Forward Observer: Beware the Ides of March

Intelligence analyst Sam Culper of Forward Observer talks about some upcoming events to keep an eye out for in Beware the Ides of March.

“Beware the Ides of March” was the soothsayer’s warning to Julius Caesar, foretelling his death in Shakespeare’s play.

It’s just 13 days until the Ides of March 2021, and… beware of these events coming up.

First, this weekend is the “Autonomous Day of Action,” a series of anarchist riots planned for several cities across the country. We’re looking at Portland and Seattle as ground zero, but demonstrations are likely to happen in a few other cities.

Second, the trial of Derek Chauvin starts next week. As the city of Minneapolis builds security barriers around Hennepin County Courthouse and brings in National Guard and out-of-state law enforcement, Leftist groups are building momentum for protests and riots if (or when) Chauvin isn’t convicted of murder. A final verdict isn’t likely until April or May, but unrest is likely throughout the process.

Third, as I emailed you last week, there’s a speculative bubble in the market, and some hedge fund managers are concerned about bubbles in other parts of the economy. “They can last longer than you can remain solvent,” as the saying goes, but they all end in tears.

Fourth, the House is set to pass a major gun control bill. Maybe it will be killed in the Senate! Still, it’s very likely to roil gun rights groups, and is virtually certain to lead to a growing sense of unease among the Right.

Fifth, Leftist groups continue to plan and conduct “direct action” demonstrations against ICE facilities. Over the weekend, rioters in Portland attacked stores (some with customers inside) and vandalized a U.S. Customs and Immigration Services building. (I must have missed this story on CNN.)

Sixth, well, I could go on. In fact, I do in my Early Warning report.

Stay ahead of the curve of conflict and try it out with a free 7-day trial.

Some people call it the “Prepper’s Intelligence Report,” but I just write intelligence briefs on what concerns me about the direction of our country.

I write about developments in our Low Intensity Conflict (what some people call the “coming civil war”).

Our team tracks the activities of Far Left revolutionary groups.

Plus, I write a weekly Economic Early Warning, which outlines the warnings from hedge funds and others who have a history of reliable warning.

Do you have five minutes a day? If so, then you can read our report and get a deeper understanding of what’s happening right now and what’s likely to happen in the future.

Frankly, we report on things you can’t afford to miss.

NC Scout on The Gunmetal Armory Podcast

NC Scout of Brushbeater and American Partisan recently appeared on The Gunmetal Armory Podcast.

https://www.spreaker.com/user/prepperbroadcastingnetwork/tga-live-with-nc-scout-of-american-parti

I had the awesome experience of being on with The Gunmetal Armory podcast last week. It was a kick-ass time and I’d like to give a big shoutout to Dane for being an excellent host and all around good dude. Its likely we’re going to have a course or two out in AZ this coming Fall- so if you’re out there, I’m looking forward to training with you.

R Street: H.R. 1 is a direct attack on free speech and federalism

Today the House of Representatives passed HR1, containing election reforms. R Streets has an article titled H.R. 1 is a direct attack on free speech and federalism. The bill heads to the Senate next where it will face a more difficult battle. President Biden has said that he will sign it if it passes.

H.R. 1, the “For the People Act,” is a direct attack on free speech and federalism.

For years, H.R. 1, the “For the People Act,” has been advanced as a way to fix our political system. The bill is sweeping in scope, and represents a wish list of ideas from the political left. In the new Congress, the bill will likely take center-stage.

H.R. 1 is likely the most consequential piece of election-related legislation in years and mostly in a bad way. Let’s be clear: it should be easier to participate in elections and easier to talk about elections. Anything that does the opposite is a bad idea.

As an organization, R Street stands strongly for the cause of political reform, and we will always support good policy. H.R. 1 is not good policy. For example:

  • It limits freedom of speech: The first amendment protects public speech and case law accords the most protection to political statements. While the internet does make broad circulation of ideas easier than ever before, reaching a true mass audience almost always requires spending money. Therefore, restricting money spent on political causes, while perhaps well-intentioned, also restricts speech. H.R. 1 only adds to the labyrinth of laws and regulations that govern spending money on political causes and it should be opposed for that reason alone. It’s through political speech that people can make their views known and can debate with each other. Less money for political speech means that whoever has power already is likely to keep it even if they use it in harmful ways.
  • H.R. 1 would weaken organizations that are seeking to impact public policy in positive ways: The first amendment applies to mass media organizations, nonprofits and unions, and is the reason any of these groups can speak without any fear of criminal sanction. Profit-making businesses, the lifeblood of the economy, have political rights too. The right to speak freely also involves the right to speak collectively and anonymously. We believe that limiting speech for people or groups we disagree with eventually could open the door to limiting our own speech. As a non-profit organization, the precedents H.R. 1 would set for groups like us would significantly restrict the ability of numerous organizations to carry out critical policy work.
  • It aims to forbid anonymous speech: Anonymous speech about political matters has played a vital role in America’s history—just ask the authors of The Federalist Papers. Many of those who supported the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s had very legitimate fears of having their identities uncovered. There are many good reasons to speak anonymously and disclosure requirements only harm individuals who support unpopular causes. But sometimes people who support once-unpopular causes turn out to be right. Helping a cause should not require public declarations of support.
  • It federalizes elections unnecessarily: The Constitution and its amendments make two promises that are sometimes at odds: voting rights can’t be abridged and states should run their own elections. While there should be a strong federal role in protecting the right to vote and election security, the specifics of election administration should be left to the states. This helps good policy ideas spread while bad ones die well-deserved deaths. Decentralization makes the overall system stronger—people intent on disruption have to figure out 50 separate systems—and lets states adopt customized practices, preferences and political systems. H.R. 1 would slash these differences and undermine state autonomy, an important strength of our electoral system.

Don’t get us wrong—there are some reforms in H.R. 1 that make a lot of sense. Vote-by-mail, mandatory paper trails for votes, enfranchisement of those with felony records, same-day registration, non-partisan redistricting and federal pre-clearance of changes to voting laws are all ideas worthy of support. But at the federal level, H.R. 1 is a bad bill that would squash political speech.

SHTF Plan: Great Reset/Digital Currency

Mac Slavo at SHTF Plan has an article about the great reset and planned moves to government controlled digital currency in It Is ALL BY DESIGN: The Great Reset Is Coming, Prepare For Digital Currency

If you think you have no liberty or freedom now, just wait until the Great Reset, and the elitists and ruling class demand you use their digital dollar.  This is all by design and everything will be tracked, traced, surveilled, monitored, and shut off if you don’t agree to willingly enslave yourself to these psychopaths.

Supporters of the World Economic Forum’s all-encompassing Great Reset agenda are eyeing BIG changes for the global monetary system.

Plans that might once have been dismissed as pure speculation or conspiracy theories are now being openly pushed by people who occupy the highest levels of power. -Stefan Gleason, Money Metals Exchange

If people allow a digital dollar to become a part of their lives, we will end up completely and wholly enslaved. Not that we aren’t now, but there will be no escape. Comply, or be shut off from buying food.

If the Federal Reserve, perhaps in coordination with the IMF, attains the ability to inject stimulus directly into digital wallets, then Quantitative Easing could take a whole new meaning. Central bankers could bypass Congress and distribute their own aid as they see fit – and dole out their own punishments as well.

Medical Journal: Get The COVID-19 Vaccine, Or Be Punished HARSHLY

Treasury Secretary Yellen recently told the New York Times, “Too many Americans really don’t have access to easy payment systems and to banking accounts, and I think this is something that a digital dollar — a central bank digital currency — could help with. I think it could result in faster, safer, and cheaper payments.”

But ankers and politicians do not work in our favor and any still believing they work for us, is delusional. A central bank digital currency might also result in the imposition of negative interest rates or the automatic deduction of taxes with no way for holders to escape. If you are guilty of “wrongthink,” expect to be punished for it monetarily. We have got to wake up and stop allowing other human beings to have any power or control over our lives. Stop the talk of transferring power and just cease to be a slave. This world is going down a dark path if we cannot realize we have no obligation to be slaves for any reason, whether the masters call it government or democracy or republic.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told Congress last week that the Fed is indeed “looking carefully” at issuing a digital dollar, calling it “a high priority project for us.”

The best way to protect yourself is to own physical gold and silver. YOu can also work with your neighbors more locally and take to a barter system that could be mutually beneficial for all. Both will help remove power from the system and in the end, free you and your family from the permanent enslavement these people want to force on us all.

 

Wilder, Wealthy and Wise: The Great Purge Ahead

Wilder, Wealthy and Wise opines on what he perceives as The Great Purge Ahead

The Soviet Great Purge started in 1936.  Stalin already had a bad reputation as a Dictator who couldn’t say no – he had gotten rid of millions already in the Holodomor (In The World Murder Olympics, Communists Take Gold And Silver!).  The Great Purge was different.  The piles and piles of earlier dead had been peasants and kulaks (kulaks were peasants that had enough money to own a cow), mainly.   Even before the Great Purge Stalin had the world record for Russian killing, a record he still proudly maintains.

By 1936 Stalin, always paranoid, decided his main opponents were, surprise, still Russians.

Anyone who had been a trusted advisor of Lenin had to go.  Anyone who looked like a threat to Stalin?  Had to go.  The Red Army had troops with guns.  Three out of five Soviet Marshalls were executed.  13 out of 15 army commanders, 50 out of 57 corps-level commanders, and 154 out of 186 division commanders were caught up in it.

The very top of the Soviet Military was decapitated.  But that was a small portion of the Great Purge.  In the end, probably a million or more were murdered or died in the Gulags.  Anyone in politics was fair game, and the more power the bigger the target on their back.  Many of the people who helped Stalin with the Great Purge eventually were victims of it themselves.

What was the basis of the Great Purge?  Even though Stalin binged and purged, it wasn’t bulimia, it was Power.  Stalin wanted to keep power.  His greatest weapon?

Fear.

And fear is currently the weapon (predictably) used by the Left today.  They want to push people to the fringes, isolate them, and then purge them.  The first step is making them feel alone.

