Status Update…

Good Morning!

I figured you might be wondering where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing. My absence has led to a serious reduction in posts lately. I want to take a minute and fill you in on a couple of things.

I am less than 6 months from retirement and there are a number of priorities at work that I have to fulfill. In addition to that we are supporting large fires in other parts of the country. I am responsible for those logistics.

Our cabin/shop is finished at our property in AZ. We spent the long weekend there over the Fourth of July enjoying it, relaxing, and doing some minor work. One of the things we realized is that it’s time to put in a decent driveway and work on the roads a little bit. No, the county does not maintain the roads. That means we needed to buy a tractor. And we did. I found a great tractor for our needs and I will be writing about that adventure. Yes, I will be writing about building the cabin, complete with pictures.

Since retirement is coming up and we are going to be building a small house next year at the property we are in the process of raising cash. I am doing an online garage sale, the remainder will go to eBay. My wife is heading up an initial garage sale here at our current house. That means we are a little swamped getting all of that done.

And then there are the daily tasks and responsibilities to take care of. All of that means that the website takes a backseat. I have some stuff ready to edit and post, I just need the time to do so. And that is a scarce commodity right now.

Here is something I do want to pass along. Although I will write about it in more detail soon I want to get the message out there to you. The economy is seriously in trouble. I’ve been writing about the pension problem. Well, the consequences have really begun. Central States Pensions began cutting people’s pension checks in half. Yup, in half! And it will get worse.

Car sales have dropped significantly. Car manufactures have reduced production and extended layoff periods. On top of that the sub-prime car loan market is in huge trouble and it is getting worse as well. People can’t afford today’s high-priced cars without easy financing. And that financing is in trouble and car buying has slowed down.

You’ve probably heard that job creation is up. Well, yes it is. However, the vast majority of those jobs being created are government jobs (money sucked out of the economy and out of taxpayer pockets) and low-wage jobs. But, don’t forget…job loss is double what it was last year!

And if you heard that the average number of hours worked is up…it’s due to the job reduction of minimum wage earners and a portion of those job hours being transferred to other low-wage employees. Also, you probably heard that the average per-hour wage is up as well. Again, correct. But, that is also due to a lot of job loss at the minimum wage earner level. That drives up the “average wage” since you are cutting the low end of the wage earners NOT simply putting more money in wage earner pockets.

Bottom line…the economy is in trouble…big trouble. The Fed has been raising interest rates. That is increasing the amount that the government pays for its debt. That in turn drives up the annual deficit which means that the government then has to borrow more money to meet its obligations. That means more debt to pay for. The Fed also announced that they will be selling off more national debt securities. That means the interest rate will go up on all Treasuries in order to entice people to buy them. That also will ripple to the current debt being incurred…driving the interest rate up even more.

I spoke with a number of people over the last month. I asked them each how they were doing financially and was the economy better or worse for them. None of them, not one, said that they were better off financially today than they were a year ago. And most of them said they were still hurting financially and were struggling to get by. That says a lot right there to me.

Please take a look around you at the economy in objective terms. Then look at your personal financial situation. Think of ways that you can put cash in the safe (or under the mattress). Look at how you might be able to reduce your debt load. Think in terms of…What if all of the sudden I was unemployed, how would I get by without government assistance?

Let me explain what I have done, or am doing, personally:

  1. We have a goal of zero debt. That is extremely important.
  2. I am turning unused assets into cash. Some of it goes to pay off debt, and I am putting the remaining cash into the safe…NOT the bank.
  3. I moved our retirement money/investments into “cash” (mutual funds) and out of the stock market (mutual funds). Yes, I am doing dollar cost averaging with the paycheck contributions. No, I am not a “cash it all in” advocate.
  4. I am looking at the economy with an attitude of…What if it collapsed, could I get by?
  5. We are simplifying everything! If we don’t use it regularly, and it isn’t part of our perpper strategy, it is getting sold. I feel the need for cash far more than the need of stuff. Especially “stuff” that is just sitting around doing nothing.

I will be focused on issues other than the website for a while, maybe another month or so. But, I promise I will be back with a vengeance in September! In the meantime I will write a bit but not a bunch.

Take care, enjoy the summer, think about what you can be doing if it fell apart this fall or winter.

 

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Solar Powered Portable Lights

Testing complete…ready to deliver the info. And I really liked the results, good stuff!

So I bought a variety of solar powered lights to test. Wanted to see how they performed side-by-side. Boy, was I surprised and pleased…and disappointed. Here are the results…

Top #1 Light –

Kizen Solar Powered LED Camping Lantern: great light, top pick, clear winner.

Features:

  • Solar powered
  • Can be charged via USB cable
  • Can charge other devices via micro-USB cable
  • Both a lantern and a flashlight
  • Low/High power settings
  • “SOS” or flashing light capable
  • Unique adjustment capability to control amount of light
  • Very compact

I loved this unit even before I took it out of the box. It was very compact and lightweight. Once I opened it up I was even more impressed of its quality compared to the other units. It charged quickly via built-in solar panel. Its light was bright, 360°, adjustable, and warm. The built-in handle was a nice little feature as well.

There is plenty of smart technology built in to prevent over-charging and over-discharging. From fully discharged it takes about 5 – 8 hours of sun to recharge (varies depending on intensity of sunlight). It takes about 3 – 4 hours to recharge via USB cable (varies depending on the amp rating of your USB power source). It can recharge another device such as your phone but it won’t fully recharge it. More like mini-charge it so you can make those 2 – 3 calls to summon help. But hey, that is a great option to have!

Roughly speaking the light will last about 4 – 5 hours on high, 8 – 10 on low, and about 5 – 7 hours in the flashing mode.

