Prepping: How Much Do You Trust “The World?”

Seems to be a frequent conversation here at the ranch, lately.

Should we pick up stakes and move as a team; to set our sights on a distant shore, pursuit of a fresher dream?

Damn hard one to answer – and since it is Sunday – a day of supposed rest and re-creation in theory – it seems like a proper question to ask.

Fundamentally, we each have a choice: We can live in a “community” or we can “live apart.”

Strong arguments are make by community-sellers:  They propose that a community is more robust, more able to care, and a lot more equal, than living the life apart.

But I’ve sensed for a long time that city-dwellers live in a special “Illusion Bubble” thinking that they are any safer than those in the wilds.  The catastrophic CenturyLink internet failure and the serial collapse of 9-1-1 call centers gets us to remembering a few facts about living apart with a few stored foods and an independent water source.

We’re sure the “coop-dwellers” with their misshapen concepts of climate change and whatnot will be reassured that the “FCC Investigates Widespread CenturyLink Outage That Disrupted 911 Service.”  Not that it restores anything, but it will give warm and fuzzies to people unwilling to think the “unthinkable.”

Which would be what, exactly?

Well, a little noticed item on the website caught our eye since any good hacking scheme designed to message power would be timed to “go off” long after the perps had logged out:

“On December 20, 2018, the U.S. Government announced that a group of Chinese cyber actors associated with the Chinese government have carried out a campaign of cyber-enabled theft targeting global information technology (IT) service providers and their customers. Over the past four years, these actors have gained access to multiple U.S. and global IT service providers and their customers. For more information related to this activity, go to”

This is NOT to claim the Chinese did it, although with trade talks and rising economic tensions, they are one suspect nation.  But, so is Iran, and Russia, and North Korea, and.. well, you know the list.

But the REAL point of mulling this a bit is that in modern society, we gloss over the much more comprehensive risks facing society and pretend that they can be “managed.”

A number of books have made the assertion.  Nassim Taleb made it in “Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder” but, as we’ve alluded to on the Peoplenomics side of things, disorder also breaks a lot of things.  Big ones, too:  Governments, food chains, economics orders, and oh, yeah…what happens when the power goes down or the very networks that support city-dweller high-density existence are the very networks that bring the enemy’s coders into our infrastructure?

Been a while since I read Taleb – several years.  But I remember when reading it thinking “Wait!  The world is a hell of a lot more fragile that Taleb’s simplifications suggest.

Because while it’s true at a kind of inter-locking directorship level – where many aspects of modern management and so forth are interchangeable, at a fundamental level there are “hard stops” all over the place.

Mass casualty terrorism,

EMP attack.  Massive Internet collapse.

Oh, yeah and this fellow:

Chris Tyreman (The Chronicle Project and author of a pending book on human delusions called Prestige) summed Arkhipov’s life up this way:  “None of us would be here were it not for him.”

And, he’s right.

On October 27, 1962, this one Russian submarine officer was the lone dissenting vote among three on a Russian sub that almost started World War III.

The entire account (here in Wikipedia) is short but that’s how close America and the World came to collapse.

We don’t often chide city-dwellers for their near blind faith in “things working out” but the point is history is more than full of coups, conspiracies, revolutions, immigrations, pestilence, and pandemics that the Hitler’s and Khan’s and yes, Hadrian’s too, are single characters – not life-ending changes.

Ancestral Pueblo People seem a reason case to study, if massive cultural change is the focus.  A key part of Joseph Tainter’s  “Collapse of Complex Societies” is that a combination that included climate change was the reason for collapse.

So there’s a lot of ground to debate between the “technology will save us” crowd with heavy math people like Taleb and an echo in Rebecca Costa’s On the Verge that sounds like cheerleading for Big Data.

What many people miss, however, is the ONE ITEM in this week’s news flow that warns more starkly than anything of our dubious future.

It came in a call from my consigliere.  “You see where the Supreme Court is going to secret hearings as part of the Mueller probe?”

For the next several minutes he explained that as much as liberal causes may be distasteful, in the end it may be George H.W. Bush and Dick Cheney who set America on the path to self destruction.

Because it was their plan to allow for “secret trials” without the daylight of press coverage and I have to say, from a civil libertarian viewpoint, it is inexcusable.  In the Ure family, we’d likely hold that secret trials are a poor substitute for good police work.