Of course, there haven’t been executions in the United States.  However, Obama purged 197 high-level officers in the first five years of his administration.  That’s quite close to the Stalin numbers, and perhaps even greater when you consider that the military in 2000s America is far smaller than in late 1930s Russia.

The purge has lately increased.  The current SecDef has made it clear:  “The job of the Department of Defense is to keep America safe from our enemies, but we can’t do that if some of those enemies lie within our own ranks.”

Just let that sink in.  The current Secretary of Defense has stated that he thinks that the biggest enemies of the United States are in the military, right now.  Today.  The leadership of the military has already been purged.  Now?  The rank and file is in the process of being purged.  Anyone not actively supporting the Leftist agenda will be drummed out.

They want to purge anyone who is involved in “extremism” from the military.  As far as commies, I certainly agree.  But extremism for a Leftist is mere disagreement with a Leftist.  Don’t agree that having a 9-year-old boy dance as a girl in front of gay men at a strip club is entirely good and appropriate?

Extremist!  Behavior that would have resulted in imprisonment for the mother in all but the last 10 years since 1787 is now considered so sacred that it is impossible to challenge.  Now, speaking out against it is extremist.

Hollywood® is already on the job with this requirement.  Star Wars® was a part of my childhood.  I saved money when I was 12 to buy overpriced dolls action figures.  The mythos of Star Wars© was always one of Good versus Evil, which burned itself into my young imagination.

Now?  It’s Leftism versus the Right.  At every opportunity, the creative element at DisneyLucasFilmStarWars™ has abandoned the production of good movies to produce movies that are water carriers for the narratives of a Leftist agenda.

I grew up loving Star Wars©.  It was fun.  It was escapism.  It was a place where there were good heroes and evil villains.  Okay, I’ll admit, the entire series should have ended when the Emperor© said, “And now you die, young Skywalker™” during Return of the Jedi©.

The latest is that an actress got fired for expressing mildly Right viewpoints.  Heck, they weren’t even something that 95% of every American wouldn’t have agreed with when Kurt Cobain was still sucking air instead of pushing daisies.

And that is the technique of the Left.  If they can’t directly imprison you, they do their best to turn you into an unemployed, destitute outcast of society.

Imagine 50,000 Leftists watching everything you re-Tweet® to catch you.

But, thanks to me, you can watch the purge unfold in real time.  The Long March through the institutions of the United States is ongoing.  Here’s the current status of the things the Left owns:

  • The K-12 educational system.
  • Colleges and Universities.
  • Most Protestant religious organizations.
  • Most Catholic organizations.
  • The psychological establishment.
  • The American Medical Association.
  • All mainstream news media.
  • All mainstream entertainment media.
  • Most departments of the Federal government, absent the armed services.
  • The general officer corps of the armed services.
  • The courts.
  • Silicon Valley tech companies.
  • Many (but not all) Most Fortune® 500™ companies.

The result in 2021 is that of the institutions of the United States, the Left has or is consolidating control over nearly all of the important ones.  What remains?  Junior officer and enlisted men in the armed forces (at least for the next few months) and the governors and legislators of a few states.

Oh, and at least 80,000,000 inconvenient people.

The idea is to scare Americans about the Purge, to scare them about their place in society.  If the State and the Media can scare Americans like that, they can achieve their ultimate goal:  to make them be quiet.

One of the greatest compliments I’ve had from a friend about this website was this, “If they (the powers that be) were really reading and understanding the things you say, you’d be much, much higher on The List.”

The Mrs. prefers the elevator, I prefer stairs.  I guess we were raised differently.

The reason I don’t feel fear is this:  I’m not alone.  As I said earlier, there are 80,000,000 other inconvenient people on the list.

Standing together?  We can’t be canceled.

Standing together?  We can’t be purged.

Standing together?  We can’t lose.

This isn’t over.  We’re not done.

Practical Self Reliance: Lacto-Fermentation for Beginners

Ashley Adamant at Practical Self Reliance explains Lacto-Fermentation for Beginners. Learn about fermentation of vegetables, sauerkraut, kimchi, and more. Most of us are probably familiar with vinegar pickling. The difference between vinegar pickles and lacto-fermented pickles is the presence of beneficial bacteria in the latter. Also vinegar pickles are typically cooked when canned whereas a jar of lacto-fermented pickles is not cooked, yet can be stored in a cool place for long periods.

Lacto-Fermentation is a centuries-old technique for both preserving food, and increasing its nutritional value and digestibility.  Learn how to make your own fermented vegetables at home with just a few simple ingredients.

You’re probably aware of the many health benefits of eating fermented foods, but did you know how easy it is to make your own fermented vegetables at home?

To make fermented vegetables, the only pieces of equipment you’ll need are a mason jar and a container for making a two-ingredient brine (water plus salt, that’s it!).

The hard part is choosing which vegetable to ferment, but fortunately, the method is so forgiving you’ll have room to experiment with as many veggies as you’d like.

What is lacto-fermentation and how does it preserve food?

At its core, lacto-fermentation is a process where certain types of bacteria (lacto-bacillus) are intentionally promoted through careful stewardship.  The addition of salt to raw vegetables, which already have natural lactobacillus on their surfaces, prevents spoilage while promoting salt-loving lactic acid bacteria.

This bacteria, called Lactobacillus, turn the naturally-occurring sugars within vegetables into lactic acid which then helps to preserve vegetables (while also giving them their signature funky, fermented flavor).

When the fermentation process is complete, the foods are both salty and acidic, which is basically a one-two punch for preventing food spoilage.

Many different foods are lacto-fermented, including coffee, chocolate, soy sauce, sauerkraut, and salami.  The easiest lacto-fermented foods to make at home are fermented vegetables, and that’s where we’ll focus.

Best vegetables for fermenting

Almost any type of vegetable is well-suited to the fermentation process, but the following vegetables truly shine when they’ve been fermented:

  • Whole Pickling Cucumbers
  • Green Beans
  • Carrots
  • Peppers
  • Asparagus
  • Cauliflower
  • Beets

When it comes to fermenting vegetables, almost any type is fair game.

Be aware that some veggies that have a high water content, such as sliced cucumber and summer squash, will still taste good but the texture will be much softer.

To counteract this effect, you can steep black tea bags, grape leaves, or other tannin-rich ingredients with the vegetables (or check out this helpful list of natural tannin sources for more options).

Omitting this step will still produce a tasty end result, but I’ve found that even naturally crispy vegetables benefit in terms of bite and texture when it’s included.

Shredded cabbage, the main ingredient in classic fermented recipes for homemade sauerkraut and kimchi, is already so high in moisture that it doesn’t need to be covered in brine. Instead, cabbage and other hardy greens are able to generate their own brine after a liberal application of salt, which helps to draw out moisture.

Equipment for making fermented vegetables

The list of necessary equipment for making fermented vegetables is short, but there’s plenty of optional equipment that can make the process easier and more dependable.

Keep in mind, humans have been fermenting vegetables for millennia to both preserve them and increase their nutritional content, long before the advent of stainless steel, mason jars, and fermentation kits.

Fermentation Vessel

This can be any non-reactive container that’s used to hold the ferment.  These days, it’s often a mason jar because they’re readily available and easy to clean.  Historically, it would have been something like a glazed fermentation crock, and those are still available for purchase today as well.

Using a fermenting crock has its own specific process, and you can read about it in this tutorial on making sauerkraut in a crock.  The process is similar for just about any vegetable.

Fermentation Weight

More or less anything can be used as a fermentation weight, provided it’s clean, not absorbent, and not reactive.  It’s just simply a weight used to press the vegetables down and keep them below the water line during the fermentation process.

Historically, it would have been something like a rock or pottery plate.  These days, there are a number of commercial options including:

You can also improvise!  Try using a small plate with something heavy placed on the top (like a jar of water).  Some fermenters will also use a ziplock bag full of water (or brine) and stuff it into the top of the fermentation vessel to hold the veggies down.

Fermentation Air Lock

All you really need is a fermentation vessel and a weight, and that can be improvised with a kitchen bowl and Ziploc bag filled with water.

That said, many people opt to use an airlock for fermentation.  It’ll help you control the process a bit better, and some people think it’ll yield more consistent results.

Lacto-fermentation is an anaerobic process, and it takes place without oxygen.  An airlock seals off the container with a one-way valve that allows the CO2 produced during fermentation to escape, but doesn’t let any oxygen into the fermentation vessel.

The thing is, keeping the veggies below the water line accomplishes the same thing.  So long as none float to the surface above the fermentation weight, the brine is its own water lock.

Still, if it makes you feel better, there are literally dozens of brands of mason jar fermentation kits that will conveniently fit on top of a wide-mouth jar.

(Be aware that some types of ferments to require a water lock, such as when you’re making mead or homemade beer, since that water lock is preventing the alcohol produced from turning to vinegar.  That’s completely different than the lacto-fermentation happening when fermenting vegetables.)

Airlock for Sauerkraut

Mason Jar fermentation kit attached to a quart jar of homemade sauerkraut.

How to make fermented vegetables

Making Lacto-fermented vegetables is pretty simple, and mostly involves covering raw vegetables in a saltwater brine then waiting.  Weights are used to help ensure the vegetables say below the waterline, as air exposure can cause spoilage.

Sometimes a water lock is used, which is just a one-way valve that allows CO2 produced in the fermentation process to escape but doesn’t allow air or bacteria to enter (optional).

Prepping vegetables for fermentation

The preparation method you choose is dependant on the type of vegetable being fermented as well as your personal preferences around shape and texture.

The slicing method involves slicing vegetables into thin or thick pieces. Carrots and other firm veggies can be sliced thinly, while cucumbers and zucchini should be sliced on the thicker side to help prevent mushiness.

Use the chopping method to cut vegetables into smaller, uniform pieces, keeping in mind that the larger the cut the longer the fermentation process will take.

Finally, the whole vegetable method is perfect for small vegetables such as radishes, pickling cucumbers, and hot peppers.

There is also a grating method, which is better suited for soft vegetables like zucchini and cabbage, and typically involves a dry fermentation process using salt without a wet brine.

