Organic Prepper on Liberals Burning Books

In Mainstream Media Thinks Parler Is a “Threat to Democracy” Because Libertarians and Conservatives Get to Post, Daisy Luther of The Organic Prepper talks about liberal outrage over social media alternative Parler – the free speech social network. Mainstream social media tech giants have been removing conservative and libertarian voices from places like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and many others in order to stifle dissenting voices in the name of false truth. These liberals want to remove alternative ideas from circulation. This is no different than burning books – books being the way most ideas circulated before the advent of internet technology. Liberals cried out, rightly, against book burning for many decades, and now liberals the book burners. As Time magazine once said, “if you are on the side of book-burners, you’ve already lost the argument.”

After years of being censored on Facebook and Twitter, conservatives, libertarians, and other fans of free speech are making a mass exodus to new platforms. One that has really taken off since the election is Parler, which has been the most downloaded app in the country over the past two weeks.

Unsurprisingly, the mainstream media and left-wing extremists are outraged. How dare the people who have been censored, deplatformed, and shut down on their social media sites move to a site that promises not to treat them like pariahs? (By the way, you can find me on Parler here: @daisyluther ) They go as far as to say it’s a “threat to democracy” because libertarians and conservatives get to post.

I mean, seriously, we can’t be letting conservatives and libertarians post their opinions all willy-nilly, right? What will happen without the “fact-checkers?”

Why on earth WOULDN’T people go to a different network?

Personally, I haven’t had access to my own Facebook pages for more than a year and won’t unless I send them photos of my passport, a utility bill, and other identifying information – because they didn’t think my driver’s license was sufficient. As well, I voluntarily archived my thriving preparedness groups because of the threat of losing both my groups, my own personal account, and the accounts of all my moderators if we let through a post of which Facebook disapproved. I wrote more about it here.

And remember when Twitter shut down Zero Hedge’s account for posting something about the coronavirus they deemed as misinformation that was later proven to be true? And how they put warnings on nearly anything the President posts? And how conservative and libertarian websites are being demonetized?

I invite you to try posting anything on standard social media that questions vaccines, the outcome of the election, the COVID lockdowns, or is pro-gun. I’ll see you in Facebook jail.

Everyone who is leaving is a crazy racist.

To hear the MSM talk about it, everyone over there has a “bunker mentality”, they’re joyously engaging in racism and hate speech, and they just want an echo chamber. It’s “not good for the country,” according to commentators on CNN.

“There’s this new social media app called Parler getting a lot of attention, because conservatives are leaving, saying they’re leaving Twitter and Facebook, going of to Parler, because they believe Parler is a safer space for them. What we’re seeing is even more of a bunker mentality in right-wing media. And ultimately that’s not good for the country.”

“No it’s not good, it’s a threat to democracy,” Pamela Brown replied, “that these people are in echo chambers and they’re getting fed a diet of lies essentially.” (source)

Incidentally, sweeping generalizations aside, there are a lot of folks over there (like me) who are not politically conservative.

CNN is not alone in their hysteria about the social media outlet. Here’s what the mainstream media is saying about Parler and the folks using it. Yes, the irony over their outrage is palpable. And yes, it does seem like they’re trying to further divide the country. Be sure to like the video and subscribe to the channel – it’s a great show with timely subject matter. (Warning: Some harsh language)

For those of you new to Parler:

If you ask questions on those videos, I’m sure you’ll get an answer.

Things to remember about social media

For those who want free speech that is not left-leaning, Parler definitely seems like a better option than the Big Tech monoliths. However, there are a few things to remember.

  • If you get to use something for free, you are the product. Either your eyeballs on advertisements or your information will make Parler money one of these days. And it’s understandable – the expense of running a platform like that is immense.
  • While the rules may be favorable toward your position right now, it doesn’t mean they always will be. Facebook didn’t start out censoring the snot out of everyone who didn’t agree with Mark Zuckerberg. The rules will evolve.
  • Don’t share too much personal information. I know you guys are aware of this, but I just want to remind you not to share the kind of personal information that would allow people to find out where you live, when you’ll be on vacation, etc. Nothing online is that safe.
  • Don’t become too dependent on one outlet. Whether you’re a blogger like me or someone who just wants to connect with like-minded people, don’t forget that you are using their platform. They make the rules and they can decide whether you can stay or go, whether you can post certain things, or whether they want to change direction. It’s comparable to building a house on borrowed land. It might be nice land, but it’s not yours.

With these caveats in mind, I’ll see you over there if you are a social media person. Find me @daisyluther on Parler and please consider checking out our forum, here, for more in-depth preparedness discussions.

Do you think a more conservative social media outlet is a bad thing?

Are you bothered by a social media platform that doesn’t conservatives and libertarians? Or do you think it’s fair and reasonable to be able to share your opinions equally?

Organic Prepper Closes Facebook Preparedness Group

Daisy Luther of The Organic Prepper writes about closing her emergency preparedness group on Facebook over Facebook’s arbitrary and capricious “moderation” practices. Here’s Why I Voluntarily Closed My Preparedness Group on Facebook

For several years, I ran a very popular emergency preparedness group on Facebook called Prep Club. A couple thousand members and a great team of moderators kept the group free of hot-button topics, and the core members of the group became extremely close-knit. Today, I voluntarily made the decision to permanently archive all my preparedness groups on Facebook despite the high quality of the content.

The short version is this:

By archiving the group, the years’ worth of high-quality content remains available to members. They can’t interact but they can still go in and search for recipes and tips. If I had waited, Facebook’s moderation team was extremely likely to have deleted the entire group and all that information would be lost forever.

Now, if you have questions, stick around for the longer version.

What is Facebook doing to groups like mine?

Yesterday, I woke up to some messages that appeared to be right out of Orwell’s classic, 1984. I redacted the members’ names and images for privacy purposes. Here are the redacted messages.

So right off the hop, Facebook had decided content in our extremely well-moderated group was composed by “dangerous individuals and organizations.”

What did the removed content say? Well, we have no idea whatsoever because Facebook is “unable to show content that goes against” their community standards. But they want us to manually approve or discard all the posts that person makes for the next month so she doesn’t “re-offend.” Except we have NO IDEA WHAT THE HECK SHE POSTED.

And that’s not all.

They’ve been “fighting false news” in our group since September and never even notified us that they’d removed some of our content. When I clicked on “see details” I got the same message as above. “Y’all posted such bad stuff we can’t even show you what it is.”

In an effort to save the group – which was extremely busy and popular – I turned on moderation for all posts so we could try and keep things running.

But then we learned that Facebook was going to continue to “clean up” groups.

Then this morning, my friend and prolific author, Jim Cobb from Survival Weekly, shared an article explaining how Facebook was going to “clean up” groups like mine. Most worrisome is the highlighted comment:

In addition, group members who had any community standards violations in a group will now require post approval for the next 30 days. That means all their posts will have to be pre-approved by a group admin or moderator. This could help groups deal with those whose behavior is often flagged, but it could also overwhelm groups with a large number of users. And Facebook says if the admins or moderators then approve a post that violates community standards, the group will be removed. (source)

I took a screenshot too because y’all know how things like this have a habit of vanishing into the ether of the internet.

Just so we’re all singing from the same songbook, let me break this down.

  • Facebook wants us to moderate everything a person who has broken any rules posts.
  • But they won’t tell us what the person in trouble did wrong.
  • We are supposed to guess.
  • If we guess incorrectly, then the entire group gets nuked and all that information is gone forever.

Sorry, but the only way to win that game except not to play it. So, I opted not to play it and I archived all of my preparedness groups so that no further content is able to be posted or commented upon. I warmly invite you to join our forum instead, which is on my server and cannot be moderated by outside entities.

We don’t have to like it, but Facebook has every right to do this.

Before anyone starts hollering about free speech, please note that I believe Facebook has every right to make their own rules. I built my group on their platform, not the other way around.  The right to free speech applies to the government – they cannot crack down on you for saying whatever unpopular thing that is on your mind. At this point, it does not apply to private platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. It’s important to note that the FTC is debating anti-trust actions against the likes of Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon over concerns they’ve become monopolies and hold too much power.

But for right now, these entities have the right to approve or delete whatever they want to on their own platforms.

I think what they’ve done is awful but it isn’t unconstitutional to be awful.

I think it’s censorship, but that is also not unconstitutional if a private platform is doing it.

I joined their club and agreed to their rules. My option, if I don’t like their rules, is to go to a different playground with guidelines that I like more. But keep in mind that Facebook used to allow our posts and conversations and then things changed.

That’s why I will not ever be moving my groups to any other social media outlets. Rules that may be palatable today could change by tomorrow and then I spent all that time and energy again, building a house on borrowed land. That’s why I am building my own playground here in our forum.

I figured this day was coming.

A couple of years ago, Selco and I put our heads together and started a small forum on my server. We focused on privacy, a few rules to keep things civil, and a platform that I own. I knew that the day would come when I needed to have this up, running, and to which we could seamlessly transition.

You can now find us at our forum, where you don’t have to use your real name, prove your identity, or bow to Big Tech. If you have ANY problems getting your account set up, please reach out to us at the email on the image below or use the contact button at the top of the home page. We will be making improvements to our forum over the next few weeks but right now, the most important thing is to get signed up and start talking to each other.

I’ve been covering censorship, technological surveillance, and attempts to control the narrative for more than a decade now. I knew this entire time that while social media was great for helping me build my website, I would not be able to use it forever. In a world where people who approve of censorship hold most of the microphones and most of the power, it is only a matter of time before those with controversial opinions that fly in the face of political correctness no longer have a place on these platforms.

Today was that day for me.

I would rather do it voluntarily and on my own terms than to be unceremoniously booted off because I believe in liberty.

Organic Prepper: How to Be a Producer In a Nation of Consumers

Daisy Luther at The Organic Prepper has written How to Be a Producer In a Nation of Consumers

In this world, there are two kinds of people. You can be a consumer or you can be a producer.

Neither one is inherently good or bad – these are just descriptive terms. You can produce 100% of your own food and have a terrible heart, one that rejoices in the misfortune of others. You can never produce a single thing in your whole life and be kind and generous. This article isn’t meant to demonize consumers or set producers up on a pedestal.

Really, most of us are a combination of each type. But we should strive to tip the balance toward producing whenever possible because when bad things happen to an economy, when long-term disasters strike, and when everything changes, it is the producers who survive.