Yes, it can handle some rain, just not sure how much. And no, don’t try to submerse it.

One area I was initially worried about was the expanding part of the unit. I thought it might wear out, crack and expose the unit to destruction. Ah, I was wrong. I’ve been testing it for over 6 months now and it is holding up fine. I would think you don’t want to expose the expanding plastic part to intense UV rays, I am sure it would break it down. But, normal use seems to be fine.

This is one great light! The ability of it to collapse to a very small disk is really a huge plus when it comes to saving space. To adjust the total amount of light you can turn it on to whichever power setting you wish, then expand it to get the exact amount of light you want. And the flash light feature is a nice little feature as well.

Clearly this light was my #1 choice.

Second Place Light –

Outlite 180 Lumen Portable Camping Light: nice light, useful features, clearly a good choice.

  • Solar powered
  • Can be charged via AC cable
  • Can be used with 3 AA batteries
  • 4800 mAh rechargeable built-in battery than can be charged via USB cable that you provide

Unit takes about 8 hours of sun to recharge, 4 – 5 via USB cable and the internal rechargeable battery.  The light is good for about 10 – 12 hours when fully charged. A couple of times I got significantly less when using the internal battery.

I like that you can simply open the unit to turn it on. Along with that you simply adjust the height to control how much light you want/get. The metal hanger/handle is great and you get a nifty “S” hook to hang it wherever you want.

The case is plenty sturdy and overall a nice little light and I am happy with it. But, it is not as feature rich and compact as the Kizen.

Two Loser Lights –
  • Outlite 240 Lumen Solar Rechargeable LED Camping Lantern Flashlight, Portable Water Resistant Outdoor Survival Lamp.  This lamp while rated at 240 lumen is not very bright at all. I think all the light tubes is a gimmick. Since it was by far duller than the two I did like, this gets a “no buy”.

  • ABC Ultra Bright Rechargeable Lantern , Solar Camping Lantern Powered Led, portable Camping LED Light. Light sucks! Fully charged it twice, worked for a little bit the first night. Didn’t work at all the second night. Light is now dead. This is for sure a “no buy”!!
Summary –

The whole concept of these lights is really great. What counts is the execution of that concept. Most everything you buy these day along these lines is going to be made in China. The quality of products varies widely but can be quite good at times. And it can really suck at other times. The trick is embracing the good stuff when you find it.

Have a couple of these on hand, they are worth the investment.

Yeah, I know…some of you like using solar yard lights. Nothing wrong with that, I do too. But, the Kizen and Outlight both have features that solar yard lights don’t have. and both are priced well within any prepper’s budget.

 

 

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Movies !

You know, there is always time and room to do new things…today is one of those times. I am going to do something I’ve never done before on this website, or anywhere else on the Internet. Over the last few weeks my wife and I just wanted to chill out on the weekend. No, not last weekend (4th of July), we were at the cabin for 5 glorious days! I will write more about that later. But, we wanted to be entertained and just relax. Movies!!

Yup, we watched three movies of particular note, and that is what I am going to tell you about right now.

Movie #1: “A Dog’s Purpose”

My wife and I love dogs…I mean we really love dogs. We think they are among some of the greatest gifts that God gave to mankind. We have two currently, and the last three have all been shelter rescue dogs.

The movie is utterly fantastic. It gives an incredible look into the interaction between dogs and people. There are some great teaching moments and more than enough emotional moments to drag a tear or two out of you. You simply have to see this movie.

Now, there are two potential controversies with this movie. #1 – Supposedly there was a scene where a dog was forced to do a stunt that was considered animal abuse. Negative. That hullabaloo was stirred up by some animal rights group. The producer went into great detail about filming the scene and in my opinion there was no, never was any, animal abuse of any kind. It was the same tired old liberal animal rights folks trying to cause trouble. #2 – The movie portrays reincarnation of a dog for multiple lives. This concept might be offensive to some religious based ideas of some folks. Please, get over it…this is a movie not a seminary class.

I can’t recommend this movie highly enough. It is wonderful! And 100% appropriate for children.

Movie #2: The Shack

This is a movie that can challenge you and move you. It did both for me. Make no doubt about it…it’s a “God movie” and a good one at that. The presentation is wonderful and so outside the box it will/may challenge you to see God in a truly wonderful light more than you ever have before.

I smiled, I shed a tear or two, was wonderfully happy, and chuckled a bit as well as I watched the movie. There are parts where you hurt for one of the characters, you cringe at a certain part, and I found myself wishing that some of it wasn’t true. But, it was a great -no, a wonderful- experience and well worth watching.

And again, if you are a religious nutcase without imagination or the capacity to understand…then this movie is not for you. If you think you know everything when it comes to religion, then do yourself a favor…don’t watch this movie.

On the other hand, if you want a moving movie experience with the capability of being touched deeply…then this is a great choice!

And please…this movie is so well done and rated for everyone…watch it with the kids!

Movie #3: Saints and Soldiers

If you like war movies and action, you will like this movie. If you like movies with a great story line, you will like this movie. If you like movies with a real hero, you will like this movie. If you like movies where the good guy wins, you will like this movie. If you like movies that the kids can watch with you, you will like this movie.

Yeah…you will like this movie. I sure did!

I can’t really share too much or I will turn into a spoiler. Bottom line, this shows how good does win over evil. If shows humanity where you think there is none. And it does it all with great acting and nail biting action.

The opening scene is a little rough for those really young kids but should be fine for anyone over 8yo.

This is a movie with heart…and valor.

Summary –

Please watch these movies. There is so much smut out there pushed by Hollywood, it is nice to see some quality movies that are well done for a change. These folks need support so the good movies keep getting produced.