The point is?  Facial recognition is everywhere.  License plate readers are everywhere.  Voice recordings in your home by Google and Amazon’s Alexa are widespread.  And yes, those chilling Chilean-like Secret Tribunals are now running in America. And it will be worse in a year and then again after that.

Toss in how close we’ve been to nuclear war – just one highly integrious officer, how close to Internet collapse this week may have brought us, and then realize that while terms like “incerto” are bandied about by those who sincerely believe we have a shared future ahead, its only a speculation.

It’s one hell of a wager, isn’t it?

As we head into the New Year, it’s a fine question to ask yourself every day:  “Are we feeling lucky for another year?

And will luck more likely hold in a big city – or out here in the boonies?  Remember that in the nuclear and internet age, civilian populations are not workforces as much as they are bargaining chips.

You are the ante.

Write when you get rich,

51 thoughts on “Prepping: How Much Do You Trust “The World?””

  1. George

    “None of us would be here were it not for him.”

    That’s the problem with submarines, there not on a teather.

    Only the people on board have control of the weapons.

    The land based missiles have a hard wired signal from the Wing Command Post that must be present to allow a launch initiation.
    And it is set up in such a way so that nobody can fake it!

    That I know as a fact and I have the bona fides to prove it.

    • It takes an order, received over the net, when the comm mast is raised to make ready and then launch a nuke. Order has to be ‘verified’ and then the weapon made ready for launch.

    • 1. It’s an intercom. As such, one of us can trip, stumble, fall and summon help. We are pretty well spread out around here: 1,700 sf of hou8se, large gym/art habitat, with shower/bath. My office… So for the price of a handful of Alexa/Dot’s we get intercom.
      2. News and Information: We can’t get local radio save one cowboy station in town. With the Alexa, we simply say “Alex, iHeart Radio WOAI and we get San Antonio – and – depending on morning and mood and if any travel plans – we can listen to stations anywhere in the country. KGO San Francisco is running Kim Kommando at the moment…
      3. Brain Training. While on the treadmill, we can play Trivial pursuit – which is a great way to keep brain busy/firing while working out.
      4. It keeps grocery lists and to do lists
      5. Turns on the lights and off in all the buildings here. Can issue discrete commands and
      so forth.
      6. Verbal calculator – does math too big for the head but not worth going to a calculator for.
      7. Paired with a mobile phone, it allows calling
      I could go on, but since we are not trying to overthrow the government and our money is in safe places (such as banks, trading firms, and treasury direct) the machine doesn’t get to that part of our lives…

      So in all, as we age, it just seems like a good aging population tool… thanks for asking though!~

      • Oh, and yes it streams music dandy and a whole lot more. Alexa what time is it in Prague? “The time if Prague is 4:05 PM…”
        On the other hand, she is well-dialed to revolutionaries being able to look up complex words like anarcho-syndicalism, for example. I forget sometimes.

      • Sure it does some nifty stuff, BUT you’ve chosen to live in an environment with an open microphone, and you actually don’t know what ELSE it might do! You seem like a level-headed person, but IMO you’ve jumped the shark on this decision.

      • “With the Alexa, we simply say “Alex, iHeart Radio WOAI and we get San Antonio – ”

        Lol lol You could do a lot better than elexa George… If you have a wife or kid…honey would you make me a sammich and grab a cold drink..and hey change the channel to while your at it.
        As for an intercom.. There’s the good old..HEY WHOS AT THE DOOR..
        Now seriously can Alexa do all that…lol lol lol and no lol lol
        Just kidding..

      • When I think of Alexa I think of the cloud.. My friend sent me his iPad..I didn’t want it he didn’t want it.. I let the four year old watch cartoons on day he brought it over and asked if I would change the channel.
        What was on it was my friends web cam his wife just walking around fresh out of the shower .. After checking it out I had all the info on his computer his phone her phone the door bell ringer.. His bank account info his kids bank account info credit cards everything including his Alexa searches.
        I tried to explain to him he just didn’t get I would put pictures in his photos.. And beevus and butthead videos trying to convince him this needed to be destroyed..
        I tried getting his son to explain it. I sent it back his kid got through to him finally and we were talking and I said didn’t you get it from the photos you kept deleting.. He said which one so I sent him the photo.. His reaction was hey that’s the pervert that keeps ringing our doorbell then running off lol lol lol..nope that was me putting the picture in your file..seems every time I put the picture in the doorbell rang they had the police out looking for this guy.. Lol lol
        Its everywhere to.. Now imagine a warrior robot like pet man…
        And the cloud

    • MULTIPLE ones…and they both take vaccines……..N ow he is watering down financial bend of PN……starting to wonder…..