I talk about consumers and producers a lot, and recently a person in the comments asked me to clarify the concepts and share some ideas on how to become a producer.

So…here’s what it means to be a consumer or a producer.

The Consumer

Consumers are just what they sound like – people who consume. They purchase things they did not make, eat things they did not cook, and use up resources without replacement.

The terrifying thing is that we have become a nation of consumers who produce hardly anything.

Even our workforce these days rarely produces. The workforce cleans up after others, provides services, and spends their days in cubicles behind keyboards. Most of them do not go home after a long day at work having created something of value. They go home exhausted after a day of wrangling people or data, too tired to have a vegetable garden or perform productive tasks.

Many Americans have no productive skills because this is no longer a thing that is prized in our society. Jobs in the trades sit empty. Young people these days choose to go to college to learn about literature or social justice or the theories of business instead of becoming part of the skilled labor force. Unfortunately, jobs matching these educational paths can be hardwon and many people with graduate-level degrees serve fast food to people who don’t have the time or the inclination to cook. Forbes says that 44% of recent college graduates work in jobs that don’t require the degree they just got deeply in debt to obtain.

The Producer

Producers are also just what they sound like: people who produce things. A producer is a person who grows something, raises something, creates something, repairs something, builds something…you get the idea.

Producers may have jobs in the trades. They may work in factories and machine shops. They may work in agriculture. They may work in the medical field. And not all producers have jobs that are productive. But they’ll come home and produce something.

These are the people who have gardens, who homestead, who raise backyard chickens, who can knit a sweater, repair the plumbing, change their own oil, and cook from scratch. Contrary to popular belief, a producer doesn’t have to live rurally and raise every bite of food their family eats. It’s a mindset that no matter where they are, they can be self-reliant and independent people.

Being a producer is about having skills that can be applied to your daily life. It’s about not having to call someone to help every time something requires repair or mending. It’s about being able to solve problems creatively and independently. It’s about being able to meet needs without depending on others.

Unfortunately, we have become a nation of consumers.

It’s a very dangerous tipping point when you can look around and see that the majority of people around you are consumers who produce nothing. And it’s dangerous on a national level.

If most of our food comes from China (whether to be grown or processed), what will we do if that food is no longer available?

If most of our agricultural workers are here only seasonally, what happens if they can no longer come?

If most of the items we work all day long to be able to afford to consume are made someplace else, what are we going to do if we’re suddenly isolated from the rest of the world?

Imagine the difference it would be if the only things that could be purchased had to be made from start to finish right here by people with the skills to do so. And to narrow it even more, what if the items had to be produced locally, within 20 miles due to transport difficulties?

If we could only consume what we produce here in the United States, we’d suddenly be looking at a terrible imbalance. There would not be enough for everyone. Not enough food. Not enough fuel. Not enough heat. Not enough clothing. And all the electronics and gadgets and designer items and cheap sweatshop products people think they have to have would be no more – imagine the rude awakening.

We’re going to be finding out about this the hard way, as our supply chain continues to deteriorate as the economy continues to suffer, and as we receive fewer and fewer imports like the ones on this list that used to come regularly from China.

And to put a finer point on it, a lot of people these days don’t even produce the money it takes to buy the things that others produce.

How can you become a producer in a nation of consumers?

Becoming a producer is easier than you might think. You don’t have to suddenly grow all your own vegetables and raise meat chickens on the patio of your townhouse to do it.

A lot of this is in your head.

Before you go to purchase something, think about it. Is it something you could make yourself? Is it something that will enhance your ability to produce? Or is it just a frivolous consumer item that will add no value to your life after the first couple of days? Don’t get me wrong, it’s fine to buy frivolous things from time to time, but it shouldn’t be the majority of your purchases.

You must switch your mindset from buying to creating. From replacing to repairing. From shopping for entertainment to actually learning to enjoy life for entertainment. Unplug from your devices and get back out there in the real world and do the things that others have done for you in the past.

It will save you money, too.

Another thing about producing instead of consuming is that it’s going to save you a lot of money. For all things, you will spend either time or you will spend money.

Think about the dinner that you put on your table.

  • Will you spend time or money to produce the ingredients?
  • Will you spend time or money to prepare the ingredients and turn them into a meal?
  • Will you spend time or money to serve the food and clean up afterward?

You see? You have three opportunities there for production. Maybe you can grow the greens for the salad if not all the ingredients for the meal.  Maybe you can cook it from scratch instead of using things put together in a box. Maybe you can eat at home instead of going to a restaurant.

If you are spending your money to acquire something, you are paying for someone else’s time. There are no real shortcuts in this world. Someone, somewhere, spent the time to grow, assemble, and/or prepare that food you’re eating.

15 Ways to Produce the Things That Most People Consume

Below you’ll find a list of ways to produce. The list, of course, is not comprehensive. It’s merely a collection of ideas to get you started on your path to tipping the balance in your favor. And don’t think you have to do all these things at once.  Each thing you accomplish from this list can help you to proclaim, “I am a producer!”

  1. Make cleaning products. You don’t have to go buy outrageously expensive all-natural cleaning products when you can make your own out of simple, household basics. (Instructions here.)
  2. Grow food. It doesn’t have to be a huge garden. It can be tomatoes in the summer and microgreens or herbs in the windowsill in the winter. Here’s a huge self-reliance manifesto with links to more than 300 articles and books for doing just this.
  3. Sprout seeds. It’s a great way to add extra nutrients to your meals and so easy anyone can do it. (This website has everything you need to know about sprouting.)
  4. Unclog your sink. You don’t have to call a plumber for every little clog. Learn to unclog sinks with homemade drain cleaner and if that doesn’t work, try a plunger or a wire hanger snake. Last ditch, taking apart the pipe under your sink is far easier than you might expect.
  5. Learn some car maintenance. I’m not saying you have to be able to replace a cracked cylinder head, but you should at least be able to replace your spark plugs. It’s literally as easy as changing a light bulb, although today’s electronics on some newer cars can make things a bit more complicated.
  6. Use natural remedies. Now, I’m not one of those people who think you should never, ever go to the doctor or take medication – but there are many things you can treat at home with simple kitchen remedies. Illnesses like colds and cases of flu can be treated naturally, and so can ailments like vomiting and diarrhea. Here’s a must-have book loaded with remedies.
  7. Brew your own. You can get started brewing your own beer and wine at all sorts of facilities where they sell you the bottles and the ingredients. The staff will walk you through it and show you exactly what to do. After a few rounds of that, you may be ready for home brewing. Or skip all the instructions, grab a book, and DIY it from start to finish. Here are books on making beer, making wine, and making old-fashioned mead.
  8. Learn to mend. Some basic sewing skills are really useful, not so you can make all your own clothes Little House on the Prairie style, but so you can mend and rework items you already own. Learn how to patch a hole, mend a seam, and fix a hem. Once you’ve mastered these, you can move on to darning socks, fixing rips using basic stitches, and doing basic alterations on things that don’t fit.
  9. Cook from scratch. Just like in the example above, if you don’t spend your own time, you’re paying for someone else’s time. Learning to cook from scratch is really easy and you don’t have to create souffles and other fancy dishes. Start out simple with methods like roasting, sauteeing, and steaming then increase your skills from there. Here’s an article on The Lost Art of Scratch Cooking to get you started.
  10. Make your own bath products. From scrubs to moisturizing lotions right down to homemade soap, learning to create these at home gives you a lot of freedom. First of all, you know exactly what’s in them – no toxic ingredients allowed. You can adjust the fragrance to your liking with essential oils and you can learn skills that will be very valuable should we ever face a world where you can no longer buy soap at the store.
  11. Learn to preserve food. Break out the dehydrator and the canners and put back the foods you get on sale. Preserve the bounty in the summer and make delicious meals to last the whole year through. Here’s my own guide to canning and here’s one I recommend for dehydrating.
  12. Raise chickens. If your city allows it and if you have a backyard, you may be able to have a few chickens. Chickens are incredibly entertaining to watch and they can provide you with breakfast on a regular basis. They’re also a very efficient way to get rid of food that would normally be thrown away – all your fruit and vegetable scraps can go right to the girls. Here’s a primer on raising baby chicks and a guide to backyard chickens in the city.
  13. Hunt or forage. Any food that you can acquire can boost your productivity without spending a lot of money. Learning skills like hunting and foraging can be fun now and invaluable later. Recognizing things as edible that most folks would pass on by was literally the difference between life and death during Selco’s SHTF. Look for local books on foraging – the broader books are not as useful, as there will be vegetation that doesn’t grow where you live. To learn hunting skills, I find that the best way is to make friends with some people who already hunt and ask them to include you. Don’t try to pretend you know it all – use the opportunity to soak up their knowledge.
  14. Make things. Learning to craft things like furniture, needlework, garden structures, and other useful household items can really help you to become a producer. And the more you can upcycle from existing materials, the better off you’ll be.
  15. Repair things. We live in a world of planned obsolescence. So often, it is cheaper to replace things than to have them repaired…that is, unless you can repair it yourself. Stock up a library of DIY repair books and the next time something breaks, give fixing it a shot. (Bonus points if you can repair something McGuyver-style by using the things you have on hand.) ….(continues)

Organic Prepper: A Personal Letter to Stressed Out Preppers

Daisy Luther at The Organic Prepper writes A Personal Letter to Stressed Out Preppers Who Are TIRED of This Apocalypse

Dear Friends:

2020 has certainly been quite a year so far, and a defining one for the preparedness movement. No longer are our stockpiles of rice, beans, and hand sanitizer objects that make us strange. Our stashes of TP would make us the envy of the neighborhood if, of course, anybody knew we had it.

So many of the things and beliefs that made us figures of mockery in the past are now proving their value. We’re learning, with a mixture of relief and perhaps dismay, that we weren’t so crazy after all.

When the first lockdown began, we weren’t out there emptying the shelves in the frenzied throng (even though we’re the ones who got blamed for it.) We were watchful but for the most part, comfortable with our preparations. We understood before things went sideways that extended events can result in civil unrest, crime sprees, and chaos. We realized that we could be facing shortages.

And then time went on.

And on.

And on.