While watching all three of these movies drop your guard. Open your heart. Let the spirit in. You won’t be disappointed.

 

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without expressed written permission from AHTrimble.com
See Content Use Policy for more information.

4th of July – Independence Day

4th-0Independence Day (a.k.a. 4th of July) commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. July 4th is a day celebrating declaring independence from Great Britain. However, on July 2, 1776 the American Revolution leadership declared the legal separation of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain after the American Congress had voted to do so. And the 4th is when it was actually signed the document. .

But remember, open warfare had broken out a year earlier between the tyrannical British forces and American freedom fighters.

So if this holiday, the 4th of July – Independence Day, is all about 4th-1declaring independence and the signing of the Declaration of Independence. What is the Declaration of Independence all about?

4th-2Well, just take the first 18 words of the actual document –

“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands…”

The Declaration of Independence was all about dissolving the tyranny that had been imposed upon them by the British ruling class. In other words, the Americans were fed-up with the tyranny they lived under and were finally doing something really serious about it. The Declaration of Independence was an explanation of what they were doing and why.

But you also have to understand by what “authority” they felt they had to take such drastic actions –

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government…”

They stated unequivocally what the problem was with the British government –

“…the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States…”

If you are reading this post you are more than likely not a first visitor to this website. And that being the case, you know I am not some blogger that wants to be all warm and fuzzy. I don’t believe in sugar-coating currents events and I damn darn sure don’t want to give false hope and impressions of what is going on or where we as a country are headed. I always want to give you the straight talk and the straight, honest answers. But remember, these are only my opinions. Seek out, research, and come to your own conclusions of what is happening in our country today and why. In this day an age of misinformation I want you to trust no one but yourself; and hopefully your spouse. I am confident you can figure out this situation, I just want to share some thoughts that I think are important to where we are as a country right now.

The American Revolution listed approximately 26 grievances against the government of Britain.  Among those I found these to be very interesting:

  1. He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
  2. He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.
  3. He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
  4. 4th-3He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
  5. He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
  6. For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
  7. For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
  8. For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
  9. For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
  10. For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offenses.

Let me make a note of those just for conversation’s sake:

  1. He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries. Judges now “make” law, are appointed by the President, serve for life, paid by the government (who sets their pay scale), and the Supreme Court is untouchable even when ruling against the Constitution.
  2. He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, 4th-4and eat out their substance. The layers of government local-to-federal now number in the 10’s of millions of employees. All serving in a system that can arbitrarily create policy and regulation that carry the force of law.
  3. He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures. Not only do we have a huge standing Army, we have a huge standing Air Force, Navy, Marines and National Guard. Then when you factor in the nearly 1.5million law enforcement officers that are militarized you have a situation that dwarfs what the Declaration of Independence complains about.
  4. He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power. Our military now 4th-6has unlimited powers, via the NDAA, that even within the borders of the US. Posse Comitatis is no longer recognized by the federal government or the military. The military is free to arrest, detain, ship to another country, or kill any US citizen within the borders of the USA by the simple order of the President, and in some cases, by local military commanders.
  5. He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation: Our government has now subjugated US law to UN law, agreements, etc. that are in direct opposition to US law. In many legal jurisdictions now, Sharia Law (Islamic religious law) is now recognized as superior to US law.
  6. For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us: One only needs to look at the nearly 1.5million law enforcers stationed throughout every community, at every possible level of government, to understand this problem. There is little resemblance of yesterday’s peace officers to today’s fully militarized law enforcement officers who operate at the whim and will of federal guidance and political direction.
  7. For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States: The entire body of Senators and Representatives, as well as most of the Legislative branch of government are immune to arrest and prosecution for the crimes they commit. We see one politician after another commit serious crimes with absolute impunity. Such is the benefit of the political/ruling class.
  8. For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent: This goes without saying. But it is even worse than you 4th-5might think at first pass. Not only does the government, at all levels, impose taxes on its citizens at will and without authority or permission…it also eliminates the payment of income taxes by those they wish to exempt. It has gotten so bad that over half of the country’s citizens pay no income taxes while the minority of the population support the entire country’s finances…including the immense welfare system that the majority non-taxpayers benefit from.
  9. For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:  The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the previous Patriot Act, and the present Freedom 4th-7Act…as well as a host of non-laws (Presidential Directives) have eliminated the effect of the Sixth Amendment found in the Constitution’s Bill of Rights. The government can, at its own discretion, deprive citizens of rights, property, freedoms through the imposition of “policy” enforced by police. And they do so to the tune of 10’s of billions of dollars each year with impunity. There is little to no defense against such arbitrary civil forfeiture acts of government in today’s system.
  10. For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offenses. The policy currently in use and in 4th-8force by the US government is called “rendition.”  The current policy of rendition is the government sponsored kidnapping and extrajudicial transfer of a person from one country to another to avoid the US legal system. And is so doing allows the torture and indefinite detention or execution of prisoners that the US federal government wishes to impose upon.

So, I guess some things haven’t changed.

Well, that isn’t exactly true:

  • We are taxed by the government far more heavily now than just prior to the American Revolution.
  • We are regulated by the government far more so now than just prior to the American Revolution.
  • The ruling government is far more controlling over the population than just prior to the American Revolution.
  • As percentage of population, we have far more government officials, bureaucrats, and regulators than just prior to the American Revolution.
  • 4th-9As a percentage of population, we have far more law enforcement officers than just prior to the American Revolution.
  • We have far more laws, regulations, rules, policies, and codes than just prior to the American Revolution.
  • As a percentage of population, we have far more politicians than just prior to the American Revolution.
  • As a percentage of population, we have far more people in jails and prisons than just prior to the American Revolution.