  2. When the Bad Guys (various players possibly coordinated, but probably not) eventually take the decision to bring the U.S. down, bringing about several to many “cascade” failures will be a simple thing. The sooner they go, the more catastrophic it will be. You don’t have to “get them all” to foment enough chaos and confusion for The Event to exceed a gain over unity, and feedback without limit.
    ask your friends safe in the city if they’ve ever lived three days without electricity, water, or food stores, or if they prefer the health benefits of stair-climbing to elevators above — let’s say — the 12th floor.

    Example: Fuel gets TO truck stops via trucks. In a sufficiently effective fuel interruption — FOR WHATEVER CAUSE — truck stops run out of fuel, and re-supply becomes damn near impossible as a practical matter. Re-boot — “filling the pipeline” — could take weeks. In the meantime, what ELSE fails as a result of the dead stop of truck-borne freight?

    There are many such examples.

    • And this is precisely why I look at books like “Anti-Fragile” as useless academic exercises. There’s always a plug to pull if you’re smart enough and there is NOTHING inherently immune to fragility.
      Might want to consider today’s publishing hack as an example.
      Safe? What’s “safe?” The point of today’s rap…

    • Good point.. I had a friend that would give me guff about solar..he lived in the suburbs of DC pretty bright did some amazing things. He brought up his nifty backup gen.. Anyway the hundred year storm hit it kicked on.. After a few days he called me to apologise..seemed he ran out of fuel and of course pumps trucks water sewer everything needs the petrol to function..he said it was 127 in his house and they were cooking.. He retired and installed solar..up until the day he thanked me.. Seems it not only paid for itself in a year but he had power when the lights were off.
      Although you need a good battery system..mines good but wow heavy just the one with six batteries is almost a ton in weight.. It will go into my storm shelter

  3. My goodness George but your getting parinoid as it seems every country in the world is against us,China,Russia,Iran and secretly even the EU,but in reality its not because of mom’s apple pie nor all the rest of the B.S. that we are and have been subjected to for our entire lives, but the fact that its our really really special brand of capitalism that’s the driven force behind all our military ventures,as we run around the world bombing killing looting and accusing other countries of doing things that we are doing ourselves,and until the people rise up and destroy that mentality,destroy those who perpetuate it ,those who belong to all those secret societies which are evil as those that belong to them are evil,nothing will change…

    • You gotta read the comments on vaccines from a fellow doing a masters in nursing – individually dosed are unlike to have the mercury in them…

      • George I gotta hammer this home…. THIMERSOL preservative is a MERCURY compound!! And the ‘shotgun’ adjuvants are selective poisons that irritate the immune system for a response. Many are aluminum based.

      • A big concern of mine is the adjuvants in vaccines, and the ratio of antigen to adjuvant. Thiomersol mercury is just one, and far less media attention is being given to aluminum compounds:

        Last week we were discussing aluminum anodes in water heaters, yet the vaccine industry is directly injecting these compounds. ANY adjuvant will potentiate the immune system non-specifically, and that includes auto-immunity. The hope is that in concert with the antigen(if any), there will be a disproportionate specific immune response to that particular antigen. I’m generally vaccine averse, though I trust each person to make his own informed decision. IMHO, we should have access to the vaccine such that we can get any lab of our choice, including home labs, to do a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the contents, and keep both the results and a frozen sample for our records. I have little trust in the medical system from my personal experience on the floors and in academia. I do have a healthy disrespect for medical “authority” and choose to make my own decisions and take the consequences. I won’t tell others what to do – I’ll just wish for the best. YMMV.

      • People in school are limited in book-learning, by the stuff that’s printed in the books, or explained by their Profs/lecturers. I’m not trusting enough to believe since socialist ideology has permeated virtually all educational disciplines without resistance, that corporate ideologies haven’t also so-done, at least in their respective areas of interest.

        THIMEROSAL (thiomersal is seldom-used in North America, but is also correct) are the generic name for Merthiolate, which is a registered trademark of Eli Lilly & Co.

        Thimerosal is:

        sodium ethyl mercuric thiosalicylate

        -essentially (and simplistically) a compound of ethyl mercury, carboxylic acid, and aspirin. Ethyl mercury is an interesting compound, noted for its ability to permeate dermis (which is why merthiolate was used as a surgical prep for years — it kills germs and fungi under the surface of the skin which scrubs can’t touch.) Lesser-publicized, but still known, is the ability of ethyl mercury to flow freely throughout any mammal’s body, and also pass freely through both the blood/brain and placental barriers.

