Stay the course!

“Stay the course!” John Gresham Machen, a 20th century conservative Presbyterian theologian, first uttered those words. And I can’t help but put them into a post this morning…an important and timely post at that (IMHO).

Over the last few days I’ve been getting ready to head back to our off-grid retirement property to do some work for a couple of weeks. I was wrapping some stuff up yesterday when I receive two emails within an hours’ time of each other. And that started my wheels turning…and that spells BIG trouble for ya’ll coz then I gotta write 😉

So let me tie a couple of things together:

  1. Obama was a great boon to preppers and Constitutionalists.
  2. Trump is a great boon against preppers and Constitutionalists.
  3. We are far closer to a collapse now, under Trump, then we ever were under Obama.
  4. We must remember we are preppers and stay the course!

Man, I had to take a break after just wring that first little bit. In my head was a full-load of information and opinion that was just dying to cascade out. And that was not the right approach. So, I went and got a donut, enjoyed it and a glass of cold milk, and thought my collage of thought. This is the result of a truly delicious donut and some special events…

 

 

DISCLAIMER: If you are not going to read the whole article, then don’t read any of it past this point.

 

 

 

Yesterday In the space of an hour I got two really incredible emails. One shared with me that through my website and books they found God and His church. They shared with me some very personal and wonderful events that had taken place in their life…and that it all started with this website. Wow! I was thrilled and humbled to hear such fantastic people pass on that level of accolades to an effort such as this website. The second email from a really nice guy who is very successful; successful in both a spiritual way and a temporal way. He had asked me a couple questions about some finances and prepping. In the process he shared some personal financial information that he said he did because of his trust in me. After my reply to him he shared a couple of compliments about the website and my books. He was very kind. But it was his last sentence that gave me pause, “It seems that less and less people are as involved in ‘preparedness’ since Trump got in, BIG mistake in my opinion.”

I gotta tell you…their emails were well-timed and truly appreciated. And, it also got me to thinking. This post is a direct result of that.

First thing I wanted to do from that thought process was reactivate the “SitReps” and I have done so <click here to see more>  And I will continue to recover more of those as time permits. The reason? Perspective on where I am coming from and background for the things I currently write…such as this post…and future posts.

Now let me start tying things together…

1 – Obama was a great boon to preppers and Constitutionalists.

As is well documented and well known, Obama is a hard-core Marxist, globalist, Progressive…among other things. During his time in office it was made clear, absolutely plain, that he hates the Constitution and all the founding principles of this country. And I am grateful for all of that! Why? Because he woke up many, many people to the awful state of our country. He rallied Conservatives, Tea Party activists, pro-gun rights advocate, and many others to the cause of rights, freedoms, and liberty…and prepping. Without Obama far fewer people would be as prepared today as they are. Without Obama far fewer people would be far less informed in regards to how easily it is to lose rights, freedoms, and liberties…and how close we were/are to losing our country.

2 – Trump is a great boon against preppers and Constitutionalists.

Yup, you read that right. Since Trump’s election many preppers simply stopped, or significantly reduced their prepping for emergencies, disasters, and grid-down. Almost exclusively they did so because they thought Trump was some kind of White Knight, a savior, some miracle worker, a hero…oh boy! The cult of personality worship. The unfortunate facts are such that we are way closer to a collapse of our economy, our government, and our country under Trump than we ever were under Obama. My FAQ – 5/29/2017 post that went up on 1/14/2019 outlined some pretty damning facts against Trump. Let’s review them for a minute:

The federal debt has grown approximately 2Trillion dollars since Trump has been President. Shameful! And it is growing at record rates!!!

  • 09/30/2018 21,516,058,183,180.23
  • 09/30/2017 20,244,900,016,053.51
  • 09/30/2016 19,573,444,713,936.79

The annual federal budget deficit is skyrocketing under Trump!! And Trump’s budget deficits are growing and the trend line is looking horrible for the American economy and especially middle and lower income Americans.

  • 2017 $665billion
  • 2018 $779billion
  • 2019 $984billion (estimated)

Income taxes are at record levels. Never, in the history of our country have there been higher federal income taxes. And here is the sad part…as % of total income taxes collected corporate incomes taxes are going down and personal income taxes are going up…way up. And to further make things worse…income taxes as a % of GDP are going way up as well. That means collectively average citizens are paying far more out of their paychecks to the federal government than ever before and it is growing at an alarming rate.

So let me summarize that: While Trump has been President the federal debt has increased substantially, annual deficits are at records highs, and income taxes being taken from individuals is skyrocketing. Does that sound like a good thing?

I spent about an hour researching our current situation as a country as far as (public, private, institutional) debt is concerned. Then I went into delinquency rates for private debt. I produced a bunch of charts and graphs to present…then I decided “Nope!” I am not going to clutter up this post with a bunch of graphics. But let me share this for 2017 – present: all areas of private/institutional debt are up substantially, all areas of public debt are up dramatically, all areas of delinquency/default for private debt are up markedly. And all while Trump is President. It is clear that on a macro level, based on absolute fact, while Trump has been president we have become far more financially and economically unstable than under any other president in the history of the United States.