Make the brine

When I ferment vegetables, I use a brine containing only sea salt and water.

The ratio of salt to water varies, some recipes call for exact amounts and others merely eyeball the measurements. Personally, I like a ratio of 2 tablespoons of salt to 4 cups (or 1 quart) of water — this creates a 3.5 percent brine solution.

(If you’re working by weight or metric, that’s about 34 grams salt by weight to 950 ml water.) 

To make the brine, add the salt to a jar or bowl containing warm water. Stir the mixture until the salt has completely dissolved. Let the brine cool while you prep the vegetables, you can pop it in the fridge and it should be ready to use by the time the vegetables are ready.

I find that 4 cups of brine will completely cover a half-gallon jar filled with vegetables (or two 1-quart jars).

 

Assemble the spices

Whether they’re chosen for being harmonious or contrasting in flavor, the spices added just before fermentation should work together to amplify the natural flavor of the vegetables.

Dill, red chili flakes, and garlic are reliable additions, but feel free to branch out and try more assertive ingredients such as ginger, fennel, and curry powder.

Depending on the structural integrity of the vegetable I’m fermenting, sometimes I’ll throw in a couple of unsprayed grape leaves, currant leaves, or black tea bags to help keep the veggies crisp.

Prepare jars for fermentation

Add the spice mixture of your choice, as well as a handful of grape leaves (if using), to the bottom of a clean mason jar.

Pack in the vegetables as tightly as you can, filling them almost all the way to the curved shoulder of the jar if possible.

Pour the cooled brine over the vegetables to cover, leaving about an inch of space from the top. If the vegetables float upwards, use a fermentation weight or a sealed resealable bag filled with water to help the vegetables stay completely submerged.

You’ll notice that the spices will float to the top, this is fine — you only have to be worried about the vegetables floating to the surface.

Cover the jar to keep dust and critters out.  This is where you can use a mason jar fermentation kit if you choose, or loosely cover the jar with a mason jar lid or cloth to allow gasses produced in fermentation to escape.

Let the fermentation begin!

Let the vegetables ferment

The timing for this stage will vary and depends on the ratio of salt to water in the brine, the ambient temperature of the fermentation space, and the kind of vegetable used.

Depending on the recipe, some fermented vegetables can be ready in as little as 3 days, others require 6-8 weeks for the Lacto-fermentation process to complete.

This is where following a specific fermentation recipe can be helpful, as it’ll give you an idea of how long a given vegetable takes to ferment.

I’d highly recommend the book Fermented Vegetables by Christopher and Kristen Shockey.  It’s one of the best on this topic and covers just about every type of fermented vegetable under the sun, including a number of wild foraged greens, tubers, and vegetables.

Higher sugar vegetables (and fruits) will ferment faster, and you can begin tasting after as little as 3 days.  Cabbage for sauerkraut usually takes 6-8 weeks to fully ferment, though you can eat it sooner for a milder flavor.

In part, when a ferment is done is actually a matter of taste.  Once they’re as sour as you’d like, transfer the fermented vegetables to the fridge or other cool location, where they can be stored for several months.

You might notice the brine has turned cloudy or has spots of mold floating at the top, this can happen and if caught quickly it’s not a sign the fermentation process has gone awry (be sure to scoop out or pour off the mold as soon as you see it).

Keeping everything below the waterline will help prevent mold contamination issues.  When I’m making sauerkraut in a crock, for example, I always use big stoneware weights to keep everything submerged in the salty brine.

 

Using Fermented Vegetables

Looking for ways to use fermented vegetables? There are many ways to incorporate these probiotic-rich veggies into your diet — although my favorite way to enjoy them is still the tried and true “eat straight from the fridge” method.

Pickled vegetables are a classic side, a small arrangement of assorted fermented veggies is a beautiful addition to any meal (or any snack plate). This recipe for fermented cauliflower, carrots, and garlic is at its best when the veggies are served alongside freshly baked bread and salted butter…(continues)

NC Renegade vs Raconteur Report: Stand Up and Fights vs Hold Your Horses

We’ve shared posts from both NC Renegade and Raconteur Reports in the past. Both sites are worthy of reading. NC Renegade recently posted the article Americans Need to Find Their Spine and Fortitude to Stand Up and Fight. It’s Time We Cut This Evil Out From Our Society. A few days later Raconteur Report posted a response titled Hold Your Horses: Crawl, Walk, Run. Again, both are worth a gander. Below is from RR’s response article:

Wes at NC Renegade has some thoughts. That’s today’s lesson topic.
Go read it. I’ll be here when you come back.
At his site, I replied:
Thanks for recapping Why.
At this point:
1) Stand up to Whom?
2) With What and Who?
3) Where, When, and How?
Most people reading this couldn’t write a 5 Paragraph Order, let alone grasp one, and about 90% of them would have to google it to even know what I’m talking about.
They have, on avg., 1/2 a weapon apiece, little ammunition, no time, funds, support, friendly forces, and for 90+% of them, zero training in any meaningful way.
We didn’t invade Normandy on December 8th, 1941.
And we didn’t get here in a day, so we won’t be getting out of it in one either.
I absolutely share your frustration, but one cannot grow a crop faster by pulling on the green shoots.
Now is a time for gathering and preparing, not taking any direct action, and making the most of temporal and financial opportunity while we have it.
“Boy, I wish we’d spent less time in training, and been less prepared and supplied” said no one ever in world history, least of all those entering a battle or embarking upon an entire war.
The first thinning of the herd will be those willing to invest the time and money to get ready for the conflict. That’ll probably move the decimal point of available forces one place to the left, automagically.
One’s time should be spent in
a) being that guy
b) doing the work
c) finding other guys doing the same
d) figuring out what to do, to whom, and when to do it
Unless you’re already a former JSOC ninja with a file cabinet full of CARVER-rated objectives, and a tight-knit vetted cadre of like-minded and capable folks, with an existing support matrix, doing anything more than that is simply a recipe for a short, interesting, and ultimately futile life.
Change my mind.

I’ve posted links to military manuals any half-dozen times for a reason, dammit, and it isn’t nostalgia.

Most of you (95%, by all polling data, though the blog stats here may skew a wee bit higher) never got any closer to a military formation than lining up outside for phys ed classes in school. And that was great in a free country but not so much for a burgeoning banana republic, with all the trimmings, which is what we are, right this minute.

So let’s talk turkey:

There are three undeniable truths operating right now in America.

I. Elections are pointless, worthless, and futile.

If you didn’t get that memo despite what happened in November, and again in GA in January, sorry to break it to you, but it’s nevertheless gospel truth.

Anyone yakking about “We’ll get ’em next time!”, “Vote Harder!”, or any variation on “MOAR Elections!” is an unredeemed delusional jackass suffering a psychotic break from reality. They should be placed in a room in a quiet glen, featuring soft music, soft lighting, soft food, and soft walls. They’re fucking nuts. Don’t waste any further breath on them until they wake up, if ever.

TINVOWOOT: There Is No Voting Our Way Out Of This.

Learn it, Live it, Love it.

Should you still pull a lever ever again? Hell yes. Enjoy whatever simulacrum of freedom you can, and maximize the time and minimize the gradient of the decline, if such be within your power. Primary out RINOs. Use it as a weed-out for whom to ever listen to, and whom to discount, forever. And a platform to shitpost, meme, rabblerouse, and generally send raspberries at TPTB, while you can. But minimize the time, energy, and funds you spend waste on electoral activities going forward, knowing the entire process is as fake as TV News and pro wrestling.

II. We’re at war, within this country, with those who hate fundamental America.

Not a debate. Not an argument. Not a fight. A W-A-R.

They want you dead. They want you rounded up and obliterated, and they want to kill your unborn babies, kidnap your living children, and poison their minds against you. In the interim, they want you unemployed, broke, dispossessed of your goods, lands, and chattels, and treated like sub-human scum, which is what they think of you, to their marrow. And they’ll stop at nothing to do exactly that. When your enemy tells you his true feelings, believe it. Mein Kampf was a blueprint for the Holocaust. Das Kapital was the blueprint and excuse for the Holodomor, the Great Leap Forward, and the Killing Fields.

Scapegoats and counter-revolutionaries will not be tolerated. You are both.

If you’re reading this, that means YOU, to a metaphysical certainty.

But there is a difference between being AT war, and warfare.

Your fight, at this point, is theoretical, philosophical, and moral.

III. You aren’t ready to fight any other kind of actual war. Yet.

As I noted to Wes, above, I share his frustration that this is so. Some of us have been trying to edumacate folks about this for years. As you might have noticed, to date, it hasn’t helped much, other than as a pressure relief valve for those of us watching the trainwreck, transfixed, aghast, and infuriated.

Which brings us to the Teachable moment, and the Action/Implementation Phase.

AIP: Get yourself ready for a war.

A) It’s going to be a shooting war, so you’d better have something to shoot with, and something to load into it. And you’d better get damned good with it. The good news is, even for GED-holding high school dropouts, that only takes a few hours a day for a couple-three weeks, even for Army Rangers and Marines. And a grand total of 260 rounds. Folks, that’s nothing, in the grand scheme. Competence is not mastery, but start with bare competence. If you’re looking for recommendations, there are plenty of good options, but the AR platform is where to start. You’ll do just fine if you pick up a Smith and Wesson MP-15, which is just a civvie M4gery. YMMV, but it’ll get anyone over the age of 12 off on the right foot. Pistol? Learn how to run a Glock. You can upgrade from all of this, (and I hope you do) but that’s the floor.

B) Once you’ve scratched the itch of your inner Gear Whore with that rifle and/or pistol, get your (overwhelming majority of Americans) fat @$$ in shape. PT. 3-5 times/week. Upper body, lower body, aerobic endurance exercise, strength-building. The shorthand for that is push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, and running 2-3 miles. Running. Not walking, pedalling, driving, slow jogging, or anything else. Start with less distance, and slower, sure. But get to where you can run 8-minute or less miles, for at least 3 of them. That’s the standard. Two minutes of sit-ups. Max effort, and increase over time. Max push-ups and pull-ups. Lather, rinse, repeat.