        {One of the first medicine labels I ever read was on a bottle of Lilly Merthiolate. It listed the compound as: “sodium ethyl mercuri thiosalicylate Lilly…”}

  4. Something to ponder: Is the changes in size of a roll of toilet paper something we can utilize as an economic indicator?

    • It is best to view price change in ounces. You can get the price per ounce on the price tag in the store. You will need to keep a running log on a basket of items you use regularly. I buy frozen pizzas based on price per ounce.

    • No.

      It is like the frozen entrees that’ve shrunk by an ounce, twice, since 2007, the 59/56/53 ounce “half-gallons” of juice products, and the 10.3oz “pounds” of coffee — Once it’s gone, it’s gone for good.

      To make 4″ TP sheets, the mills would have to replace the perforator roller with one whose knives were closer together. To make 3.8″ wide TP rolls, they’d have to invest in extra cutters. To roll the paper more-loosely, to give today’s “notice nothing” shopper the illusion they’re buying a bigger roll, the mills have to replace the tensioners on their roll-machines.

      Once Percy G Businessman forks out several million bucks for TP machine “upgrades” which make him free money, he’s not going back to 5″ punch-rollers or 5″ cutters, for any reason whatsoever…

  5. I was pondering your question -“And will luck more likely hold in a big city – or out here in the boonies” – back when we were thinking of relocating from the PNW to elsewhere. We would, ultimately, love to live somewhere in the boonies but, we are senior citizens pushing 70 who have were born, raised and lived in the larger cities therefore, do not have any ‘real’ boonie skills or knowledge.

    With our age comes physical limitations and challenges unlike those of younger people. True, we could learn but the learning curve is greatly reduced by the number of optimal remaining years. Plus, we really do ‘need’ higher quality medical care availability.

    Perhaps when and if (in our lifetime, if we live another 20 years) tshtf we will be forced to learn how to survive without modern conveniences, but, if tshtf when I am 90, I don’t have high hopes that there would be another 10 years left for me and if tshtf at that age, would I want to be around for another 10?

    Do we want to spend what little retirement dollars we have (unfortunately, if one does not include the home which value has fluctuated greatly over the past 15 years) to relocate to the unfamiliar world of the boonies for an unknown future (yes, I know you say tshtf in my lifetime, but truly truly it is unknown as to the ‘when’ exactly, in spite of all the mathematics and history) or do we stay in our suburban neighborhood community where at least someone we know on the block has medical or handyman or hunting skills? Although we have ‘prepped’ so that we could survive for at least a couple months, there are space and logistic limitations for anything longer. Perhaps that is when community comes into play?

    I don’t know and we have been pondering this whole thing without any definitive answers.

    • Well stated Pepper D.

      At our age, it is difficult to look at this with the eyes of a 30, 40 or 50 year old. The past choices we made are prety well anchored to us at this late stage of life.

      Health issues become a very large factor no matter how hard you work to delay it. I think the struggle that George and Elaine have with this decision as rural citizens is the flip side of our decision struggle as lifers in the urban community.

      When tshtf I am not sure there is a perfect choice but you make some logical points for being close to health care in the last couple of laps of life. I do know that being with someone you love and care for no matter your location is a blessing. It appears that George has that, whatever his decision. Fortunately, I do too.

    • If the crap hits the air exciter, there won’t BE any medical services or prescription medicines. Learn skills now – make it a game. Buy a window box of tomatoes or herbs from Lowe’s or Home Depot, and learn how plants grow. Understand, should the grid go down, there will be no gas, electricity, water, sewage, or food, and your plastic pal won’t buy you a damn’ thing either. If it goes down from an EMP or a nuke, or if Yellowstone or Island Park blow their top, it’ll be gone for practical purposes, forever.

      Read the Cliff’s Notes version of any purge – Lenin, Mao, Hitler, Pol Pot, etc., and realize in a SHTF situ, “community” becomes communal (locally communistic) first. Your community will confiscate any resources you’ve stockpiled, and won’t return scarce resources (like food and water) to you unless you can reliably contribute an essential skill to the collective. If you are, what Marx referred to as a “useless eater,” your community will literally, purge you.