Pretty much according to every negative aspect of life just prior to the American Revolution, we have it tenfold worse here in our lives, in our good ol’ USA.

So what does that mean? To answer that question let’s look at who signed the Declaration of Independence:

Adams, John
Adams, Samuel
Bartlett, Josiah
4th-13Braxton, Carter
Chase, Samuel
Clark, Abraham
Clymer, George
Ellery, William
Floyd, William
Franklin, Benjamin
Gerry, Elbridge
Gwinnett, Button
Hall, Lyman
Hancock, John
Harrison, Benjamin
Hart, John
Hewes, Joseph
Heyward Jr., Thomas
Hooper, William
Hopkins, Stephen
Hopkinson, Francis
Huntington, Samuel
Jefferson, Thomas
Lee, Francis Lightfoot
Lee, Richard Henry
Lewis, Francis
Livingston, Philip
Lynch Jr., Thomas
McKean, Thomas
Middleton, Arthur
Morris, Lewis
Morris, Robert
Morton, John
Nelson Jr., Thomas
Paca, William
Paine, Robert Treat
Penn, John4th-13a
Read, George
Rodney, Caesar
Ross, George
Rush, Benjamin
Rutledge, Edward
Sherman, Roger
Smith, James
Stockton, Richard
Stone, Thomas
Taylor, George
Thornton, Matthew
Walton, George
Whipple, William
Williams, William
Wilson, James
Witherspoon, John
Wolcott, Oliver
Wythe, George

Collectively how do we refer to these men today?

We call them, or at least use to call them, patriots and Founding Fathers. We revere them, we honor them, we appreciate their great sacrifices that they made in founding our country and providing a rich heritage of freedom, rights and liberty.

But what if all of that Declaration of Independence stuff was all occurring in today’s world? What if a group of well-known and honorable men got together, outlined a long list of unjust tyrannical actions of today’s government? And then they declared that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of freedom, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish that government, and to institute new government. What would happen to these individuals?

Well, let’s look at what DHS and the FBI has to say about it.

You are considered a potential domestic terrorist if you are any of the following:

•    4th-14Americans who believe their “way of life” is under attack;
•    Americans who are “fiercely nationalistic (as opposed to universal and international in orientation)”;
•    People who consider themselves “anti-global” (presumably those who are wary of the loss of American sovereignty);
•    Americans who are “suspicious of centralized federal authority”;
•    Americans who are “reverent of individual liberty”;
•    People who “believe in conspiracy theories that involve grave threat to national sovereignty and/or personal liberty;”
•    Anti-abortion advocates (a.k.a. Pro-Life).
•    Bulk purchasers of food.
•    People who pay cash.
•    People who want internet privacy.
•    People who display “liberty” or “freedom” oriented bumper stickers.
•    People who display the American flag.

4th-10So there is little doubt if the Declaration of Independence was written and signed today, all of those original Founding Fathers, all those patriots, would be swept up in massive FBI raids, using no-knock raids with fully-militarized SWAT forces.

What does that tell you about the condition of our country today? What does that say of our freedoms, rights and liberties? What does it say of our massive system of government, especially at the federal level?

What does it all have to do with an “emergency preparedness” website?

Let me make it real clear for you…The #1 threat to America today is the police state. No, not the threat of a police state…the police state that we live under right now. And that very same police state that grows ever stronger each and every day.

At some point an event will occur, and the country will be thrown into confusion and chaos the likes of which you have never ever seen before in history. And when that happens the grid will come smashing down and it will come down completely. When that happens I want you and your family to be prepared. Better yet I want you to have a group of preparedness advocates organized and supportive of each other. And best of all…if you could have a whole community ready for emergencies and disasters…that would be my dream!

Folks it is coming. I assure you of that. Our country, our debt, our government can’t survive much longer…history has proven that over and over again. Please prepare yourself and your family for the emergencies and disasters that are coming.

In the mean time you will be ready for wildfires, recessions, hurricanes, earthquakes, unemployment, retirement and most other natural and man-made disasters as well.

Just please understand what we are dealing with right now…and what is coming in the near future. Please prepare yourself and your family. And while you’re at it…enjoy your 4th of July, Independence Day, by remembering what this day represents, who was there originally, why they were there and what principles they believed in.

Please prepare!

 

 

4th-12

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SitRep – 6/27/2017

It has come to the point again when I must comment on the situation in America. As you can tell, I see trouble, nothing but trouble ahead.

Some folks are blind, in denial of what is happening. Many are well-intentioned but they are seeing the situation through rose-colored glasses.

If ever there was a time for clarity of thought, clearness of mind, and dropping bias…now is that time.

In this SitRep I am covering –
  • Economy
    • States
    • Pensions
  • Retail
  • Supreme Court
  • Trump Agenda
  • Violence
    • Political
    • Cop
  • Coup

And of course a summary.

Remember, these SitReps are not meant to be an alarm. I am not trying to scare anyone. I am not trying to get you to do anything other than prepare as you are currently doing. I don’t want you to panic. I simply want you to be aware of my opinion of what is happening.

Economy, States –

I was exactly right about Puerto Rico’s financial troubles when I wrote about them months ago. They are de-facto bankrupt. And to add insult to injury, last month they voted (non-binding) to seek statehood in the United States. Don’t think it is nice, warm and fuzzy “they are patriotic and want to be Americans” move. They only want to be a state so the US federal government has to rescue them financially. Watch for far more financial problems for Puerto Rico…and the US government formulating a plan to bail them out. Yes, of course…at taxpayer expense.