C) Get healthy. Stop eating sh*t. Balanced meals, wipe out the sugar, fat, and junk food. Get your teeth fixed. Get anything else you need to taken care of. Get your booster shots for tetanus, etc. Cut back on the alcohol, and junk the nicotine habit. Spend the money you save from those vices on more important supplies. Like stored food, medical supplies, ammo, tools. You can party when you’re using the skulls of your enemies for cups. Until then, self-discipline. Medical care may not be around much longer, and healthy people fight harder, and they’re harder to kill. I repeat, get healthy.

D) Learn what an unconventional warrior needs to know. I don’t know you, or your area, or what you’re up against. You should. Then learn what you’ll need to deal with that. At a minimum, you should be focusing on what the ground forces (Army, Marines) teach their basic recruits. We may have pounded that home with a 2×4 a time or twelve on this very blog. Repetition is a teaching technique. Even if you’re too old/brokedick to participate, you should still have the knowledge in your brainpan. And if that’s the case, learn tradecraft skills: scouting, spying, information-gathering, recording, encryption/decryption, transmission, collection, and analysis. Too scared? Focus on supporting activities: caching, sheltering, running a safe house, supply, small-scale manufacturing, finance, medical support, feeding, transportation (all means: truck/rail/waterborne/pack animal), repair, communications, construction, field engineering (anything from shovels to heavy equipment), and so on. If the Army has an occ field that you could do, you can be useful. On average, it takes 10 people to put one insurgent, supplied, fed, and equipped, into the field. And you’re going to need some of that tradecraft I mentioned above to not be scooped up for aiding and abetting, and winding up dead, or in prison.

E) Find (and VET!!!) other people doing A-D, above. {Hint: Over 50% of those in the @$$clown show that was Malheur were federal CIs. If you get to where your main strategy to avoid prison is jury nullification because you were a jackass about vetting, you’ve screwed the pooch beyond repair, and you deserve to die in prison. Whether or not you do is up to a merciful Deity, because TPTB will have no sense of humor, and Fate is set to Zero Fucks Given when you’re stupid.} Take your time. Sniff around. Check them out, overtly and covertly. Due diligence or die. No one will tell your story alongside that of Patrick Henry. You’ll just be the next Timothy McVeigh. Remember, you’re picking people into whose hands you’re entrusting your own life, and the fate of your family. So are they.

F) As Sam Culper has said, and taught, and teaches (take his classes!) do an Area Study. Look the term up online, find an example, and then wipe out the info paragraphs and pages for the sample you select, and refill the info with the same thing for your town/city, and county at a minimum. If it’s small enough, do your entire state, and push outward if neighboring states are closer to you, for example, than your own state capitol. E.g., New Mexico (and Mexico!) info is going to be a helluva lot more relevant in El Paso than info about Dallas, Houston, and/or Austin. Just saying. If you’re in Rhode Island, you should be looking at all of New England. For a good guideline, stick a pin in a map where you are. Scribe a circle to the limit of a tank of gas – say, 400-500 miles – and look hardest at that. That’s your “area of interest”. Same pin, then a circle of the 20 miles in any direction you could walk in a day: that’s your “area of concern”. You should know both intimately, for all topics in your sample Area Study. This is what Sun Tzu meant when he said “know your enemy” and “know the ground”.

That’s already five more things than most people out there have done, and it’s enough to get you started.

Provided you start getting started.

Whatever you haven’t done, above, is where you are. Get busy with that, FIRST. Leviathan isn’t going to wait all day before taking an interest in you.

The Organic Prepper: Survive the SHTF With Your Sanity Intact

As preparedness minded folks, we talk a lot about skills training and equipment. Not as often do we discuss the mental perils of desperate situations. Here is Fabian Omarr at The Organic Prepper with These Small Yet Vital Things Can Help You Survive the SHTF With Your Sanity Intact

Seeking comfort, convenience, and distraction during SHTF? Some might roll their eyes and think this is nonsense.  After all, all there is when SHTF are strategies, tactics, and challenging survival work, right?

Wrong.

Fortunately, there is more to be learned, experienced, and even shared that is not so challenging or tactical. 

To survive SHTF, you must keep your sanity intact and your spirits high

Preppers are all too aware of the “bad” aspects of SHTF. Admittedly, studying and discussing disasters and their consequences is at the core of prepping. I want to offer a take on another part of this reality, though: the role of good things and memorable moments during hard times.

The importance of keeping spirits high and a sense of sanity under distress is a constant in survival chronicles and for a good reason. Selco, Toby, Jose, Daisy, and many others frequently talk about this. Mentality and psychology are key survival factors.

Daisy wrote on mental resilience, “But to find moments of joy in the darkest of times, you need to tap into your mental resilience. This helps not only you but those around you. And to bounce back after these events and live your life again, mental resilience is, again, the key.”

When the context changes, the trivial become peculiar, unconventional, contrasting – which can turn the mundane into exceptional (and vice-versa). If you’ve never been through SHTF, I’d suggest staying open to the power and importance of these processes.

How I came up with the inspiration for this post

Not long ago, I met an elderly homeless man while practicing my street survival training. I was preparing a snack when the homeless man stopped by. We started to chat. He’s a nice man going thru adversity. After sharing my meal with him, I decided to test a portable espresso maker I purchased recently and took on the task of brewing espresso for us both. 

Suddenly he started crying. I asked what was wrong. He said one of the things he missed most since becoming jobless and homeless years ago was having a hot espresso after lunch. Just the smell made him feel that much better. He was crying tears of joy.

I share conversations and meals with the homeless and drifters in the streets quite often. But his reaction got me reflecting on the power of appreciation for the little things. In some contexts, little things can make our day. In the middle of a personal SHTF, this fellow found genuine happiness in having something as prosaic as a freshly brewed espresso. 

For someone who has nothing, something can be everything. 

The power of simplicity and the advantages of being adaptable

What defines SHTF is precisely the broad change in conditions and lifestyle. It doesn’t matter if it’s abrupt or through slow transformation. What matters is when perspectives change, things take a different value and importance, and adaptability is crucial during these times of transformation.

Selco offers his advice in this article on adaptability and being ready to leave everything behind in order to survive. Selco writes, “Learn to operate in terms of “less is more” or in other words, try whenever you can to substitute dependence on things with owning knowledge of a particular skill. For example, owning a big stash of water is great, owning skills and means to purify near water sources is even better.”

Look at how much has changed in just one year since COVID-19 broke out. Compared to before the pandemic, life has become considerably more challenging, more restrictive, unstable, and limited in so many aspects. Welcome to our “new normal.” Judging by the signals, it’s bound to change even further. There will be a lot more to adapt to moving ahead.

Time passes, things change. We keep surviving. But honestly, when in history has it been any different? Think about it for a moment.

Things take on a new meaning during hard times versus normal times

If you do any longer-lasting or highly-demanding outdoor activity, or if you’ve been through difficulty in your life, you know how big a difference some small things and moments can make. Quite often, something as mundane as a hot meal, some music, or a candy bar can be pure bliss.

Another example: is there anything more ordinary than taking a bath? But it feels like heaven when we’re exhausted, dirty, smelly, and sticky. Likewise, when SHTF and times get hard, finding solace in everyday, trivial things helps us keep going. There’s an uplifting effect that can’t be denied. 

There’s history, and then there are stories of everyday life

Most books tell about great battles and pivotal instants. But common people (that’s us) live in a somewhat different reality level: the every-day and various moments. The telling of the quotidian is rare though life is 99% just that. Life can be turned completely upside-down by SHTF. Still, this dynamic of everyday life remains, even during wars, occupation, or natural disasters.

Even though a significant portion of the day or entire periods may be dedicated to ‘work’ (i.e., affairs like defense and dealing of resources), once a routine is re-established (it always is) and basics are taken care of, there’s need for play.

It’s not too different from life during normal times if we think about it. SHTF simple becomes the norm at one point.

Hardship has different effects on different people

When adversity hits, some enter survival mode almost instantly. Others take longer to understand or accept changes. Then there are those who never really come to full terms with the new reality and drag on. And that’s staying with the types who survive: a significant number of people can not cope. Unfortunately, we see that often.

Most people in developed/developing countries have been living in relative tailwind for most of the last 30 years. Sure, life is hard, but that’s a constant. I’m talking in comparison to most of history and also some places that seem to live in deep, eternal SHTF. We all know which these are.

Those younger than forty may not know or remember the 70s and 80s were such a hard time. The world slogged in stagflation. Low growth, Oil shocks, Cold War, and nuclear conflict threat kept us awake at night. During those times, separatists and radicals ran bloody conflicts all over Europe. Violent coups and dictatorships ravaged South America, and wars ran amok in the middle east. People suffered from inflation, unemployment, crime, shortages, blackouts, strikes, and protests at the everyday level.

It may seem like life was hell in the 70s and 80s, but it wasn’t

Life was hard but had many good sides to it too. Despite a difficult upbringing, I feel fortunate. Many others who lived through that period feel the same. There were lots of struggles, but people kept going and doing the best they could. We had fun in many ways as well. (Awesome bands, great music, classic movies, weird makeup, crazy hair!)

I have hope that, despite the various menaces currently threatening our lifestyle and eating on our liberties and privacy, we’re still going to make it somehow. Because, realistically, we’ve been through some seriously bad SHTF collectively, and we did all right. That’s what we do.

Back to the future, not a trip down memory lane

This is not nostalgia that I write. I believe we’re headed into times of similarly significant decreases in the standard of living for a broad part of the population caused by instability, mounting crises, low growth, joblessness, ruptures, and above all, changes in the world order. 

It’s already underway, and we can see it, sense it. I call it slow-burning SHTF. Nevertheless, we better find joy in the middle of struggle. What other options do we have? 

According to my own experience (and others too), it is possible to prepare for good moments and some measure of comfort during SHTF. Below is a list with a few initiatives and some practical measures to start. As always, adapt as you see fit.

Aim big, miss small.

In other words, think about comfort (big) to improve overall conditions (small). There’s a lot more to it than stashing a few comfort items.