      THIS is the “advantage” of the boonies. One does not live in or move to the boonies to see whether they can survive being thrust into the 18th Century. They do it to give themselves a fighting chance at survival by minimizing their likelihood of being murdered before they have a chance to TRY to survive. They do so now, to avoid being set afoot and adrift by their “community,” or made dead, when the excrement begins to accumulate and travel becomes limited to “walking distance…”

      Your ability to “learn” may be limited by physical issues, but it is enhanced by the stuff you’ve learnt over a lifetime of living. That “You can’t teach an old dog, new tricks” thing only applies, if one is unwilling to learn. Buy a Heathkit off eBay, a copy of the residential electrical code off Amazon, and a book on introductory carpentry & building construction from AbeBooks, and download instructions on joining PVC/CPVC pipe from Genova. Read the books and lit cover-to-cover and you’ll have the knowledge and mental skills to build a house. Even folks who’re wheelchair-bound can toenail studs or joint PVC pipe. You just have to see the need, and want it.

      After a year, $100/month from you and from a few like-aged, like-concerned friends will buy an acre of primitive woodlands in eastern Washington or the Idaho panhandle. That gives you a SHTF destination. 2-3 acres, especially if it’s near BLM or State land or a stream, is enough to support subsistence survival. ‘Won’t be easy, won’t be fun, but it will be doable.

      How badly do you want to live…?

      Personally, I want to be around to teach dumbazzes (virtually everyone under 50 who lacks a military background — my kids included) how to survive and mold a viable civilization out of flying poo. About myself, I don’t care. I’m not important, my kids are, and their kids, exceedingly so. Unfortunately, they’re also all exceedingly ignorant, with respect to valuable and viable skills for a non-electronic world, and seem all to be of the opinion that they don’t need to learn such “life-skills” until it becomes necessary to know them. That means in order to ensure the propagation of my DNA (the true function of the meatsack we all wear in this plane of existence), I need to live long enough to show my progeny, and any other related or non-related parties I can “reach,” the error of their ways, and the true path to survival of my slice of the species…

  6. “Should we pick up stakes and move as a team; to set our sights on a distant shore, pursuit of a fresher dream?”

    If all else I’ve read (and it is worrysome!!) is on your mind I’d suggest you stay where you are presently. ;-)

  7. Your question, “Should we pick up stakes and move as a team; to set our sights on a distant shore, pursuit of a fresher dream?” is a valid question for lots of people. We did do it, for various reasons, and moved off shore where we live better on less than we spent in the USofA. I also have a few years on ya, so it is possible at your age. What type of life do you want?

    Your statement, “We can live in a “community” or we can “live apart.” I find interesting. Why? Because I believe we have a local community (people over at the house as I type) but, we are apart being separated by several miles in a rural area. So, I believe that we have a community and are still not cooped up rats in a city.


      • We are in the Zona Sul or the Southern Zone which is South over the mountain from San Jose. This is agriculture country and less than an hour to the beaches. Climate is fantastic. Many couples live on $2000 a month and are living well. The local Ladies have a club – The men have a lunch meeting (informal) bi-weekly. Come or not. This week the guys will meet at the best ‘wings’ place in the area. Many expats in the area, mostly USA, UK and Canada. We have a more active social life here than in the USA. Laid back and easy going. People from all walks of life and we manage to get along.
        The city hospital recently completed a major addition. One of the ladies here today just had cancer surgery and it went wonderfully.

        Anything specific just ask.

  8. Nobody of Concern
    Hi George, just my thoughts

    A little prepping story. In 2006-2008 when housing started to boom, I built a spec. house into a market that was doomed. I learned a lesson and made a plan. A very good plan.
    Never move to a state that allows leans to be places on your property except taxes leans or construction leans for improvements. Make sure the state offers protection for joint bank accounts so that money can’t be attached. Make sure taxes are low with exemptions and homesteads. Stay out of the city buy in the county (much cheap taxes). You do nice work George and very informative.

      • Nobody of concern,
        Hi George

        Well in your post you said city under 250,000 pop,1/4 acre or more 2br 2b under 1500.

        Here is what I have,
        Ocala Fl pop 72000
        All services with in 10 miles
        2Bed 2Bath 900sq. ft 1 car Garage 1/4 acre stick frame on slab
        House paid clear
        Taxes 450.00 a year
        Ins. 950.00 all coverage year
        mail service at the door
        trash pick up Mon & Thu
        Garden p.u. every Wen
        Gated with Live Guard 24hr.
        55 and over
        H.O.A. 94.00 only can be raised cost of living
        All my bills everything Elect, Water, HOA, House phone and internet 25meg (Cable available 100meg) , Cell, and Junk Cable Total $336.00 a month without food
        I pay all my bill by the year. And save my excess money all year.
        I have a credit card debt 4500.00 @ 0% and will pay only when deal expires
        I have a car payment @.2.1% Keeping for credit score balance 2400.00
        Keeping a low profile and having fun and cruising to the finish line.