This has been a year in which so many things have occurred that proved preppers have things right that it’s positively exhausting. We’ve had a pandemic, civil unrest, food shortages, increases in crime, exorbitant unemployment, and we’re facing an economic collapse, or at the very least, an economic crisis.

And we’re tired.

Maybe everyone doesn’t feel this way. Maybe you’re perfectly fine and you live on your back 40 and have been completely untouched by any of the above-mentioned crises. Maybe your finances are just fine, you never got out much anyway, and you’ve still got 8 years’ worth of food socked away to supplement the things you grow. Maybe you’re reading this as you spin goat hair into yarn from which you’ll make this year’s mittens. Maybe you have no relatives, friends, or loved ones in the path of danger. Maybe your area isn’t prone to a single natural disaster.

If this is the case, I salute you. I really do. Good for you.

But for most of us, this is not the case. A lot of us are tired.

And I mean tired.

I’m sure there will be plenty of folks in the comments who say, “Daisy Luther is such a whiner” but whatever. I’m just going to come right out and tell you how I feel about this.

This year has been difficult.

My life changed completely. The lives of people I love changed completely. I lost some people I cared for deeply to the virus. I watched people in my family frolic around blithely ignoring the virus for which they’re in a peak risk group for death. I watched my country get torn asunder by everything from the pandemic response to racial injustice to perceived insults or losses of rights. I have a family member who lives in a riot zone but due to work and finances, can’t just relocate. (Although those folks on the internet always make it sound so damned easy to just quit your job then up and move to the boondocks to raise sheep.)

I have friends who have developed such extreme political views on either side that I don’t even know what to say to them anymore. I still love them. I still know they’re good people or we wouldn’t have been friends in the first place. But what the heck, y’all?

Then we’ve got hurricanes and the worst wildfires ever in history and floods and droughts and snow in September and murder hornets and the Olympics got canceled and there was some radiation leak in Russia and police brutality, which you will say is alleged or real, depending on your personal perspective. Oh yeah, and the US Postal Service has gone to heck, a lot of kids can’t go back to school so they’re surfing the net while they’re supposed to be “distance learning” online, and Netflix is playing a child porn movie to prove that kids are getting sexually exploited. Our system is going downhill on a greasy slide.

Our presidential candidates are (in my humble opinion) like a choice between your favorite sexually transmitted infection, syphillis or gonhorrhea. And regardless of whether syphilis or gonorrhea wins, all hell’s going to break loose (or break looser because it’s already pretty freakin’ bad in a lot of places) before and after the election that may not even happen the regular way because of the pandemic.

And we preppers who were ready for an emergency are sitting here scratching our heads thinking, “Heck fire, I wasn’t actually prepared for ALL OF THE EMERGENCIES AT ONCE.”

And it’s going on and on and on.

And that’s the other thing.

This stuff is going on and on and on forever. Ad infinitum. We are still in the middle of a global viral outbreak that we don’t completely understand and lots of places are still under major restrictions. A lot of folks don’t have their jobs back and a lot never will. We have been dealing with this particular disaster since at least February and the mental toll of dealing with the restrictions, the loss of income, the isolation, and the loss of freedom has been harsh for many people. There are folks who are just plain mad that they didn’t get the apocalypse they signed up for and they haven’t gotten to shoot any marauders and quite frankly, lockdown is boring as heck.

Lots of us have family members and people in our inner circles who are chomping at the bit to get back to “normal” when things simply are not normal. We’ve got loved ones who want to head out to parties and who want to throw caution to the wind and who flat don’t give a hoot what they bring home to Grandma. We’ve got loved ones who are using this entire scenario to say how we’ve overreacted. We’ve got loved ones who still get aggravated when we bring home more toilet paper.

When we were prepping for all this stuff most of us never expected that our families who were also prepping for this stuff might not be on board with this specific scenario. We never thought we’d have to argue with children and spouses and friends and lovers about things like quarantines and masks and not eating all five years’ worth of the good snacks like Oreos in the first 6 months. We didn’t consider that we might not be able to replace our Bluetooth headsets or that we’d need them for work or that we’d have to have our offices in our homes or that our kids’ teachers might see their BB guns in their bedrooms and send the SWAT teams after us.

We can’t go to church but we can go to riots. We aren’t supposed to travel yet mysterious busloads full of “protesters” show up in other states and that’s just hunky-dory. The borders are closed except they’re not really and the restaurants can’t serve you except they can sort of and we can’t go to the beach but we can line up for a vaccine once the promised injection, untested for long-term side effects, is ready.

This is the worst apocalypse ever because it’s so dad-gum boring and it’s going on for-freaking-ever. That’s the thing that nobody warned us about. This monotony just goes on and on and on. It would be one thing if we were out there fighting for resources but in reality, we’re all just standin’ in line at Wal-Mart with our masks on waiting for our turn to get zapped with a thermometer to see if we are allowed to go inside. If it weren’t for wifi we’d all be crazy by now. Or – let’s be real for a moment – maybe it’s because of wifi so many people are crazy right now. Social media is a jungle – an outright vicious and bloody jungle – and may the most audacious mofo win because those of us who still retain our human decency are not going to be able to hang with the people out there flinging wild ungrounded insults like poop in the monkey cages at the zoo.

And folks – I hate to say it but we’re still on Round One.

We’re going to be dealing with this bizarre altered reality for quite some time. This virus ain’t over yet or if you don’t believe in the virus, then consider that this government response isn’t over yet. We’re never “getting back to normal” and we’re going to have to adapt. We’re going to have to hope our children who are going to school in personal bubbles aren’t going to have OCD and chronic anxiety for the rest of their lives. We’re going to have to learn to make do without all the imports that no longer seem to be populating stores.

We never really expected that a huge part of survival would just be waiting and adapting to the new world around us. Not this new world anyway. This isn’t one we can shoot our way out of or buy our way out of or wait our way out of.  We have to adapt to the new economy, the new precautions, and the new suspicions. We have to adapt to a different type of supply chain.  We have to move into survival mode as we watch civil unrest and riots break out in the most unlikely places, although it’s not really the survival mode we ever expected. We have to adjust to the nearly constant state of offense and unrest. We’re going to have to teach our children to be bold and fearless despite a system that wants them to be afraid. We’re going to have to forge a path through a labyrinth that is nothing like the one we expected when we began prepping for serious events because this event was so wildly unpredictable that nobody could have seen it happening the way it did.

But this is what we do.

We’re preppers. Preparing for the unexpected is our thing. Even when the unexpected is long-lasting, monotonous, boring, and stifling. Even when our family thinks we’re overreacting. Even when everything changes and things don’t get back to “normal.” Even when we’re just sitting there right on the edge of chaos wondering if today is the day that things will erupt in our neck of the woods.

Every.

Single.

Day.

For.

Months.

The way this unfolded isn’t the disaster any of us expected but it’s the hand we’ve been dealt. How well we’re able to handle it will tell us a lot about how mentally prepared we actually are. How we manage our friends, families, and expectations will help us determine how things might go in a future, more Mad-Max variety of apocalypse.

Take this as the learning experience that it is. And don’t be lulled by the boredom into a false sense of security.

Because this is not over. Not by a long shot.

Hang in there, my friends. Whether we have to pull our loved ones along by their collars, whether we have to buy our supplies and stash them away on the sly, whether we have to prepare all on our own, we have to deal with the apocalypse we’ve been given, emotionally and physically.

It’s going to be a long haul, but we’ve got this. I don’t know if you’re feeling the same way that I am, but just in case you are, I wanted you to know – you’re not alone.

Daisy

The Organic Prepper: Our System Is Crumbling Right In Front of Our Eyes

Daisy Luther of The Organic Prepper talks about how Our System Is Crumbling Right In Front of Our Eyes.

Back in January, when the COVID-19 pandemic was beginning to catch globe attention, Selco wrote an article stating, “It’s not the virus you need to worry about. It’s the system.”

Virus or illness on itself might not be a problem in its essence, but the impact that it brings to the system and people might be so huge through the media that it causes the system to stop working in the normal way. So you could find yourself in a collapse not necessarily because of a huge pandemic, but because of the reaction to it.

Another case might be the simple unwillingness from the system to admit how bad the situation is in order to stop the panic when folks realized the truth.

So, what might bring the system to collapse might be a real pandemic or a reaction to the pandemic (which might or might not be controllable) or simply the government’s poor or late response to the pandemic. (source)

As things were just beginning to unfold, the article took a lot of heat on social media, with people saying Selco didn’t understand how things would go because he is not American and doesn’t know how things work here. Whoops. I guess that’s rather embarrassing in retrospect.

Because here we are, seven months after Selco wrote his warning, and our system is indeed falling apart.

Our system is failing in many ways.

It’s indisputable that our system is now failing in numerous ways. Some of these things directly relate to the virus and the subsequent lockdown, while others are tied to the nonstop riots that have been going on in some areas for more than 100 days. The riots began after the death of George Floyd when a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck until he suffocated.

From the economy to the justice system to the infrastructure, our system is grinding to a halt in a variety of manners that stand to completely change the American way of life. Let’s take a look.

The economy

As predicted, our economy took a massive hit when government-mandated lockdowns closed the doors to many businesses. Despite billions of dollars in relief (much of which went to large businesses in an act of crony capitalism), the new economy has been nothing short of disastrous.

Millions of jobs are gone and are never coming back. Millions of small businesses have fallen. Corporate landlords aren’t getting paid rent and mom and pop landlords are being forced by the CDC (that’s right – the Center for Disease Control) to house people who can’t pay their rent, while still maintaining their mortgages.

Obviously, this trickles down to the average American who just wants to go to work and pay his or her bills. If you’ve lost your job, you are now in a heated competition for the few jobs remaining. The effect on the economy was “swift and severe” according to a paper published by the Brookings Institute. Now that the CARES Act financial assistance has run out, more and more families are being pushed into desperate levels of poverty. (If this is happening to you, please check out this article for essential advice on surviving this situation.)

But it goes even further than that – in a puzzling turn of events, our country is running out of coins. Many stores no longer give out change that is less than a dollar. You can choose to donate your change digitally to the charity of the store’s choice or get it back on a store loyalty card. Many people are concerned that this is a push toward a cashless society, something that would cause even more day to day financial problems for people who are already struggling. (And this is not as far-fetched as it might seem – it’s happened in Venezuela, too.)

Consumer inventory

And what about the folks who do have money? Well, spending it might be harder than it used to be.