Non-financial moves by Trump:

  • Brett M. Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Kavanaugh is a big-government, police-state believer. He believes in “national security” over individual rights, freedoms, and liberties.
  • Trump administration has not supported the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment has suffered several defeats in appellate courts and Trump administration has not defended the Second Amendment by taking those cases to the Supreme Court. The Trump administration has announced plans to ban bump stocks which is a direct blow against the Second Amendment.
  • Trump has not shrunk the size of the federal government.
  • Trump has not built the wall as he promised.
  • Trump has not worked to eliminate or reduce abortion.
  • Trump is a raging narcissist, he is nearly perfect in his own eyes and will tell the American public that at every opportunity.
  • He opposes the Constitution when it doesn’t suit his purposes. He is a huge believer in Civil Asset Forfeiture even though it is a direct violation of the Constitutional provision of “due process”.
3 – We are far closer to a collapse now, under Trump, then we ever were under Obama.

Financially it is clear (and fact based)…we in danger of a financial/economic collapse under Trump…far more so than under Obama.

In areas other than financial collapse the same is true, but for some strange reasons. All Democrats and many Republicans (maybe most) hate Trump. And yes, I mean hate. Now that Democrats have regained control of the House of Representatives we are going to see a full- on press to remove Trump from office…after (or as) they attack a long list of his associates and family. Can they remove him from office that way, even using “impeachment”? Probably not, actually, in all reality…no. But, what happens if they can’t remove him via Congressional action? But, that is not my biggest fear…What will the Democrats do if Trump is reelected? We know that Democrats are the party of intolerance, bias, bigotry, hate, extreme violence, and war mongers…so what would be their next move after a potential lost election? Yup…in my way of thinking we have had a soft coup taking place for over two years now. We are going to see that become far more active for the next two years. And may even get worse than that during that time. But, if Trump is reelected…look for a hard coup to remove him from office. Yes, we are than unstable.

Note of significance: I spoke a fair amount about the coup against Trump in early 2017. But, it has change somewhat…it has gotten worse. The biggest move to make it worse is Jerome Powell – Chairman of the Federal Reserve. Only going into the briefest of details, he is a; 1) globalist, 2) Progressive wing of the Republican party, 3) close friends of the Bush dynasty, 4) liberal education, 5) shady background in investment banking, 6) rabid believer in high government debt, 7) close confidant of Barack Obama, 8) voted for quantitative easing, 9) supporter of the socialist Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, 10) extreme environmentalist, and super rich (100+million dollars). All in all…no friend of our Constitutional Republic…and another member of the group trying to overthrow Trump.

4 – We must remember we are preppers and stay the course!

Here really is my simple message…everything up to this point was to make my case. If you were a prepper and went to sleep after Trump was elected…WAKE UP!!!  Please wake up to our awful condition and restart your prepping efforts to whatever degree you can. If you are not a prepper and reading this article…START PREPPING!!! If you are a prepper, had your eyes open, didn’t fall asleep, didn’t fall into “Trump Worship”, and you see what is happening now…Stay the Course!

Why am I so worked up?

Those emails really struck a very deep cord in me. That maybe, just maybe, I can make a difference with a few folks. And maybe that difference will be enough to help them and their families not just survive in life, but thrive. And in what may lie directly head coming at us at full speed…well, maybe I can help some folks be ready for that too…again, not just merely to survive, but for them and their families to thrive.

For those of you who have shared with me what my books and this website has meant to you and your families…Thank you! Thank you very, very much. I appreciate that feedback more than you possibly know. I commit to you, to everyone, to do my very best in presenting hard facts, great opinions, and the absolute very best prepping information I can.

Thank you again!

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Are you ready?

Pretty broad question, eh? Maybe I should clarify the question a little bit…

When will you be ready for a “grid-down” event?

I hope all of you can answer “I am ready now” but realistically that probably isn’t true for any of us. Why is that? Basically I don’t think any of us will ever be ready for something along the lines of an actual grid-down.

Yeah, I am talking about a TEOTWAWKI scale event for the most part. And why don’t I think any of us are ready now or will ever be ready?

Let’s look at what readiness might look like –

  1. We have all the means necessary to protect our family from any form of violence that might present itself. Breaking down “means” equates to, enough guns, ammo, magazines, optics, tactical gear, and training. Do any of us have all of that in-place right now? Do we have enough “area deniers” to protect those areas of our home or property that we might not be able to handle with guns alone? Bars, nets, and boards for the windows? How about some kind of perimeter protection? Do we have an agreement with our neighbors to mutually support each other?
  2. We have all the means to provide our family with medical care and prevent sickness. Again, enough medical supplies and training to meet all of that requirement? What about medicines? When it comes to more advanced medical care, are we well enough trained for things like bullet wounds, delivering a baby, and maybe taking out a ruptured spleen.
  3. We have enough communications capability to keep our family members in communication with each other and our family in touch with the outside world? Do we have multiple redundant communications systems like emergency radios, handheld and mobile Ham radios, or even FRS/GMRS radios? Do we have ways to charge batteries for all of those radios? Do we have any of those radios hardened against an EMP?
  4. We can form an organization within our family, neighborhood, community, or church congregation to meet the needs of a grid-down. We can expand or merge that organization with other families, our neighborhood, our church congregation, or even wider. Do you know the basics of organizing effectively?
  5. We can provide safe drinking and cooking water for at least a year. Do you have at least three ways to provide filtered and purified water for your entire family for at least a year? Do you have 1 – 2 months of water stored right now? Can you transport it if needed?
  6. We can provide sufficient shelter against the elements (hot and cold) for multiple years. Do you have an initial shelter to protect your family? If that shelter becomes unusable do you have the tools, training, and materials to make another shelter capable of withstanding the elements (hot & cold)?
  7. We can provide enough food for our family for a year and we have enough heirloom seeds to garden for two years. Do you have enough pantry food, including spices for 90 days? Do you have enough salt, wheat, oats, sugar, and other basics of life to last your family until other sources of food can be located or grown? Do you know how to garden? Can you transport those food items?

