Talk about an interesting 3 weeks…wow! A lot going on and time for me to share a few thoughts. I hope you liked the title of the post…I will change it to a “SitRep” in a few days to be in the same category as others that I’ve already posted. So here goes…
First, THANK YOU!!! Ya’ll have been amazing since my return to writing on the website. I’ve received a whole bunch of emails and comments letting me know that a lot of you are glad I am back and writing again. Yes, a lot of what I am doing is resurrecting existing articles but I am also trying to better organize the website…and write some new material as well. And yes again, Escape from Home (sequel to Escape from Tucson) is coming along quite nicely. It should start to post online as soon as Escape from Tucson is completely posted.
Second, it was my original intent when I started the website to provide hardcore, no BS, preparedness information. And that goal has not changed. However, I do want to add to that just a bit. Based on some of the amazing stories and information that you guys have sent to me, and, based on some relatively recent promptings in my life, I want to add …”become better people” to that goal. I will explain later more of what that entails. But for now, we have to be great preppers to survive…but we have to be good people to thrive. More to come…be patient.
Now, I will break this post into four basic areas; the Good, the Bad, I’m ugly, and Summary. Like I keep mentioning…if you aren’t willing to read the entire article, then don’t read anything from this point on! And since I am writing the article I am going to start with “the Bad”…
The Bad –
Recently I wrote the article “Stay the Course!” and I enjoyed writing it. And someone posted it on another website that I frequent. A number of folks liked it, two people really didn’t like it. They found exception with two pieces of economic information. They evidently aren’t real familiar with me, my writing style, and my research. They commented that the information I provided “didn’t sound right” but they failed to provide anything to contradict what I stated. And that is because they couldn’t, although they never said that part…they just couldn’t find information to contradict my statements. But, they made it very clear I wasn’t qualified to voice any valid opinion. OK, that’s their opinion 😉
As I continued to read their comments I realized it was essentially a couple of Trump worshipers not appreciating me not falling in line with their agenda. That I am proud of! As mentioned previously I no longer am a follower (i.e. worshiper) of anyone in politics. I believe in, and will only support, principles. Politicians/people will come and go, principles don’t change. If a politician supports a principle that I believe in then we’re good. If they change their position later…then I am done with them. And that also means I don’t vote “for the lesser of two evils” any more either. Evil is evil whether it is “lesser” or not.
Then later on the same website, I saw another post…it was a HUGE list of all the wonderful accomplishments of Trump’s Presidency. It was amazing! No, not the list itself, but the clear evidence of “Trump worship” on display. But, let’s be realistic…I don’t care if he reduced some federal department regulations…since he has grown the federal debt by an astonishingly huge amount. I don’t care if a couple of FBI leaders have retired (or been fired) if the agency is still rotten to its core. I don’t care if he has rolled back some restrictions on the coal industry if he has had HUGE annual federal budget deficits.
Sorry, maybe I haven’t made myself clear, let me try again…
- The Trump Presidency hasn’t balanced the federal annual budget.
- The Trump Presidency hasn’t reduced the federal debt.
- Actually, the Trump Presidency has grown both at an alarming rate.
Now the “wall”…oh yeah…the wall. Some of the hard factual details regarding the wall are not available, or are not clear. We do know there is just under 2000 miles of southern border. We also know that there is less than 700 miles of “border fence”…and yes, that is a vague term. Some of the “fence” is pedestrian fence (meant to keep out people) but much of it is vehicle fence (designed only to keep out vehicles). And some of it is 4-wire and 5-wire cattle fence. Yup, the stuff you see along the Interstates. However, all of that is not my point. So what is my point?
The Republican House of Representatives, the Republican Senate, and the Republican President Trump are responsible for the wall not being built. The Democrats, while not being helpful, are NOT responsible for the wall not existing, not being funded, and not being built. Yup!!!!! It is the fault of the Republicans!!!! The Republicans controlled the House, the Senate, and the Presidency for two years and the Republicans FAILED to get the wall built or even funded. So, still not clear on the point I am trying to make? Make sure you don’t get caught up in the BS being spewed, and that you see situations for what they actually are.