I was exactly right about Illinois and their financial problems. A long time ago I talked about their financial problems as a state. It’s here, they are in deep trouble. And they are taking all the wrong steps to fix their situation. Rather than make their state more fiscally conservative and take steps to encourage economic growth and limit spending…they are doing everything the exact opposite. Their radical leftist state government is trying to tax its way out of their mess. It is impossible. And yes, as I said quite a while ago…their public employee’s pension plan is the primary weight sinking the state.

More states will follow since more states are creating their own demise. California is probably the next to go. Washington state may not too far behind. Both are radical leftists states with a large percentage of public employee pension funds that are in trouble. And, to top it off, their outrageous minimum wage laws are losing them huge numbers of jobs. All you have to do is look at the significant move that businesses, fast-food especially, are moving to unmanned kiosks.

Economy, Pensions –

UPS is the latest corporation to freeze its pension plan. I have written extensively on the pension crisis that is infecting America with a fiscal disease that America will not recover from. And it is getting worse and worse. I mentioned Illinois earlier. By their own state policy experts the situation is now being referred to as “broken pension funds from which they [employees] may never see benefits”. How is that possible? The chart below shows how…

How bad is it? Try over $111,000,000,000 (yeah, $111billion) problem! And you, the taxpayer, will be required to bail them out. Over 60% NOT funded at this point!! That is fatal.

California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) is also in horrendous trouble. They are also over $100,000,000,000 ($100billion) underfunded. And they are getting worse at an exponential rate. Another bailout by you, the taxpayer.

The Teamster pension funds have been in trouble (and getting worse), and many hospital pensions funds are now faltering as well. You think the federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. will take care of it? Think again! The Central States Teamster pension fund is paying out 340% of what it takes in. When that pension fund fails, which will occur relatively soon, that single pension fund failure will wipe out everything that the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. has in its coffers.

Then what? Yup! The federal government will step in, take control, and make taxpayers pay the tab.  But, only after they liquidate the pension’s mutual fund holdings. And what do you think that does to mutual funds? Yup…tanks their value as well.

This is a no-win situation and only getting worse. It is NOT an “if” situation…only when and how bad. I say it will tank the markets and the economy. Unless of course the Fed steps in and creates more digital money, devalues the currency, which only delays the inevitable.

Economy, Retail –

I warned about this for a while and recently went into detail about how bad it really is. Well, I was wrong! It is worse than what I have been saying. Retail is dying…and it will collapse with a huge economic thud that reverberates throughout the stock markets. We are losing huge numbers of jobs in the retail industry and that is helping sink the economy. Don’t look for retail to ever recover. It will only reset to a new normal. And that will be at the expense of large numbers of jobs.

I stopped in an office supply company last week. While I was in there I ran into the manager. I asked him how his store was hanging in there against Amazon. He said flat out that they weren’t, it was just a matter of time till they closed.

Supreme Court –

Ah yes…that tower of Babel. They are at it again. In their most recent ruling they ruled against the right of Americans to bear arms. And that in the face of Trump putting a conservative on the court. They ruled against the Second Amendment by not reviewing the case in California wherein California restricted the right to carry a gun. The move not to review the case effectively limits the right of a person to bear arms.

There is an even more disturbing anti-Second Amendment action taking place…by the Trump Administration. I will touch on that in a minute.

If you notice, there hasn’t been a Supreme Court case ruling to truly strengthen the Second Amendment since 2008. This should disturb you.

Trump Agenda –

This is going to p*$$ off a few of you. So be it.

Let’s talk health insurance. I don’t want to call it TrumpCare because it is a plan that was passed in the House and another bill being worked on in the Senate. But, Trump does clearly and vocally support the overall concepts. So, I guess I will call it TrumpCare after all. Trump is backing a massive, big-government, social welfare, Progressive, costly, liberal health insurance plan. But, you should not be surprised!

President Trump has called for and endorses a socialist single payer healthcare system (Universal Healthcare). He even wrote about it in one of his books! And yes, he has complimented both Canada’s and Australia’s socialist healthcare system. TrumpCare is a socialist healthcare system…just not as far to the left (socialist) as many socialist, liberal, Progressive countries. But, TrumpCare will fail…make no doubt about it. Socialism will not work in any degree. Not in healthcare, not in taxes, not in anything. Unfortunately, Trump believes in and supports as aspect of socialism that is doomed from the very beginning. The failure of TrumpCare will usher in single-payer government healthcare system.

When it comes to healthcare and health insurance…Government is not the solution, government is the problem.Reagan said "government is not the solution to our problem. government is the problem."Trump’s anti-Constitution agenda against the Second Amendment is real. The Supreme Court just refused to hear United States vs. Games-Perez which effectively rules in favor of the defendant. In this case, the defendant is a backer/supporter of the Second Amendment. The US was working against the Constitutional right to bear arms, they were the plaintiff. Even though the Supreme Court’s move supported the Constitution, Trump’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions (pro-police-state advocate) has voiced his intention to fight the Supreme Court and try to restrict the Second Amendment. AG Sessions would not make this move without Trump’s approval, if not order.

Violence in America –

The political violence is making a huge spike in America. We’ve seen the radical left (Democrats) encourage it, endorse it, call for it. And it is happening. Last year I warned about the violence that would come…it is here. We just had an assassination attempt on multiple members of Congress. Make no doubt about it, the assassin was a liberal, a Democrat, a Progressive that was following what his party has been calling for. And I see it intensifying in the future. The real problem will come, the significant growth of violence will come, when the right gets fed up with the left and their violence. The right will fight back at some point. But, that is what TPTB are counting on.