      • Richard, that’s great, just visited with a fellow Floridian who bought a 2000 square foot 2 bedroom 2 bath house furnished for $140,000, no garage, HOA including property insurance less than $600 a month, right on the water, property taxes $500 a year. The house is immaculate. They found it, made an offer, got it accepted, went back to N. Carolina, put their house on the market fully furnished, and it sold in 4 days. They have lived in Fl for one year and love it, and are also 10 minutes or less from services. Florida is impressive for its low-cost beautiful lifestyle.

  9. “FCC Investigates Widespread CenturyLink Outage That Disrupted 911 Service.” Not that it restores anything, but it will give warm and fuzzies to people unwilling to think the “unthinkable.”

    I wonder what they will find?

    was it ten years ago.. sometime around 2012 when there was a lot of touch and goes going on.. the US would send planes to test the borders of other countries and the other countries would send their planes to test our borders.. and Russia had a sub just sitting in the harbor off California.. that one day just to show they could all the camera’s and baby monitors in the USA were turned on….. do I trust the world.. I think I could.. IF… a person could convince the puppeteers to stop their Horse Shot actions.. if you read and pay attention to Ping and Putin and DJT.. these are not unreasonable men.. they love their countries and they love the people and will do what they think is right by them. I would allow any of them to come on over and have coffee and if everyone starts acting like adults I would love to visit China and Russia..I love the architecture and the people and the long honorable heritages is amazing.. with all the shenanigans going on by the puppeteers to gain someone more power or steel the resources someone else owns is only causing distressed relations and could result in a war, one that I think will touch each and every single one of us..
    Until everyone starts acting like adults I wouldn’t trust anyone anywhere.. I sure don’t think out legislators has our better interest in mind.. heck check what ever college you want.. there are research papers by the thousands on the subject in almost every college library..
    you don’t even have to go that far.. just listen to them on tv.. they come right out and say it.. in the political language..

  10. Having been a personal victim, I cannot say enough about the dangers of mercury… be it vaccines preservatives (thimersol) or dental amalgam fillings that were my personal ‘poison pills’. I learned how to have them removed and cope with from a professional research scientist with multiple Phds. The Book is “Amalgam Illness” by Andrew Cutler. Barnes & Noble has it for $33. Strangely, Amazon and others list the paperback book for hundreds of dollars!? Is there a suppression attempt going on here?

    It still amazes me how much my health improved after having my mercury amalgam fillings removed and undergoing chelation therapy to remove organic mercury from my body.

  11. Wow, George. All the thoughts that went through my paranoid little mind reading today’s submission!

    If there’s anything the past year has taught me about “city folk” it’s that they indulge in group think like lemmings with Tourette’s and are obsessed with keeping up with the Joneses. The latter of which means wearing out the credit cards and running over anyone that gets in their way acquiring and showing off their status symbols. Compare this to the old guard that’s quickly leaving this world where it really didn’t matter how much you made as long as you didn’t lean on or annoy your neighbors that much. If you wanted to be “social” you could be. If you wanted solitude, so be it. People lived out here to enjoy low taxes and be left – the – Hell – alone. What I’m most afraid of, given a real SHTF scenario, is these newbies from the city going “Jericho” on us, one in particular, and declaring themselves potentates “for the good of all.” If we could turn the clock back 40 years with the group that we had then there would be very few problems if a real, prolonged crisis situation came to be. Everyone would come together to see each other through. All it takes for these new people to lose it is a hang nail.

    The problem with being out in the sticks alone today is not the same as it was back in 1929. There are just too danged many of us today that will come pouring out of the cities. The only semi-safe place will be small towns full of like-minded people you don’t have to worry too much about and that have known each other for generations … that is if they exist anymore AND you can fit in. With the inundation of people that can afford the status of a 20 acre “yard” by virtue of their creditworthiness alone but, otherwise, just don’t get the small town attitude it will be like Cold War Eastern Europe where distrust of one’s neighbor is the norm. I’ve always felt like I was born a generation too late!

