone knocks on our door (and we don’t know him/her), they are answered from a second story window.”
  • “Criminals sometimes disguised as electric company guys or something like that, saying that they have to fix something. Say NO!”
  • “Better to be rude than dead.”
  • “No one leaves a door or window opened or unlocked. Nor do they hang out in front of the house talking to friends. A bad guy might just see you there, like a sitting duck, pull a gun on you and take you inside your house.”
  • “Criminals are not stupid, and they will spend days checking the place and especially YOUR ROUTINE.”
  • “Sometimes they just drive up to where you are working, if you are far away from the home, but most of the time they sneak up on you.”
  • “The most frequent kind of attack is attacking by surprise when you enter/leave your home.”
  • There is no “safe” hour of the day.
  • “Eyes and ears wide open when you enter/leave your home. If possible, keep a gun in your hand when doing either one.”
  • “If you approach the house with a large number of people they will leave.”
  • Types of crime will range from highly organized gangs/cartels/mafia to simple street crime.
  • Police will handle most organized crime.
  • Kidnappings: Expect 2 or 3 a day in your [suburban/urban] neighborhood.
  • Perps may be wearing police/federal body armor.

Car & Driving:

  1. Windows and doors have to be closed at all times.
  2. A weapon must be within arms reach.
  3. You never stop at a red light or stop sign unless there is traffic, especially at night.
  4. Traffic lights were turned yellow at night.
  5. Accidents at nights were frequent and brutal.
  6. Be prepared to use the car as a weapon – do not stop for anyone standing in front of your car.
  7. “Every now and then someone tries to force me to stop my car by standing in front of it, in the middle of the street. I just aim at them and accelerate at full speed. They always jump out of the way before I hit them.”
  8. “I would have bought a 4×4, even though I live in the city.
  • A 4×4 allows you to drive over the sidewalk or through wasteland, away from roadblocks or riots.
  • I’ve see those that have 4x4s simply go off road, climb over a boulevard and leave while the rest of us poor car owners have to stay.”
  • “A 4×4 truck also has more mass and power in case that someone tries to cut you off or rams you with the car. It’s less likely to stop running if you hit someone or several people (in a riot situation) since it’s prepared for cross country use and the engine is much more protected.”

Children At Play:

  1. “There are absolutely NO kids playing on the sidewalks at all, at any time of the day. Maybe a kid rides his bike a few meters on the sidewalk, but always under the supervision of an adult. A kid riding a bike on his own will get that bike stolen in no time, probably get hurt in the process, therefore no responsible parent leaves a kid alone on the street.
  2. “No parent worth a buck leaves his son or daughter in hands of a stranger.”
  • “Old people and women are especially vulnerable. After old people and women and children, come small framed people, the smaller you are, the weaker you look, the more likely you are to be chosen as a victim by a bad guy.”

This information is thought provoking at a minimum and could very well offer the insight necessary to survive a tough time or dangerous encounter.

Wall Street Expert Recommends Prepping

It seems as though prepping, a practice often seen as strange and participated in only by conspiracy theorists, may not be all that crazy after all. In an article titled, Be prepared: Wall Street advisor recommends guns, ammo for protection in collapse published in yesterday’s Washington Examiner, a Forbes contributor and successful financial advisor, David John Marotta’s thoughts were highlighted from a blog post that he published outlining the importance of preparedness and some of his considerations. Stating concerns of a developing fiscal and social disaster, Marotta believes that it is important for Americans to prepare a “bug-out bag” or survival kit to sustain life for a minimum period of 72 hours. This is a way to not only survive a financial or natural disaster but to prevent fear due to being ill-equipped. His web series even includes a suggested list from Wikipedia on what should be included in a bug-out bag.

Firearms are the last item on the list, but they are on the list. There are some terrible people in this world. And you are safer when your trusted neighbors have firearms. ~David John Marotta

Marotta, who is the president of Marotta Wealth Management, made these remarks in a series of articles published on his company’s website that revolve around the idea of preparing for the end of the world as we know it (TEOTWAWKI). In the five installment collection about how to prepare for the coming financial collapse, Marotta covers the following subjects:

  1. Is A Financial Apocalypse Coming?
  2. Should I Get Out Of Debt Before Civilization Collapses?
  3. Is It The End Of The Line For Stock Investments?
  4. If It’s TEOTWAWKI, Should I Have Paid Off My Mortgage?
  5. Should I Be Storing Food, Water and Firearms?

Citing concern over the implementation of ObamaCare, massive national debt, the NSA spygate scandal, currency deflation and rising Socialism in the United States, Marotta shares that he doesn’t see an end of the world type scenario playing out but does agree that the need to be prepared for potential disaster is real and warranted. It is clear to me that the idea of being prepared for a basic spectrum of disasters is not only an intelligent practice, but one that is being widely embraced by a large variety of people in society. My question to you is…If a well known financial advisor and Forbes contributor is suggesting to be prepared for a financial or other disaster, is there any reason that EVERYONE should not be practicing basic preparedness?

What do you think???

Surviving The Ultimate Doomsday War

In the cataclysmic events of the end of the world, even the average civilian would want to keep him or herself thoroughly protected from the intense danger. It’s not just about arming yourself with a weapon, but it’s also important to have efficient body armor for defense. There are plenty of things to consider when trying to find the appropriate body armor for you.

The Highest Level of Protection

Being that there are different classes of bullet proof vests, and the lower classes of vests don’t protect against the stronger threats that could be out there, it’s important to get the highest class that’s available to you. Not all bullet proof vest manufacturers will indicate what class their vests are, so it’s important to make sure that it is clearly indicated before you purchase.

In a doomsday war, there is definitely going to be extreme threats that are all around. It’s paramount to keep the head protected in these conditions. A ballistic helmet would be most suitable for this. These helmets are capable of repelling some powerful gunfire, and they come in several different sizes and styles to fit the taste of any wearer.

In the U.S., the best body armor complies with the standards of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). If it does not, then it’s not a good choice to purchase.

Armor for Civilians

Unless you are someone with special connections of some sort, you won’t be able to get the same body armor that law enforcement and military personnel have. The armor that a regular person can buy is limited, but there is still a nice selection to choose from. My friends at SafeGuard Clothing offer a range of civilian body armors online so don’t panic, we can protect ourselves as well. It’s illegal to have some types of body armor in some jurisdictions, but it wouldn’t matter much with the end of the world approaching. If you are concerned with compliance of the law, check with your local jurisdictions.

Protection for the Kids and Pets

It doesn’t have to stop with the protection of the adults in the apocalypse, there is also body armor available for the beloved kids and pets as well. This armor is made of the same material and is just as capable as the armor that’s made for adults.

For the kids, body armor can come in an assortment of styles and sizes. There are even stylish backpacks for kids that are bullet resistant. As for the pets, body armor is designed for the larger breeds of dog. Law enforcement canines are commonly outfitted with bullet resistant armor, and the same is available for your pets.

The Safest Precautions

To survive the Ultimate Doomsday War, the best thing to do would be to find sufficient shelter. It’s important to know that body armor does not make someone invincible, although it does provide solid protection for the wearer. The best thing to do would be to stay sheltered and avoid the outside danger.