Wow! That was a reality check for me. I have been prepping a very long time. And I’ve been blessed with sufficient financial resources to acquire a long list of prepper items. And, on top of everything else, I have been in a career where I have better exposure and training to these kinds of issues than most. All of that and…I am still lacking.

Of the seven areas I mentioned above we are solid in 4 areas. In the medical area we are good on supplies, decent on training, and lacking on the more advanced stuff. In the water area we are fine on the filtration and purification side, but lacking on the supply side. Well, unless we count our neighbors large pool. And while we are good on food, we are lacking in available garden space. So overall I would say we are kind of not ready…kind of ready.

Then on top of that I do have to look at our “location” situation. It sucks! Our town would rip itself apart if we had a grid-down. We already have a large gang population. And I am not talking about some amateur gangs, I am talking about the big guys like Aztecas, MS-13, etc. They all use this city as a transportation hub. The only reason it isn’t crazy right now…they have to keep a fairly low profile to keep the drugs and illegals moving through to other parts of the country while keeping law enforcement off their backs.

Our location also affects our water supply issue as well as our gardening capability. That means we would probably have to bugout if times got really bad. Fortunately we have a place we can go to, but we would also have to leave a fair amount of our preps behind if we only took one vehicle. That sucks, but we have everything organized to do that. Given enough warning we could cache a lot with no problem.

So, I pose the question again, but I will make it personal…

When will we be ready?

We can’t personally resolve the garden and water issue. I am not sure that we can really resolve the medical issue unless we move close enough to some kind of medical facility or closer to more highly trained folks.

Then again, will we be able to handle all of the potential violence that may come our way? Probably not on our own. Probably “yes” with some help.

How long will our rechargeable batteries last? Can we put together a large enough group of people to handle grid-down? Can we be organized well enough? What about a drought year for gardening, or two years, can we store enough water?

Well, as I combine honesty and a solid reevaluation together…the answer would probably be…never.

What?????   Yeah, we will probably never be fully prepared. And, I would go out on a limb and say the same for you and your family.

So why are we are preparing at all?

Because we know we have to. Yup, it is that simple. There is just a bit more to it, but I am going to hold that for the end of the article.

What about the “gaps” in our preps?

It is easy to find the more glaring gaps if you go about it systematically. And the best way to do that is prioritizing. And the best way to prioritize is to use the “layering” method. To learn about layering read the multi-part series “Layers” < click here to read >

As you read through each of the layers articles you can acquire those items that meet the most immediate need. That means meet the most immediate need in each of the basic areas. Then meet the medium-terms needs in each area and then finally the long-term needs.

That gives you a very systematic way to go about it and how to spend your money wisely at the same time. But, I would suggest you avoid the frustration of never having enough.

So, will you and I ever be ready for grid-down, SHTF, or TEOTWAWKI?

Yes, we will.

Why?

Because we are working on it and we have the mindset to accept that events like that could happen. And since we can visualize it our minds, we can be more flexible, adaptable, and less prone to Normalcy Bias. And if you have read through my Situational Awareness articles then you probably have many, if not all, of the tools you will truly need. I say that because I’ve seen people in high-stress, life and death situations, enough to know that surviving is almost all mental.

Avoid complacency!

What I mean by that is don’t just count on your “mental” when it hits the fan. Your “material” preps will be needed as well. So stay the course, be organized in how you go about acquiring your preps, look for gaps, and keep going forward. It will pay off!

 

 

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Are you well-grounded?

(from January 2016)

I frequent a number of different prepper-related websites to stay in-tune with the pulse of preparedness from other perspectives. Most of the time, not always, it is pretty boring information that is either marginal or worse, some it is just blather. What I do find really interesting from time to time are the personalities. The last couple of weeks more so than usual.

Let, me back it up for a minute and explain where I am coming from this morning. During emergencies and disasters the world around you will become hectic, disorienting, and potentially filled with potholes. Those potholes could have dire outcomes if you are not well-grounded in your ethics, beliefs, and morals. I will explain through an example.