So now what?
Well, let’s see…in the last two+ years:
- Loss of billions to the US economy from the trade war with China, especially in agriculture.
- Huge annual budget deficits.
- Massive increase to national debt.
- Plummeting stock market (2018 – 2019).
- Skyrocketing mortgage rates.
- Skyrocketing Treasury Bill interest rates (national debt servicing).
- Skyrocketing US Total Household Debt.
- Skyrocketing Corporate debt.
And also, remember me talking about pension funds for the last several years?
The Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (US Govt agency responsible for pensions) states just to rescue part of the teamster union pension fund they estimated to currently need close to $100Billion and upwards of $700Billion long-term. Then there is the most recent…Sears and their 90,000 pension recipients that will need rescued. The recent strike by Los Angles teachers union just about bankrupted the school district. That single school district has 60,000 employees in their system…and that doesn’t include retirees. If the district would have met the teacher demands that school district would actually have gone bankrupt. As it is…1/2 of the school district funds go to pay pensions…1/2!!!
For the PBGC to cover the currently nearly insolvent pension funds…it would cost TRILLIONS of dollars! Yes, that is trillions of dollars that government doesn’t have. So excuse me if I don’t get excited over Trump having rolled back vehicle emission standards…when he hasn’t fixed the pension problem…or even talked about it.
Let me cover my outlook…I only focus now on “macro” issues. I am referring to those issues of sufficient magnitude that can affect the entire country in a significant way. Economic examples would be; national debt level, annual federal budget deficits, public/private/debt levels, stock market trends, etc. “Micro” information is no longer important to me. It is far too easy to get caught up in minutia and lose track of the big picture. Commonly referred to as: “Can’t see the forest for the trees.”
So what am I saying?
Well, that is just part of the picture…the economic part. There is also the political part.
We are in terrible trouble politically. As I mentioned in my “Stay the Course!” article, the current political environment is sad to be sure, but it is also dangerous. Let me explain why…
Trump is a very polarizing figure. If you are one of his faithful followers (approximately 22 – 25% of US population) then you think Trump can do no wrong. However, about 55% of US disapprove of Trump. And on any given day 60% of Americans feel we are on the wrong track as a country. And that doesn’t bode well for Trump…or American politics as it relates to the upcoming Presidential election.
As I stated in my “Stay the Course!” article:
“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.”
We, as a country, are in a “no-win” situation regardless of the outcome of the 2020 Presidential election. And I am dead serious about that.
And now that rolls back into the economic aspect…what do you think happens to those financially shaky pension funds with the likes of Sanders as President? Yup, the pensions get absorbed by the US government and become part of the Social Security funding. Doubt me?
Kamala Harris has called for Medicare for all! And, one more part…she also advocates for the elimination of all private health insurance. Yup…government health care. And government health care is socialism/communism. And lest you doubt…60% of Democrats view socialism favorably. The Democrat Party is now the party of extremist ideology…and it’s ALL bad!
So under a Democrat President, House, and Senate you can expect; 1) socialist health care system, 2) socialist pension system, 3) HUGE increases in all forms of taxation.
You may think that we could survive that…really? The “Medicare for All” would cost tens of trillions of dollars over the next 10 years (some estimates go way higher than that). There would be trillions more for rescuing the private pension system over the next 10 years. And then there would trillions more money sucked out of the private economy through increased taxes. And then…the “ripple effect” to the job market as health insurance companies go out of business, and then the associated loss of jobs from money/capital being sucked out of the private sector via taxes. What would that do to federal benefits going to the newly unemployed, etc.?
I am telling you…based on “macro” information…the country is on a financial precipice. And, based on the increasing violence and extremism of the socialist/communist/Marxist Democrat Party…we are looking into a political abyss as well.
So what falls first and when? I have absolutely no idea when it will all collapse. But, I can tell you this…you look back over the last 60 years…we are ALREADY falling, we’ve gone off the cliff, we are somewhere in the dark abyss. We just haven’t hit the bottom yet….but we will.