Remember when the first hints of a looming lockdown occurred and store shelves across the country were emptied? And remember when all the shortages were blamed on those selfish hoarder preppers? And remember when they said if you would just buy for the next few days or for the week all the inventory would quickly be replenished because the supply chain was A-OK?

Yeah. I remember that too. And guess what?

Store shelves are still pretty spotty in many parts of the country. Some places still have limits on how much meat or toilet paper you can buy. If you go to your local Target, it’s difficult to find things like bedding and certain cleaning supplies.

Food plants continue to close due to outbreaks. Canned goods are still in high demand. (source) And what is affecting us even more is that we still aren’t getting the shipments from China that we used to receive.  When all of this began, I posted a list of essentials that we were getting from China which might affect our supplies, and unsurprisingly, many of these items remain difficult to find.

When you can find supplies in your local stores, you may find that the selection of options is far more limited than before. This is pretty startling, but something that I noticed when I spent several months abroad was that most other countries don’t have chicken cut in 12 different ways or 47 different brands of laundry detergent. What feels like a “shortage” to us is somewhat normal elsewhere and this is something you can adapt to fairly well.

At the same time, limits on purchases make it incredibly difficult to stock up for the future, and you can also expect to see fewer and fewer choices in the months ahead unless something happens to change the situation dramatically.

Education

One of the first casualties of the lockdown was the education system. Most schools simply gave up and didn’t continue the school year after the March lockdown. Colleges and universities turned to distance learning. Graduations were held virtually, if at all.

The new school year looks a lot different too. The schools that have reopened for in-person learning have stringent – and somewhat unsettling – social distancing policies. Many schools are only open for distance learning via Zoom or other online portals. (And don’t even get my started on the privacy issues this has unlocked – not to mention the overreaction of at least one school so shocked at the sight of a Nerf gun in a boy’s room that they called the cops and suspended him.)

Some schools reopened only to close again within a week when a new outbreak erupted. Huge outbreaks are occurring at universities as (big surprise) students party without a lot of regard for social distancing. Many colleges are fighting this by offering as many classes as possible in an online format. This is causing many families to question why they’re still paying the same exceptionally high prices for the education as they did when everyone spent time in the classroom, used campus facilities, and had the benefit of an active social life.

The postal service

The US Postal Service has been losing money hand over fist for years. After the COVID pandemic, it lost a whopping 2.2 billion dollars in the second quarter. In a recent Senate hearing, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testified that they could not guarantee the ability to deliver mail-in ballots for the November election in a timely manner.

And it isn’t just the mail-in ballots that are a problem. There have recently been massive delays with the mail. These delays have led to mailed prescription drugs arriving late to patients who depend on them, thousands of dead baby chicks, and shipping delays that are causing unprecedented issues for small businesses that mail products to customers – and 70% of small businesses use the USPS regularly.

Many have blamed changes made by Postmaster General DeJoy, who donated to President Trump’s campaign, for the crisis.

The new leadership of the U.S. postal service has come under fire from lawmakers and advocates who worry that a slower mail system will affect the presidential election in November. But the impacts could disrupt everyday life for Americans in many other ways.

The U.S. postal service, which has suffered from financial troubles for years, has lost billions of dollars amid the coronavirus pandemic. But last month, new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy issued a number of orders aimed at cutting costs within the agency. Those changes include eliminating employees’ ability to log overtime and barring workers from making extra trips to deliver late-arriving mail. DeJoy’s changes have been blamed for reported widespread mail delays.

“Let me be clear about the reasons behind our restructuring and the need for our plan. Our financial condition is dire,” DeJoy said in a memo sent to USPS staff on Thursday, NBC reported. “Our critics are quick to point to our finances, yet they offer no solution.” (source)

Regardless of the specific cause, it appears a reliable postal service has been yet another systemic casualty. One recent video even came to light of massive bags of mail simply being dumped in a parking lot.

The legal and criminal justice system

After the death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, the country erupted. Protests were widespread. The organization Black Lives Matter reached peak popularity. The movement was quickly co-opted and groups like Antifa and the Occupy movement took over. Protests soon turned into violent riots that saw cities across the country turn into battle zones.

The unrest has lasted for more than three months and shows no signs of slowing down soon. Armed conflict has broken out in numerous cities. In fact, a demonstration promising to “lay siege” to the White House is planned for later this month through the election.

This goes hand in hand with calls to defund the police in many of the cities where the protests/riots are taking place. Massive budget cuts have already occurred in Minneapolis, New York City, San Francisco, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Oakland, Portland, Philadelphia, Hartford, Salt Lake City, and Seattle, just to name a few cities. (source) It’s important to note that some of these cities have been the sites of extreme upticks in violence, looting, destruction, and arson.

And it isn’t just the criminal justice system breaking down. The court system in general has been on hiatus. Family court closures have halted divorce and custody hearings. Civil suits are at a standstill. Once the courts reopen, the massive backlog will mean even further delays.

The wheels have simply stopped turning.

The election

The upcoming election is the next broken element of the system. This year hardly feels like an election year in the first place.

Many people are hesitant to vote in person due to the virus. The postal service has said they may not be able to get ballots to people on time. Big rallies are a thing of elections past. We have yet to see a presidential debate between the candidates. We probably won’t know who won on election night. In fact, it could be weeks before a winner is announced, and even then, it looks as though Biden and Trump are both intent on questioning the outcome if it isn’t in their favor.

In short, it’s going to be a huge bone of contention that is likely to escalate the violence discussed above for weeks, if not months. We could have the fifth contested presidential election in American history. (And I’d say that isn’t just a possibility, but a likelihood.)

If an already divided country can’t agree on who won the election, would that be the final nail in the coffin of our system?

What can we do?

A lot of these are “big circle” things that are out of our personal realm of control. We can’t do anything about imports from China, we can’t stop the riots in Seattle, we can’t fix the postal service.

But we can focus our energy on getting as prepared as possible for what promises to be a bumpy road ahead. And we must also stop focusing on a system that is broken to solve our problems. Selco wrote:

Do not forget one basic fact: you as a prepper/survivalist, at your core, most probably do not trust the system.

I am not saying you hate it, but you just do not trust it completely.

So, watch the news and announcements. Help if possible, obey if possible (and if it makes sense) but always keep in mind that the system at its core has a very basic obligation: to keep that system running. If that means the system has to lie to you or let’s say, bend the truth, it will do it, because to the system you are an individual, and the system is machinery that needs to run.

So, keep some common sense, and trust your gut instinct. (source)

Pieces of the system are tumbling over like one domino after another. Every stressor added is knocking out more of the system as time goes on.

Do you think the system is fixable or do you believe it is broken beyond repair? What do you foresee for the rest of the year?

Organic Prepper: Battle Zones Erupting Across America

This article comes from Daisy Luther of The Organic Prepper – Literal Battle Zones Are Erupting All Over America

Part of the “new normal” in America seems to be battle zones erupting across the nation. I’m not just talking about protests, but full-on sieges that may last for days, weeks, or even months. Some of these began due to acts of police brutality, while others have taken on lives of their own with wholesale looting and violence.

The United States of America we see today is incredibly different from the one we saw at the beginning of the year. We’ve been wracked by a pandemic, a subsequent economic catastrophe, and massive, widespread civil unrest.

Let’s take a look at these pockets of violent behavior. (WARNING: This article contains videos with violent content.)

Kenosha, Wisconsin

Yesterday, police officers shot Jacob Blake, a Black man, in the back as he tried to enter the vehicle where his children were. Blake is in stable condition and expected to live, but the shocking video has spread virally across social media. You can see the cell phone footage below. (Violence Warning)

 

Kenosha, a city in Wisconsin of about one hundred thousand people, quickly erupted in protest of the shooting. (Never think these things only happen in large cities – here is an inside look at the Ferguson riots of 2014.)

 

 

Protests, riots, and looting are expected to continue in Kenosha.

Denver, Colorado

Not only is Colorado currently beset by wildfires, but it’s also plagued with violent civil unrest. Over the weekend, rioters set out to destroy property in downtown Denver.

 

One Twitter user reported that a group of protesters had gathered in front of a police department in Denver, and that a van pulled up to hand out shields.

 

The Denver “protesters” called for the abolition of police.

A group of about 40 people protested outside the Denver Police Department headquarters Saturday night and marched through streets in the area, blocking traffic. Some clashed with officers, set fires and broke windows…

…Chemical agents were deployed to control the crowd and eight people were taken into custody…

…Copter4 was over 13th and Delaware when people in the group were breaking windows.

People in the group set two small fires, which were quickly extinguished. (source)

Portland, Oregon

Riots have been ongoing in Portland for months, and this weekend, several notable events occurred.

On Saturday, rioters fought one another in the streets.

Protesters at Portland rallies to show support for police and President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign engaged in physical combat repeatedly with counterprotesters Saturday without police intervention. Members of the chaotic crowd used an array of weapons, including baseball bats and firearms to beat and threaten those they opposed…

…Pro-Trump demonstrators, people carrying shields with references to the QAnon conspiracy theory and members of the Proud Boys — a self-described chauvinist group that regularly engages in violence — all gathered around noon, some carrying rifles…

…Counterprotesters from anti-fascist groups like Popular Mobilization PDX also gathered Saturday, and the two groups quickly began shouting at each other and engaging in tense, face-to-face confrontations in front of the Multnomah County Justice Center.

Within an hour of meeting, protesters began to push each other and throw objects. Some demonstrators on the pro-police side fired paintball guns and deployed pepper spray on counterdemonstrators. Other protesters used baseball bats. Many people wore helmets and body armor as they punched, kicked and tore at each other. (source)

This isn’t just a few people yelling and chanting. This is outright fighting – physical violence.

 

Conservative rioters left the area in the afternoon, but the remaining rioters continued to become increasingly violent into the night until teargas was released to disperse crowds.

The police did not declare an event because they “didn’t have the resources to handle one.”

In a press release distributed Saturday afternoon, Portland police said its officers did not intervene to stop the fighting because those involved “willingly” engaged, its forces were stretched too thin from policing 80+ nights of protests, and the bureau didn’t feel the clashes would last that long.

“Each skirmish appeared to involve willing participants and the events were not enduring in time, so officers were not deployed to intervene,” the release states. (source)

On Sunday night, the NY Post reported that rioters set fire to a police precinct.