There is this guy on one of the websites, he is obviously intelligent, and he can argue an issue pretty decently. I’ve seen many people be wooed by him. He will weave some truth together but he liberally (no pun intended) mixes in a whole lot of inaccurate information and lots of personal agenda. By doing so, he will get some people to think he has a valid point because some of what he says will “ring true.” But, that smidgen of truth is overshadowed by the real trash he is promoting. But…only if you can see what he is doing and how he is doing it.

One of his primary messages is a person must always support government to the point of virtual blind obedience. He has consistently advocated that all citizens must, absolutely must, obey the law (and law enforcement) no matter what. He actively pushes the idea that any civil disobedience is wrong regardless of the underlying issues. He also believes and preaches that actively fighting tyranny is against all core tenants of his religion, Christianity. I am constantly surprised at his ability to twist and manipulate his way through a debate on these subjects while hiding behind the skirts of his church’s leadership. And, I might add, misrepresenting his Church’s positions.

But, why is that important, or even related, to your prepping?

Great question, and one that won’t produce an answer with a direct relationship between your prepping and this person, or his over the top government allegiance. But, it is important to view how similar situations and people could present everything from an unpleasant situation, to a fatal set of circumstances that may challenge your beliefs and morals…or convince you to act against what would otherwise be out of the  ordinary for you.

Let me define the backdrop to this discussion first. (to better understand the categories of emergencies click here)

Emergencies, while they present challenges and disappointment, seldom result in the rule of law breaking down. The same could be said for the threat of violence during an emergency, it is seldom a problem of any significance. When we are dealing with disasters though, the situation will probably change to the point that the threat of violence becomes more prevalent, if not pervasive. However, it is my belief that violence would be more wide-spread during more serious disasters. Disasters along the scale of Hurricane Katrina.

When large-scale significant disasters hit they tend to grow in scope until they approach a “grid-down” situation. Most disasters however stop short of a full-on grid-down. Hurricane Katrina began as an emergency, in so much that people where having to prepare for the approaching storm under increasingly dire conditions. However, once the storm hit it immediately transitioned into a disaster.

Then we saw another transition take place as the disaster of Hurricane Katrina moved into the realm of grid-down. However, not the entire storm affected area went into grid-down, many areas remained in the disaster category. There were areas where grid-down was in full force; the Dome for instance. There were other limited areas of the city and surrounding area such as the “bridge” where the police simply shot and killed a number of unarmed citizens who posed absolutely no threat. There was also wide-spread gun confiscation by police in New Orleans as well, which that single act alone certainly would have pulled the disaster into grid-down territory.

Each category (emergencies, disaster, and grid-down) presents moral challenges. The presence of those challenges require you to be grounded in core beliefs that will help you safely navigate the waters of moral choices. Let me explain that a little bit by asking a dramatic “war gaming” question…

When are you prepared to kill your neighbor?

I bet you weren’t expecting that question were you? Many people would be appalled by that question. However, for preppers it is a legitimate question. And, I really hope you didn’t have a snap answer to that question, I would like to go through a little exercise to see just where that line is for you. To do so let me use myself as the guinea pig.

My neighbor is an absolute idiot, he is an alcoholic, drunk almost every weekend/all weekend, he is an ugly drunk, a loudmouth who views himself as a bully, he has abused his wife in the past, he is arrogant…yeah, a real gem of a neighbor. So, where is the line where you would kill a guy like this during an emergency, disaster, or grid-down?

In the situation of an “emergency” when would you be prepared to take this guy’s life?

I would propose something along the lines of –

• He attacks you or a family member with any kind of weapon.
• He attempts to sexually assault someone.

But what about –
• He tries to steal your food?
• He tries to steel your generator that is powering your house while the power is out?
• He starts yelling at you for having power, food, or water when his family doesn’t?
• He’s pounding on your door demanding you share your gasoline with him?

To me, the first group (attack & assault) are warranted, the second group it isn’t. Why? Well, under simple disaster conditions why wouldn’t you share your food, water, gasoline, generator, etc. with your neighbor?

Now, let me throw in some more information right about now that will muddy the water a bit. My neighbor’s wife is a very nice person. They also have two teenage daughters, 16 & 19. Both of those kids are really, really nice people, pleasant to be around, respectful, and just nice kids. Do I make them suffer because of their idiot father/husband?

I hope I have you thinking about now. But, let’s move along…what about a full-blown disaster…where is the line where he deserves to die…at your hand?

Now, is it warranted if he tries to steal tools, food, water, gasoline, propane, etc.? Does he deserve to die for those things?

I maintain that the first couple situations are still morally acceptable to take a life – namely:
• Stopping an attack on you or a family member with any kind of weapon.
• Stopping a sexual assault of any kind, weapon or not.

What about when in week three and his family is really hungry and they want to eat some of your food storage and he is in your face yelling and screaming as well as threatening you with physical harm? Is that the line he has crossed that deserves his life to be taken?

I say, “No.” Why? Taking a life, even injuring someone is a pretty serious step to take. He is probably not reacting any differently that anyone would, maybe even how you would react if you had not properly prepared. Remember, the stuff you share with him you can replace at the store once the disaster is over, even if the incident lasts for several weeks. That time period should not have exhausted your supplies, you should be better prepared than that.

Let’s move into the “grid-down” situation now. Does this change anything?