Ambiance

Let’s start by highlighting the importance of environmental comfort. It’s an important factor because it defines well-being and, ultimately, survival itself. If we’re too cold, too hot, too windy, too humid or dry, too noisy, too smelly, too buggy, too dark, etc., we’re either in danger or already in hell. That robs us of energy and capacity to focus and perform. 

We instinctively try to improve our surroundings by actively working to balance conditions. Any measures that increase ambient comfort will automatically increase overall comfort, thus extending our capacities. Of course, contrast and perception influence that. For instance, leaving a super-hot place to a mildly-warm one will alleviate some. But once we get acclimated, comfort suffers again. Keep in mind: even though we tend to develop resistance, there are limits to adaptation. 

Practical Measures

  • Apply the many solutions available to improve ambient comfort. Starting with clothing: dress in layers and opt for versatile items and materials. 
  • Moving on to shelter: a roof means half-covered. Otherwise, finding protection is a priority.
  • The next part is applying ways to adjust the temperature to the best level possible (heating or cooling). Having plans and measures in place, backups if possible, is vital for those living in areas with extreme conditions.
  • Maintaining things clean and tidy helps with keeping bugs away. I find that very important, as insects can be a real pain, even a threat.
  • If out in nature, wear clothes, nets, and use the host of chemicals available to repel and/or fight pests. Those also work indoors if insulation is not possible.

Food and Drink

This is not about everyday food or “eating to kill hunger” but rather ‘comfort eating’: those occasional treats everyone loves and help elevate spirits. It’s entirely possible (and common) to live without these, but it’s something nice to have around when someone needs a morale boost. The good part is that even a little can go a long way in improving moods and making our day. During SHTF, these become even more effective.

Practical Measures

  • If preparations and stockpiles are considered, add some ‘comfort food’ of your preference. It can be something sweet or salty, a carbonated drink, alcoholic beverages, your favorite tea, candies, what have you. 
  • Overall, this is very personal, and once it’s gone, it’s gone, so give it some thought now. Ration to extend supplies. 
  • Don’t forget these items usually increase in value during SHTF. Meaning, you can use them to barter, too.

Hygiene

It’s easy to feel miserable once hygiene decays. This happens faster than most people think when the grid is down (see the situation in Texas). During SHTF, we start to care less and less for personal hygiene with time or cease altogether and become accustomed to the conditions, the smell, etc. If others around us live under the same SHTF, we tend to bother even less. But early on, being unclean doesn’t feel good. 

Depending on SHTF, it’s not even possible to care much for personal appearance. Nor desirable, as it can draw unwanted attention. Still, in most instances, a modicum of hygiene is attainable. Even with health as the main objective, this seemingly small thing can provide occasional relief and significantly improve well-being.

Practical Measures

  • If taking baths has become an impossibility, wet towels and cleansing tissues can be used to keep body parts reasonably clean. 
  • Compressed ‘pill’ towels are a godsend if you’re on the move (bugging out, traveling, whatever). They work and have many different uses. 
  • Stock up on hygiene items. You may be sorry if you don’t. It’s really hard (yet very common) to run out of these when SHTF, and it happens fast. 
  • Avoid colognes and perfumes to avoid standing out. When everything around is smelling bad, even a little can make a difference (believe me, bad smell and insects are two of the most striking characteristic of SHTF).
  • One thing I put great importance on is dental hygiene: because it impacts overall health, I find it worth going the extra distance to ensure the mouth is always in good order. 

Farming & Gardening

“We may need a doctor, a priest, a policeman, and a lawyer a few times during our life. But we need a farmer three times every day.”

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 25% of Americans were into farming when The Great Depression hit in the 1930s. Today it’s only 2%. This number has been growing (it’s more prominent in Europe overall and some other countries). But we’re still a long, long way from people understanding the importance and implications of becoming even slightly more self-reliable for food. 

Cultivating one’s own food can provide ‘food comfort’ through the consumption of the items. Reduction of food insecurity lowers stress levels and increases community well-being.

Practical Measures

  • Can be done individually or as a shared activity (with the added bonus of strengthening community bonds). 
  • There are thousands of videos. blogs and tutorials on how to grow pretty much anything even with limited space, time, money, etc. 
  • Takes time and dedication to show results, so start now.

Cooking

Cooking can also be highly rewarding and comforting. When disaster strikes, eating hot meals can become a real luxury. Even something as simple as a grid-down can impair conventional food preparation (lack of fuel, gear, time, etc. – again, look at Texas). When we spend a long time eating only granola bars and similarly bland food, a proper meal can be a real treat.

Practical Measures

  • Being able to cook in different conditions (grid-down, bug-out, full-SHTF, camping, etc.) is a useful skill. Use it to provide good moments and elevate the mood.
  • Stockpile on seasonings and other basic items with long shelf-life and can be used to prepare and spice up meals.
  • A backup cooking set (spirit or compact propane stove, camping cookware and gear, etc.) can provide flexibility and versatility.

Books & Music

No need for practical measures here as reading and listening to music are undeniably two of the most entertaining, abstracting, elevating, educating activities possible, SHTF or not. Read to learn, read to escape, read to have fun, read to ‘travel.’ Ditto for music, another powerful antidote to sadness and bad mood. Both are downright cheap, too, even free. (Here’s an article on building an SHTF music collection.)

Maintenance

How do fixing things improve comfort, you may ask. Besides obviously fixing things that can directly impact our comfort (clothing, plumbing, heating/cooling systems, cookware, etc.), it can be gratifying in itself. It builds confidence and self-reliance and can be applied to generate income (which in turn can be used to increase other comforts and conveniences to you, your family, and others around).

Practical Measures

  • Build a tool chest and learn/grow practical skills. 
  • Start with something basic such as sewing (very useful) or knitting, then move to more complex/demanding activities. 
  • Being a generalist is good, but sharing specific skills with others can amplify capabilities. That’s why having a community is important.
  • Woodworking, blacksmithing, plumbing, soldering: all that and much more can be learned through practical classes, online courses, tutorials, how-tos. 

Distractions & Abstractions

Let’s think in terms of ‘normal times’, certain forms of distraction, and entertainment such as gambling. Partying, smoking, or drinking (and others) can be seen as vices, bad habits, or “less than commendable” activities. But, do things change when the SHTF!

To start with, serious SHTF is unhealthy in so many ways just by itself. If you think differently, ask around or do some research on the subject. But SHTF is not a free pass nor an excuse to go wild or engage in destructive behavior. On the contrary: keeping discipline and good habits is essential for survival. Crime, drugs, and violence are bad in SHTF too. And not from a moral or ethical standpoint, but as to what it does to ourselves. It’s a dead end.

But keeping sanity is crucial too. Life can become hard at times. It’s OK to lead a regulated and healthy lifestyle, for the most part, and from virtue, religion or habit. The point is not being too rigid or too strict on ourselves – and keeping it under control, also, of course. It’s something very personal, so to each their own

Note: If someone is triggered by me talking about these things, know it’s the reality of SHTF. If you’ve been there, you know it; if you haven’t, then be warned and take it as you will. 

Practical Measures

  • Don’t go out and about stockpiling on booze, tobacco, or whatever – if you don’t think those things fit your taste or lifestyle (unless you plan on selling or using for barter). 
  • Meditate on how life would be in extreme adversity and how you’d feel and react in regards to things you currently don’t contemplate. Not as escapism, not as a vice. Just as to what would provide a little relief or boost to keep up with toughness and hardship.
  • It’s perfectly fine if you don’t want to touch something, and it’s equally acceptable if you indulge, too. Just accept it’s a very human thing. 

Conclusion

A large part of being ‘comfortable’ during SHTF is related to accepting, abstract, being creative, and practical. And also the capacity to find joy and pleasure in the out-of-ordinary and trivial. It comes naturally for most people, but we can prepare some for that, too. Actively and voluntarily chasing discomfort and exposing ourselves to hardship in controlled manners is an effective way to learn about our own limits and how to adapt to changes that occur during SHTF. There are several ways to train for SHTF.

Camping, trekking, hiking are excellent to improve resilience, creativity, and adaptation. Away from the grid, we have to focus on the basics of life: shelter, food, water, cooking, insects, heat and cold, sun and rain, impaired sleeping, and lots more. If that’s impractical, you can train in the city and even simulate some scenarios at home to practice and develop useful survival techniques applied in various other situations. 

This exercise can also grow our appreciation for the simple things and the extreme levels of comfort and convenience we have available in The Grid. And that matters a lot.

 

Raconteur Report Reminds “Tourniquets Work”

From Aesop at Raconteur Report, Medical Tip: Tourniquets Work reminds you to get tourniquet training if you don’t have it already.

One of the local constabularies recently encountered Nameless Crazy Person with butcher knife in hand, agitated and in a stabby mood. Despite repeated commands, NCP refused to drop knife, and/or broke the containment bubble, whereupon officer plugged NCP. Unknown number of rounds fired, but two connected.
One to each arm. (-25 points for lousy marksmanship at knifefighting – which is knifefight dying – distance. Bonus points for unintended humanitarian efforts.)
One nicked the right outer bicep. Literally, a flesh wound. Rub some dirt on it (or, in this case, a wad of 4x4s) and walk it off. No harm, no foul.
Other round: in the stabby knife-wielding arm, 9mm or 40SW pellet entered the upraised left arm proximal to the inner elbow, and travelled along the near-horizontal upper arm, and exited just below the left armpit (axilla for medical types).
Neither round close to anything obviously vital, except…
 
Round #2, during its journey through the meaty bicep area, must obviously have punctured/torn/lacerated the L brachial artery, i.e. the one what all the blood from Mr. Heart travels in to arrive in the rest of Mr. Arm.
Result: a steady blurp-blurp-blurp of bright red blood, all over the ground.
To his everlasting credit, Constable quickly applied first an Israeli Battle Dressing to the arm of the now knifeless suspect, to whom the application of lead had reduced his crazy efforts noticeably. Which IBD application slowed the blurp-blurp nary a whit.
So, reverting to academy-standard (nowadays) training, he whipped out his CAT Tourniquet, and lashed that sucker down just like in training videos, and turned off the blurp-blurp in about 6 twists of the windlass, despite the pained response from NCP.
Medics brought NCP to our world, where our trauma nurse and trauma doc were certain that applying a TQ was waaaaaay overkill, but “Bless their hearts for doing too much instead of too little”. So, they untwisted that TQ, and were immediately rewarded with blurp-blurp-blurp of bright red arterial blood, again.
I twisted the TQ back on and tightened it, and we sent NCP directly to trauma surgery for vascular repair, so that he could continue to be crazy with two functioning arms.
And I told the paramedics and the PD officer responsible for the TQ that they’d saved an actual life with that thing, because NCP would have died at the scene in about two minutes if they hadn’t tourniquetted off the flow of arterial blood from a “mere” arm wound. Which not only saved his life, it prevented about two trees-worth of resultant officer-involved homicide paperwork.
TL;DR:
Put the effing TQ on if the bleeding doesn’t stop with pressure, and make it holy by cranking the hell out of it.
 