When the violence erupts to the level I think it will, the average citizen will call for “law & order”, “safety & security”, “safe streets”, etc. And that will be all that little AG Jeff Sessions will need. Watch what happens then! Sessions is already a strong anti-Constitution, police-state advocate. He will use that crisis point as an opportunity.

Police violence is again increasing at an unprecedented pace. For a very long time I wrote in detail showing how militarized and violent the much of the police in America had become. How they were murdering citizens, mostly unarmed, at an alarming rate. It moderated for while with several high-profile cases wherein police were charged with homicide and various other crimes.

Well, most of those police officers that committed murder of unarmed and non-threatening citizens were found not guilty, acquitted, etc. So we see once again, the police in America gunning down citizens at an ever increasing rate. In the first 5 months of 2017 nearly 1000 people had been killed from police shootings.

And why do you think we are seeing that increase? You can get the answer right if you are honest with yourself.

As bad as this is…it’s not the worst part. We have seen a significant increase in “groups” no longer tolerant of being victims of police violence. And those groups have been infected with liberal/Progressive anarchists and political operatives that will incite violence against police. And once again, the good guys with a badge will suffer because of the bad guys with a badge…at the hands of the radical left (i.e. Democrats).

And for those of you that are rapid pro-police folks…don’t doubt me on any of this. I can bring out the stats and cases showing clearly that police have murdered people and gotten away with it. And have done it at an alarming rate. There is even crystal clear video of these murders by police and they still get away with it. Some of the cops even have long records of police brutality and still get away with their murders.

Why do they get away with it so easily? Because a HUGE slice of American citizens confuse “law & order” with “police state”. Well-intentioned folks call for and support “law & order” when what we are getting is an imposition of a police state. And those confused folks are mostly so-called Conservatives that have little understanding of unalienable rights and the Constitution. Those rights and the Constitution are there to constrain and restrict police and their power. But, I hear so many imitation conservatives calling for unrestrained support of police…even to the killing of citizens. Police are not, and were never intended to be, judge, jury and executioner.

[ click here to read an excellent article on police creating danger and then killing people ]

The Coup Against Trump Continues –

I have written for months now about the coup against Trump. All the primary conservative talking heads are now finally using that term. Even Hannity called it a “coup d’état” just last week. Strange, when I first brought this fact up months ago I was roundly criticized and made fun of on another website for calling it as such.

No, I don’t expect them to admit they were wrong…let alone apologize.

Jeh Johnson, former head of DHS has joined the coup as part of the current/former intelligence officials fighting to overthrow the President of the United States. A week ago when he testified in front of Congress he made it clear that he has joined Clapper, Comey, and a host of others in their war against Trump…a coup.

I warned my website visitors who Mueller was when he was appointed by Rosenstein. I wrote about Mueller’s liberal/Progressive connections and his close friendship with James Comey. I warned what was happening. I will make it even more clear.

Mueller has hired radical left-wing lawyers to assist him in his investigation into Russia/Trump. Not only are these lawyers racial leftists, they are all supporters and financial contributors to Hillary Clinton and a whole host of Democrat extremist politicians. So what do you think the outcome will be? Mueller’s group doesn’t even have to find actual evidence. He can just claim that there isn’t enough evidence to bring a charge of treason or felonies against Trump, or his associates. And that alone will be enough fodder to continue the coup against Trump.

And as a side note, don’t be surprised if Mueller uses the opportunity to bring down a leftie. This is a great time to put even the radical left folks in their place if they have stepped out of line and crossed their puppet masters.

Summary –

We still have a disastrous Trump presidency on our hands. We have Trump advocating a socialist healthcare program. His administration is working against the Second Amendment. And he is spending money like a drunken sailor putting us further in debt.

We have a Congress, Democrats and Republicans, that are both working against Trump in all the worst ways. We have Democrats that are acting openly in rebellion and performing in perfect concert with the most radical of socialist agendas. They have become nothing less than dangerous to America. Republicans aren’t far off that mark.

The economy is in trouble. Remember that I have gone into detail about the fact that the job loss rate has skyrocketed from last year and at almost an historic level. The surface may look calm, even positive, but don’t be fooled. The underlying major elements of the financial system in America are in serious trouble…the kind that we can’t recover from or overcome.

Get your house in order. Do those things that will make you as independent from the government as possible. Take steps to be as self-sufficient from the economy and financial sector of America as you can. Form friendships with like-minded people. Become a better you. Grow closer to, or find, God. Know who you are and what you believe in. Don’t get side-tracked or distracted by those that are into weird things/beliefs.

Just do that which you know to be right.

 

 

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Initiative ’17 – Part #5: Flipping the Switch

What the heck does “flipping the switch” mean?

Some of you probably already know, some may not. But let me give you my take on what it means. I will do it somewhat long-winded but for a reason. Hang in there with me.

Most people don’t grow up having to flip the switch. If you played athletics you got a small taste of it when you trotted onto the field. I on the other hand, had to learn switch flipping with I was a young teenager. Why? Because I spent my early teenage years in a military school. But, it didn’t end there, I spent my later teenage years in the military…flipping the switch.

Can you image at the age of 13 hearing a bugle sounding reveille…and you better be jumping out of bed, dressed, and standing by your bed for your company commander to come walking by. You learn to wake up very quickly…and to move even quicker.

Then comes my time in the US Navy. The same style of waking-up, etc., so not much changed. Then came along “general quarters”…life changed again. General quarters is a call for everyone on the ship to go to their battle stations. You have to drop whatever you are doing and get to a specific place in the ship and prepare to go into battle. And you have precious little time to do it. Should you be only a couple of seconds late hatches are slammed shut and you are caught where you are…not at your battle station ready to do your job.