Just to make it easier, we are talking a hard grid-down situation where there simply won’t be a resupply of food for months, maybe years. Fresh water is no longer available and new fuel supplies are no longer in existence. The grid is down, and down hard. What now?

I say that he gets a quick ride to the next life if –
• He attacks you or a family member with any kind of weapon.
• He attempts to sexually assault anyone.

But now, with the situation significantly changed, what about –
• He tries to steal your food?
• He tries to steel your generator?
• He is in your face, pushing his finger into your chest, yelling at you for having power, food, or water when his family doesn’t?
• He’s pounding on your door demanding you share your gasoline with him?
• He’s been talking trash to the neighbors telling them you have a whole warehouse of food but won’t share…and they should simply take it from you?

Where is your line now?

Actually, let me ask another question at this point…Have you ever even thought of this stuff before? Meaning, the question of…where is your moral line.

OK, I am not asking for answers to the question. What I am really asking about is are you well-grounded enough in your own moral base to know now where that line is, where your boundaries are?

I thought about it a whole lot. When I was writing the first two books of My Journal series I really thought long and hard about it. I wanted to portray in the book what was realistic in terms of moral struggle in taking a life…and when it was warranted.

I am a Christian, and as such I profess to believe that all life is sacred and precious. I am also a father and husband, so the lives of my family are important. So I had to deal with the challenge of…When is the life of a family member worth more than anyone else’s life?

Whoa…there is a serious challenge!

But let me completely change directions on you again. Let’s pull this conversation out of the “live or die” scenario. Let’s talk about rights, freedoms, and liberties. When, or do we, ever give those up? Or, when do we take them from others?

And that brings us back to the “well-grounded” question that I started off with…

What are your core beliefs…about anything?

Another example is needed…

The grid is down hard, violence is everywhere, gangs are roaming, etc. Your neighborhood has a meeting and decides to organize as its own self-contained and self-governed community. Someone proposes to do things democratically, elect a leader by simple majority, and then have a committee make rules and laws. Those rules and laws will be presented to the community and voted on, majority vote required to pass them. Do you support that?

Well, depends on if you believe in a democracy or not.

Do you? Do you believe in a democracy as a legitimate and proper form of government?

Let’s listen to what our Founding Fathers had to say…

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for dinner.” – Ben Franklin

Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments.” – Alexander Hamilton

The United States is a Constitutional Republic not a democracy! The Constitution and the Bill of Rights was not the founding documents of a democracy, they are the foundation of a Constitutional Republic. The Declaration of Independence was not written to defeat tyranny brought about by a Parliament and a King just to establish a tyranny by a Congress and a President.

If you understand a democracy and how it works, democracy is nothing more than mob rule. Yes, maybe a well-organized mob, but still a mob. Supporting an organization that brings a neighborhood together is great; supporting it under the concept of “majority rule” is supporting a non-Constitutional form of government. Are you prepared to do that and live with the consequences?

Test your potential support of a democracy, any democracy…What if that democratic neighborhood government holds a vote and the majority decide to share all food among all families? And they then demand you to turn over all of your food to be distributed evenly among everyone…what now? Food for thought, eh?

Moving on again…

Would you ever steal food from someone during a grid-down event? How about during a disaster?

Wait, maybe I should ask you a slightly different, although related, question…Have you ever been truly hungry, such as in you haven’t eaten for a couple of days kind of hungry?

OK, let me bombard you with yet another question…You are living in a disaster situation, your child is diabetic, you run out of insulin, your child is going downhill rapidly, death is within days, maybe less. The local pharmacy has insulin, plenty of it, but your prescription has lapsed, your doctor can’t be reached, no other doctor will return your calls, no hospital is available because they are overloaded, the pharmacist is adamant…no prescription = no insulin.

Would you steal the insulin?

How about…would you hold up the pharmacist at gun point to get the insulin? What if the pharmacist said you would have to kill him to get more insulin without a prescription? Now what would you do? Where is that line…your line of morality?

In the Bible there are great admonitions; love your neighbor as yourself, take care of the poor and needy, the Good Samaritan, turn the other cheek, etc. Wonderful advice, terrific stories, and divine guidance is found in that brilliant book.

So, would I let my neighbor steal the food from my family to feed his family?

Would I let my neighbors confiscate my food storage because they had a “vote” and decided that was the right thing to do?

Something a bit less dramatic (not)…Would I share my food storage with my neighbor knowing that it will make my family starve sooner?

What about a mob advancing on my house demanding that I share my food storage?

Once again, I am not asking what you would do. I am asking…Have you thought about where is your moral line on these matters?

In other words…When would you pull the trigger…when will you take a life?

Or, like the individual that I describe being a “government is the answer” guy, would you know when, how, or why to object to his arguments? Better yet, would you know how to plead a case against him to a group of people he is trying to lead astray? Or, would you give-in to his golden tongue and follow his false ways? Would you just silence him with an inner-cranial lead injection? Would you even know just how wrong someone like that is?

Are you well-grounded or just well prepared? And, which is most important to you?