    All of this, however, is predicated on the U.S. imploding, government and all, but no one else coming in to “help” as in “One Second After” where China winds up coming in with Mexico’s help and occupying everything from the West Coast to the Mississippi River. Such an event would make one wish for the Earth Cataclysm that Ben has been talking about over at

    At any rate – HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYBODY! May y’all always have enough to help someone else out down the road.

    • There are aspects of both “Jericho” and “Dark Angel” which are very indicative of life after SHTF (and aspects which are very fanciful and not at all likely.) The best TV primer ever made is probably the first 5-6 episodes of “Fear the Walking Dead.”

      Probably the single biggest takeaway from “Jericho” is the salt mine. We are no-longer taught, and typically don’t “self-study” history. Because of that, when someone spouts off and says: “More people have died in the name of religion than anything else,” their statement is not questioned. In all probability, more people have died fighting over either salt or potable water, than have died in all religious wars, combined. Sodium is absolutely essential to human life, and until roughly 100 years ago, was always in short supply. This is why I have a half-ton of Solar Salt in my pantry. If I ever figure out a way to store lard indefinitely without spoilage, I’ll probably have a half-ton of it, also. Dietary fat is also absolutely essential, and was also in historically, chronically short-supply, until the 1920s.

      As for carpetbaggers or city slickers moving into small town America and taking over, my opinion is: Yer boonies ain’t.

      I can not think of true boonies, anywhere from New York to Idaho, where after an EOTWAWKI occurrence, self-important and megalomaniacal carpetbaggers would not find themselves face-down in a hole.

      • Prepsteders on YouTube has a lot of good ideas for foods that last forever. One video about Pemmican has some good ideas in it –

        I might get the DVDs on Jericho one day or just binge-watch through Netflix or Hulu, whichever has it, to refresh my memory. It’s always been my go-to reference for that situation. A quick run-through of “Fear The Walking Dead” might be in order with these cold, cloudy days, though.

  12. Seems like prepping makes very good press, but thinking about it. If the A bomb feud gets hot think would rather be in first round moving on to a greater reward. Possible this aint gonna be a fit place to exist.

  13. A couple of thoughts. The fact that you are thinking of moving may be based on feelings that you are tired of the Texas outback. Your “ is that all there is” moment. As we get older, we tend to want to live a bit closer to our own little utopia…maybe in anticipation of what it may be like in the “afterlife”. What is utopia? For me it’s weather, because the availability of weather combined with access to social, environmental, economic, and health conveniences is the Royal Flush of an extended life.

    Yep, there is no doubt for me that California is my utopia…all stemming from the weather. It has always been the weather that draws people here. That’s why there are 40 million of us. Need a break from your office grind? Take a 10 minute vacation by going outside and taking a deep breath in the warm, dry 75-80 degree, sunny, cloud free air. That’s enough right there to energize you for the next round of busy work. Everything here is built around being outdoors…Our schools are outdoor campuses, our restaurants are mostly open air, our work spaces are built around the outdoors (see Apples spaceship campus or Facebooks 12.6 acre rooftop park.) Our homes are expanded by having extended living spaces outdoors etc. Enough about my state….

    I didn’t grow up in an environment like this. My home region…The Midwest was best experienced indoors due to the heat and humidity of the summer, the severe storms of the spring, or the cold of the winter. So based on my own personal social experiment, it’s a near perfect weather environment that motivates humans and gives them hope, dreams and productive careers and lifestyles. My career and home life have flourished here. Look back at height of Ancient Greece, the Roman empires regions, and don’t forget how life exploded around the fair weather regions of Mesopotamia and the ancient city of Uruk. Weather is very important, especially with today’s millennials…the basis for our of control growth here in the Bay Area.

    The pursuit of a fresher dream is best incubated in an area with fresher air and climate. I get to re-boot everyday…Being outdoors most of the time is like an injection of motivation, happiness and just plain good healthy living all rolled into one. I have traveled just about everywhere in the world with the exception of South America, Australia/New Zealand. Those regions could possibly qualify for many, but I am also a family man, and it’s important for me to be accessible to family.

    I have found that California is the closest thing to the fountain of youth that there is…and 12.3% of the US population that lives here can mainly agree with me. That said, there are other areas like northern Arizona…My favorites are Sedona, AZ, Santa Fe, NM, (it can get cold in the winter though…), Ashland,OR (also Medford) and Sparks,NV. (outside of Reno) None of these have weather as nice as California, but if you are looking for little to no humidity in the summer, incredible spring and fall, and mild winters, these are great areas to re-boot. George, you have been talking about this a long time. I am starting to talk of a last move too…but my move will stay to the confines of my state.