You needn’t carry four TQs on your body, but you have four limbs, so if you like them, and you enjoy living, you’d be well-advised to have four TQs somewhere close by, like kit/pack/bag, etc.
Not at home in your medicine cabinet 20 miles away.
When you need one (or, God forbid, more than one) it will be Right Effing NOW, and not “in twenty minutes or so”.
If you’d rather ignore that advice: Suture self.
FTR, trauma literature based on medical trauma data from Sandbox I and Sandbox II have documented applications of as long as 4 hours before removal in surgery with no residual harm of any kind to extremities as a result of the TQ application, in young, otherwise-healthy, military-aged troops. YMMV, but they are not in any way “sacrificing a limb to save a life”, anytime in the last 20 years. If you’re within that time span for arrival at definitive medical care, and it’s medically justified, it’s better to slap one on than watch your patient exsanguinate and die.
And now, refresher training for those who wish it:

“This sh*t works!” – everyone who’s ever needed one.

Thus endeth the lesson.

 

Forward Observer: The Bubble of All Bubbles

Intelligence analyst Sam Culper at Forward Observer talks briefly about The Bubble of All Bubbles

In today’s Early Warning report, I discussed a number of prominent asset managers who are warning of another market bubble. (Get access to my daily Early Warning intel brief here.)

Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell brushed off a question about it during Congressional testimony this week, but it’s clear that the Fed’s easy money policies are inflating yet another financial bubble.

“It will end in tears,” says one investment manager.

But something else caught my attention…

Dr. Michael Burry — the trader who foresaw the 2008 financial meltdown, made famous in the book and movie The Big Short — is warning about the risk of hyperinflation.
He drew a number of comparisons between pre-collapse Wiemar Germany and the United States today.

We’ve heard these predictions of imminent collapse and hyperinflation for the past decade. I’ve been skeptical and doubtful that the threat was ever imminent, but here’s the thing…

THESE GUYS ARE EVENTUALLY GOING TO BE RIGHT.

The window for this happening is likely somewhere between 2024 and 2044, for reasons I described in this morning’s Early Warning brief.

But I want to draw your attention to what you can do to prepare.

I don’t know the exact solution yet, but I can tell you that I’m actively doing four things:

1. Growing my local community and fostering a culture of preparedness.

2. Getting plugged in with local farmers and ranchers, farmer’s markets, and agricultural co-ops, and thinking about how to foster a functioning local economy once the dollar goes.

3. Getting my home and family as self-sufficient and self-reliant as I possibly can.

4. Making sure that I develop contacts for local information-sharing in case the worst case scenario does happen.

Intelligence reduces uncertainty about the future and it fills in “blind spots” we’re going to have during an emergency, however brief or protracted it is. (And I do think we’re headed for multi-year, if not decade-long, emergency.)

Earlier this month, my new training company Gray Zone Activity went live. It’s the online platform where I’m teaching the intelligence and security skills required to navigate this country’s Gray Zone future.

I’m teaching in-person classes this weekend in Austin, Texas and another one next month in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Disaster/Tactical Intelligence classes are being scheduled for Nashville, Atlanta, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Tacoma, New Jersey (TBA), and several other locales.

If you want to schedule a 1-day Disaster Intelligence Course or 2-day Tactical Intelligence Course near you, then let me know by getting in touch. I’ll get as many classes on the books as I can.

And I’d like to invite you to sign up for the Gray Zone newsletter to stay aware of training opportunities. You can sign up at https://www.grayzoneactivity.com/training.

Until next time, be well.

Always Out Front,
Samuel Culper

The Trumpet: The Republic Has Been Hacked

In The Republic Has Been Hacked, The Trumpet argues the dangers of electronic voting. It should be noted that security concerns related to electronic voting did not just appear with the 2020 Presidential election. Those concerns have been voiced by information technology professionals since the idea of electronic voting was first introduced, and their clamor rose when the Diebold machines first started making an appearance and were shown to be vulnerable almost immediately. See for example, CNN’s 2012 article How Secure Is Your Electronic Vote? or Security Week’s 2011 article Man-in-the-Middle Attacks on Voting Machines: Vote Early, Often, and Why Not Vote Remotely? or the New York Time’s 2006 article New Fears of Security Risks in Electronic Voting Systems to name only a few. Numbers computer/software experts gave advice on ways that the industry could increase security, while at the same time providing accountability, anonymity of voter preferences and actual vote, and still provide the ability for the voter to check later that the correct vote was recorded, but the electronic voting industry has thus far failed to heed these concerns.

Almost 245 years ago, America’s founders penned a document proclaiming, “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.” To secure the God-given rights enumerated in the Declaration of Independence, our founders devised a system of government where the people elect both senators and congressmen to make laws for the good of the country—and a president to make sure those laws are faithfully executed.

Generations of Americans have fought and died for the freedom of self-government. We have these heroes to thank for the hundreds of free and fair elections held throughout our history. This makes it all the more concerning that our election systems are currently under threat.

Ever since corrupt officials in Broward County, Florida, attempted to steal the 2000 U.S. presidential election, America has been moving away from paper ballots and toward electronic voting machines. This move was supposed to make our elections faster, more accurate and more impartial. In reality, it has removed transparency from our elections and replaced it with trust in scandal-plagued voting technology companies owned by shadowy private equity firms.

Hacking Democracy

Dominion Voting Systems is a technology company that provided equipment to 28 states during the 2020 United States presidential election. This company is now suing key figures who supported President Donald Trump for defamation and $3.9 billion. On January 8, Dominion filed a lawsuit in the federal district court in Washington, D.C., accusing attorney Sidney Powell of “falsely claim[ing] that Dominion had rigged the election.” It seeks more than $1.3 billion in damages from Powell.

Within three weeks of this lawsuit, Dominion filed another defamation suit accusing Rudy Giuliani of spreading a “big lie” that “went viral and deceived millions of people into believing that Dominion had stolen their votes and fixed the election.” It also seeks $1.3 billion in punitive damages from Giuliani.

And on February 22, Dominion sued Mike Lindell, chief executive of MyPillow Inc., for more than $1.3 billion in damages. As with the previous two lawsuits, Dominion claims that Lindell falsely accused their voting machines of stealing the election from Donald Trump. The 115-page complaint cites a number of different statements made by Lindell, including social-media posts, media appearances, and a two-hour film claiming to prove widespread election fraud. This documentary, titled Absolute Proof, claims a Chinese cyberattack played a key role in stealing the 2020 election.

Winning all three lawsuits would get Dominion a sum 39 times its annual revenue!

President Trump is no longer in the White House, the radical leftists’ presidential coup d’état is a fait accompli, and Dominion is emboldened to characterize these claims as a giant $3.9 billion lie. Yet neither Powell nor Giuliani nor Lindell seem deterred. So why are they so confident?

Giuliani said, “Dominion’s defamation lawsuit for $1.3 billion will allow me to investigate their history, finances and practices fully and completely. The amount being asked for is, quite obviously, intended to frighten people of faint heart. It is another act of intimidation by the hate-filled left wing to wipe out and censor the exercise of free speech, as well as the ability of lawyers to defend their clients vigorously. As such, we will investigate a countersuit against them for violating these constitutional rights.” Lindell told the Associated Press that he welcomed the lawsuit and was confident the discovery process would prove him right: “You bring it on, Dominion, because I want everybody to see.”

The irony of Dominion’s lawsuits is that they could give Donald Trump’s team an opportunity they have been denied: the chance to prove, in court, a conspiracy to steal America’s presidency.

Cyber Targets

The former director of the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, Chris Krebs, has assured the American people that the 2020 presidential elections were “the most secure in American history.” Yet there is no way for his statement to be true. Electronic voting machines produced by companies like Dominion Voting Systems have made elections easier to rig than ever before.

For most of American history, votes were counted by hand or with a mechanical adding machine. That made America’s elections hard to rig. Any attempt to steal an election necessarily had to involve collaboration between hundreds of operatives spread throughout voting precincts across the nation. Only in instances where the election was virtually a tie (like in the 2000 U.S. presidential election between George Bush and Al Gore) could stolen or disputed votes in a small number of counties make a difference.

But now, more than 90 percent of voters use machines manufactured by only three companies: Dominion Voting Systems, Election Systems & Software, and Hart InterCivic. That means malfunctioning—or malicious—hardware or software in the machines these companies produce could dramatically change the results of an election—and it would only take a small number of people to pull off such a heist.

In December 2019, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Ron Wyden and Rep. Mark Pocan wrote to Staple Street Capital Group llc regarding Dominion Voting Systems. Their open letter stated:

We are particularly concerned that secretive and “trouble-plagued companies,” owned by private equity firms and responsible for manufacturing and maintaining voting machines and other election administration equipment, “have long skimped on security in favor of convenience,” leaving voting systems across the country “prone to security problems.” … Election security experts have noted for years that our nation’s election systems and infrastructure are under serious threat. … Moreover, even when state and local officials work on replacing antiquated machines, many continue to “run on old software that will soon be outdated and more vulnerable to hackers.”