 

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The Future…as of 1/10/2019

I absolutely love mornings like this one! Here in the desert southwest it is in the 50’s, moisture in the air, sunny with high clouds, and nice enough for nothing more than a light jacket. On top of everything else that is wonderful about this morning…I ate a maple covered glazed donut from my favorite bakery as a snack. For breakfast I had green chile cheese grits. What a great morning!

So what the heck does that have to do with prepping and you? Maybe nothing…maybe a lot. The point is all of the enjoyment this morning helped clarify a number of things I had been thinking about lately. I’ve been trying to figure out where we are headed…as individuals and as a country…the future.

It is easy to talk about the past, it is a “known” and the outcomes can be checked, verified, and judged. The future is a totally different animal…we don’t know for sure what is coming or what the outcome will be. However, we can speculate, predict, and opinionate. That can provide a path/plan for ourselves, our family, our congregations, and maybe even for our community.

Why not use it as a plan/path for our state or country? Well, my opinion is such that I don’t believe we, as individuals, have enough influence to make that kind of change. Now, if you are one of the elite power brokers then you may have that kind of influence. Me…well, I am not one and I don’t personally know anyone that is. So I stick to what is realistic for me…myself, my family, my congregation, and maybe my community.

Anyone that has known me for any length of time knows I am a huge history nut…and I also have strong political opinions. What I’ve been working on for the last year or so is how to combine all that, my opinion(s) of the future, and use prepping as a solution. I have finally arrived to the point where I have my thoughts in order. Well, at least enough to start sharing them with you. However, you have to leave me a little room to modify any statement I may make. I might make a mistake when writing what I think, or I could just be wrong and have to correct myself later. Please allow me that luxury.

First step for me was to identify the main areas of the future that I believe will have the most impact on us as individuals. I believe those areas are (in priority order):

1 – Technology

2 – Money

3 – Morality

4 – Politics

Let me stop you right now and give you reason to pause…DO NOT READ FURTHER!!! Well, unless you are willing to read it all. If you only read the next part and not the last part you may become depressed. If you read to the end…there is amazing hope and light!

1 – Technology

All the main technologies are advancing far faster than our ethics. The ability to acquire personal information is virtually limitless and the individual’s ability to even understand what personal information is being collected and how it is exploited is severely limited. The two are on a collision course; acquisition and exploitation. The NSA collects, and has been collecting, all electronic communications for 20 years or so. Banks (and related financial institutions) collect all private and business financial transactions in painstaking detail. Social media collects all our opinions and views related to every aspect of our lives.

All of that data is available to the government, almost all of it is available to any corporation. And it is all being exploited for one purpose…to anticipate an individual and then control their choices and actions. And that exploitation comes in only two main flavors…lust for power and money.

As the future continues to unfold we will find ourselves bombarded more and more with ads for products and services. Those ads will be based on our personalities and our weakness (or susceptibility) to have our choices directed. That will control everything from what toilet paper we buy to what political candidate we vote for.

Paralleling the personality weakness based ads controlling our purchases will be government’s ability to control our actions. For decades we’ve seen computer AI based software direct policing decisions in major cities. Several years ago we witnessed a robot used by a police department to kill an armed suspect. Now we have seen where some cities are employing AI controlled robots to patrol city sidewalks. We are already finding ourselves subjugated to technology and it will only get worse…far worse.

Technology is all about data, the more data that a company or government controls, the more they can exercise control over its people. China is a perfect example. They employ the most advanced facial recognition software in the world. They collect and collate every piece of data from every citizen’s daily activity, including their every movement in public. And here is the scary part…they use all of that data to assign “social credit” to each citizen.  It began implementation in 2014 and is expected to be fully operational for every citizen by 2020. Some of the infractions that degrade a person’s social credit score include bad driving, smoking in non-smoking zones, buying too many video games, and posting fake news online. Some of the areas that adversely affect you for those infractions as your social credit score deteriorates:

  • Controlling your ability to travel…locally or abroad.
  • Controlling your Internet access, and access speed.
  • Controlling where you or your children attend school.
  • Controlling what jobs you are eligible for.
  • Controlling access to hotel bookings.
  • Being publicly designated in the media as a “bad citizen.”

And who is partnering with the Chinese government to perfect and implement that technology? Google, Facebook, Instagram, and Microsoft among others. And FYI…Google is a major player in US Government implementation of technology.

As we more deeply involve ourselves in technology as individuals we transfer power from ourselves to both corporations and the government. Technology is the single most threatening issue that empowers and facilitates the following three.

2 – Money (currency/debt/budget/inflation/Federal Reserve)

We have never been in a more precarious position financially than now. Individuals and governments have never been in more debt than right now. The monetary systems of countries have never been less firm than they are now. The global and national financial systems have never been more easily manipulated than now.

In 2008/2009 we saw a single company’s financial crisis ripple throughout the world’s finical system to the point that it nearly collapsed the entire global financial system. Only the immediate implementation of socialist policies by a Republican President stopped it. And the follow-up to those policies by both Democrats and Republicans was a broad implementation of additional socialist and crony capitalist polices clamping firm governmental control over every aspect of an individual’s financial choices and capabilities.