Black Lives Matter militants set fire to a police station in Portland Sunday night during yet another night of violence in the Oregon city.

The march on the Portland Police Bureau’s north precinct had already been declared an unlawful assembly as police say they were pelted with “rocks and bottles” and had “powerful green lasers” pointed at them.

But a mob of at least 300 continued to advance despite repeated warnings by police — and lit an awning on the precinct ablaze… (source)

The fire was extinguished without injuries.

A week ago, a man was seriously injured when  he was pulled from his vehicle and brutally attacked during an “otherwise peaceful demonstration.”

A crowd gathered around him and repeatedly punched and kicked him in the head until he was bloody.

Witnesses told police the man had been helping a transgender female who had an item of hers stolen, and he was dragged out of the car and beat by nine or 10 people. When police arrived the man was unconscious.

Portland police said their response to the assault was “complicated by a hostile group.” (source)

Shockingly, only one person has been charged in the attack, 25-year-old Marquise Love.

It’s important to note that Portland’s new district attorney, Mike Schmidt, has refused to prosecute protesters that commit criminal acts. The New York Times reports that since he took office on August 1 of this year, he has dismissed charges against half of the more than 600 people who have been arrested for crimes like interfering with the police, disorderly conduct and trespassing. Charges that involve assaulting officers will “require closer scrutiny, with prosecutors taking into account in filing charges whether the police fired tear gas into crowds.”

Unsurprisingly, local law enforcement believes that Schmidt’s policies are making matters worse.

Mr. Schmidt said Portland police leaders told him that they were concerned the directive would lead to more police injuries, though he said nothing prevented officers from making lawful arrests they deemed necessary. (The Portland police chief, Chuck Lovell, said the force “will continue to do the job the community expects of us.”)

The sheriff, Mike Reese, warned Mr. Schmidt in an email that some protesters were bent on “starting fires, damaging property and assaulting police, community members,” adding, “They may feel even more emboldened if there is a public statement that appears to minimize their activities.” In response to one of the sheriff’s concerns, Mr. Schmidt said he revised the policy to greenlight prosecutions for rioting in cases where a defendant was accused of serious offenses.

The Oregon State Police also took a parting shot at Mr. Schmidt as troopers pulled back after a two-week deployment at the protests this month, saying they preferred to put resources in “counties where prosecution of criminal conduct is still a priority.” (source)

The violence in Portland shows no sign of relenting.

Seattle, Washington … (continues)

The Organic Prepper: Unconventional Warfare in the US

Political warfare location within four implements of power

Daisy Luther of The Organic Prepper writes about the use of unconventional warfare techniques with the US recently in her article There’s an Actual Playbook for Everything Happening Right Now and the US Wrote It. But Who Is Using It Against Us? Some of this echoes themes written of by intelligence analyst Sam Culper of Forward Observer on low intensity conflict in the US, as you may have seen from articles of his that we’ve posted to this site.

While it might seem like everything that is happening is just chaotically bouncing from one shocking event to the next, that assessment couldn’t be further from the truth. There’s a playbook – a literal playbook – and we’re being manipulated toward the endgame that does not benefit the American people.

What’s the endgame?

Spoiler alert.

It’s widespread guerrilla actions and the destabilization of our country.

What’s this playbook?

The playbook I’m referring to in this article is the US Special Forces Unconventional Warfare Manual from 2010. These were methods that the United States military employed against Libya.

The intent of U.S. UW efforts is to exploit a hostile power’s political, military, economic, and psychological vulnerabilities by developing and sustaining resistance forces to accomplish U.S. strategic objectives. Historically, the military concept for the employment of UW was primarily in support of resistance movements during general-war scenarios. While this concept remains valid, the operational environment since the end of World War II has increasingly required U.S. forces to conduct UW in scenarios short of general war (limited war).

Enabling a resistance movement or insurgency entails the development of an underground and guerrilla forces, as well as supporting auxiliaries for each of these elements. Resistance movements or insurgencies always have an underground element. The armed component of these groups is the guerrilla force and is only present if the resistance transitions to conflict. The combined effects of two interrelated lines of effort largely generate the end result of a UW campaign. The efforts are armed conflict and subversion. Forces conduct armed conflict, normally in the form of guerrilla warfare, against the security apparatus of the host nation (HN) or occupying military. Conflict also includes operations that attack and degrade enemy morale, organizational cohesion, and operational effectiveness and separate the enemy from the population. Over time, these attacks degrade the ability of the HN or occupying military to project military power and exert control over the population. Subversion undermines the power of the government or occupying element by portraying it as incapable of effective governance to the population. (source)

And now this guideline is very clearly being used against the United States. It started years back, but recently, we’ve watched things escalate rather dramatically.

Here’s the guideline.

Consider this a pyramid that begins at the bottom and builds to the apex. This all begins with underground activities and the fanning of legitimate flames, like Selco mentioned in his article about defunding the police.

Does that stuff look familiar? It should because we’re more than three-quarters of the way through this escalation.

The causes are not unjust.

The thing that makes this technique so effective is that the causes themselves are not unjust. They are things that would rightly anger any reasonable, compassionate human being.

Most white people don’t want to see people of other races suffer indignities and violence based on the color of their skin. (I say “most” because there are always outliers and extremists.) Most Americans in general do not want to see police brutality. They don’t want to see families split up or people imprisoned for decades for victimless crimes.

Let me be perfectly clear when I say that it is not unreasonable or wrong to be outraged and want things to change. I hate some of the things I’ve seen our government and police officers do and have written about these misdeeds for years.

But this article isn’t about whether or not our anger is justified. It is an assessment of a playbook.

All of this outrage over injustice forms the foundation of something that can be used against us. The agitation has been building up for years – far longer than President Trump has been in office – so as much as people love to hate him, he isn’t the cause of all this. But he’s certainly not making things go any more smoothly.

An early timeline

Everything I’m writing about today is about how our government in the past has encouraged a resistance in other countries, and how a resistance is being nurtured here in the United States right now.

So what does it take to cause people to be angry enough to resist?

Resistance generally begins with the desire of individuals to remove intolerable conditions imposed by an unpopular regime or occupying power. Feelings of opposition toward the governing authority and hatred of existing conditions that conflict with the individual’s values, interests, aspirations, and way of life spread from the individual to his family, close friends, and neighbors. As a result, an entire community may possess an obsessive hatred for the established authority. Initially, this hatred will manifest as sporadic, spontaneous nonviolent and violent acts of resistance by the people toward authority. As the discontent grows, natural leaders, such as former military personnel, clergymen, local office holders, and neighborhood representatives, emerge to channel this discontent into organized resistance that promotes its growth. The population must believe they have nothing to lose, or more to gain. (source)

There can be more than one resistance going on at a time, too. Currently, everything that is in the news is about the resistance that has sprung up over the death of George Floyd. A few months ago, it was about the sanctuary cities in Virginia standing up against state legislators.

Resistance organizations have been around for years: Black Lives Matter, the NRA, Antifa, the Boogaloo movement, the Black Bloc, the Gun Owners of America. I’m just listing off examples of organizations here, not passing judgment whether they’re good or bad. I’ll bet that most people who join do so because of their own deeply held beliefs. They sincerely feel they’re doing the right thing and have the best of intentions.

But then there are the other people who join – the infiltrators – and they take these kinds of organizations to dark places. Much has been written about the involvement of the Communist Party, neo-Nazis, George Soros, and white supremacists in various groups. And while some of it may be the stuff of legends and propaganda, a lot of it is very likely to be true…(continues)

The Organic Prepper: How to Survive Riots and Civil Unrest

Photo courtesy Reuters

Daisy Luther at The Organic prepper writes about How to Survive Riots and Civil Unrest.

As the world seems to be on fire in countries across the planet, the threat of civil unrest and riots certainly feels like it’s increasing. People are responding with rage to perceived injustices, and whether that rage is warranted or not isn’t the point of this article.

Often when I write about surviving events like mass shootings or riots, people scoff and say, “That was a false flag perpetrated by government operatives” or “Those people got paid by [insert evil billionaire here.]” The simple fact you must understand is that it doesn’t matter who started it, who paid for it, who instigated it, or who is taking part in it. If you find your city or town under siege by irate protesters, none of those things matter at the moment. These are things to be sorted out later.

What matters is how to survive and how to keep your loved ones safe. What we witnessed via social media of the riots in Chile should be enough to make anyone want to be prepared.

The idea of an angry mob appearing in your neighborhood is a frightening one but understanding more about the patterns of civil unrest can make it feel a bit more manageable.

It happens fast

It’s extremely important to understand how speedily riots can occur. In his newsletter, Simon Black of Sovereign Man wrote of his ties to Chile. He shared an eyewitness account.

…this past Friday was a particularly beautiful day. By lunchtime, people were out in the parks enjoying the weather. It was calm, peaceful, and joyful.

Within a matter of hours the city had turned into a war zone. Hours.

One of my team members told me on the phone yesterday, “If you had said on Friday afternoon that Santiago would be in chaos by nightfall, I would have laughed… And then it happened.” (source)

Never underestimate the power, rage, and motivation of a mob. Never think it can’t happen where you are.

There’s a distinct pattern to civil unrest.

Civil unrest can be predicted to some degree. Jose shared some of the warning signs he has observed and they all share their part in this pattern.

Here’s how a protest turns into a riot:

  • A perceived outrage occurs.
  • Good people react and protest the outrage.
  • Sometimes there are not-so-good people in the group, those who want to see violence.
  • Those perpetrating the outrage try to quell the protest because they don’t think that the outrage was actually outrageous.
  • Others react to the quelling and join the protest.
  • A mob mentality erupts. Thugs say, “Hey, it’s a free for all. I’m gonna get some Doritos and while I’m at it, beat the crap out of some folks for fun.”
  • All hell breaks loose.
  • The police and military get called in.
  • The city burns, and neighborhoods get destroyed, and no one in the area is safe.
  • Cops act preemptively, out of fear, and for a time, there is no rule of law.
  • If you happen to be stuck there, know this: you’re completely on your own.

Tess Pennington wrote about societal breakdowns in more detail – read her excellent article for more information on these predictable scenarios.