Dominion and other companies have responded to allegations that their machines could be remotely hacked by insisting that none of their devices are connected to the Internet during voting. But a senior technical adviser at the election security advocacy group National Election Defense Coalition told nbc News on January 10 that he had already found over 35 voting systems that were online during the 2020 presidential election. And Finnish data-security expert Harri Hursti is warning that many voting machines have modems or other forms of network connectivity that transmit data that a talented and determined hacker could intercept. And this doesn’t include the fact that putting the machines online after voting has ended still exposes the counting process to hacking.

Hursti was featured in Hacking Democracy, a 2006 Emmy-nominated documentary where he exposes previously unknown backdoors in the software of voting machines made by Diebold Election Systems. After this documentary was released, Diebold changed its name to Premier Election Solutions. Then, in 2009, Election Systems and Software purchased Premier and sold its primary assets to Dominion.

A spokesman for Dominion told the Wall Street Journal that the weaknesses Hursti uncovered were fixed in 2012. But Hursti says he tested the updated software and found it too was vulnerable. In the 2020 hbo documentary Kill Chain: The Cyber War on America’s Elections, Hursti demonstrated in a mock election that by modifying a few lines of code on a Dominion machine’s removable memory card, he could alter the results. So the question is not: Could Dominion machines be used to rig the election? The question is: Were Dominion machines used to rig the election?

Statistical Anomalies

The Data Integrity Group is a group of scientists, engineers and machine-learning specialists who are checking whether votes were stolen digitally during the 2020 presidential election. On Dec. 30, 2020, group member Lynda McLaughlin, along with data scientists Justin Mealey and Dave Lobue, testified before the Georgia Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Elections that at least 30,593 votes were digitally removed from one candidate, and another 12,173 votes were digitally switched from one candidate to the other. The candidate who benefited from this fraud? Joe Biden. Based on information published on the Dominion Voting Systems website, the voting machines Georgia uses are manufactured by Dominion.

“[W]e actually have fraud that we can prove in this election,” said Mealey, a former programmer for the National Counterterrorism Center. “There was fraud in Georgia’s election; we can prove it with data. The voting will of the people of Georgia is not reflected in what was certified by the secretary of state.”

Since Biden won Georgia by only 11,779 votes according to the official count, just the 12,173 switch votes that the Data Integrity Group is talking about would have been enough to steal the state.

The story was the same in Pennsylvania. An analysis by the Data Integrity Group obtained by the Epoch Times found that 432,116 votes were digitally removed from President Trump’s total in Pennsylvania. In the official count, Biden won Pennsylvania by 81,660 votes. In reality, Biden lost by hundreds of thousands.

Dr. Peter Navarro, an economist who served as President Trump’s director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, has chronicled 136,155 voting machine irregularities in Georgia, 195,755 machine irregularities in Michigan, and 143,379 machine irregularities in Pennsylvania. He does not specify whether these irregularities favored Donald Trump or Joe Biden, but in the third volume of his study, Dr. Navarro highlights that the “margin of error” in these states is much higher than Biden’s margin of victory.

It’s a fact: It is possible that Dominion machines were used to steal the election from President Trump!

Last Chance

As Harri Hursti pointed out in Kill Chain: The Cyber War on America’s Elections, hacking voting machines is cyberwarfare against America that foreign nation-states or lone wolf actors could carry out. Some security analysts, such as former National Security Agency analyst Kirk Wiebe, are even warning that operatives within the U.S. government could have hacked the election to force President Trump from office.

The idea that agents of the U.S. government would hack their own country’s elections sounds shocking, yet a sobering Bible prophecy reveals that this level of corruption will exist in the end time. The Prophet Isaiah wrote, “Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward. Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment” (Isaiah 1:4-6).

As Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry explains in his book Ezekiel—The End-Time Prophet, these verses mean that America’s power structures are terminally ill from top to bottom. The government agents are sick; the legislators are sick; the judges are sick; the financiers are sick; the inventors are sick; even the executives counting our votes are sick. This is why a clique of shadowy technology executives is picking our leaders. The sins of the people have allowed sickness and corruption to fill our government until there is no soundness left in it.

Yet another prophecy on Amos 7 reveals that God will pass by end-time Israel (which consists of the United States and Britain primarily) one last time so that people have a chance to repent of the spiritual sickness that has led to so much corruption in government. “And the Lord said unto me, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A plumbline. Then said the Lord, Behold, I will set a plumbline in the midst of my people Israel: I will not again pass by them any more: And the high places of Isaac shall be desolate, and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste; and I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword” (Amos 7:8-9).

In his article “Why I Believe Donald Trump Is Still Coming Back,” Mr. Flurry explained that President Trump is an end-time type of King Jeroboam ii, which means God is going to pass by America one last time. God will temporarily spare America from punishment, saving it by the hand of Donald Trump (2 Kings 14:26-27).

President Trump is going to regain power in America, possibly by exposing massive election fraud. “God is invested in this,” Mr. Flurry wrote. “I still believe He is about to do some massive exposing of how the election was stolen and other crimes the radical left is committing.” The legal battles on the horizon between Dominion and President Trump’s legal team may be the way much of this corruption is exposed!

The Organic Prepper: How to Prep in Short-Term Locations

Daisy Luther at The Organic Prepper describes How to Prep in Short-Term Locations for people who are traveling, homeless, living in RVs and campers, etc. If you’re interested in the concept of mobile preparedness, you might check into the book Locusts on the Horizon by Plan B Writers Alliance, which talks about the MASH concept – or Mobile Adaptable Sustainable Homestead.

More and more people are living in temporary or mobile locations as the economy continues to falter. As the moratoriums on evictions end, the United States could soon see a wave of homelessness the likes of which has not occurred since the Dustbowl. People will be seeking shelter in temporary locations, in their vehicles, in RVs, and in campers. Many will not be leaving their homes by choice, but due to dire economic circumstances.

While you’re in for a shocking change if a nomadic lifestyle is suddenly thrust upon you, it doesn’t mean that you can’t still be prepared.

I deliberately chose to be a nomad myself. After my youngest daughter left the nest, I decided to sell or give away most of my things and set out to live a nomadic lifestyle. Over the past two years, I’ve been fortunate enough to briefly live in Greece, Northern Macedonia, Montenegro, and Mexico, and I have visited Kosovo, Albania, Austria, Canada, Bosnia, and Croatia, as well as many states in the US. My goal has always been to see the world and immerse myself in other cultures. Despite Covid shutting down many options, I’ve still been able to embrace my wandering spirit and am currently in a sublet in Mexico.

And this has a lot of folks asking me, “Have you given up on prepping?”

You can still prep in temporary locations.

It seems that every interview I do and in at least a couple of emails a day, someone asks me whether I still practice what I preach – preparedness. The answer is absolutely YES.

Prepping looks a lot different when you are in a temporary location or living in an RV/van but it can – and should – still be done.

One very important factor in living a nomadic lifestyle is that if you pay attention, you can avoid a lot of problems. If you live in your RV and you hear that a hurricane or a massive ice storm is coming in a few days, there’s a strong possibility that you can drive to a different location and avoid it altogether. If I was living in Europe when Covid hit, I could have relocated to a different country rapidly with more tolerable lockdown measures or, as I did, return to the US and stay with one of my kids to help her with the bills when she was unable to work. Location independence can really work in your favor.

As mentioned, I’m currently in Mexico, not because I’m trying to avoid a situation in the US, but because it’s very affordable and I get to stay in a place that is relatively warm right on the beach, something I could never afford if I was in the US. Since I’m here for about six months, I have more food stashed away than I would if I was only planning to be here for 4-6 weeks. But even if I was staying a shorter period of time, I’d have enough on hand to keep myself and my pets fed and hydrated for a minimum of one month.

How do you prep when you live in a temporary location?

You prep in a temporary location much like you would in a stationary location, except you pay more attention to space and transportability.

Depending upon space, money, and the length of your stay, your options may be rather different than what you’d choose if you lived in a home with a large pantry or storage room. I find that the fact my expenses are far lower than in the US allows me to donate food that I haven’t eaten without feeling like I just blew a whole bunch of money. For example, here in Mexico, a can of vegetables costs the equivalent of 12 cents US on sale.

When I was traveling around Europe from one country to another, I did not have a vehicle, so everything had to fit in my luggage. Items I always had with me were those little packets of just-add-water soup and oatmeal, nuts, dried fruit, and other lightweight, uncrushable items. With those and a water filter, I could keep myself fed for a few days without heading out to the grocery store. Is that an ideal diet? Of course not! But the point here is to have things on hand regardless of your situation.

Now that I have a place I’ll be staying at for a few months, as well as a vehicle, I have some larger, heavier items. I also bought an inexpensive dehydrator that is running nearly all the time because the fresh produce here is so incredible and I can’t get through my weekly farmer’s market basket before things spoil.

Keep in mind that when living nomadically, you may not have access to the same kind of gear that you would in a temporary location. I don’t have my Mr. Buddy heater, a generator, a Big Berkey, a pressure canner, or buckets and buckets of emergency food. However, I’ve devised workarounds for the things I need and I believe it’s made me a far more adaptable person.

Gear substitutes for mobile preppers

Here are some things I don’t have and what I use instead.

Camp stove: When I went to Selco’s Urban Survival Course in Croatia, I discovered that a lot of those little stoves are not what they’re cracked up to be. It’s very easy to create a makeshift camp stove if you only need to boil water with it. You can find two bricks or two rocks of a similar size, build a little fire between them on a fireproof surface, and set your cooking vessel on top of your rocks/bricks.

I have a cement balcony at my current location and two concrete blocks sitting innocuously on the end of it that could be quickly pressed into duty. Because I’m near the beach there isn’t a whole lot of wood, so I grabbed one bundle of wood sold for firepits from the grocery store and shoved it in the closet to keep it dry. Between that and dry plant material, I can easily build a fire and boil water right on my little patio. Other places I’ve stayed have had more access to wood or other materials I could burn so there, I didn’t need to buy a little bundle of wood.

Heater: The lows here are really not that cold – I think the coldest evening we had got down to 43. Central heating is extremely rare here in coastal Mexico. People use either electric space heaters or propane heaters similar to a Mr. Buddy with a tank the size of the ones you use for your barbecue.