We’ve seen huge swings in the stock markets over the last few years. Those swings are almost exclusively at the hand of AI powered trading programs by large trading firms. And the stock markets are way down over the last year transferring vast sums of capital from main street individuals to Wall Street tycoons.

We have no underlying fundamentals that our country’s money is based on. In other words…there is zero actual value to our dollar. It used to be gold and silver, but that is no more. It is based solely on the ability of the federal government to tax. And with the government $22,000,000,000,000 (yes, 22 trillion dollars) in actual debt, there is no feasible course for the federal government to tax itself back into solvency. It is only a matter of time before our monetary system is found with no confidence.

We are on the brink of total financial collapse…nationally and globally. While I don’t know the timeline…it could be next week, next year, or 10 years…but it is very near. And FYI…Cryptocurrency will only accelerate the collapse and make money more controllable by anyone other than the individual who thinks they own it.

3 – Morality (selfishness vs. selflessness/debauchery/civility)

This particular area is one of complete opinion, you either see society and people, as moral or not. I see society as disgustingly debauched, immoral is too weak a term for me. The amount of moral-based criminal activity is beyond comprehension. Pornography is rampant, readily available, infecting children at the pre-teen level now, and destroying one soul after another. The prevalence of sex debauchery is everywhere and touted by the media at every turn.

Civility is disappearing from many areas and aspects of our nation. Just last week teenagers attacked a mother in the presence of her children over something so trivial as playing in a McDonald’s playground. Gangs are shooting young children, illegal aliens are raping and murdering at an alarming rate, drug use is going through the roof, etc.

We are seeing less and less charity work, while a dependence on government welfare programs increases. We are seeing the “me generation” as a mere shadow of what we are witnessing today. It has moved from the “me generation” to “damn right I am entitled to it!” generation.

4 – Politics (tribalism/corruption/incompetence/totalitarianism)

Politics is an evil to top all evils! Why? Because politics has moved to virtually a single motivation…politicians seeking only to get gain over others.  And the “gain” they seek is power and money at the expense of anyone and everyone. With money they can buy power. With power they can extort money.

And in the process we find ourselves with incompetent government workers, politicians unaware of problems and solutions that actually work, and citizens ignorant of who their candidates are and what they do once they are elected. Citizens are, almost to a person, completely ignorant of the founding principles of our country and why they were put into place.

As a result of the above two elements we find ourselves neck deep in tribalism. People don’t want to look at individual issues, to understand the underlying principles, and then implement the right solutions. And because people have become so lazy and ignorant they seek safety and comfort in a tribe. And with their fellow tribesmen they allow corrupt and morally bankrupt politicians to lead them. Why? Almost all citizens act and react based on emotions and laziness. That is perfect environment for the corrupt politicians to march people willingly towards their ultimate goal…totalitarianism.

Whew…that was somewhat painful!

Now that I have gone to considerable lengths to outline my opinion of the areas of most importance to our future…is there an answer, a solution? Of course there is…and it is fairly easy to identify in every issue. Well, easy if you have the right perspective. And therein is the crux of the problems…the “right” perspective.

For the last 15 years I have had the on-going internal debate about politics. I went from not caring, then to just let me live my life, to Republicans vs. Democrats. And at that time the Republicans were clearly the good guys and the Democrats were the bad guys. Then it changed to Liberals vs. Conservatives. Conservatives were clearly the good guys and liberals/Progressives clearly the bad guys at that point. Then it morphed into Republicans and Democrats vs. Libertarians. With the Libertarians clearly being the only good guys. And finally almost two years ago it was cemented in me that it was all about principles, individual principles…not labeled political pigeon holes. That made the most sense…everything boiled down to principles not some weird form of tribalism.

Now that I had it down to principles I could rather easily identify which principles were good, bad, or evil. To me there are only those three categories. However, I did realize that “good” was actually; good, better, or best. Bad was mostly just based on being stupid or ignorant. And evil was clear…imposing something on another to get gain. Both bad and evil being grouped together one respect since they were both at the expense of someone’s rights, liberties, or freedoms.

But since good, bad, and evil are subjective…what to base those judgements on? Ah, then I figured out that maybe it wasn’t subjective after all. Maybe there was a foundation on which to make those judgements that went beyond being subjective. Yup! There is.

Now understand this…all of this is only my opinion. So while the anti-subjective foundation is used as a basis of judgement…it is also my opinion of such. Here goes…there are certain things that are right and wrong…”eternal truths” I call them. And yes, I borrowed that term. But applicable all the same.

For politics it was simple…anything that subverted individual rights, liberties, or freedoms was either bad or evil. Along those same lines anything that strengthened government control, moved power from people to government, was also bad or evil. Anything that strengthened individual rights, liberties, and freedoms was good.

For justice (including the “legality” of something) it was just as simple…anything that forcefully took something from someone else was bad or evil. That is the taking without their permission or full knowledge.

For morality, once again simple…selfishness was bad or evil. Selflessness was good.

It all boiled down to something that simple…period. And don’t forget the determining factor of bad vs. evil isn’t hard to understand either. If something that is “bad” is done to get gain over another person it moves from “bad” to “evil.”