When in-port I was also part of the damage control team. When a fire broke out onboard ship we had to react quickly to fight the fire. And as you guessed it by now…another flip the switch moment. And then when I became a structure firefighter it was all about flipping the switch. Sometimes it was a house fire, sometimes a bad wreck on the Interstate, maybe a baby choking, sometimes a big brush fire, but there “alarms” going off during our shift that made us get into high-gear quickly. And that meant our minds had to be entirely focused on the job at hand.

So, is there a difference in emergency preparedness when it comes to emergencies, disasters, or especially in the case of a grid-down event?

Look, I’ve come up on a scene and observed people just standing there looking at what is happening…instead of helping. It just never entered their mind to actually roll up their sleeves and help people that were injured or put out a small car fire with a fire extinguisher hanging on the wall. They simply froze, unable to take action.

I remember one time a hurricane was expected to hit near our area and the flooding was expected to be intense. And we drove by a house where the homeowner was mowing his yard. What!?! Yup, he was in denial that the flooding would be bad from the impending hurricane.

What does any of that have to do with switch flipping?

Simple, you have to be ready to be in a state of mind to deal with the myriad problems that will come along in emergencies, disasters, and grid-down events. You have to forget mowing your grass because it is Saturday, which is the day you always mow the grass, and start filling sandbags.

It would be a legitimate question right about now if you asked, “How do I learn to do that?”

Well, go to military school, join the Navy, become a firefighter, etc. But, for most folks that isn’t possible or practical. So, how does the average person learn that skill? Drill.

Yeah, pretty simple really…you drill. Drill means practice for those of you that might not clearly understand what I mean.

Here is how I would go about it if I was just learning this concept:

  1. Hold a day time fire drill with your family.
  2. Hold a night time fire drill with your family. Yeah, when your family is asleep.
  3. Set your alarm of 1am. When it goes off you must accomplish –
    1. You must get fully dressed.
    2. You must be in your car with the car running and out of the garage.
    3. Do that in less than 2 minutes.
  4. Have your spouse set your alarm for you at whatever time they choose. Accomplish everything in #1.
  5. During the day have your alarm set for a random time. When it goes off you must –
    1. You must change into your tactical gear, including vest.
    2. You must have your pistol and long gun on you in battle configuration.
    3. You must have all of your other battle rattle on you as if you are going to war.
    4. Yeah, don’t go running outside and stand in the driveway for this one.
  6. Go to your favorite shooting location with a couple of your buddies. Explain to them what you are trying to accomplish. Here’s how I would like it to go –
    1. You set up a series of targets that you have to move to and between. A couple are long gun, a couple are pistol. Each one takes a different position. And one must involve a transition from long gun to pistol.
    2. You are in full battle rattle, ready for war.
    3. You sit around, or stand around, with your buddies just enjoying the friendship time.
    4. Any one of your buddies at any time can sound the alarm. That is your cue to flip your switch.
    5. You proceed to each target in an expeditious manner. While you are engaging your targets your buddies are yelling at you, they have an air horn that they are sounding, etc.

By now you get the idea. You are learning to go from 0 to 60 as fast as possible. You change your state of mind from the everyday life mode to the “I’m fully engaged” mode as quickly and completely as possible.

Here’s what you accomplish by learning to flip the switch:

  1. You learn to become instantly engaged in situations that are potentially fatal.
  2. You learn to hyper-mode your Situational Awareness very quickly.
  3. You learn to overcome cognitive dissonance.
  4. You gain confidence in your ability to handle potentially bad situations.
  5. You greatly increase your ability to survive and protect your family.

Over the years I’ve seen so many people simply freeze when facing a bad situation. Their brains simply become overloaded with their circumstances and they become mentally and physically immobilized. That may well kill you when facing emergency preparedness situations.

On the other side of the coin I’ve seen folks do some amazing things because they’ve learn to act quickly. They don’t wait for events to overwhelm them, they act, they control the situation, they take action. You can be one of those.

A couple of years ago during a class I was taking to be mentally prepared to survive deadly situations they had people stand about three feet apart. Then when the instructor said “go!” they had to raise their paintball guns and start shooting. Why? True, it was only paintball but they still hurt. And it was amazing to see that it was only a small fraction of a second between the first person getting off their shot…and the other person getting off their first shot. So, who would win in a real life gun battle? Almost always it is the person who lands the first shot…like 98% of the time.

It was who flipped their switch the quickest.

Don’t be the dolt that freezes up. Don’t be that person who doesn’t take action quickly enough…and their family falls in the victim category. Your family deserves more.


Please share with me topics you would like me to cover during Initiative ’17 –

 

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Retirement Home & BugOut Location (RHBOL) Part 6 – Water

In the last article I started to talk in more detail about the well and water supply. I ended the article by asking “what do you see as the #1 priority for the well…actually, the water supply?”

Before I answer that question…

When you think in terms of Arizona most folks think desert, heat, and lack of water. That is true for some areas of Arizona but not our area where our property is located. We have mild, 4-seasons of weather, abundant lakes, and one of the best aquifers in the United States.

If you remember, one of my biggest priorities for a buying property was water. In the case of our area that would mean well water since springs, rivers, and such are rare. And wells can be expensive to drill, $18 – $30 per foot. The water in our area is between 150’ – 600’. Do the math…about $4,000 – $25,000 to get water flowing to a storage tank.

We were lucky enough to find a piece of property with a well already on it.