    One last thing about good weather…as we get older, weather gets to be more of a hassle than an experience. My midwestern mother just had a knee replacement due to a slip on an icy driveway, my uncle had a heart attack (survived) shoveling snow and my aunt had a heat stroke (survived) from a 100 degree day with 85% humidity. I have better things to do than to worry about stuff like that.

    • Mark, I could not agree with you more about California’s climate. My uncle beat feet out of our West Texas town after WWII when he was stationed out there. He lived his life in Santa Monica and became one of the most beloved elementary teachers in that school system. He did, certainly, flourish. The few times I was able to visit (I was stationed in San Diego in the Navy as well) I experienced exactly what you’ve described here. The last time I was there just before 9/11 was when we were cleaning out his house after he’d passed away. I can tell you I did not want to leave when the time came! Unfortunately California and LA are not what they were when he moved out there in the 40s but if you closed your eyes and just experienced the location the magic is still there. The problem was all the crazies that were there when you opened them.

      • Bill,
        Why does everyone say there are crazies out here in California? A great portion of us are transplants from the Midwest, East Coast, etc. How do you define crazy? I am real curious.

      • Good question. What I’m categorizing as “crazies” runs the gamut between metal illnesses that put people on the street to the cults that have been sensationalized in the MSM, gangs, thugs, thieves, druggies and all the way up to officialdom. The years I spent in California did bring me in contact with some incredible people but the increasing need for an insulating barrier one needed to protect one’s self and those we care about from these people and the increasingly indecipherable governmental authority structures spelled out in detail the case of a civilization taken to it’s most illogical extremes. Yes, you can find all of that where I am now but, here, at least lil’ ol’ me has the sense that I can have some influence on my surroundings and, to some degree, TPTB. Perhaps you could say my ability to deal with large numbers of people is easily exceeded, hence, my desire for “breathing room”.

        Tell me, us, if you haven’t mentioned it already, do you live in what would be termed a “gated community” or a condo that would provide some kind of safety barrier? If so, why?

      • Lol lol lol lol lol…..Gee Mark…
        I don’t know why they say there’s crazies in calif.
        But where I live if you shizt on the sidewalk they’d look at you as if you were a might strange.. Lol lol lol
        I know some missionaries that just got home this fall from SF.. The comment that had me chuckle was one of the young men said.. You didn’t dare drop your keys..and if you did you would have to kick them to the end of the block or have someone watch you so you could bend over to get them lol lol…so if that’s just normal fine they would give you an odd look..
        I think there’s a probability that you actually live in an area different than the vast majority..which isn’t a bad thing.. Just like our politicians though that live in the bubble or box of DC they rarely get an opportunity to peek out of it and see what’s around them.

      • Mark, it’s because “California crazies” rolls off the tongue a lot easier than “California insanes.”

        Dude! Y’all elected Jerry Brown TWICE!

  14. Back in a previous lifetime, I was acquainted with both black-hat and white-hat hackers. Two things I can tell y’all from my acquaintance with these people:

    1. There is no site on the open Internet, which is not hackable.
    2. Were I a blackhat, and were I to find or create a backdoor to a system, I’d never exploit it until I could do the maximum damage with the least likelihood of being detected or exposed.

    If I were a State player, I’d never “test” the backdoor until I had sufficient access to a sufficient number of systems that I could carry out whatever nefarious order my superiors wished.

    i.e. If actual attack there was (it could always have been just a local IT fiskup at one of their farms), the “attack” was not done by State players, but by script-kiddies, and [it] probably annoyed any potential State players more than it irritated the Centurylink IT crew or the gubmint…

  15. Is anybody else noticing that our cell phones with these voice recorder, camera and video features is turning people into snitches trying to capture the next viral video or time in the spotlight. It seems to coincide with the 15 minutes of fame phenomenon that social media is producing. People either want to be stars for a few million hits or be the person who captures an event that gets them a few million hits…its also coinciding with this incessant need to be liked, adored, pity’d or enflamed.

    The 3 worst, most recent technological creations, are the 24-7 news cycle, smart phones and social media. Theyre changing how we view and react to each other and not in a favorable way. The future is getting creepier by the day.

  16. George, didn’t you hear how Alexa recorded many conversations of one family and then sent that info to another family? Alexa is not to be trusted. But, many of your contributors are telling you the same thing; you might look into it.

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