The mob mentality and Freud

Some people are just waiting for the opportunity to behave in this fashion. They’d love to act like that every single day, but they don’t want to spend the rest of their lives in jail. But when a verdict gets rolled out, when a storm takes out the power, when a disaster strikes, they delight in the chance to rob, pillage, loot, and burn.  Who can forget the day before Superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast, when thugs were coordinating looting rampages via Twitter?

I remember learning about “sublimation” in a high school psychology class.

Sublimation is a defense mechanism that allows us to act out unacceptable impulses by converting these behaviors into a more acceptable form. For example, a person experiencing extreme anger might take up kickboxing as a means of venting frustration. Freud believed that sublimation was a sign of maturity that allows people to function normally in socially acceptable ways. (source)

If you believe Freud’s theory, then it’s easy to see that many people look for an excuse to revert to their true natures.  In a situation where “everyone” is doing something, they are able to cast off the normal control of their impulses without much fear of reprisal. The number of looters and thugs far outstrip the number of arrests in most situations, so there’s a very good chance that someone swept up in that mentality can go burn somebody else’s home or business and completely get away with it.

In his course, One Year in Hell, Selco recounts how quickly and shockingly the SHTF in his Bosnian city. He explains that any time a group of people becomes violent, it’s possible for it to turn into a longer-term event than just a few rough days.

Never think “it can’t happen here.”

Remember in 2015 when Baltimore, Maryland was a war zone? It may have given you a sense of deja vu, flashing back to the fall when Ferguson, Missouri was under siege. We’ve seen riots in Sacramento, California; Milwaukee, Wisconsin (which the media lied about); Charlottesville, Virginia; Portland, Oregon; and all over the nation after the presidential election in 2016.

And it didn’t slow down after the election. Portland has been the site of numerous protests that were really just all-out street fights and the police were ordered to stand down.

Some of the following information appears in my book, Be Ready for Anything, which has an entire chapter dedicated to surviving civil unrest.

How to survive a riot or unrest event

When you understand the patterns discussed above, you can make your plan with a bit more authority. But remember that no plan is engraved in stone in the survival world. You’ve got to be ready to pivot to Plan B in the blink of an eye if information arises that makes Plan A no longer the safest.

This article is about the safest ways to survive civil unrest. It’s not about making a stand or teaching those punks a lesson.  There’s always someone who chimes in with a snide remark about how cowardly it is to lockdown with your family in order to stay safe.

Blah, blah, blah. If you want to go get involved in a battle to make a political point, that’s certainly your prerogative. If you want to fight the police enforcing martial law, it’s your call.

However, if your priority is your own safety and the safety of your family, the goal should be to avoid engaging altogether. This article is about surviving, not about How Things Should Be.

Get everyone together

If your area is beginning to devolve, the first thing you’re going to want to do is to get everyone in the family home or to a safer secondary location.)

In a perfect world, we’d all be home, watching the chaos erupt on TV from the safety of our living rooms.  The reality is, family members are likely to be at work or school when things start to break down. You need to have a plan laid out in advance to get everyone together and you need to be flexible enough to know when to move on to Plan B.

  • Devise an efficient route for picking up the kids from school.  Be sure that anyone who might be picking up the children already has permission to do so in the school office.
  • Find multiple routes home. Map out alternative backroad ways to get home as well as directions if you must go home on foot.
  • Find places to lay low along the way.  If you work or go to school a substantial distance from your home, figure out some places to lay low now, before a crisis situation.  Sometimes staying out of sight is the best way to stay safe.
  • Avoid groups of people – it doesn’t take much to turn a peaceful protest into a riot.
  • Keep in mind that in many civil disorder situations the authorities are to be avoided every bit as diligently as the angry mobs of looters. The police won’t stop to ask you questions nicely in a tense situation. You’ll be treated as a threat.

Know when to abandon the plan to get home. Sometimes, you just can’t get there. Going through a war zone is not worth it. Find a different place to shelter. Pay attention to your instincts…(continues)

Organic Prepper: Dirt Cheap – The Best Frugal Gardening Ideas on the Internet

This article from Daisy Luther at The Organic Prepper is a link-fest, bringing together numerous articles across the internet – Dirt Cheap: The Best Frugal Gardening Ideas on the Internet

With the price of healthful groceries going no place but up, lots of thrifty folks are starting a garden to save money on their bills this year. But what about the money to start a garden? It can be a very expensive undertaking, especially if you’ve never gardened before in your particular location.

I’ve been researching ways to start my own garden as inexpensively as possible and thought, “HEY!!! I know some other folks who would absolutely love frugal gardening ideas!” So…here they are.

Step One: What Kind of Garden Are You Going to Grow?

Of course, the very first thing to decide is what type of garden will work best for your situation. This will depend a lot on your soil, your climate, your skillset, and what you have easy and inexpensive access to. Following are some articles and books that will help you make your decision.

Pallet Gardens: Simple, Easy, Free

Straw Bale Gardens Complete

Create an Instant Garden with Sheet Mulching

Lasagna Gardening: A New Layering System for Bountiful

Gardens: No Digging, No Tilling, No Weeding, No Kidding!

DIY Super Easy Raised Garden Bed for Under $30

How to Build a Raised Garden Bed for $12

For those who aren’t build-y: Big Bag Fabric Raised Beds (I have used these with great success for veggies with shallow roots and as a bonus, you can use them on concrete if you’re gardening on a patio.)

Square Foot Gardening: The Revolutionary Way to Grow More in Less Space

15 Fruits and Veggies You Can Grow in a Bucket Garden

PVC Drip Irrigation System for Your Garden

How to Save BIG on Lumber Supplies for Your Square Foot Garden

Step Two: Plan Your Garden

Now that you have figured out how you’ll grow your food, you need to figure out what to grow. A lot of that depends on your goals. Are you just hoping for salad this summer? Or are you planning to grow an entire year’s worth of food for your family? These links will help you make some decisions!

FREE Garden Planning Printables

How Much to Plant for a Year’s Worth of Food

An Inspiring 5000 Square Foot Garden Plan

Last Frost Date Seed Planting Worksheet

Step Three: Start Your Seedlings

While it’s easy and less hassle to buy your seedlings already started, it costs a whole lot more. One plant can be the equivalent of an entire package of seeds!  Starting your own seedlings is not that difficult and you don’t need an indoor growing operation that marijuana drug lords would envy.

Seed Starting 101

Frugal Seed Starting Station

10 Seed Starting Hacks

20 Frugal Repurposed Seed Starting Containers

How to Make Newspaper Seed Starting Pots

Another Way to Make Seed Starting Pots from Newspaper

Chicken Manure Tea for Seedlings

Why Your Seeds Aren’t Germinating

Step Four: Amend, Create, or Prepare Your Soil

No matter how sturdy your seedlings or how efficient your beds, your garden is only as good as your soil. These tips will help you, whether you’re amending what exists, creating soil, or preparing your soil to receive seedlings…(continues)

Some seed sellers on the internet are starting to take orders again, like Seed Savers Exchange.

The Organic Prepper: What I Learned During the COVID Crisis

Daisy Luther at The Organic Prepper talks about lessons she’s learned during the pandemic – What I Learned During the COVID Crisis.

…Here are the things I’ve learned.

Trust your instincts.

I began writing about this virus back in January when it was announced that the entire city of Wuhan was being locked down and millions of people were under stay at home orders. With that many people under a mandatory lockdown, I was firmly convinced that this had potential global ramifications.

I had come back from Europe to attend a funeral in early January and was supposed to return on January 28th. After doing the research for the article mentioned above, I rescheduled my flight for March 28th and settled in with my youngest daughter at her apartment to help out with the bills. We immediately began stocking up.

A lot of folks at that time said I was crazy – a few here on my website but more so on other sites that republished my work. I’m no stranger to being called crazy – I’m in the preparedness industry and I like guns, so right there, the mainstream media sees me as a lunatic. It no longer bothers me and I was convinced that this was going to be a big deal.

Every day from January 23rd to the present, I’ve spent hours researching as this pandemic has unfolded. I sincerely wish that I had not been correct, but here we are, still in lockdown in many parts of the country.

You can prepare fast if you’re aware before other folks are.

I had sold or donated nearly everything that my daughters didn’t want before I took off on an open-ended trip to Europe last fall. The other items were divided up between my two girls. So while the daughter with whom I stayed still had a few things, like firearms, water filters, etc., the stockpile was pretty much gone.

By the end of January, I was pretty sure that we were going to see mandatory quarantines or lockdowns here and I began stocking up. It’s important to note that at this point, you could still buy anything you wanted or needed. I grabbed some extra masks and gloves but most of my focus was on food and other everyday supplies. By the end of February, I was pretty content with the amount of supplies we had. I had spent as little as possible on “right now food” and focused most of my budget on shelf-stable items like canned goods, pasta, and rice.

For about $600, we accumulated a supply that would see us through a minimum of 3 months without leaving the house. I figured, if it turned out that I had overreacted, my daughter would use the food anyway.

I also started a personal spending freeze at the end of January. If it wasn’t an item we needed to become better prepared, I didn’t spend a dime. I was able to put back a few months’ worth of expenses while still stocking up. It helped that my daughter was living thrifty in a less expensive apartment with utilities included. I was very concerned about things like cash flow and it turns out, this has been a huge problem for a lot of people.

You can’t always have the “ideal” situation.

There were a lot of things about my situation that were less than ideal. But that’s probably true in a lot of cases. You just have to adapt to the reality of your situation instead of endlessly wishing it was different or feeling that it’s hopeless. “Less than ideal” does not mean that all hope is lost.

First, there was the situation of living arrangements. I have a daughter in Canada and a daughter in the US. My older daughter in Canada has been working longer and was better established. My younger daughter, who lives in the US, was new to the workforce and didn’t have a lot of money so I stayed with her to help out financially. Her apartment is in a lower-middle-class residential area of the city where she works. Thankfully, it is a two-bedroom and I only brought with me two suitcases.

Living in an apartment without much of a yard during this kind of event is not something I would have chosen, given time to seek alternatives. But we all know this crept up fast. Moving was not an option. I focused on hardening the apartment with plywood to put up at the windows, tripwires that could be set up quickly if needed, and sturdier locks. We got some quarantine warning signs that we could post if all hell broke loose as a potential deterrent, and I set up spotlights in the front yard. Currently, they face the stairs to the front door, but in a bad situation, they could be turned around to illuminate anyone coming up to the house instead.