So that concludes The Bad…thankfully!
The Good –
A couple of weeks ago I had lunch with one of the best people alive on the planet. I mean it…this guy is one of the best men I have ever personally known. He is a spiritual giant, a terrific and loving father, a great husband, giving beyond imagination, and spiritually in-tune like few I’ve ever known. And I had the honor of having lunch with him. And yes, I paid for his lunch.
We talked for well over an hour and we touched on about every major topic you can imagine. The specifics of that conversation are not the point of this comment. The point is…he exists. Yes, his very existence proves that there are some amazing people in this world, good people, spiritual people, people going about making this world a better place. Some of them put their lives on the line to do it. And there are a lot of folks out there doing the same thing…living their lives making this world a better place.
A couple days after that lunch I took my tractor to a community that needs a bunch of work done on their back-country roads. They live so far out in the country that the county will not maintain their roads, and if the residents don’t maintain them on their own…well, they get darn near impassible. I worked all day on the roads putting in ditches and making the road bed more stable, as well as smoothing out many ruts. Once again, that is not the point. The point is…as I was leaving I noticed that day someone else with a tractor had worked on another part of the roads improving those as well for that small community.
And here we go…we, as individuals, have to work together regardless of anything else around us…especially in spite of the government. We have to take care of ourselves, our neighbors, and our communities. Many folks already do that. Also, many people I know donate financially to very worthy causes, others donate their time/talents/efforts. And then there are the truly amazing folks that do both. We need to do that…and do more of it!
What does that have to do with emergency preparedness? EVERYTHING!!!
If we don’t have the heart or conviction to help our families and to help our neighbors and to help our communities…then how do you think we are going to do during emergencies, disasters, or grid-down events?
Yes, I understand that your primary duty is to your family. I get that, I know that. But, does that mean to the exclusion of your neighbors and community? I think not.
There is so much incredible good in the world today. It is often easy to have all of the good overshadowed by the evil of politics, criminals, rotten people, and whatnot. But, we have to look past the evil, see the good…and make sure we are doing our part to add to the good…and that we have no part in the evil.
And then when the time comes and we experience an emergency, a disaster, or a grid-down event we will be ready, willing, and able to be an asset to our families, our neighbors, and our communities. And I am telling you point blank…40+ years of experience tells me one thing…you can’t survive on your own for long. You have to survive and thrive through shared efforts of family members, neighbors, and community.
Look for the good around you in your life…and add to it!
The I’m Ugly –
It is just as plain to me that there are folks who don’t believe me, don’t trust what I present, and don’t think I am credible. OK…fine…I can accept that and have no problem with it. To them…I am sorry you feel that way…and please don’t worry about it. Read what you want, complain all you want, and do nothing with what I have to say if you want. But, I plead with you to still be a prepper and prepare for future emergencies, disasters, and grid-down events.
For those of you still reading and thinking I have value to offer…I commit to you to never BS you! I will give you opinion to be sure. But those opinions will be based on the facts and signs as I see them. If I find out I was wrong about something I will tell you so. And, I will not change how I write to avoid those people who would be offended by what I have to say, or how I say it. You see…I can’t control if a person is offended or not, they are the only ones who can choose to be offended.
We live in perilous times…as you already know. Economically and politically we are unstable to say the least. We have many evil people around us, and evil is flourishing at an astonishing rate. We also have some amazing people in our lives that have the light shining brightly in them. A tremendous amount of wonderful and incredible good is being done every day around us.
As preppers we must continue to prepare to handle emergencies, disasters, and grid-down events. They do happen, and more will happen. The grid will come down one day…it will be daunting to say the least. We have a God-given responsibility to be ready to protect our families, neighbors, and communities for the ill-effects.
Please, I plead with you, to continue to prepare…follow that still small voice as you do. Open your hearts to doing more…especially for others.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to be part of this journey with you. I appreciate it beyond what you imagine. We can and will survive…and thrive…no matter what comes.
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