To further determine what is good look no further than some underlying principles. For example the Ten Commandments cover murder, stealing, and fraud. What a great foundation for any legal system that any sane person can agree on! For the political system of government look at the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights as governing principles.

Just for a moment if you don’t mind: We have the unalienable right to life, liberty, and happiness from the Declaration of Independence. Meaning…the right to a fair judicial system and due-process as the only way a person can be deprived of life. Also to be able to live life unencumbered by government, complete self-determination, and the right to enjoy our property unrestricted by government. The Constitution and Bill of Rights are additional documents to ensure that the above rights are adhered to.

So truly the future is based on good vs. evil. Which do we want…Which do you want?

Solutions?

Now is the time for me to share a few things to get you thinking about your solutions to the above problems…and that overriding solution is “self-sufficiency” in its purest form.

1 – Technology:

  • Be, or have the capability to be, as independent from technology as possible.
  • Along with that, make sure you can live without technology should the need arise.
  • Use technology as an informed consumer. Know and understand that the more you use technology, any technology, the more you expose everything about you and your life to those that would use that information to manipulate your life.

2 – Money:

  • Be as independent from money and the financial systems as feasible.
  • Along with that, make sure you can live without money and the financial system should the need arise.
  • More specifically –
    • Have a manual skill or two that can generate money and/or barter.
    • ZERO debt! (as much as possible)
    • Food storage and capability to produce food.
    • Some stash of precious metals, the amount is up to you and your circumstances.

3 – Morality:

  • Have a clear sense of right and wrong that is based on eternal truths…and stick to it. Do not engage in situational ethics.
  • Avoid anything that is bad or evil…don’t embrace or support any of it.
  • Find God…embrace religion that is founded on universal and eternal truths.
  • Give service as much as you possibly can. Perform big acts of charity, small acts of kindness, random smiles, and don’t expect anything in return. Avoid selfishness at all costs. Make selflessness a life goal.
  • Make your family the center of your universe.

4 – Politics

  • Deal only in principles…not parties.
  • Embrace and support only those principles that are based on our founding documents (Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and the Bill of Rights).
  • Leave all political tribes, don’t associate with, or support, any political tribe…ever.
  • Vote in every election. Vote only for those candidates that best match your morality and political principles.

If I were to sum it up I would have to go back to being self-sufficient in those areas that I outlined. And that is especially true with the morality and political issues. Without a moral base or foundation, you can and will be tossed about by different passing fads. You will potentially get caught up in hero worship. You will look for and then follow anyone who strikes you as a “white knight” but there are no white knights. Don’t depend on anyone to guide you in morality or politics. God is good enough to guide you in morality and you can figure out the political issue if you concentrate on principles and the country’s founding principles and Founding Fathers of our country.

There you have folks…the future world and how to deal with it…according to AH Trimble!

 

 

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Update…

Well, good morning folks!  It’s been quite a while since I have done anything with the website…too long. A whole lot has changed in my life since I last posted anything. And if you remember my last posting(s) it was not encouraging.

By 2017 I had posted over 900 articles and opinions on emergency preparedness and current events. Some of it was hardcore prepper information, some was editorial pieces. I had been working on and posting those articles since 2009. In 2017 I began another book, Escape from Tucson, and posting installments every few days. It was a book published entirely online in daily increments. I really loved that endeavor! And yes, I left the final posting open for a sequel.

In mid-2017 I woke up one day to find virtually the entire website was crashed and articles, including the online book, gone…vanished. I had been hacked. There was no recovering it…even the back-up files I had made were gone. I was pretty devastated by it. At that point I knew I had to take a break. I was in my last year of work before retiring and I just needed the time.

Well unknown to me a couple of great folks had downloaded most, maybe all, of my articles…including my entire online book. In December of 2017 they emailed me that they would be glad to send me the files. I will forever be grateful that they did. But, I was still not ready to do anything additional with the website. That had now changed…I am ready for a resurrection of sorts.

First, let me explain a bit of what has been happening in the last year-plus. I retired, sold our house, moved to apartment, and working on our place in Arizona. Yeah, a lot to undertake, and worth every minute of it. As it stands now I usually go to AZ and work on the property for 1 – 2 weeks, then return home for 1 – 2 weeks. Yeah “home time” is mostly to shower and eat my wife’s great cooking.

In and among all of that I have worked like crazy on my family history, usually 30- 40 hours per week. That work has come along amazingly well and I am so proud of what I have discovered with my ancestors.  A lot of really good folks in family’s past. Some hard stock pioneers, some community pillars, some leading women in their day, a lot of military men, and a couple of scoundrels as well. Even a newspaper power/editor, as well as a lawyer, that was murdered…that remains unsolved to this day. However, yesterday I felt very prompted that worked has been sufficiently done for now and I had to get back to writing.

And so be it…

I will be rebuilding the website. First to be rebuilt will be the basic structure like menus, etc. Next will come reposting the entries for the book – Escape from Tucson.  And of course writing new entries for the new book – Escape from Home. Finally, I will rebuild old posts/articles that I am able to recover. And, maybe I will resurrect some old opinion pieces as well…if you guys want to read them and let me know.

All I ask is this…be patient and give me plenty of feedback on what you think of everything. Deal?