I bought more ammo for our firearms and we sat down together to work through potential scenarios. We developed a “fatal funnel” in the front hallway and added “stumbling blocks” in the front hall that could be shoved in front of the door to slow down an advance. (Just cardboard boxes filled with hardcover books – nothing fancy.)

We made friends with the other family who lives in the building while maintaining our OPSEC. It’s always good to have allies and they have a better line of sight from their upper apartment.

Normally, I would have bought loads of organic food and preserved it myself, but early in the crisis, there was still a question of whether or not we’d have power throughout the emergency and there simply wasn’t enough time at this late date. My stockpile is not ideal – lots of storebought canned goods and carbs like pasta and rice – but it’s filling and versatile.  And most of all, it’s what was readily available. I was able to grab cases of canned fruits and vegetables and canned ravioli when it was cheap and abundant.

So while it isn’t our normal diet or even our normal preps, we’re fortunate to have it. We’ve continued to hit the store weekly for foods that are more “normal” but can easily shift to the stockpile if it becomes necessary.

As you can see there are a lot of things that aren’t ideal from a prepper’s point of view, but when disaster strikes, you have to adapt. So if your situation isn’t perfect, don’t just throw your hands up in the air and give up – ADAPT…(continues)

Click here to continue reading at The Organic Prepper.

Organic Prepper: All-Out Civil Unrest to Erupt?

Photo courtesy Newsweek

Daisy Luther at The Organic Prepper has a piece up about widespread unrest because of stay at home orders and economic carnage – Tempers Are Flaring Over Lockdown, Masks, and Money: Is All-Out Civil Unrest About to Erupt?

Across the nation, tempers are flaring over the continued lockdowns in many parts of America, and also on the requirement to wear masks in public. I wrote previously about the possibility of civil unrest over the lockdowns, and unfortunately, it appears that’s where we’re headed.

The longer the lockdowns are continued, the more likely it is that we are going to see violence erupt.

People seem unable or unwilling to respect the opinions of others with regard to COVID19, which has affected every family differently. Some are devastated by the loss of or risk to loved ones, while others are struggling to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads. Others are rightfully concerned about the losses of liberty that we’re seeing. All of these concerns are valid, and not mutually exclusive.

Some violence has already occurred over mask requirements.

Just over the past couple of days, there were several disturbing incidences of violence when people refused to wear face masks in businesses that required it. Whether or not you think that you should be wearing masks, violence toward employees is not the answer. People working in retail just want to keep their jobs, and unfortunately, that sometimes leaves them in the vulnerable position of having to police customers who don’t want to comply with store policies.

A physical fight erupted at a gas station in Decatur, Illinois when a customer refused to don a mask to pay for his fuel. Sgt. Brian Earles with Decatur Police spoke to the press about the incident. It seems that a 59-year-old customer got into a verbal altercation with a 56-year-old cashier when he was trying to pay for gasoline without a mask, as is mandated by the state of Illinois. The customer allegedly shoved the cashier, who said he felt threatened, and the cashier responded by punching the customer in the face. The customer was arrested and charged with battery over the incident.

In Holly Michigan, a Dollar Tree customer refused to follow the posted store policy of wearing a mask. When a young female employee approached him and let him know of the policy he responded by saying, “Here, I will just use this as a mask,” and wiped his face on her sleeve. The customer continued to behave belligerently until he left. The entire incident was caught on store surveillance.

At a Family Dollar store in Flint, Michigan, the most violent response yet occurred when Calvin Munerlyn, a security guard for the store, was shot and killed after he refused to allow a customer’s daughter to come into the store without a mask.

Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said Sharmel Teague “began yelling at Munerlyn and spit at him and Munerlyn told her to leave the store and instructed a cashier not to serve her.”

Sharmel left the store. About 20 minutes later, she returned with two men who officials identified as Larry Teague and Ramonyea Bishop. The two men confronted Munerlyn, and Bishop shot Munerlyn in the back of the head, the prosecutor’s office said.

Bishop is Sharmel Teague’s son, the office said. (source)

Sharmel Teague and both men have been charged in Munerlyn’s death.

Anti-lockdown protests are spreading across the nation.

A lot of people aren’t formally protesting – they’re simply ignoring restrictions. Parks and beaches have been full of people who are sick of being stuck at home. Police officers are fed up with going out to break up crowds and enforce social distancing.

While some states are beginning to lift lockdowns, others are not. Protesters across the United States are demanding that restrictions be lifted. The Hill reports that protests are taking place in California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Tennessee, and Washington. There are also protests occurring in Massachusetts, Vermont, and Maine, as well as North Carolina.

Protests are scheduled this coming weekend in Oregon, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Louisiana, and Wisconsin…(continues)

Click here to read the entire article at The Organic Prepper.

Organic Prepper: How to Survive Uncertainty About the Future

From Daisy Luther at The Organic Prepper, What Will the Future Bring? Here’s How to Survive the Uncertainty

…Three months ago, we all had dreams, goals for the future, or at least some idea of what the upcoming year would hold for us.

I’ll bet none of us even considered on New Year’s Eve that we’d spend the first half (at least) of the year dealing with a deadly pandemic. Heck, I sat on a balcony in a little seaside village in Montenegro, toasting the new decade with a friend and some Jack Daniels, watching fireworks over the Adriatic Sea, and planning what European destination I’d be heading to next.

It probably never crossed anyone’s mind that there’d be some crazy new virus that nobody had ever heard of which would leave us under the equivalent of house arrest for months. Few of us imagined that suddenly, over the course of just a few weeks, more than ten million Americans would suddenly become unemployed.

Dreams have been shattered.

Goals have been put aside.

Lives have been lost.

Everything has changed.

And nobody knows what the future will hold.

A lot of the things we do know are horrible.

How utterly terrifying to know that we’re all likely to lose somebody we love to this virus or to a medical condition that would have been survivable if the local hospital hadn’t been overflowing with COVID patients.

We know there’s nary a roll of toilet paper to be found in a huge swath of the United States. We know that our supply chain, if not broken, is at the least, badly bruised. We know that if a person we love goes into the hospital with COVID-19, there’s a frighteningly large chance they may never come out again unless it’s in a body bag. We know that medical professionals in New York City don’t even have personal protective equipment to keep themselves healthy while they try to keep people alive. We know that yesterday in the state of New York, 23 people died every hour of the day from the coronavirus that has destroyed the world as we know it.

We nearly all know people who have been laid off. Maybe it’s someone in your family. Maybe it’s you. And if you haven’t yet lost your job, are you waiting for that hammer to drop? We all know of businesses that aren’t going to make it through months of this shutdown.

We know people who couldn’t pay their rent this month. We know people who pulled it together this month but won’t be able to pay May’s rent if this lockdown should continue. We know it’s so bad that the government has said landlords can’t evict tenants in many states – which means the landlords may not be able to pay their mortgages.

We may not know much right now, but we know that the economy is a f*cking disaster.

And we have no idea when this current purgatory will end…

We’d all like to think that one day this will suddenly be over. The kids will return to school. We’ll go back to our offices and our commutes. We won’t be struggling over money anymore. Life will return to the pre-COVID days.

But is this the healthiest way to look at the situation?

Spending all your time looking forward to the day when this is over is an exercise in frustration because nobody knows when that will be. And more than that, nobody knows what “normal” is going to look like when all the lockdowns are over. A lot of things will never be the same.

You can help yourself by learning to adapt now to changed circumstances. This will help you learn to live with the new normal, whatever that turns out to be. Major events are bound to cause major and long-lasting changes. This has happened throughout history.

In reality, the things we’re experiencing right now, while not necessarily easy, aren’t so bad. Things will probably get worse before they get better, but eventually, some form of “better” will come.

Your ability to adapt is indicative of your ability to survive. So let’s get through this lockdown and keep our mindsets positive.  Let’s get through the part that comes next.

Then, eventually, we’ll come out on the other side, ready to tackle the new normal, whatever that ends up being like…(continues)

Click here to read the entire article at The Organic Prepper.

Organic Prepper: Ways to Prep When There Are No Supplies and You’re Out of Money

Daisy Luther at The Organic Prepper has a timely article out 12 Ways to Prep When There Are No Supplies to Buy and You’re Out of Money. Anyone reading the news knows that many preparedness/daily living items are in short supply, and with millions laid off or working reduced hours money is tight for many more.

If you’ve been prepping for the Covid-19 pandemic recently, you’ve probably noticed a couple of things.

  1. The stores are quickly running out of the supplies people want.
  2. People are quickly running out of money.

Both of these things are important. Of course, if there are no supplies, you can’t buy what you need. But secondly, you need to still consider your budget. This situation with Covid-19 will be personally costly. At this point, we all still have bills to pay and your stockpile won’t do you much good when it’s sitting on the curb beside you because you couldn’t make your mortgage payment.

So while I advise doing everything you can to be prepared, I also encourage you NOT to go deeply into debt now of all times. People are getting laid off by the tens of thousands right now. Everything is changing.

We’re at a critical point right now when there’s a crisis bearing down on us and we want to get prepared. But there are very few supplies left on store shelves to buy and many of us don’t have much money left to spend. This does not mean there’s nothing you can do. In fact, you’re at one of the most crucial junctures of preparedness right now.

How to prep without buying more stuff

Here are some things you can do to prepare for the possibility of quarantine when you’ve put a halt to the frantic spending. Make yourself a checklist and get cracking.