Right after we closed on the property I paid a reputable driller to come pull the old pump and pipe, then to test the water level, and assess the casing. There was no power supply to the pump, just a wellhead with nothing else. We assumed the pump was a 220vAC unit but we weren’t sure. I didn’t like the way the wire looked. We also didn’t know anything else about the well. A service call was the only logical choice.

They pulled the pump from a depth of 190’ out of a 220’ well. The pipe was good. The casing was good. The pump was good. There was plenty of water. Yea!

Now came the choice of what to put back into the well. Fortunately I know a really good well/pump/irrigation company owner here locally. I spent quite a bit of time with him obtaining information on different options. And to my surprise he is an “off-gridder” as well and was in-tune with my water needs and desires.

When push came to shove a 110vAC 1/3hp pump made the most sense. Here’s why:

  1. We don’t have a large water demand, about 50 – 100gals per day. No more than 100 – 200gals a day maximum during gardening season.
  2. We don’t have utility power to the property.
  3. We really wanted to run the system off of solar with our existing 1800w inverter.
  4. We didn’t want to spend more than $2000 for the entire set-up.
  5. If the sun wasn’t sufficient to power the system, or the water demand was temporarily high, we wanted to be able to use our existing Honda EU2000i generator for a power supply to keep the pump running.

It almost worked out.

The 1800-watt inverter we already had would run the pump when it was cool outside, but in the heat of the day, even on a mild day, the inverter wouldn’t cycle on to run the pump. So that option was out. I still haven’t settled on a higher wattage inverter. We settled on simply using the generator for now.

Why a 2000-watt pure sine wave inverter? Because we hooked up our Honda EU2000i and it ran the pump just fine under all conditions. But what does that have to do with the inverter? Technically nothing other than it helped us determine that 2000-watts was sufficient to run the pump.

Why a pure sine wave inverter that costs more than a modified sine wave? Wow, that is a whole discussion in and of itself. But, for this conversation I will stick with the basics:

  1. It runs the pump motor more efficiently.
  2. It creates less heat in the pump motor.
  3. It will make the pump motor last longer.

Say we are running the well pump and we run the batteries dead due to lack of sun or large water demand…no problem! We take the Honda EU2000i over to the well house and plug it in. Fire that baby up and “bingo!” water is now being pumped.

So we had the pump figured out – a 1/2hp Franklin Electric motor running a 3gpm pump. A 2000-watt 110vAC power supply would run the pump just fine. For batteries we have a number of options but we are leaning towards four 12vDC 205AH Duracell Ultra deep-cycle batteries ($200 each). With no solar assist and no generator running that would give us 6 – 9 minutes of runtime before the low-voltage disconnect (LVD) kicked in and stopped the pump. That is 18 – 27gals of water per cycle per single battery.

Using four 100w solar panels that should take 4 – 8 hours of sun each day to recharge the batteries. Other than on cloudy days that gives us two cycles per day. If we find ourselves short of water we can double the batteries and/or solar panels because it is an easily up-gradable system.

And don’t forget, we always have the option of putting our generator to work if need be. Utilizing a 2,000gal water storage tank we always have a minimum of 20 – 40 days of water on hand. Using our generator we can fill the 2,000gal tank in less than 12 hours. For our Honda EU-2000i that is about 1 – 1.5 gals of gasoline.

And yes, the Honda has the propane option. And yes, we are putting in two 500gal propane tanks.

To move the water from the pump to the surface we sent with a thick-walled 1.25” gas pipe. That gives us a number of advantages; 1) low resistance due to the 1.25” diameter, 2) no corrosion from steel, 3) flexible, 4) no joints, 5) I can pull or replace the pipe myself, and 6) cost.

The wellhead equipment was all standard stuff and the wiring was 10g 3-wire made for use in water.

So we now will have the well in good condition, new pump, new motor, and all new well equipment. We have solar to run the pump with a generator back-up for power.

But, what if it goes really bad…no power of any kind?

Not to worry! You figured that was coming didn’t you.

So trying to figure out the worst case scenario wasn’t so hard after all…no power of any kind to run any kind of pump and motor. That leaves manual labor. But, we still need a method of some kind to get the water from the bottom of the well 220’ below the surface.

Again, no problem! Enter the WaterBoy well bucket.

For my set-up I built real simple 3-legged stand and used an air hose reel to take-in and let-out the rope.

 

The WaterBoy worked exactly and designed. So now we had a way to retrieve water without any electricity of any kind.

Here are a couple of lessons learned through the experience:

  1. Don’t worry about a fancy reel for the rope. Make a comfortable single-strap harness that fits over your head and across the chest. Hook the rope securely to the harness and have someone simply walk away from the well. Your legs will do the work vs. your arms, it goes much faster, and there is no reel involved to breakdown.
  2. If this is going to be a permanent method of retrieving your water, build a very  sturdy pulley stand. The stand I built was made to move into place and operate by a single person, then easily move out of the way. A more sturdy stand would be needed for long-term usage.
  3. Clean the valve sealing surfaces after each use and keep them soft and supple. If you don’t, then water leaks out of the valve and you will end up with a fraction of the water you normally would.
  4. This model brings up about 2gals of water at a time. That means we would need to pull up one load a day for our minimum drinking needs and up to 25 loads for more luxury water usage.

For the price, $106, the WaterBoy is great insurance in the case that all power goes out and you need to get water out of your well. I went ahead and purchased the large pulley and rope at the same time just to make it more convenient. Their prices are competitive so what the heck!

And yes, they have 3″ and 2″ models as well. Not a bad idea to simply buy their tripod stand in the deal. Get a whole turn-key solution and be done with it.


In the next article in this series I start construction. But, not to worry, I come back to the well project and show you how I built the well house. And then I show you how I put the well back together with only the manual labor of my wife and I.

 

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