I opted to spend this winter without heat and see if I could toughen up a little. Most days here in the winter range from low 50s to high 60s, so it’s not extreme. I just layer my clothing and use the dryer and oven in the mornings to take off the evening chill. I open the curtains on the southeast side of the house for solar gain and by early afternoon it’s sometimes so warm I need to open a window to cool things down a little. The floors here are tile, so slippers or shoes are a must to keep my feet warm.

On really cold days or during power outages, I take the layering further with fingerless gloves, a stocking hat pulled down over my ears, and I go into my bedroom and shut the door. I get under the covers and snuggle up with my two dogs and we stay cozy that way. When I had Covid, I did borrow an electric space heater from a neighbor because of the chills and fever.

Gravity-fed water filtration device: I’m not going to lug a Big Berkey around with me because it simply takes up far too much space in my vehicle. I have numerous portable options, such as a Sawyer Mini, a Lifestraw, and a Lifestraw water bottle. The one I use the most is the water bottle because I can take it anywhere and it doesn’t scream “prepper.” It just makes me look environmentally friendly.

I also store water. Here in Mexico, the big 5-gallon jugs are popular and they only cost a couple of dollars. I keep 30 gallons on hand and when I empty one jug, I refill it with tap water for my dogs. I also have other beverages on hand, as well as little drink packets. One thing that a lot of preppers don’t realize is that filtered water doesn’t necessarily taste like it came from a fresh mountain stream. Some powdered lemonade mix can help cover a less pleasant flavor.

Generator: I’ve written many times that instead of investing in expensive generators, I prep low-tech, and this has not changed being on the road.

I have a solar charger that is enough to power my laptop and my phone, as well as a portable charger that’s good for a few phone recharges. I can also recharge my devices using the USB ports in my Jeep (and I keep extra fuel on hand.)

Aside from this, I have a few different flashlights, a headlamp in both my backpack and my vehicle, an assortment of batteries, cooling cloths (these came in handy when my Jeep nearly overheated in the desert), a winter rated sleeping bag, and some winter cold weather gear even though I’m in a southern climate. As they recently learned in Texas, you never know when unusual weather might strike, and being prepared for those extremes can be as minor as keeping you comfortable or as major as keeping you alive.

When I’m not traveling in my vehicle, my kit is even smaller. You can check it out here.

What’s in my nomad pantry?

Now that we have the gadgets covered, what about food? When you are nomadic or living in a short-term location, you probably won’t have the same ability to stash away a year’s worth of supplies. I focus on at least a month and I pay attention to my surroundings.

Back when Covid struck the US, I rebuilt a food supply with a couple of trips to the store and about $500. Was it the same supply I would have had back when I had kids at home and a fixed location? Definitely not. I relied on food that didn’t require long cooking times and items I could acquire quickly. Because I did my shopping about a month before the shelves were emptied in the US, I had plenty of options and was able to get a good variety without major limitations. If I noticed an emerging crisis where I was and could not avoid it, I would stock up quickly. Remember, one of the most important parts of being a prepper is your awareness that puts you ahead of the crowd.

I have two different types of food supplies – items for consumption or back up while I’m in transit and items that I stock up on during my stay.

My In-Transit Pantry

When I’m moving more often or traveling lightly, my pantry looks different. I have the following as the basis of my mobile pantry.

  • Flavored instant oatmeal packets
  • Almond or coconut milk (shelf-stable)
  • Dry soup mix
  • Noodle bowls
  • Dried fruit
  • Nuts
  • Peanut butter
  • Crackers
  • Granola bars
  • Tea
  • Instant coffee packets
  • Sugar packets

I can carry all of the above items in my luggage with no issues whatsoever. They’re lightweight, small, and easily portable. Aside from the crackers, none of these things are easily crushed by your other gear, either.

The quality you purchase of the above items depends upon your location and your budget. In some areas, you might be able to easily access organic versions, and in others, you may be looking at Mr. Noodle and Peanut M&Ms. Obviously, this is not a diet to sustain you for a long time, especially if you’re expending a lot of calories, but it would get you through a few days to a week. Your mileage may vary.

My Short-Term Location Pantry

When I arrive at an Airbnb or rental, I sometimes have a meal from the items above on the first night before I go out and search for heartier fare. Once I’m settled in, then I add perishables like fresh produce, bread, and meat. As well, if I’m going to be there for more than a few days, I pick up some inexpensive shelf-stable items at those locations that are too heavy or too fragile to carry around, like some of the items in the list below.

While living in Mexico, the area where I’m staying went “Red” (they have color codes for the level of coronavirus restrictions.). I went to the store the first day and stocked up on a few additional items because here they have checkpoints where you’re asked about your destination, and I was not confident enough in my Spanish to relish such an interaction. So, I’ve gone more than a month on my supplies here without another trip to the store and didn’t feel that I was deprived, although I probably would have chosen different food if going to stores had been viable.

My pantry here is similar to the quick pantry I bought during my covid quarantine prep, just with Mexican versions of the foods.

  • Canned goods
  • Tortillas
  • Pouches of refried beans
  • Crackers
  • Peanut butter
  • Condiments
  • Tuna
  • Cookies or chocolate (If I can’t leave my condo, I need some joy in my life)
  • Long-lasting produce like potatoes, onions, carrots, squash, and cabbage
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Meat and veggies for the freezer
  • Seasonings to make everything taste better
  • Coffee
  • Almond milk tetras

Keep in mind that these items do not make up the majority of my diet. These are the things that I have put aside in case I have to hunker down – which certainly paid off here during the lockdown. I still visit the farmstand and bakery weekly and dine out to enjoy the local cuisine. Depending on your situation, you might hit the grocery store to supplement your basic supplies.

It’s all about being adaptable.

One of my major takeaways from my nomadic lifestyle is that adaptability and the willingness to be flexible are essential. And if these traits are essential just traveling, imagine how much more so they are when you’re going through difficult times.

While most folks prefer a full spice rack, a wealth of kitchen implements, and a giant storage room, the reality is that it might not be possible for everyone, particularly as the economy continues to wreak havoc on personal finances and the supply chain continues to erode. As I wrote earlier this year that prepping would look a lot different than before.

There are big changes ahead for many people and surviving may look different than you expected it to. Selco has written about leaving everything behind to survive. Fabian has written about the survival lessons to be learned from the homeless and from the Great Depression. Hopefully, we won’t see anything as extreme as these examples, but just know that even if the way things go is different than you had planned, you can still be adaptable, prepared, and resilient.

Oregonian: Biden reverses Trump, revokes Hammond permit

The Oregonian reports that Biden reverses Trump, revokes Hammond permit

A senior adviser in the U.S. Department of Interior on Friday rescinded the January decision by former Interior Secretary David Bernhardt to grant Hammond Ranches Inc. a 10-year grazing permit and directed the Bureau of Land Management to further consider the matter.

The maneuver came as Congress was moving to confirm President Joe Biden’s pick of Deb Haaland as the new Interior secretary and followed a day after four environmental advocacy groups filed a federal lawsuit to block the grazing permit for the Hammonds.

It also came just days before the cattle were expected to be turned out on the more than 26,000 acres of public lands neighboring Malheur National Wildlife Refuge about 45 to 70 miles south of Burns.

The action marked the latest twist in a yearslong saga surrounding the grazing rights of Dwight Hammond Jr. and son Steven Hammond after they were convicted of setting fire to public lands and served prison time.

The new memo from the Interior secretary’s office found that the Trump administration hadn’t allowed for sufficient time to receive and consider public challenges to the permit.

A proposal to grant the permit was dated Dec. 31 but the public wasn’t immediately alerted to it until days later “resulting in confusion” about how the department would calculate an authorized 15-day protest period, according to the memo from the Interior secretary’s office.

Friday’s memo was signed by Laura Daniel-Davis, a senior adviser to the secretary exercising delegated authority of the assistant secretary of land and minerals management.

“Because the protest period had not properly concluded” before the final Jan. 19 decision was issued, “I am rescinding the January 19 Decision and remanding the matter to the BLM to allow for full consideration of the timely protests received by the BLM,” the memo said.

She directed the Bureau of Land Management to pursue additional opportunities for public involvement and “a careful and considered review” of any challenges. She also instructed the Bureau of Land Management to post notice of the rescission online and mail copies to all applicants and other interested stakeholders.

W. Alan Schroeder, the attorney representing Hammond Ranches Inc., declined comment on Friday’s development.

Four environmental advocacy groups on Thursday sued the Interior secretary and Bureau of Land Management, alleging last month’s permit approval on the final day of the Trump administration was “tainted by political influence” and that a “rushed and truncated public process” cut out opportunities for public participation required by law.

The suit further accused the federal government of granting the permit to the Hammonds over other applicants who were qualified and bypassing an administrative appeal process.

“We’re grateful that the new administration saw right away that Bernhardt’s decision to grant the grazing permit without the proper public participation could not stand,” said Greta Anderson, deputy director of Western Watersheds Project, one of the four groups that filed the suit. “We believe when they reconsider the proposed action, they’ll realize there were major substantive problems as well.”

The grazing permit covers four land allotments called Hammond, Mud Creek, Hardie Summer and Hammond Fenced Federal Range and allows cattle grazing on more than 26,000 acres of public lands neighboring Malheur National Wildlife Refuge about 45 to 70 miles south of Burns, near the town of Frenchglen.

In February 2014, the Bureau of Land Management rejected the Hammonds’ renewal application, citing the Hammonds’ criminal convictions.

In early 2019, former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke issued a renewal of their grazing permit on his last day in office.

The renewal followed six months after Trump’s pardon of the Hammonds in July 2018. Dwight Hammond Jr. and Steven Hammond had been convicted of arson and were serving out five-year mandatory minimum sentences for setting fire to public land where they had grazing rights. Both were convicted of setting a fire in 2001, and the son was convicted of setting a second fire in 2006.

In December 2019, U.S. District Judge Michael H. Simon of Portland revoked the grazing permit finding Zinke’s renewal was an “abuse of discretion.”