  1. Fill up all your containers with water. A Mason jar full of water takes up the same amount of space as an empty Mason jar. Go through your house and fill up every vessel you can with water.
  2. Organize your supplies. If you bought a whole lot of stuff in a frenzy – and let’s be honest, a lot of us did – you may have them stacked in a precarious pile in some area of the house. Take the time to organize your food. You can go about this in different ways – put ingredients for meals together, put all the veggies in one area, all the grains in another area…however you decide to go about it, getting organized will help you see what you have on hand.
  3. Make a menu. While you’re organizing your food stockpile, create some meal plans based on the supplies that you have.
  4. Organize first aid and medical supplies. Put all your first aid, over-the-counter medications, prescription meds, and medical supplies together so you can see what you have. Think about how you can improvise anything you’re missing.
  5. Organize other supplies. I keep my supplies in kits. I have a power outage kit with candles, lighters, flashlights, batteries, solar chargers, etc. I have a pandemic kit I created back in 2014 during the Ebola scare with masks, gloves, Tyvek suits, booties, and other things specific to a pandemic. I use big Rubbermaid tubs for these kits but you can use anything: cardboard boxes, even space on a shelf.
  6. Do a home-security check.  Go outside and take a walk around your house. Are there things that need to be addressed to make your home more secure? Do you need to trim back some shrubs to keep the area under windows visible? Should you secure downstairs windows so they can’t easily be raised up from the outside? Can you put a locking latch on the gate in the back yard? Does your shed need a lock on it? Focus on the small tasks you may have been putting off to make your home more secure.
  7. Make a family security plan. Would your family members know what to do in the event of a home invasion? If not, you need to make a plan. Vulnerable family members need to get out of the way, and family members who are engaging the criminals need to know who is doing what so they don’t get in each other’s way. Place weapons and potential weapons in strategic areas around the home.
  8. Figure out a long-term water plan. Where could you acquire water if no longer came from the taps? Identify places where you could get water – creeks, ponds, rivers, lakes, even fountains if you’re in the city. If there’s nothing like that, figure out how you could capture rainwater the most efficiently. Make sure you have a way to purify this water.
  9. Take a look at your budget. Are there things you can cut right now to help you get better prepared for a long-term financial crisis? Slash unnecessary expenditures now. Call your insurance company for a better rate. Cancel subscription boxes.
  10. Spend some time learning. If you’re already in lockdown, make the most of your time by learning new skills and acquiring knowledge. The best thing you can do right now is to subscribe to Selco’s Patreon that he’s running with his business partner Toby. It’s only $1 a month and the information on there is timely and PURE GOLD. Learn to make things, repair things, grow things, and take some time to look into old-fashioned solutions. This is a great time to pick up some new skills. Read some of those books in your to-read pile and check out how-to videos on YouTube.
  11. Clean and do laundry. This may not sound like a prep at all, but in the unlikely event that the power is interrupted, it would really be bad to start out with a house that needs to be vacuumed and a sky-high pile of dirty laundry.
  12. Assess your neighborhood. If it’s still okay to go for a walk (without coming in close contact with others) take a stroll around your immediate neighborhood. Identify resources, like creeks or fruit trees in the park. Think about which neighbors are more likely to be allies and which ones you expect could be troublesome. This isn’t something you need to act on now – you’re just gathering information.

When you complete these exercises you may find that there are a few things you still need to buy. At the time of this writing, you can probably still do that. The good news is, these things are unlikely to be the stuff that everyone else is buying in a frenzy – think about essential hardware, high-level medical supplies, and tools.

There’s a lot more to prepping than simply buying stuff and piling it into a closet. The time you spend now on non-purchase prepping is also very important. It’s a whole lot easier to think things through right now when you are calm and well-fed than it is to try and figure them out when you’re under stress. This isn’t the time to sit around streaming Netflix or doing a crossword puzzle. There’s a lot of work to be done before we reach the point that we can’t do anything more.

So close that Amazon window on your computer and get to work…

Click here to read the entire article at The Organic Prepper.

Organic Prepper: How to Talk to Creditors When You Can’t Pay

Daisy Luther at The Organic Prepper has an article on How to Talk to Creditors When You Can’t Pay Your Bills. With some businesses closing permanently and others temporarily closed over the coronavirus pandemic, many people are put in an economic bind with no income coming in. While Washington state has announced some coming benefits for workers who are quarantined or laid off because of the coronavirus, we don’t know how long it will take to file, eligibility, or how it affects hourly workers who are not laid off or quarantined, but are not working because they business is closed or slow.

As our economy gets rocked by the coronavirus outbreak, lots of folks are already beginning to have financial problems. For others, they see money trouble on the horizon.

These issues are occurring for several reasons. Some businesses are cutting back staff or hours preemptively so they can survive financially. Other businesses are laying people off because of supply chain shortages – if you can’t get parts to repair furnaces, you can’t pay people to repair furnaces. The travel and shipping industries are already feeling the pain from the global outbreak.

So if you aren’t having money problems now, it’s very possible you will be soon.

What to do when your income slows down

This is something I’ve written about in detail in more than one article. Here’s a detailed article about job loss but the strategies would also work if your hours are cut. The basics are:

  1. Know your rights. You may have some recourse if your hours are cut or if you are laid off. If you have any type of employment contract, now is the time to go over it with a fine-tooth comb. Don’t sign anything until you’ve taken the time to calm down and think things through.
  2. Begin a total spending freeze. Give it a couple of days before you spend a dime. You’ll need to re-assess your budget.
  3. Apply for unemployment. Whether you lost your job completely or your hours were cut, you may qualify for unemployment or other benefits. You’ve been paying taxes for just this reason, so don’t be too proud to accept the help.
  4. Create a budget for necessities. Sit down and create a budget for the absolute bare minimum expenditures.
  5. Slash luxury spending. Now isn’t the time to go on a vacation, join a gym, or eat out at restaurants.
  6. Look for new streams of income. If you can, look for odd jobs, start a small business that doesn’t require an investment, or use your expertise to begin consulting in your field.
  7. Sell stuff. All that stuff you’ve been meaning to go through in the basement just might be the key to keeping a roof over your head.  Sell things online or in person, keeping in mind your personal safety.
  8. Audit your budget. Take the time to see where you can slash your spending. Can you cut your fixed or variable expenses?

Take action right away to stop the bleeding of money. A few dollars may not seem like much right now but it could be a much bigger deal in the future. You may need to make drastic cuts.

Make a list of your creditors.

Once you have created your new emergency budget, it’s time to take a look at those to whom you owe money. Some of these will be necessary expenditures. Keeping a roof over your head, the utilities on, a car in the driveway, and remaining insured. are likely the most important expenses.

Other expenditures are things like unsecured debt: credit cards, student loans, and personal loans. You may have some secured debt on things with which you’re willing to part – second cars, recreational vehicles, etc.

Write down all these expenses, your account numbers, your minimum monthly payments, and contact information for the creditor.

Before anybody jumps in and says, “You shouldn’t have any credit card debt” or “I bought my car in cash,” remember that I’m writing about a change in circumstances here. Sure it’s better to be debt-free, but when you have found yourself in a crunch, it’s all about surviving the rough time, not about beating yourself up for previous decisions.

Contact them one by one.

Next comes the part that may be difficult for some – you need to contact your creditors and see if they can help.

Keep in mind that many people are running into difficulty right now and these companies know it. Some places may have already authorized negotiations with debtors in expectation of the difficulty in which you currently find yourself.

Contact them in order from most essential to least. Below you’ll find some tips to help you guide the conversation.

How to talk to creditors… (continues)

Click here to continue reading at The Organic Prepper.

Organic Prepper: China’s Control of Pharmaceuticals

In this article from The Organic Prepper, Daisy Luther discusses China’s corner on the pharmaceutical market – 80% of pharmaceutical ingredients are made in China – and recent threats (or merely boasts?) that China would or could cut off drug exports to the US.

As China allegedly conquers the spread of the Covid-19 outbreak that began in Wuhan, it appears that they’re right back to considering the United States an enemy. On Xiahuanet, the Communist Party news outlet, they threatened to withhold all medical exports to the US, at the same asking for an “apology” from the US and “gratitude” from the rest of the world.

This comes at the most crucial point of an outbreak that originated in their own country.

Why is China angry with the US?

Xinhuanet is the biggest news agency in China, and very “influential.” The outlet is the official state-run press agency, so anything found on the website is straight from the Chinese government. An article titled, “The World Should Thank China,” which was published on March 4, covered the outbreak of Covid-19 in the United States.

The article suggests that the US’s data is suspicious because all cases of coronavirus must be confirmed by the CDC. (I can’t disagree with them that our numbers are questionable.) It shows a photograph of people praying in the White House to underline how “nervous” President Trump is about the virus. (This photo was actually of a meeting that the Vice President had about the rapidly spreading virus, as opposed to the President.)

Xinhuanet goes on to tout the control they have taken over the outbreak, saying that Trump admires their handling of the crisis and that his “remarks came from the bottom of his heart.”

At the same time, Xinhuanet criticized the US’s perceived mistreatment of China, citing the travel ban and the evacuation of American citizens from Wuhan, the heart of the outbreak. This caused, according to Xinhuanet, other countries to also “isolate” China from the rest of the world, causing them economic harm.

A translated version of the article says:

These practices in the United States are very unkind. They can be described as falling into the ground and killing people while they are ill. (source)

And now, if it is to be believed that China has contained the outbreak and they’re back to business as usual, they may want to exact some vengeance for this “unkindness.” (And of course, this remains the question – do they even currently possess the capability to manufacture these medical products or is this all a way to save face because their workforce is decimated and the virus is actually not contained at all?)

How did China threaten the US?

In the article, China suggests that they could easily get even with the United States for their perceived mistreatment of China during the outbreak by cutting off medical supplies while we are in the midst of our own outbreak.

If China retaliates against the United States at this time, in addition to announcing a travel ban on the United States, it will also announce strategic control over medical products and ban exports to the United States. Then the United States will be caught in the ocean of new crown viruses.

According to the US CDC officials, most masks in the United States are made in China and imported from China. If China bans the export of masks to the United States, the United States will fall into the mask shortage, and the most basic measures to prevent the new crown virus are Can’t do it.

Also according to the US CDC officials, most of the drugs in the United States are imported, and some drugs are imported from Europe. However, Europe also places the production base of these drugs in China, so more than 90% of the US imported drugs are Related to China. The implication is that at this time, as long as China announces that its drugs are as domestic as possible and banned exports, the United States will fall into the hell of the new crown pneumonia epidemic. (source)

In the next paragraph, Xinhuanet basically says, “Nah, don’t worry. We are filled with love.”

However, there is a great love in the world. The Chinese people and the Chinese government have never done so. They have not insulted the United States, nor have they banned the export of masks and medicines to the United States. (source)

Then the article suggests that the United States, if not the entire world, owes China an apology due to our media coverage of the outbreak in Wuhan and comments made about the outbreak by government officials like  Secretary of Commerce Rose, US Secretary of State Pompeo, and US White House Economic Adviser Navarro. They say these officials “gloated” about the coronavirus outbreak and saw it as an opportunity to pull US manufacturing out of China…

Click here to read the entire article at The Organic Prepper.